Diary Of A Busker Day 203

Diary Of A Busker Day 203 Wednesday March 7th 2012 Winchester High Street Opposite Vodafone, Time: 3:05-5:10pm
A lady in her 60s gives me a pound during Albatross, I thank her, she goes to walk off, comes back, remarks on how Albatross is ‘a bit Shadows-ey, like Apache.’ ‘It’s the extra reverb,’ I say. This brings me, naturally, on to my acqaintance with Janet, Jet Harris’s girlfriend, who requested Apache one day. I mention that Jet lived in Winchester which prompts this lady to tell me about another Winchester musician, a man named Eno – ‘He was always making tape recordings of things falling on the floor, like glass and boxes and things.’ I’m curious; it’s an unusual name, and I’ve only ever heard of one Eno, namely Brian – quite well known in the area of avante-garde music, and before that, from the 1970s group, Roxy Music. I make further enquiries – ‘You mean BRIAN Eno, who was in Roxy Music?’ Indeed she does. Apparently she knew him through his girlfriend who was a friend of hers. ‘Well, I didn’t know he lived here’, I say. ‘When was this? Before Roxy Music?’ ‘Oh yes, the Sixties.’ Well, I never.
Weirdly enough, I was thinking yesterday what had happened to Maurice, an amusing character with a booming voice who I saw a lot of last year, roaming around the High Street. I remember he was talking to, or rather at me when his phone rang in his pocket. He pulled it out, held it above his head and shouted out ‘SOMEBODY LOVES ME!’ to the whole street. I was fearing the worst when, out of the blue I see him coming towards me, walking cane in one hand. ‘HELLO MY LOVELY! HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?! HAVE YOU MISSED ME?!’ ‘Hello, Maurice. I was thinking about you, only yesterday. I was wondering what happened.’ ‘I’ve been ill, my boy, not too well, for eight months – on a bit of a downer.’ I remember he said he suffers from bi-polar depression. ‘I’m afraid I can’t give you any money, THANK YOU, SIR! (a man just put a coin in the bucket), I’m as poor as a church mouse – having said that, they sent me this’ He shows me a letter from the Inland Revenue granting him a few thousand pounds tax rebate. ‘Well, you’re not poor anymore, there you go!’ I say. ‘I’ll see you again, my boy, and I’ll SING with you next time – you know I’ve often sung for my supper?!’ ‘I know – when your money didn’t come through, I remember you telling me about that.’ Off he goes, shouting something.
Just after I’ve gone into the Black Mountain Rag section of my Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring/Black Mountain Rag medley, a lady says, ‘How do you get THAT from THAT?’ ‘Sorry?’ I say. She repeats, ‘How do you get from Bach to THAT?’ She’s confused, as well she might be, for they are strange bedfellows, for sure. The Bach piece is slow and stately, while Black Mountain Rag is a fast Chet Atkins/Hillbilly sounding thing. There couldn’t be two more different sounding tunes. Poles apart, I believe is the expression. The reason they’re together is simple; they are both in open-G tuning, requiring three strings to be tuned differently, the only tunes I do that are in that tuning. I play Jesu, then the rag, then back to Jesu and sometimes back to the rag, depending on how I feel. I’m used to it but I can see it must freak out the odd innocent passer-by.
Near the end, my mate Tom, quite a well-known actor who’s got Down’s Syndrome, comes up and does the thing he always does – pats me on the head. Only today, he doesn’t stop after a few seconds – he carries on patting for a whole bloody song. This must look weird – like winding up a puppet so it moves, he’s patting me on the head to make me play. Then he gets bored and wanders off, doing a little jig…
Earnings: £29.94

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