The news today out of Seattle was that Edward McMichael who I only new as the Tuba guy (and in the paper they refer to him at the Tuba Man) died in his hotel room days after being beating and robbed in Seattle. You could always count on seeing the Tuba guy and sporting events and generally in the same spot at every event. I remember him playing outside of the Kingdome before M’s games. My friend did a documentary on Richard Peterson who was a trumpet play who would also play out in front of sporting events, along with being on the radio with the Robyn and Maynard. One of the parts of the movie is when both Richard and Edward where on the Seattle TV show Almost Live playing their instruments. He really was an icon in the town.
After any event at Key Arena you could always find the Tuba guy on the fountain side of the arena under the same light post. After T-Birds or Sonics games with a win I would always drop my spare change in his steal bucket with a loud clank and you would hear that baritone voice say thank you, go T-Birds, or he would play you a few bars of a song. At M’s games you would always see him on First street in the same place outside of Safeco field. Also at hockey games he would either get a ticket from someone or buy a cheap seat and you would see him in the last row standing and marching in place for the majority of a game. Many little kids would come and join him.
Tonight was a T-Birds game and it was very cool to see lit candles and flowers outside of the very spot he would always be at Key Arena. There was also big juice bottles as he would always seem to have at least one large Sunkist style bottle of juice or a gallon of water at his feet. After the 8-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings my buddy Greg and I dropped our spare change in with others as part of the memorial in our way of trying to say goodbye.
I took the attached photo from the Seattle Weekly.