A busker at South Kensington tube station is refusing to cave to pressure after a public consultation criticised him for playing the theme from 'Titanic' over and over again.
Harpist Peter Murphy is apparently very popular with tourists, but quite the opposite with snooty locals, who are sick of hearing his arrangement of 'My Heart Will Go On' day after day after day. It must be like living in a breakup forever, which sounds pretty grim – but then we wouldn't fancy living in South Ken, either.
Here he is in action:
Brilliantly, Murphy's response to the consultation was "My harp will go on," which has just elevated him to the status of our favourite living busker of all time. (Our favourite ever is of course the Xylophone Man from Nottingham, now sadly deceased).
This isn't the first time the plucky musician has made the news. Back in 2005, he was invited to a Royal reception to celebrate British music at Buckingham Palace. In 2009, he headed up a group of 150 buskers that Time Out described as "the nearest thing tube buskers have to a representative body," before joyless TfL reps declared his Yahoo! Group invalid. In 2010, he got his own article in The FT, talking about his former life as an accountant and how he made the switch to busking.
The consultation was conducted by Kensington and Chelsea Council and covered the topic of 'irresponsible' busking, including new rules and fines to be implemented next year. Murphy has a license to busk from TfL, so he's not breaking the rules there – he's just annoying people who live nearby and want to hear something other than Celine Dion covers, it seems. Big problems in South Kensington, evidently.
The 62-year-old is undeterred by the snobs, and has vowed not only to continue playing 'My Heart Will Go On,' but to release his own version of it too. Rock on, harp hero. [Evening Standard]