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RIP Seattle’s Tuba Man (Ed McMichael)

Photo: Sean2112

Edward Scott McMichael was a busker with perfect pitch and an improbable horn whom most people in this city knew by another name, Tuba Man. He wore funny hats and said funny things, but his mission was to make money by making music in the streets. Outside the stadium. Outside the opera. Wagner? Iron Maiden? Sure, and it could cost you.

Last month, Mr. McMichael, 53, was bludgeoned late one night near downtown. He died several days later. He was not carrying his tuba at the time, and it appears that the three teenagers who have been arrested in the case did not know Mr. McMichael. Most of the rest of Seattle surely did.

More than 1,000 people turned out for a memorial service on Wednesday night near Qwest Field. Large men wore their favorite team’s jersey “” the Seahawks, the Mariners, the departed Sonics or the Washington Huskies “” and many held their wives’ hands and cried. The president of the Seattle Mariners, Chuck Armstrong, spoke through tears when he read a line he said his son had written: “It was just impossible to be sad while he was playing that tuba.” []

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