Last week's consecutive victories at Safeco--against the Red Sox, no less--were great news for Edward McMichael, he of the plodding tuba melodies that serenade you into the hallowed halls of sparse victories and overpriced MGD. Perennially seated along the stadium's western wall on First Ave. S., McMichael, a connoisseur of bizarre headwear, is easily as famous as the actual Mariners, and often better liked by fans. Here he shares his thoughts on Strauss and the view from the bleachers with the Cutting Room.CR: Hey Ed, can I ask you a few questions?EM: (Standing, lips surrounded by a bright red halo from hours of playing) Sure, anything to get me away from Tubby.CR: Tubby? How long have you had him...or her?EM: (Patting his dinged but beloved instrument.) This one, since 1992.CR: Why so many juice bottles?EM: So I don't get dehydrated. Playing the tuba dehydrates you.CR: When you're not playing, what do you listen to?EM: That would be anything by Richard Strauss (composer of Also Sprach Zarathustra, which was used as the opening theme of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey). And on a Sunday, even Franz Joseph Haydn. And anything by Paul Hindemith; he was a professional violinist, but he didn't ignore other instruments.CR: Speaking of classical, I saw you outside the opera last fall. Are opera patrons better for business or sports fans?EM: It's better to play here, or Qwest Field.CR: So what do you, as someone who works right across the street, think should be done with the viaduct?EM: Tunnel. Like, put that thing underground so everyone down here might have a view of Puget Sound.
The Tuba Mans collection of zany hats is vast and varied.