For one Mission musician, touring is not an option. In fact, he very rarely performs below 16th street or above 24th- these are the outer limits of his chosen venue. This wild-haired troubadour is known to most by his soubriquet, the Mission Rocker, or as “that guy with the guitar”.
We have a tenuous relationship, Mr. Rocker, and I. The few interactions we’ve had, under street lamps and in alleyways, consist of him chasing me down the street, usually to the tune of “screw all you bourgey brats, and while I’m on the subject, the world is going to shit.” It can put a damper on your night, especially if he chooses your steps as the stage for his angsty ballads.
And who wouldn’t react with apprehension, when while trying to squeeze your car between two leering red-zones, you are serenaded with the discordant ditty: “Just park the goddamn car already! Nah-na-na. What are you doing? La-la-la-la, just park, for Christ’s sake!”?
But, recently, the two of us had a tete-a-tete and I learned a little more about this not-so-quiet soul.
“I’ve been playing these streets for 20 years,” he informed me. “Finally, I’ve been getting a little recognition.” He mentioned being interviewed for a Citisearch article written a few years back (which I haven’t been able to find) and offered to play me “a little something.” Bracing myself for some aural assault, I was amused when he began to play a rendition of “You Are My Sunshine” which morphed into something entirely different. After about 5 minutes, I moved to take my leave, thanking him for the song.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Don’t you know?” he said, “I’m the King of Valencia.” I guess that’s his pseudonym du jour.