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MMD > Archives > February 2004 > 2004.02.02 > 03Prev  Next

Directory of Organ Grinders For Hire
By Vincent Morgan

As the result of several previous postings on people trying to find
organ grinders, and with the urging of Ron Bopp, Pres. of the Carousel
Organ Society, I have begun to research existing organ grinders in the
USA with live monkeys.  A byproduct of this is the development of a
directory of these people and how to book them.

Before this project, it was believed that there were six in the country,
which was before one of them died last Oct. 31st.  So far I have
located about twelve with other names that I am still trying to follow
up on.  Most of these people seem to be located on the east coast from
Boston to Miami.  There are two in Las Vegas, though neither uses a
real organ, one in Sacramento and one somewhere in So. California that
I haven't found yet.

So, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to put you in contact
with an organ grinder in your area.  There are plenty of organ grinders,
but very few with live monkeys.  In the past 10 years about two-thirds
of the organ grinders with live monkeys have either died or retired.

Then, if you want an organ grinder with live monkey, do you want a
monkey that simply dings for quarters or one that does tricks?  I have
information on both.

Do you want a monkey that people can interact with and pet, or one that
only poses for photographs?  Then there are those who have fancy organ
boxes with CD players inside, but they have live monkeys.

There are several with mechanical monkeys and real organs.  One of
these has developed a remote controlled monkey that rides a tricycle.

This project is proving to be a fascinating study and should benefit
many.  One of the things I am running up against is the very strict
laws that have been written "to protect the monkeys".  Some cities,
such as Denver, have banned live animal acts altogether.  Some states
are very friendly to monkeys and others want to ban them.

In New Jersey you have to let the Fish and Game people know two weeks
in advance when and where you are going to perform.  They will then
check out the event, place, people, etc., and maybe issue a permit.
New York City has similar restrictions, but it isn't quite so bad.

If an event is publicized, there will be protestors doing everything
possible to destroy it.  One White House engagement had to be cancelled
because people in Washington were throwing red paint on those who wore
fur or leather.

This will all be written up in the publication of the Carousel Organ
Society when it is finished.  In the meantime, feel free to contact me
and I will put you in contact with someone in your area that should fit
your needs.

Vincent Morgan, New York City

(Message sent Mon 2 Feb 2004, 15:22:10 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Directory, Grinders, Hire, Organ

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