Diary Of A Busker Day 356 Sunday April 14th Winchester High Street (1. opposite Bellis, Time: 12:35-2:O3pm, 2. opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:15-4:3Opm).
I’ve come in today because it was raining all day yesterday…so I missed out on my Greek snack from that nice lady from the stall. About 45 minutes into the 1st set, I’m doing James Bond and then, suddenly – a few quick notes on a clarinet. I stop, look around, it’s some bloke near The Butter Cross, and there are a few others standing with him. I carry on with Bond but near the end, he starts up again, this time with the whole lot of them singing America from West Side Story! They’ve just blasted over me – the nerve! I’m not having that: I lean my guitar against the pillar, pick up my bucket, go up to him and say ‘Whoa, whoa! If you give me ten minutes, I’ll finish up – I’m just there…(I point to my spot), OK?’ The bloke, who’s bald-headed and wearing shades, says they’ll only be a couple of minutes – they’re promoting some theatre thing. A couple of minutes? – I ask him to confirm that – ‘Just a couple of minutes?’ He confirms it, I say OK and go back to my spot. In fact, they’re a few more than a couple of minutes, more like 6 or 7 to be precise. Anyway, he comes over after they’re done and sort of apologises. I say it’s no problem – just let me know if they want to do it again and I’ll stop. I take a leaflet from him – their thing’s on up the road at the Theatre Royal on Thursday to Saturday – 7:3Opm, and a Saturday matinee at 2 o’clock, to be precise. (The Theatre ROYAL: so-named because it was opened by Princess Anne a while back. I remember because that was the one day of the year when I went to use the library’s computer and, as it’s next door, it was closed for ‘security’!)
I carry on until I’m again interrupted – this time by some bloke standing on a box just up from The Butter Cross. He’s got a cassette player blasting away and he’s shouting that he’s going to eat fire. I weigh it all up…I’ve been here an hour and a half – I reckon it’s time to go somewhere else…
…Down at Oxfam, I get a couple of requests: Burt Bacharach, which I have to say ‘sorry’ to, although after wracking my brain, I find a somewhat tenuous connection: Ol’ Man River, because, in my Chet Atkins arrangement, the chorus sounds a bit like Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head! Not the chords but the rhythm and general feel, as it were. Anyway, that’s the nearest I can get. Then, someone asks for Fred Astaire – well, there’s no chance there! (I should have gone for the tenuous connection again – Raindrops Keep Falling…Singin’ In The Rain) However, a great thing DID occur today: I sold the first of my new 2O song CDs, and for £1O – to a man, after I did Albatross. He wanted to make sure that was on it, therefor Albatross is SOTD, automatically speaking.
Later on, I thought I might have sold another one, to a lady in a wheelchair who was sitting across the way. She asked me to play Somewhere Over The Rainbow again, right after I’d played it, however, she didn’t want ‘to pay that much for it’. Now, what I should have done was say she could have it for 8 or even 7 pounds. She might have gone for that, but I didn’t. Instead, I said she could have one of my older CDs for £5, which she did.
Speaking of which, near the end I notice – and nod to – Sally, Henry Gray’s daughter, who’s also sitting across the way. (I never know if I should do Somewhere Over The Rainbow if I see her. It might make her sad…or she might like it, hmm…I never know). When she gets up to leave, she comes over. She has her dog in a shopping trolley, which I find very amusing – his head’s sticking out the top! Sally says he sometimes tries to get out. I suggest zipping the trolley up so it’s a bit more ‘snug’ around his neck, thereby preventing anymore of him emerging. She thinks this is a good idea and attempts to do it but the dog’s not having it.
Earnings: £47.7O (including 2 CDs: 1 new – £1O = £8.60 profit, 1 old – £5 = £3.25 profit)