Diary Of A Busker Day 327 Thursday February 14th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Bellis, Time: 1:10-2:42pm, 2. opposite Vodafone, Time: 2:55-3:26pm).
For once its warmed up a bit. For once I’m not dreading the prospect of playing – the pain increasing with every song and every minute!
A short lady about my age (or old enough to know better) stops to contribute. I see her often but don’t know her name. I happen to be playing Albatross. She says it reminds her of Freebird, her ex’s favourite song, and tells me the story: ‘I had an accident a few years ago. It left me blind in one eye and I’m losing my sight slowly in the other one. ‘course when that ‘appened, ‘ee was off…memories, but that was ‘is…’ee was always playin’ Freebird.’ What a shame – she seems such a nice lady. She then tells me she saw a famous guitarist at the IBM place near Hursley recently but she can’t remember his name – she also has a very bad short-term memory, she says, because of the injury. ‘Tommy Emmannuel?’, I offer. ‘No, better than him.’ ‘Better than Tommy Emmannuel?!’ I say, incredulously (wow, I’m going to see him in Basingstoke next month). I think…’John Williams?’ ‘Yes, him!’ ‘Right, well he’s great, of course. But they both are…but they’re slightly different styles, aren’t they? Both great though.’ Yes, she agrees ‘…and after the show he had a question and answer session where people asked him how to play such and such a thing, and he knew it all – he showed how to do everything, no music written out. So it was…educational, as well.’ Good, I say – I’m glad she enjoyed it. She says she’s doing some charity, or helping out at the cathedral at 2 o’clock, so she’s going there next. I ask her name. ‘Sally, what’s yours?’ Marvin.’ ‘Well I’ll probably forget it. My short-term memory’s not so good. It’s getting worse.’ I say not to worry – mine’s terrible! Just think…Marvin Haggler, Hank Marvin…something like that.’ We say goodbye. A nice lady.
Speaking of Tommy Emmannuel, I attempt his Lady Madonna, with the melody and bass together…and completely mess it up. Very embarrassing. Fortunately I redeem myself (and former reputation) with my own arrangement of The Beatles’ Girl, from Rubber Soul. Or rather, their arrangement with the capo on the 8th fret. All I’ve done is put the melody in with the chords and play it a bit faster. I think it works well – it has quite a Greek feel. I think I read some story that they were going to buy an island around that time, in ’65, as some sort of tax thing, and they went travelling and were influenced. Who knows. But because the capo’s so high up, it sounds like some Greek or Turkish (or Russian) instrument. A mandolin or one of those triangular balalaika things – hey! they sing about those – ‘let me hear your balalaikas ringing out!…’ Anyway, I play it twice – once near the end, here, and at the second spot, to introduce the set, and it gets a contribution – one coin. I’ll name it Song Of The Day.
Near the end, that obnoxious bloke with the two dogs walks by with his mate, Brian The Geordie. Obnoxious Bloke ignores me. Good. Someone must have had a word. Good!
Earnings: £33.38p (including 1 CD)