The dealing's done for Kenny the Busker

FINAL NOTES: John Adams' amplifier was confiscated by the city council after apartment residents complained about the noise.
THE DOMINION POST
FINAL NOTES: John Adams' amplifier was confiscated by the city council after apartment residents complained about the noise.

The Wellington busker who had his amplifier confiscated in a long-running noise dispute with former mayor Mark Blumsky has died.

John Adams, 64, better known as Kenny the Busker, had a brain tumour and died at a home for the elderly in Churton Park on June 6.

The country music singer, known for wearing a cowboy hat and his heavy reliance on Kenny Rogers' song The Gambler, became embroiled in a mostly good-humoured battle with Mr Blumsky in the 1990s after the mayor sided with Courtenay Place apartment dwellers who were annoyed about the levels of night-time noise from Mr Adams' sound system.

When he lost that battle, Mr Adams diversified his entertainment routine to include a recitation of classic poems and prose.

Two of his friends approached The Dominion Post yesterday expressing concern about whether members of his family in the United States, believed to include a brother in Texas, were organising a funeral service for Mr Adams.

Robin Yee, of Newtown, said Mr Adams, who spent his final years living in a Dixon St flat, deserved a decent sendoff.

"He was not well off. When he had the amp, he made a dollar but he ran out of money when he could not sing. He was a person who wanted the best for people."

Stephen Cotterall said people who frequented Courtenay Place bars in the past 15 years would remember Mr Adams, who performed outside the old Shanghai Restaurant.

"He tried to entertain people as they walked around at night.

"He was a Christian and had a great deal of personal integrity."

Mr Adams' body is with the Wilson Funeral Home in Newtown. A spokesman said instructions had been received from the executor of his will in the US.

"We've been instructed Mr Adams will be cremated and there will be no funeral service."

Mr Yee said he was considering helping to organise an alternative, private service for his old mate.

Mr Blumsky, who is now New Zealand high commissioner in Niue, could not be contacted for comment last night.

The Dominion Post