Music accordian to Gunter Vogel

By Kimberley Price

ENTERTAINING others is not an easy profession by any means.

Not only does it require talent, one needs to put in the hard yards to perfect their music and have a strong sense of determination to break into a cut-throat industry.

But for Gunter Vogel, entertaining the public is the career he was born to pursue.

Calling Rockhampton his hometown, Gunter’s tool of his trade is a diatonic button accordion which is commonly found throughout Germany but is a rarity elsewhere.

Introduced to the instrument 10 years ago by a late friend, who also taught him three songs, Gunter changed his life course from being a fitter and turner to a professional public performance musician.

‘‘I bought my accordion off my late friend, who brought it over from Austria where it’s more common,’’ Gunter said from his stage on the footpath outside Coles.

‘‘When I started I could hardly play but I had a lot of support and guidance.

‘‘But I was born to entertain.

‘‘Once this machine came along I knew it was my calling, not a job.’’

There is certainly something romantic performing throughout the country on makeshift stages in popular public areas.

While there is an absence of screaming fans and lyrics being shouted back, Gunter lives his life through making an average day for a complete stranger a little bit brighter.

His stage persona as the Squeeze-Box Budgie may never make him millions, but it will give him daily satisfaction and bring joy to the lives of others.

‘‘Country areas seem to be more responsive to music. People will have a chat and elderly people tend to remember the songs I’m playing,’’ Gunter said.

‘‘People here have a greater appreciation for my music.

‘‘It can be a struggle day by day, working 9am to 9pm (and sometimes longer) so I rely on the appreciation of my audiences.’’

Gunter has worked hard for his passion for performing to become a viable profession.

Registering himself as a business, he is able to perform throughout the country at various events — his most popular occasion being Oktoberfest.

Through word of mouth he finds different locations to travel to and greet new faces and audiences.

But his main drive always has been, and always will be, entertaining.

‘‘In the end it’s all about happiness,’’ Gunter added quietly to the end of the conversation before breaking out into another joyful tune.

He would also like to thank Coles, Woolworths and Big W in Echuca for allowing him to play outside their stores.