Balladeer and folk singer Jim Hinde was a founder of the Pike Place Market Buskers Guild. He started performing at the Market in 1989.
Jim Hinde, 1951-2008: Market busker sang his heart out
By KATHY MULADY P-I REPORTER
For 18 years, Jim Hinde's folk songs provided a musical background for Pike Place Market's cacophony of fishmongers and vegetable sellers. His anti-war and protest ballads carrying more meaning and passion than ever as he watched sadly as a new generation went off to fight.
Hinde, the Market's bushy-bearded busker, died in his sleep Monday. He was 56.
A Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress, he turned to writing and performing music to ease his pain.
"He loved the Market. It really helped him deal with a lot of his demons, playing music, writing the lyrics," said his daughter, Katie Hinde. "It gave him a feeling that he was doing something worthwhile and meaningful, and it supported his family.
"He was so heartbroken when we went to war in Iraq . He felt his generation was destroyed by the Vietnam War. He thought, if we learned that lesson, then it was worth it," she said.
"The current activity broke his heart; he felt like the lesson hadn't been learned at all."
Jim Hinde grew up in Sandusky, Ohio. He played football in high school.
After graduating, he joined the Navy during the Vietnam War, serving as a radio and electronic technician on the USS Thomaston.
"When he got back from the war, he wasn't doing very well. He rode the freight trains, hopping on and off, for a couple of years, then ended up in Seattle," said Katie Hinde, 28.
He met his wife on a visit back to Ohio. Jim and Janet Hinde were married for 29 years.
"He was an amazing father, he never turned to drugs or alcohol, he was the rock of our family," she said.
"He took being a father very, very seriously."
The family was preparing to celebrate their daughter's graduation from UCLA, with a doctorate in anthropology. They also have a son, Nate, 24, an artist and poet.
When the family was young, Jim Hinde worked as an advertising executive in Bellevue and later sold cars.
He wrote songs for fun and performed on weekends at neighborhood pubs.
In 1989, he started playing part time at Pike Place Market. A year later, he decided he could make it work full time.
"He wrote a really good body of work; he quickly became a very impressive artist," said Jim Page, his friend of 20 years.
"He would show up at the Market at 8 a.m. and start playing in the morning. He played three sets a day. He treated it like a job, and he did it impeccably," Page said.
Hinde recently produced a CD, "Shout Down the Wind," and won a Northwest Regional Emmy Award for the PBS documentary "Pike Place Market: Soul of a City," which he co-wrote and hosted.
Hinde was a one of the founding members of the Pike Place Market Buskers Guild. He was helping organize the Vietnam Veterans of America national convention in Seattle later this month.
News of Hinde's death spread quickly through the Pike Place Market community.
"We are devastated by the loss of Jim; he was truly a piece of the fabric that makes the Market magical. He will be missed, sorely," said James Haydu, a spokesman for the Market.
A memorial service will be held July 2 at the Market's Desimone Bridge from 7 to 9 p.m.
Contributions can be made to the Jim Hinde Memorial Fund, P.O Box 21804, Seattle, WA 98111.