Diary Of A Busker Day 183 Wednesday November 23rd Winchester High Street (1. opposite Card factory, Time: 12:35-3pm).
I pass Frank with his accordion at The Buttercross and further down, a young “strummer” doing a Beatles song – I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party (why not? – you’ve done that to the song). He’s being filmed by a bunch of students(?) on the other side of the road. So, the top and middle are taken, which means I’m down in front of Debenhams – haven’t been here for awhile…and I’m barely here 5 minutes when the bunch filming the young guy turn up and want to film me – they are indeed university students. They want to ask me some questions, too – like “what motivates you to do this?” Answer: “Desparation – I got sacked from a group because of my hearing, it (busking) was a last resort.” …and “how do people perceive you? Have you had any complaints?” Answer: “Most people like what I play – I think, especially the older ones. I’ve been lucky – not many complaints, the last one was from the girl in the Jewel Jewellery shop (across the street), she asked me to turn down as she “couldn’t hear the phone”.” About 10 minutes later, a smaller bunch of university filmers come by, with camera and tripod. “Don’t tell me – you want to film me for your project.” They do. I tell them there was another bunch just here – they seem surprised. Ha! I’m going to be in all the projects – like a few months ago with all those others – the ones looking for the “upside down shop”. These two don’t want to interview me, though, and they also give me some money – not like the first bunch, I may add. And one, a friendly youth -James, might be able to film me do some songs, sometime soon.
While I’m playing Wheels, two old guys walking by with their wives on the other side of the street, cross over. They love it and even correctly identify it as a Chet Atkins arrangement. They stand near me for a few minutes, then go off to join (or find) their wives. Half an hour later, and I’m doing Wheels again (it’s a popular one) and they suddenly are there again! “Oh, you’ve already heard me do this!” I say, and switch to The Third Man. At the end, one says, “There used to be a dance – The Third Man Dance, d’you know? Very popular, long time ago!” I’m amazed, but why should I be, I think – nothing should amaze me about The Third Man, anymore. “Really? A Third Man Dance?” “Yes – do do do, do do…” he moves his left foot two paces to the side, then his right foot. Ha – The Third Man Dance. I’m going to have to investigate it, there must be a film of it somewhere. They go back (again) to their wives, but turn up yet again! All four this time. They say I should come and play tonight at their hotel. “Really? Where’s that?” “Worthing.” “Oh, oh well! Is that where you live?” – a stupid question. No, they live in Somerset. “Oh well…anyway, here’s my card, ifyou ever hear of any place for me to play…”
A posh looking old lady crosses the road to visit me. I’m playing Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring. “I can’t resist a bit of Bach!” she says. “Ah well, it’s the only one I do – it must be my lucky day.” “Eh?” “It must be my lucky day – you just happened to be walking by.” “Oh, yes.” She looks at my bucket, “What are you collecting for?” “Me.” “Eh?” “Me.”