Diary Of A Busker Day 250

Diary Of A Busker Day 250 Friday June 22nd 2012 Winchester High Street Opposite Vodafone, Time: 12:55-3:01pm
In the covered bit, just down from The Buttercross there are two young guys strumming through Space Oddity – most effective (and authentic) if you’ve got an acoustic 12-string guitar, of course, but they make do with a 6-string and a ukelele. They’ve found a good place to be as it’s a pretty wet day. It might clear up for a few minutes, but only a few, before it starts again. Down at the crossroads, Carol’s my first customer, with a pound before I start…and she loves my old tank top – ‘It looks hand made.’ ‘It is – there’s no label. Made in the war, I reckon.’ I’m able to get through two songs before I have to pack up, the last being Here Comes The Sun, naturally. Actually, it’s not so much pack up as push my stuff against the shop wall, away from the rain…or most of it. While I’m biding my time there, a Shelter charity guy comes over. He’s been trying to get people to sign up a few feet away from me, and tells me about some old bloke he knew in Bournemouth who used to busk with his son, playing stuff from the 1940’s. The father used to play the harmonica, the son, the guitar and they’d swap instruments mid-song. I ask if he knows how much they made; their hourly rate. ‘They used to do pretty well; £20 to £30, I think, but on a Friday night they’d get about £300.’ He asked me how much I get in an hour. I say about £10, sometimes more, some more times, less! When the rain stops he goes back to where he was and I drag my stuff out and start up again. A(nother) pet hate; people interrupting during a song, rears it’s obnoxious head. A well-to-do lady in her 60’s suddenly appears and barks, ‘Do you know where Jewry Street is?’ while my head’s down in deep concentration… because I AM A PROFESSIONAL! I nod to the side and say, ‘up there,’ and she goes off. Not even a ‘thank you,’ and that’s another pet hate; people just walking off after I’ve answered a question and not thanking me with a spoken or pecuniary acknowledgement. Arrgghh! A second later, a poshly- dressed bloke puts a coin in the bucket, smiles, says ‘thanks,’ and goes off. See, posh people CAN be civilised. But I’m still furious at the woman. After I finish the song, the charity man comes up. He notices my furiousness, and asks me about it. ‘Because I hate people coming up and interrupting me. I really do hate it!’ ‘But that guy poured a lot of money in there, did you see?’ ‘No, where they together?’ ‘Yeah, and he gave about £5, I’m sure.’ ‘Right,’ I say, ‘ let’s see what he poured in.’ I count the money and take off the £5 I put in before I start and the pound Carol gave. That leaves one 50p coin. ‘Oh,’ my friend says. ‘Yeah, they never leave more than that, believe me. Posh people, you know!’
My Song Of The Day? Bron-y-Aur, a relatively obscure, gentle instrumental (good rhyme!) by Jimmy Page which has got a weird tuning – CACGCE, low to high strings, and which I’ve never played before out here…the tuning OR the song. But because of this bloody annoying hand condition, it’s difficult for me to play it in the original tuning, so I just do it in standard EADGBE. I think there might be a slight phase effect on the guitar on the record but when I put this on my amp, I put too much on and it sounds like something awful from the 1980’s so I take it off and play it straight and it manages to earn about three quid, which isn’t a bad debut.
Earnings: £24.97

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