Diary Of A Busker Day 233

Diary Of A Busker Day 233 Tuesday May 15th 2012 Winchester High Street Opposite Vodafone, Time: 1:42-3:01pm
As I begin my set, with Albatross, I notice a man sitting on the bench about 30 feet to my right. I’ve seen him a few times and I remember him because just after I started busking in Winchester he gave me a £10 note and wanted to hear some jazz. The nearest I get to anything remotely jazzy is Duck Baker’s arrangement of Georgia On My Mind, so that’s what he got…which I proceeded to destroy. Not the last time that was to happen to that song, either. I also remember him because he informed me he was Glenn Miller’s godson. I don’t know if he’s officially one of the homeless of Winchester but he’s pretty dishevelled; unshaven, wearing tatty hat and clothes. So he comes over and puts a £5 note in the bucket. This merits a brief interruption of the performance to offer my abundant thanks. He asks me if I know anything Spanish. I say I know some of the easier ones, like Lagrima, and play the first two bars…he interrupts – ‘That’s too simple,’ he says. ‘Well, it is,’ I said, ‘but I DID say I know only the easier ones.’ He mentions a Spanish composer whose name I can’t remember – ‘No, sorry.’ He then says ‘Play something YOU enjoy playing.’ I say I enjoy playing a few things, like the one I was playing earlier, Albatross. He thinks, ‘…what about Eric Clapton?’ ‘Well, no. I just do fingerstyle stuff.’ I toy with the idea of playing the Layla riff but that’s kidstuff – too “simple”, as he’d put it. I then have a rather inspired thought; I can play While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Clapton played on that! Yes, very inspired. I reckon I’m getting the hang of this busking lark. I mention it – yes, he likes that, so I play my arrangement, for only the second time. I mess one of the middle bits up but but he really loves it and, during it, I get another couple of coins. Song Of The Day! Good. Afterwards, he raves on about how he loves the original recording – ‘I wanna piss myself when I ‘ear ‘im singin’ it…go on, play something else.’ Alright, at least he didn’t piss himself.  ‘OK…what else?’ I say. ‘Something YOU like. As long as you play, I’ll stay.’ (Please don’t). ‘OK…what about La Vie En Rose?’ I start it up and he says, ‘It’s not my style,’ and walks off!
A man in a motorised buggy passes by, then, when he’s 20 feet away, stops and reverses back to me, at about one mile an hour. He fumbles around with a small plastic bag like the banks give you to put change in, and drops a couple of coins. I stop playing, pick them up and hand them to him. I think he must have had a stroke – I don’t mean right now(!) I mean in the past, as he doesn’t seem able to speak, although he’s trying to say something. He can’t move his head much, either. Poor bloke. While he’s trying to sort his coins out, Delia turns up and looks on at the old guy who eventually puts his hand out, giving me two coins; a 10p and 5p, for which I graciously thank him. ‘Y-o-u-r-e w-e-l-c-o-m-e,’ he manages to draw out before riding off. Some of these old guys are amazing – it must take a lot of effort to do something like that.
Earnings: £16.11 (+ 1 US dollar and a Ferrero Rocher chocolate – placed on my knee by a woman).

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