Diary Of A Busker Day 297 Friday October 19th 2012 Winchester High Street 1. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 1:40-2pm, 2. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:07-2:54pm
It’s another day of drizzle and unfortunately there’s some young strummer in place at The Buttercross, which means I can’t set up under-cover at The Pentice, a few feet away. In fact, why is he not there? – he’d be dry. The idiot! I set up at the usual place, a bit further down in front of Monsoon. I can take a bit of drizzle; the guitar just needs dusting off now and again. It’s when the strings get wet, they get a sort of stickiness and it’s a real effort to move up and down the neck.
Well, there’s nothing like being predictable, so I start with The Rain Song, which I’m much practised up on now, having played it three times the other night before the film! A man says, ‘That’s a contender for my favourite Zeppelin song.’ I get through a few others after that, in fact, this is my “atmosphere” set; The Rain Song, Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Here Comes The Sun, which I just manage to finish before the drizzle turns to some serious rain. Thinking about it, in these circumstances, when an abrupt end is probably the best action required, I tend to speed up…and up, as I go along, until I reach the natural end of the arrangement, or of a verse or chorus, at least. I can never bring myself to just stop playing, although no one would mind, or notice even, apart from me, but I’M A PROFESSIONAL! I MUST FINISH THE PERFORMANCE!
I pack up, walk down the road and set up in the Gospel Hall doorway, which affords some slight coverage. Very slight. Again I start with The Rain Song…and decide to make it Song Of The Day, as it secures a sizeable chunk of the takings. “Oh looka’ here! – ‘cross the street! There goes that girl again…” erm…old lady, actually. It’s Delia, pushing her trolley with about ten plastic shopping bags hanging off. She sees me but points ahead of her, indicating the bus station. I’ll speak to her next time, and when I do, I bet the first thing she’ll do is apologise for not coming over.
After a woman contributes and buys a CD (about time, sales are down recently), I say, ‘thank you, Ma’am,’ and think, why am I sounding like Elvis? So I say to her, ‘that’s like Elvis, isn’t it? That’s what he used to say, wasn’t it? No zir, thank you, ma’am, you know? – all that.’ She looks at me – ‘Sorry?’ I think I’m losing it.
Earnings: £13.38 + 1 CD