Norwich’s music community rally round to help busker replace smashed guitar

Busker Adrian Howes, centre, with his new guitar, bought by friends who fundraised to replace his guitar that was trashed when Adrian was assaulted. From left, Dickie Hartt, Matt Watson, Richard Shashamane, and Andy Sacre. Picture: Denise Bradley Busker Adrian Howes, centre, with his new guitar, bought by friends who fundraised to replace his guitar that was trashed when Adrian was assaulted. From left, Dickie Hartt, Matt Watson, Richard Shashamane, and Andy Sacre. Picture: Denise Bradley

Thursday, April 24, 2014
8:58 AM

Norwich’s music community has rallied round to raise enough money to replace a busker’s treasured guitar, which was smashed after a fracas in the city centre.

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When fellow musicians and buskers heard that Adrian Howes’ guitar had been destroyed, they quickly donated songs for a 20-track album which can be downloaded at a “£1 or more” price.

And a new guitar was presented to Mr Howes at a benefit gig at The Blueberry Music House in Cowgate last night.

He said: “I’m absolutely made up. It’s fantastic. It’s the most beautiful guitar I’ve ever had. Beauty, her name is Beauty.”

He was busking near the Tesco store in Guildhall Hill when he became involved in an altercation which ended with his Fender Telecoustic guitar being damaged.

The instrument is an electro-acoustic guitar which had particular sentimental value as it was a gift from his mother.

Mr Howes, 51, lives in Shorncliffe Avenue, off Drayton Road, but explained he “comes to life on the streets”.

He said he was so grateful to his friends for organising a new guitar for him: “The guitar is my lifeline, so it’s a new lease of life.”

The singer and songwriter is well-known for playing his guitar and harmonica on Norwich’s streets, performing his own songs as well as ones by artists such as Bob Dylan.

Andy Croft, also known as Andy Sacre, is a local musician who helped to organise the fund-raising to replace the guitar. He said: “The amount of love and goodwill out there for Adrian has been incredible, absolutely amazing.

“It’s an unusual guitar and while they do still make them there aren’t that many about.

“I buy and sell vintage guitars on eBay, so I thought it would be a good idea to see if we could get him a new one.

“The response has been astonishing.”

Mr Croft said some leftover funds would be used to give Mr Howes, who sells his own CDs while busking, some time in a professional studio as he had never had the chance to do this before.

He said it had also been discussed about using any extra money to establish a fund to help musicians whose instruments have been damaged, lost or stolen.

Norfolk Police confirmed they had been called to an incident in Guildhall Hill at 3.45pm on Tuesday, April 15.

A spokesman said: “The investigation is ongoing, looking at the circumstances around an incident of criminal damage.”

The 20-track album can be downloaded at http://adrianhowesfund.bandcamp.com/releases

Do you have a music story? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474, or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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