Diary Of A Busker Day 377 Monday May 27th Winchester High Street (1. Corner of Monsoon, Time: 2:05-2:30pm, 2. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:36-5pm).
The spot opposite Vodafone is free but I thought I’d try the one just around the corner, where Woody was yesterday…however, after only 25 minutes, I’d had enough – not of money, though – I’ve accumulated the grand total of 63p. Anyway, I thought ‘sod this!’, and moved down to C & H, where I got on much better – so much so, I stayed there almost 2 1/2 hours, a very long time for one place. And there were only a couple of minor annoyances: A bloke of around 70, who I managed to have a conversation with all through Albatross and the song after. For the most part, he was alright and I agreed with him on his rant about modern music – ‘They call it rap. I call it C-rap’, he said. (In fact, I don’t know if rap’s even modern anymore). But a bit later, after his rant, he shook his head and said ‘I don’t know…the way some people look at you, out here’, and at first I thought he was talking about the way people look at anyone in general, but there was something about the way he said it that made me not 100% sure, so I said ‘What do you mean? The way people look at ME, you mean?’ He said ‘Yeah, like “what’s he doing out here, disrupting”‘. Disrupting? I couldn’t believe it. It made me really paranoid – and I was paranoid enough about that situation with the waiter, for goodness sake!
So I said to him ‘You know, I don’t know if I want to hear that, in fact I’d rather you didn’t tell me that’. After that, I think he felt a bit guilty – he put a coin in the bucket, anyway, which I’m not sure he would have done.
And then…there were 2 Chinese girls – students, who wanted to buy a CD after Can’t Help Falling In Love, but they didn’t want to pay £10, so I offered it for £8, but that was still too much, even though, as I pointed out, that was £5 each. ‘But we’re not going to be together, so only one of us could hear it’, they said, then they had a quiet discussion….then they said ‘What about five pounds?’ I said ‘No, I can’t go lower than eight’ and then I suddenly remembered I’ve got some of my older CDs with me, so I get one out and tell them it has the song I was playing on it and six other ones, and they can have THAT for £5. Another quiet discussion…’No, we like THIS one’. ‘But that’s £10, or £8, as I said. I can’t go lower than that, but like I said, you can have this other one for £5’. They look at each other, then one says ‘In China, CD is two pounds’. ‘Yeah, well it’s a good job I’m not doing this over there. I do this for a living, you know’, I say, in my angry Michael Caine voice. ‘Yes, but we’re students’. ‘Yeah, well, I’m sorry’ – and I am, but they’re not getting an hour long CD for a fiver – I’m not doing it.
‘But we reery like this one’. ‘I know…it’s eight pounds, twenty songs, one hour long. Eight pounds. I charge everyone else TEN!’ ‘No’, they say, and they’re off. And this is after I’ve stopped playing for a few minutes and (potentially) missed out on a few quid…maybe.
Something to remember: If I sense a longish exchange about to occur, especially in the case of Chinese students, which probably won’t result in any financial gain, I must remember to change the song to Albatross.