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"The streets of downtown aren't safe without the blues." A man carrying a case of Budweiser shouted this out to bluesman Pete Kelly. Kelly has been a street musician in the Gaslamp for 13 years, or so he claimed as he sat against the large window of the Z Gallery at Fifth and Market. He was playing his harmonica and singing in a loud baritone.

"I hear you from my loft every night," said a woman who stopped to put a dollar bill in the paper bag Kelly had in front of him.

"How much do you make a night?" I asked.

"Thirty to 40 dollars. I'm now out of the wheelchair, so I can't do this all day like some do."

He told me he'd been in a wheelchair due to a car accident.

I asked him if he ever does private parties.

"I charge $100 for an hour. Three hours will run you $500."

"You don't come cheap," I said.

"I'll be starting school soon," he said. "Going to Grossmont, majoring in philosophy."

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