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Jazz In Public Records


ArT, by Gary Musselman

More news on Gary Musselman, a talented artist who happens to be homeless, and does his artwork out of the Santa Monica Starbucks at Hill and Main (his story is here, along with more shots of his work, which I call "Jazz On Paper.")


The Latest: Thanks to the Patriot Act, it turns out it's impossible to get a bank account without two forms of ID. Gary forms of ID. Well, that's about to change. Wednesday night, I went to Starbucks with my laptop, and got on the Internet, and we ordered an expedited copy of his birth certificate from the State of Illinois.

The order was processed through those data-losing assholes, Choicepoint. (No, I didn't have a choice.) I gave my mailbox address for the mailing place to send it to. They asked multiple-choice questions to have some computer-generated assurance it isn't some scammer getting his certificate, like "Which of these four or five streets, named below, did you NEVER live on?"

He was pretty sure he got them right, and we were moving right along...and then...they gave four names of people, and asked if any of them do live or have lived with him at 171 Pier #280?...(which happens to be, not a home, but the 5 x 8" metal canister where I get my mail)! I'm pretty sure they were looking at it as if it were an apartment building, not a room with very small locking steel boxes.

I called the guys who run the mail place, but they'd just closed, and were probably gone. I got on the Internet, pronto, and Googled all the names in the question (within quotation marks to narrow the field), and none of the people came up as getting their mail there (you have a time limit from Choicepoint to how long you can take to answer the questions before your order is voided)! Well, I guess we got it right, because it should be here on the 11th! I got this back via e-mail:

ILLINOIS DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH estimates an average of at least 5 business days to process a request. According to the estimated processing time provided by ILLINOIS DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, your order should be shipped no later than 5/10/2006.

Once he gets it, he can apply for a copy of his social security card, and California non-driver's ID...and get a bank account once he has two pieces of ID. In the mean time, I think his friend -- who seems like a great guy who cares about him -- in Illinois, is going to open a joint bank account so Gary can take PayPal. In the mean time, if you're local, and want some art, please drop into Starbucks and pay him cash.

And, finally, thank you sooo much, Deja Pseu, for doing just that on Wednesday.

Here are a few more pictures by Gary Musselman. Please excuse the lame-ass photography. They're much better in person. Oh yeah -- and they're on white paper in real life.


Los Angeles, by Gary Musselman



L.A., by Gary Musselman


Kevin, by Gary Musselman


Oh, and P.S., to tell any doubters who posted on the earlier story a little more about what kind of guy Gary is, I gave him $20 this past Friday night, and told him he could pay me back when he started making a bunch of money. Because Deja came today and bought a couple of pieces from him, he handed me the $20, saying "I owe you this." I told him no, he should wait, he needs the money, but he wouldn't hear of it, and made me take it.

Posted by aalkon at May 4, 2006 11:36 AM

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His work is really impressive... Hope I could by some of it from France, when possible.
And he seems to be a pretty decent guy, and that is always a bonus.

Posted by: PrincessH at May 4, 2006 4:37 AM

He is...and thank you for posting and saying so. As soon as he has PayPal (which should be very soon), you can buy his work. He's very diligent...does all his assignments right away...more than I can say for a lot of non-homeless creative people I know!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 4, 2006 6:21 AM

What you're doing is wonderful. But...

"Thanks to the Patriot Act, it turns out it's impossible to get a bank account without two forms of ID."

I've worked in banking for over ten years. This was the case with most banks before, during and after 9/11. Don't conflate issues.

Posted by: Oligonicella at May 4, 2006 7:10 AM

That's what the bank told me. But, according to a friend of mine, people without ID can still get accounts. "People who know people." The rest of us apply for birth certificates online, then get replacement ss cards and the rest.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 4, 2006 7:29 AM

Of course. There will always be abusers. That in no way justifies the conflation and falsely tying this into the PA.

Posted by: Oligonicella at May 5, 2006 11:12 AM

Your email contact page seems to be not working. What does he charge for his work? I might like to buy a name for my daughter. What are his materials? Is the paper and ink good enough to last?

Posted by: mark b at May 7, 2006 9:55 AM

He sells very nice copies for $100, and the originals, which are pen and marker on typing paper (but he could do one on another kind of paper if you want), for $200.

You can email him at Bryan, a friend of Gary's, is printing out the emails and bringing them to Gary daily. Gary is very hardworking, and does any assignment right away.

My contact page gives my email address: You can type that into an email. I'm not sure why you say it isn't "working"!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at May 7, 2006 11:23 AM

2 weeks ago I met Gary Musselman while I was ordering a Dopio Expresso in order to wake up.
When I saw his art, I had an andrenalin rush.
I would like to ask him to do some cover designs for our record company.
Can I buy some oils from him?I think his art is as beautiful as his personality.
He should be documented in a book or Video.What can I do to help this process along?
What a discovery!
Giora Breil

Posted by: Giora Breil at March 4, 2008 9:07 PM

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