Darth Fiddler: the Origin Story

January 9, 2015 by Tessa Bousfield

New York City has an accordionist who dons a Boba Fett helmet. Victoria has Darth Fiddler.

In fact, there are a lot of people all over the world who know who he is – he has helped put Victoria on the map as a fun and quirky destination – especially if you like street buskers.

In fact, The Zone 91.3 FM gave him his own radio show, where he played music from his Darth FiddlerCD and gave a stunning live performance.

But how many people know Darth Fiddler’s back story?

We know for sure that Victoria loves Darth Fiddler. In 2011, when thugs randomly attacked the street musician and destroyed his instrument, locals were quick to come to his defense.

A social media campaign using the hashtag #helpyyjvader prompted local Larsen Music to replace the Sith Lord’s damaged instrument, complete with a light saber bow.

Until the incident, not much was known about the mysterious fiddle player, who always performs with his face concealed by a replica Darth Vader helmet.

After that, Darth Fiddler’s cover was blown. He’s a 40-something transplant from the Maritimes named Randy McKenna who is well-known in local music stores like Larsen’s for coming in to replacing his violin strings.

Darth Fiddler: the Origin Story

How did Darth Fiddler come to be?

According to McKenna, more than a decade ago, he found a floppy old Vader mask at the Salvation Army. He bought it, went busking on the spot, and it was an instant hit.

The persona has an attraction for people, he says, and he had never ever received that much attention playing as himself.

What about the rest of the costume?

McKenna says the costume has evolved over time.

He purchased one of the sturdier masks that came out when Episode III was launched. The cape is from a Dracula costume, the padding from an old football uniform.

Everything is sewn together from leather scraps, kind of like Frankenstein’s monster.

McKenna is so popular that he has inspired his own “Busk Stop” sponsored by the Downtown Victoria Business Association. He was also featured in a humorous Skit For Brains comedy sketch titled Darth Vader vs. Mike.

If you want to keep up to date with the goings-on of this famous Victoria busker, McKenna has a Darth Fiddler Facebook page and (somewhat unbelievably in this day and age) a MySpace account.

His image has even shown up on a door at the hip Hotel Max in Seattle, Washington.

Other interesting tidbit:

McKenna is a Micronauts fan

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