On Monday January 9th Chuck Deely died, aged 62. The most famous street musician of The Hague (and probably of The Netherlands) is going to be dearly missed.
He was there, every day, as long as I have been working in The Hague (which is over 20 years). Every day. A very talented musician who took a few decisions in his life that turned out to be bad ones. The man who remembered me daily how lucky I am. He took his job seriously and with good reason: on his better days he was an excellent musician and singer-songwriter. But I witnessed not only his better days, but also his worst days. Although he was not homeless, he lived on the streets during the day. Summer and winter. Sometimes he just sat there, shivering from the cold or the fever, his nose dripping, unable to play or sing. That were the moments we would talk. Mostly just chitchat. About the weather, upcoming holidays, music. But also about his life, about the thousands of people passing him, pretending not to see him, about the fact people don't carry cash money anymore and that he would need a P.I.N.-cardreader, about old age. He worried about his old age. Being illegal in The Netherlands he was not entitled to social security. He needn't worry anymore.
If you want to see Chuck during one of his hghlights, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3x-AoJoUH0. He was so proud of playing with the Residentie Orkest!
Chuck was a great musician and a really nice guy. I miss him deely.
An interview by .No with Chuck Deely for WoNo Magazine can be found here: