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In 20 years or so, good street photography usually mellows into collector photography or fine art photography. That’s what happened to this image, which I’ve titled “Deep Throat.”

If you’re more than 40 years old you’ll remember “Deep Throat” as one of the most widely talked-about adult films of the 1970s. That said, here’s the backstory for this image.

In the early 1970s I did some major photography projects for the University of Massachusetts at Boston. I didn’t have many friends in Boston so I spent my lunch time walking the streets with my camera. On this day, I heard a trumpet playing around the corner and a minute later there emerged what literally was a one-man band, marching along the sidewalk playing a trumpet and bass drum at the same time.

After introducing myself to this amiable fellow, I shadowed him for the better part of an hour in anticipation of that perfect situation that often rewards photographers who are blessed with sufficient patience to wait for just the right instant.

It happened when my drummer boy stopped at Boston’s legendary Filene’s Department store and mesmerized these three kids.

I don’t remember what I photographed for pay when I went back to work that afternoon, but I’ll never forget my music man and the audience he serenaded in front of Filene’s that fine summer day.

Billy Barnes

Billy E. Barnes is one of America's most widely published photographers. 

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