Sunday, September 25, 2011
Pittsburgh 'Sax Guy' Really Blows
Pittsburgh has it's fair share of local "celebrities" including Matrix Man and the late Lemonade Guy, but one Pittsburgh "celebrity" that seems to divide the Burgh is "The Sax Guy" or as few people know him as Hill District Native, Reggie Howzie.
According to a 2010 Post Gazette article Reggie Howzie has been playing the saxophone at local events since 1998. After learning that the esteemed Mr. Howzie has bounced from job to job it is not a surprise based on less less than amicable antics before and after sporting events. Sax Guy was seemingly a great addition to the game-day atmosphere when he began. Even though his saxophone skills are well below average his attempt to bring spirit to games was appreciated. I would always make sure to drop him some coins until a transformation took place. I remember walking to a Pirate game circa 2003 when an innocent appreciator of his tunes tossed some coins into his open sax case, but unfortunately missed thus hitting Sax Guy in the leg accidentally. Sax Guy abruptly jumped down from his Clemente bridge post ran after the guy, screamed expletives at him for "throwing something at sax guy", and then punched the man in the back. This is where Sax Guy went from being a nice addition to a game-day nuisance at best.
Since "the incident" it seems like Sax Guy does his best to annoy and intimidate the very people that he hopes to receive donations from. Sax Guy changed his role from playing some simple tunes to heckling those who pass by. You can be sure that Sax Guy will make fun of Pittsburgh teams and their fans and never miss the opportunity to rub it in if the local team losses. He also is sure to make fun of people as they walk by and the reaction is usually an uncomfortable laugh from the crows an an occasional person will drop money into his sax case because they feel pressured to do so after he calls you out and makes fun of you. What a con to make you feel guilty after being made fun of. It seems that the more he speaks the more my resentment towards him grows. Maybe, he thinks he is a comedian? Well, even comedians don't rip on the crowd unless they are heckled. Sax Guy needs to keep quiet and just play music.
Although I don't think too highly of Sax Guy there are many people he love him. Apparently the is a "I love the Saxophone Guy on the Clemente Bridge" facebook page with at least 1000 members. I guess the division that he causes is one of his charms and why people have idolized the Sax Guy.
I thought that I would close with some tips for the Sax Guy:
1. Take some sax lessons so you actually know how to play.
2. Play more than one part of a song over and over.
3. Don't heckle people, that won't help you get tips.
4. In fact, don't talk at all.
5. Support the local teams.
So, whether you like him or not, the Sax Guy is a permanent fixture at local sporting events. Enjoy, ignore, or avoid the Sax Guy that really blows.