01 April 2008

Human Jukebox

If you are going to beg for money at least look good doing it.
Here is a fragment of the Human Jukebox's obituary in the San Francisco chronicle:

In the days before schizophrenia stole his wits, Grimes Poznikov played music on "The Mike Douglas Show" and was lauded by journalist Charles Kuralt as one of the most popular entertainment attractions in San Francisco. It was the 1970s and early 1980s -- and Mr. Poznikov, "The Automatic Human Jukebox," sat at Fisherman's Wharf in a refrigerator box playing songs for cash.

He was a very good musician by all accounts, a skill he always attributed to growing up in a house where everyone played an instrument and his mother was a locally famous singer.

But that was in the old days.

By the late 1980s, Mr. Poznikov's mental illness made him so erratic he could no longer perform, and he began sleeping in the streets. And that's how he died, from alcohol poisoning, on Thursday. A passer-by discovered him lying on a sidewalk near the corner of Caesar Chavez Street and Highway 101. He was 59.

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