Arrivaderci Morgani
August 15, 2022 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Accordionist extraordinaire and revered costumed street performer Frank Lima, AKA The Great Morgani, is hanging up the squeezebox and spandex after decades of busking.

A fixture of the downtown Santa Cruz street performance scene for decades, the former stockbroker turned colorful accordionist played for the public while clad head-to-toe and grill-to-bellows in his outlandish hand-made outfits. A brush with the law in 2014 precipitated a brief hiatus, but this time looks to be the conclusion of a career which has produced a book, a number of music videos, and countless smiles.
posted by subocoyne (7 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Boy, this is definitely a city that doesn't want street performers, like, at all:

keep 14 feet—previously 10 feet—from buildings, benches, street corners, kiosks, intersections, drinking fountains, public telephones, trash cans, art sculptures, ATM machines, vending carts and information and directory signs.

Is there a first amendment issue that keeps them from just banning busking altogether?
posted by jacquilynne at 2:24 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]

trash cans

Refuse must be protected from...whimsy at all costs? Geez.

He seems like the kind of act that would brighten up a shitty day, and he put in some serious work on the outfits. I really like the ones that fully integrate/cover the accordion.

That Perils of Performing video is great.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:41 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]

He was always a delight to see.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:56 PM on August 15

Wow, what a life! (with hopefully many years yet to do stuff)
posted by Glinn at 6:01 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]

I recall one time around Oscar season, he was costumed as the Oscar statue on a golden pedestal. It was a sight to behold.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:35 PM on August 15


Color me edified and impressed.
posted by y2karl at 6:46 PM on August 15

I have that book. Lots of wild costumes for sure.
posted by one for the books at 9:28 PM on August 15

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