On the street: Sean Patrick Retz, traveling busker

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Sean Patrick Retz has spent the last 5 years of his life busking. He currently lives in Silverthorne, but today, he hitchhiked down to Denver just to play his guitar on 16th Street for the day. [Editor's note: Sean Patrick Retz is part of a semi-regular series our intern Dylan Burkhardt is doing about street performers on the 16th Street Mall.]

Retz was born in Iowa, moved to Michigan and now lives in Silverthorne. He's been playing guitar and piano ever since he can remember, but now only plays in his spare time, since he now has a "real job" -- but the money he earns from busking doesn't hurt. One night he earned $150 just from one couple: "The guy threw in a $50, then his wife threw in another $100," he recalls. "Of course, they were a little intoxicated."

Retz continues to perform because it's taught him a few things about life. "When you put yourself in awkward situations, or in harm's way like I did when I hitch-hiked all the way down here, it makes the rest of things in your life seem easier." This interview taught me something too: that you can get the best advice from the most unlikely places.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.