A BUSKER who has lost three pianos has had a fourth slathered in silicon glue.

Pianist Mark Chapman was once again stripped of his livelihood when his keyboard was vandalised in Brighton’s Bond Street last week.

The culprit smeared the keys with a thick layer of glue, leaving him unable to play.

He said: “I had to take out every single key for a once-over with WD-40.

“I know who did it. It’s not even about the music or noise. The man who terrorises me thinks street musicians are vermin.”

The Argus:

With nowhere to store his pianos, Mr Campbell, who lives in Brighton, leaves them locked up in the street overnight. He said: “You might say I’m asking for it. But think about how big a piano is: you don’t expect someone to just pinch it.”

He has had three instruments taken since 2015.

He said the first, a brown upright model, was wheeled off by a “muscular” thief.

The second, a bright green instrument, also disappeared. “I somehow managed to lose the thing along the way,” he said.

The disappearance of the third piano, a brown, wooden, 1920s instrument, still baffles Mr Campbell.

“It was stolen – or hydraulically lifted – in the dead of night by person on persons unknown,” he said.

“I left it under the arches on Bond Street by Wetherspoons.

“There were no signs the thieves had struggled. Somehow, they managed to hoist 900lb of piano clean off the ground.”

Now, four pianos down, Mark is in disbelief. He said: “Come rain or shine, I’m out here playing my vigorous ragtime for everyone to enjoy.

“People walking past love what I’m playing: it puts a spring in their step. I can’t understand why someone would do this.”

Mark is now searching for somewhere more secure to house his semi-functioning piano.

His friend Jen Dalby helped him clean the glue-coated keyboard. She said: “We painstakingly rubbed silicon glue off every single key, out of the thumping rain in a stinking alley for two hours.

“I have put shout-outs on Facebook and community pages seeking shelter in The Lanes for Mark’s piano, so he can lock it up safe after his sessions.

“Browns stepped in kindly for a while but Mark had a turn for the worse and was temporarily blind in his good eye, leaving him completely blind for a number of weeks, in which time a new manager started and she wanted his piano out of their lock up and so the trouble flared up again.”

“It’s not just this guy on Bond street. I had to help defend Mark from two junkies threatening to stab us with dirty needles. They threw him to the ground, commandeered the piano and started bashing the keys. This is so unfair.”