Diary Of A Busker Day ~ 105

Diary Of A Busker Day 105 Friday May 27th Winchester High Street (1. opposite The Body Shop, Time: 11:55-2:25pm, 2. opposite WH Smiths, Time: 2:45-4:05pn.)

In this weeks edition of the Hampshire Chronicle, out yesterday, appeared some more excerpts from this diary, and they put my name on the front page this time. I get a few people coming up/passing by saying they read it, not all of them contributing to the bucket. In fact the money’s slow in coming in, an obsevation I relay to one old lady who’s read the article – “Maybe it’s because you’re famous!” Is that why I’m being ignored by 99.999% of the people walking by? No. More infamous maybe – for playing the same song over and over… . My old Italian lady, Delia drops by – she’s read it but hasn’t got it with her, like the one in February she brought to show me, thinking I might not have known about it. Today she’s got a photo of her taken in a studio in Rome when she was 21. It’s one of those sepia photos and she was obviously a very attractive young lady. The picture’s in perfect condition and she keeps it in a transparent plastic envelope – she won’t even let one of my “regular”s hold it (this person has decided to “camp” beside me for awhile), as, when he holds his hand out to take the picture, she can see it’s dirty. I don’t blame her, she’s very proud of the photo. She also shows me a very small, colour tinted photo of her brother, who died from smoking, “He said that if he couldn’t smoke, he wouldn’t want to live – that’s all he lived for”, she says.

I’ve just started into my newest set addition, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, or Over The Rainbow when a girl – early 20s, who was walking past, is suddenly standing next to me, on my right, and singing along to the song. Why do some people think they can do this? – it’s very off putting, and why have I not stopped and protested? Because I’m polite? Even so, if this kind of intrusion persists, I may have to strap a sign to my head, or the pillar next to me, which reads: YOU’RE NOT JUDY GARLAND SO PLEASE DON’T STAND HERE AND SING, or YOU’RE NOT JUDY GARLAND SHE’S DEAD AND YOU’LL WISH YOU WERE TOO IF YOU STAND HERE AND SING. It wasn’t her voice that bothered me (though in tune, she “sang” in the way most children do – very loud and with no emotion), as much as the arrogance of thinking this is somehow acceptable – to gatecrash another’s “performance”. And at the end she just walked off without a word. Didn’t even give me any money, maybe she thought I should give HER some. She also walked past me, twice, later on with a friend and didn’t even acknowledge me – and after all we’d been through. Some people.

A guy really liked my James Bond Theme, “Do you mind playing that again, and do you mind if I film you?” “No, go ahead.” “I won’t put it on youtube, don’t worry.” “I don’t mind if you do – it’s not my song.”

Money-wise, it’s been a fairly good day, about £10 an hour, slightly (very slightly) better than usual. I reckon the paper feature brought in maybe £5,  in other words 5 people who I don’t think I’d seen before said they’d read the article – a pound (the acceptable minimum) each.

  2 comments for “Diary Of A Busker Day ~ 105

  1. Hugh
    31/05/2011 at 9:33 PM

    Busking somewhere in W.Germany in the 80’s, I had a drunken tramp dancing in front of me, plus a nice gathering of people who were interested in my music. I wasn’t quite sure what to do about the tramp, as I was not able to speak German… A local gent took pity on me, and bodily picked this guy up around the waist from behind, and deposited him in a nearby alley! I was very grateful, doubly so, for I had not personally had to pick a quarrel with the wino.

    Another good memory of those times was a fellow accordionist from the street audience who craved a copy of my version of the Third Man… (transcribed from the playing of Anton Karas, the composer). I only had the one manuscript copy… this was all pre- computerised duplication etc… I trusted him, and let him take it to a photocopy shop, and he returned it, plus a tip. Very nice people, the West Germans, and very respectful, then, of strassenmusikanten (street-musicians). I expect it’s all been done to death now and killed the golden egg, as it has in the UK.

    Often the “happening” that is created by someone uninvited joining in grabs the audience’s attention. So if it can be dealt with in a humourous fashion, that’s always best. I’ve had little kids dance to my music, and it transforms my act from “solitary old fart doing what he does” to “something spontaneous and interactive”.

  2. 31/05/2011 at 9:57 PM

    You need to start your own diary, Hugh! Yes, some interuptions/interferences, I can take, but I draw the line at grown women singing like 8 year olds.

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