Diary Of A Busker Day 250

Diary Of A Busker Day 250 Friday June 22nd Winchester High Street (opposite Vodafone, Time: 12:55-3:01pm).
There are two young guys strumming through Space Oddity – most effective with a 12-string (acoustic) guitar, of course, but they make do with a 6 string and a ukelele – under the covered bit, just down from The Buttercross, which is a good place to be as it’s a pretty wet day – it might clear up for a few minutes but that’s it before it starts again. Down at ‘the crossroads’, Carol is my first ‘customer’ – 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 (most of) the rain. 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 40s. He used to play the harmonica, his 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 tell him – 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 interupting during a song- rears it’s obnoxious head. A ‘well-to-do’ lady in her 60s 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 my head to the side and say “up there” and she goes off – not even a ‘thank you’ – another pet hate: people just walking off after I’ve answered a question and not thanking me via a spoken or pecuniary acknowledgment. A second later, a poshly dressed bloke puts a coin in the bucket, smiles, says “thanks” and goes off. After I finish the song, the charity man comes up – he sees I’m furious, why? “I hate people coming up and interupting me. I really do hate it!” “But that guy poured alot 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” he says. “Yeah, they never leave more than that, believe me. Posh people, you know!”
My Song Of The Day? – Bron-y-Aur, a somewhat obscure, plaintive (pastoral?) Jimmy Page instrumental. Because of my hand condition, it’s difficult for me to play it in the original tuning – from low to high strings: CACGCE – so I just do it in normal EADGBE tuning. I think there might be a slight ‘phase’ effect on the record but when I put this on my amp, I put too much on and it sounds like something awful from the 1980s so I take it off and play it straight and it manages to collect two or three pounds on it’s debut.
Earnings: £24.97p.

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