Diary Of A Busker Day 231

Diary Of A Busker Day 231 Tuesday May 8th 2012 Winchester High Street 1. Opposite Bellis, Time: 2:02-4:15pm 2. corner of Marks And Spencer, Time: 4:56-6:25pm
A bunch of girls sit on the steps of The Buttercross and listen to me (they’ve got no choice!) After a bit, three come over and contribute. I interrogate them and find out they’re Polish…after I say they sound German. They’ve been in Winchester for two days and tomorrow they’re off to Brighton. I tell them I used to live there a long time ago – ‘It’s very busy – lots of people,’ then, because I can’t think of anything else, ‘lots of gay people,’ which they don’t understand. ‘Gay, um…homosexual!’ ‘Ah, yes!’ they say.
An old lady puts a coin in the bucket and seeing a coin on the pavement next to the bucket, tries to pick it up for me. But it’s not a coin – it’s some gum that’s been stepped on and flattened into a coin-sized shape. In fact, they’re all over the place, thousands of grey, coin-shaped circles, something I’ve never noticed before, which is strange as I spend half my life it seems, with my head a couple of feet above the ground.
Eric, a very short, flat-capped man likes my sound and begins a conversation which, as so often happens, starts off in a normal way, as in – ‘How are you getting on?’ but then ends up something completely different. His friend was visiting someone in America and the next day the person they were visiting died! Eric tells me his good idea – ‘Once in a while I have a really good thought, you know, and this is one of them. You should get together, all of you buskers. You and…who is it who does the accordion?’ ‘Frank.’ ‘Yes, and you should all form a band.’ ‘Hmm…yes…it would be quite a loud band, wouldn’t it?’ I say. After a bit more chat, Eric departs, saying ‘Goodbye Frank!’
My old guitarist chum and fellow admirer of Ragtime guitar, Phillip, turns up. I tell him about my photo album project…in fact why doesn’t he have a go on my guitar while I take a picture of him? So he does, and I find myself in the rather weird position of watching someone play The Third Man on my guitar. Phillip, enjoying it, carries on with the Roberta Flack hit, Killing Me Softly With His Song. Very mellow, quite nice. During this, an old lady hands me a pound coin which I put on the ground in front of Phillip. After his ten minutes spot I give him his pound, which surprises him – he doesn’t want to take it but in the end will take 50p of it and promises to write out the Roberta Flack song in guitar notation for me.
I head down the road to a place I haven’t played at for ages – the corner of Marks And Spencer where, being on the other side of the street from where I usually play, I’ve got the sun on me for once. So, it’s Here Comes The Sun. A woman says, ‘They’d be proud!’ I don’t know what she means – ‘Sorry? What’s that?’ ‘They’d be proud of you…Marks & Spencers, for playing that.’ I still don’t understand so I ask what she means. ‘They’d be proud. It’s on the ad…on the TV, Gary Barlow singing that, on the Marks & Spencer ad.’ ‘Oh right, the TV ad!’ Yes, she’s right. There’s an ad on the TV with this guy Gary Barlow and he’s singing Here Comes The Sun. I immediately stop playing it!
Halfway through my set, Frank walks by with his dog, Kazoo, but without his accordion. I haven’t seen him for a few weeks and express my concern – ‘Where the hell have YOU been, Frank? I thought you were dead!’ He says, ‘I’ve just been doing the garden, you know…and learning a few more tunes – it all takes time…then there’s been the weather, o’course.’ I tell him about my photo album but there’s no point in having a photo of Frank The Accordion Man in an accordion-less state. He agrees. It’ll have to be some other time.
After not getting any contributions for fifteen minutes, I decide to pack up. It’s quite late, anyway…but just as I’m about to walk off, Anthony turns up and it’s another of those times when the conversation seems to go off into unrealated tangents. Anthony – ‘Phillip Glass. I was reading an interview, he practices EIGHT hours a day, still.’ Then Anthony tells me about a program he watched about a cure for a rare disease that affects children, ‘…the doctors were able to cure this one child. They asked him, “what are his chances now?” and he said, “Well, we can now give him a 70 year life,” and I thought, is that all? It’s not long, is it – 70 or 80 years, that we’re here for, when you think of it.’ I agree. I say that it’s only in the last year that I’ve started to realise how short it all is – life. ‘That’s just age,’ he says, ‘when you suddenly realise you’re closer to the end than the beginning.’ Indeed. He then gets on to the subject of the haves and have-nots. ‘Do you know that everyday 25,000 people die of starvation? EVERY DAY!’ Then, the Bible’s prophecy – ‘…there will be a war between the King of the North – that means Germany, because Germany’s the hub of Europe. Europe consists of eight kingdoms; France, England, Spain and so on and so forth, led by Germany, and the King of the South, which is Iran and all the Middle East countries…then there’s the East; China, Russia…the King of the East…’ ‘So you think there’ll be another global war, do you?’ ‘Oh yes, and it’ll make the last one seem like a tea party.’ ‘Oh dear. Well I hope you’re wrong!’ Half an hour after I packed up, I finally leave to go home.
Earnings: £31.54

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.