Chicken-suited street musician plays "What is Love" on Melodica, rocks righteously (video)

Here is your Friday soundtrack, people. Alex Ringis of Synthtube says,

I was in Melbourne for Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) 09, and I found this busker standing outside Flinders Street Station in Melbourne. He was playing the hit 90's track "What Is Love" on bass guitar, Pianica Melodica, with the assistance of a loop pedal. What is remarkable (evidently) is that he did the entire thing wearing a chicken suit. The real action in this video starts at around 1:20, when he gets DOWN with the improv action on the Pianica.
Holy wow, this rooster can play! Synthtube link, and Vimeo link.


    1. A very good point, I thought about it after I posted. It’s impossible to know. I really want to know who they are so they can be famous internet person like Tay Zonday.

  1. That is not a pianica. It’s a Hammond 44 acoustic electric meledica. It has metal reeds and an internal pickup. No synthesizer involved at all.

    1. @6 Sorry, you fail at Name That Tune. that is “What Is Love”.

      I wonder if this performer paid their Licensing Fee to have Performance Rights on this song. If not, then all of the money given to them during the performance is STOLEN MONEY, and should immediately be surrendered to the RIAA. they should then present themself, their bass guitar, keyboarding instrument, and chicken suit for immediate incarceration.

  2. Huh, apparently “pianica” is Yamaha’s trade name for what nearly everyone else calls a melodica.

    A friend of mine refused to work at McDonald’s because it was degrading, preferring to play music on the street for change. I wonder if he’d consider this degrading?

  3. Ah, well the folks over at synthtube seem to be confused as to what a pianica is

    “it’s the instrument known as a “Pianica”, which is a breath-controlled keyboard that’s basically a breath-powered synthesizer.”

    Anyway, I now know how I’ll be spending at least part of my xmas vacation. Anyone know where I can rent a chicken suit in San Francisco?

  4. Interesting – I’ve never played a melodica for years and never heard it referred to as a pianica.

    But if we are splitting semantic hairs here, the Hammond version in the video is referred to by that particular company as a melodion. :)

    Apparently different companies have different names for it, three in all.

  5. Holy moly, that’s a $500 US instrument.

    Playing music on the street in a chicken suit pays better than I would have guessed.

  6. From : Apologies : we seem to have mixed up our pianica / melodica….. Please enjoy chickensuited man doing cool stuff in lieu of proper terminology ;)

    1. I was thinking that too, that is a tough crowd.

      Where I live at least some people give street performers paper money, not spare change.

      1. Where Australians live, they have A$1 and A$2 coins (the A$2 coin is currently worth about $1.82 of those US paper dollars). Up here in Canada we have those too, and we frequently toss ’em to buskers. I can only assume the Aussies are as generous.

        Maybe not such a tough crowd after all…

        1. Oh! Well in that case, not such a tough crowd after all. You could get a snack and a soda for each one of those coins’ worth here, not bad!

  7. Gahh, it took a while for me to figure out where that song was seared into my brain. Which Saturday Night Live skit used that tune? Was it the the Roxbury guys or Mango?

  8. Roxbury…

    And from the sound of it I could see Weird Al doing a nice polka cover of it as well…

    He should put together a whole album, I’d totally rock that.

    1. Holy crap – how has The Sonic Manipulator NOT been featured on this blog yet???? That guy’s homebrew/hacked kit plus his presentation is just -insane-.
      bOING this fella!

    2. Why don’t we have street musicians like this in Helsinki? To date, the two most unusual things I have seen on the street in Helsinki have been Black Superman (he wears a superman costume and balances on a rope tied between two trees), and a trained cat show put on by a woman and (presumably) her children.

  9. Melbourne rocks : D

    I was in the CBD last night (quite pissed apparently, judging from my hangover), and walked by this gorgeous busker singing Joni Mitchell’s Yellow Taxi… she was so good, I turned around and parked my arse for half an hour : )

  10. I wonder if he started out playing on the corner of his driveway with the pianica. A gift from his dead mother. When he made enough money he hedged his bets and bought the guitar. Now he went to bigger and better street corners until he finally bought the loop petal and amp. He started to make it big, $20 from some nice business man who enjoyed walking to work everyday and hearing a wonderful rendition of “What is love” his favorite song. Having enough money now, he could finally do what he always wanted. He ran as fast as his street performing legs could take him and bought the final piece. A chicken suit. Now he plays all three things, in that hard won chicken suit. Play for the angels chicken man, play for the angels.

  11. In addition to the unique performance, I love how this video gives you a view of all the random things that happen in one spot on the street over the space of about five minutes.

    Also, I need to know where I can get a cart thingy like the woman who comes in around 2:16 has!

  12. TECH QUESTION: Is there anything I can try that might make the Vimeo Player NOT s*** a**?

    Vimeo is always a herjy jerky siezure inducing sound skipping mess on my Mac with Firefox.

    anyone have ideas?

  13. @mdh : I have never had any problems with Vimeo on FF, but FYI as the poster of the video, I’ve been informed that my “free embedded” plays have long since been used up (the video has hit 42 and a half thousand plays already), and imho you might have better luck if you just watched the vid directly on the vimeo site. :)



  14. this has been bothering me for a while, maybe a fellow boinger can explain why Vimeo videos wont play on my computer? I have a Clear G4 wireless connection and run MacOS X v.10.5.8. YouTube plays fine or any problems solve by letting it buffer slightly. I can wait for the whole Vimeo file to buffer and playback is still f-ed up. Oh yeah, I usually run Firefox but Safari is no better. I wanna watch the CHICKEN!!!

  15. Ugh. This is pretty awesome, but all music associated with Night at the Roxbury is pretty much ruined for me.

    The soundtrack keeps a fairly consistent beat the whole way through at we used it in marching band for practice. Hours in the hot Texas sun, hundreds of kids marching back and forth to “Make That Money”.

  16. Keller Williams in a chicken suit….Yeah! I can see that oddly enough! That actually makes total sense to me.

  17. @jaytkay
    “Holy moly, that’s a $500 US instrument.
    Playing music on the street in a chicken suit pays better than I would have guessed.”

    And how much do you think the most ubiquitous street instrument out there — a saxophone– costs, you knucklehead.

    Street musicians aren’t playing on the street because they’re absolutely broke dummy, many are really good musicians looking to maybe make a couple of bucks during practice time…

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