Diary Of A Busker Day 289 Thursday September 27th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Vodafone, Time: 2:33-4:03pm, 2. opposite Oxfam, Time: 4:32-5:10pm).
A ‘good’ hour and a half in the middle spot and I manage to do the whole lot without repeating anything, although I had an embarrassing moment – a very long moment – during As Time Goes By, when I forgot the bit that comes after “Woman needs man”, in the bridge section and gave up after three tries. Shortly after that, and possibly in an attempt to redeem myself, I ‘attacked’ the great Requerdos De Al Alambra, which I’ve been practising at home, doing the best I can, which is to play only two of the three melody notes inbetween the bass notes. I find I can just about get away with it if I jack the reverb up a bit to hide the gross inadequacy! …and it gets two donations – one from a man who correctly identified it – “Memories of Alhambra?” Great – someone recognised it – Song Of The Day! I’m really pleased (and relieved) I got through that. I know I’m faking it but alot of people won’t know -just as long as John Williams doesn’t walk by, but you never know – Duck Baker did.
After a break, I’m down at Oxfam…and the artist Andrew Rutter, stops by. He tells me the sketch he did (with me in), he has to do again as the planners said he did the wrong view! I asked him if he wants me to ‘pose’ again – there was only my leg and end of my guitar in it – ha! No, that won’t be necessary. Andrew’s got trouble with his hip and I tell him I’ve been having some pain in my left one, on some days. He says I need to drink more water – “You need a lubricant – lubricate the bones. Water’s the best. Water somehow finds it’s way to where it’s needed.” He tells me he was reading about a doctor who found himself in a Persian prison for three months. They asked him to treat the other prisoners, and because he couldn’t get any medical supplies, all he had was water but he found that in most cases, that was all they needed. Interesting! Just as Andrew goes off, Mick turns up and asks if I’ve learned anything new – “funny you should ention that…” – I play him a bit of Requerdos…apologising beforehand for my inability to play it right, due to my Focal Dystonia. He says it sounds OK – “people won’t know”, which is good as he’s a guitarist, in fact he says he can play Requerdos – something I didn’t know till now – he tells me after I played it, the sod. I probably woudn’t have played it if I’d known that. He mentions again someone called Cavileri(?) who he says can do the very fast tremolo effect with just ONE finger!! After some more guitar talk – and mentioning Andy Williams has died, and so has Herbert Lom – aged 86 and 95, he goes to have a cup of coffee, sitting at one of the tables outside Maison Blanc, while I carry on… When I start Apache, I notice Mick starts to laugh – quite uncontrollably, too. I can see him bury his face in his hands, trying to hide it! What’s all that about? – is Apache really that funny?! After he finishes his drink, he comes over so I ask him about it. “You really go for the whammy effect on that, don’t you?” he says. So that was it – the vibrato arm! I DO try for authenticity and if I can’t get it because of some hand problem, like in Requerdos… I can certainly do it in some silly Shadows thing. “Oh yeah, definately, Mick. Well, like he does on the record!”