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San Francisco’s ‘Bucket Man’ Went On An Expenses-Paid Trip To Europe— An Opportunity Of A Lifetime

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Empty paint buckets sit in a dumpster.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Empty paint buckets sit in a dumpster. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— When you’re a street musician you never know who might hear you. Someone important heard one of San Francisco’s regulars and allowed him to scratch an item off his bucket list.

Larry Hunt is very much alive, but every day he kicks the bucket. He beats on them, slams them; whatever it takes to make noise. He’s the “Bucket Man” of San Francisco and he can usually be seen around mid Market with lots of fans.

One bystander said it makes him happy to see how happy the Bucket Man is, even envious of how much he seems to be enjoying life.

But there are detractors, especially office workers in the area. One woman went as far as calling the bucket drumming appalling and that it makes talking on conference calls difficult.

Hunt has been drumming for more than 20 years. Oftentimes police ask him to stop because someone has complained.

San Francisco’s ‘Bucket Man’ Went On An Expenses-Paid Trip To Europe— An Opportunity Of A Lifetime

kcbs mic blue San Francisco’s ‘Bucket Man’ Went On An Expenses Paid Trip To Europe— An Opportunity Of A Lifetime
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“Yep, they asked me to stop, the city’s asked me to stop,” he said.

He was getting his groove on one day when a tourist from Holland spotted him. But it wasn’t just any tourist— it was a guy who makes buckets like Larry plays.

“A company called HK Plastics came over here and saw me playing the buckets. They said they want to get me to come over and do a show.”

And he did. This year he did one in Amsterdam, then a two-week gig at a plastics convention in Germany.

“I loved it man, it was a paradise to be in a whole different atmosphere. People treated me like a king over there,” he said.

He had all of his expenses paid, which isn’t bad for a guy who usually makes 60 bucks a day from his buckets, which covers his rent at his Tenderloin Hotel.

“They appreciate artists like us. No matter what kind of art you’re doing as long as you’re doing something positive,” he said.

Larry left Europe with 60 buckets covered with his picture, hoping someone else who appreciates “bucket-music” happens by again.

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