Diary Of A Busker Day 402 Wednesday July 10th Winchester High Street (1. Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 12:57-2:59pm, 2. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:15-4:45pm, 3. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 4:50-5:20pm).
Quite a lot of playing today – 4 hours, and not much of anything else, which suits me fine as I get bored with writing all this rubbish down sometimes! In fact, after a relatively uneventful 1st set – a 2 hour one to start off with(!), I thought that if it carries on like this, I might get away with not having to write a report. There was, however, one vaguely amusing incident to note down.
During the 2nd set down at Oxfam, where the bloke in TINC who I don’t think likes me, got to hear a whole hour and a half of me – lucky chap, a bunch of very young and very, VERY short, language students from Taiwan stopped and opened their – and I believe these awful looking things – wallets worn on a belt, are known as bum-bags – quite a few of this lot seem to have them. Anyway, the ones that have them open them and one kid’s got some five pound notes and another one’s got a tenner. One of the fivers blows out on to the pavement, so I say ‘Don’t lose that’ and the kid picks it up and puts it in the bucket! Then a really, REALLY short, tubby kid puts a tenner in, which is quickly followed by another fiver from someone else! That’s £20 instantly!
I feel guilty – it’s too much, so I hold up the tenner and say ‘This is a lot of money, you know’, and they haven’t got a clue what I said, so I say it again and they still don’t know. Oh well, I tried! More money than sense? Maybe they’re all rich, or maybe they don’t know the value, who knows. All I know is they’re from Taiwan and they all have red sweaters saying Sin Sing College. Anyway, this is a momentous occasion – £20, just like that! I say I would like to take a photo of them, which they seem to understand, so they pose and are suddenly joined by another small group wearing the same red sweaters.
I get a photo of a bunch of them then they start off but not before – feeling guilty about taking money off small kids, I hand them one of my 20 song CDs. Now, I should have handed it to the one who gave me the tenner but I just shove it towards any of them. It could well have been one who didn’t give me anything. A second later – they’re all moving off, and the little one who put the tenner in comes back and holds his hand out. ‘No’, I say, purely out of instinct, because it didn’t immediately occur to me that HE was the one who I should have given the CD to. He didn’t seem to mind – he didn’t protest, poor kid.
I wonder if they’ll ever listen to it. I should have thought about that, too…and given them one of the ones with 7 songs. What an idiot! The devious part of my brain just doesn’t work when I want it to. Maybe it was all the playing – I’d just done over 3 hours and had only a 15 minute break. I could have done with another 10 minutes.
During the last set, I meet Steve, who films me doing La Vie En Rose. He says he sells musical instruments in Germany, which throws me for a bit as he looks Japanese. Still, it’s possibly not out of the realms of…possibility, that a Japanese bloke can be selling musical instruments in Germany. Anyway, he loves the fingerstyle stuff, so after La Vie En Rose, I play Music To Watch Girls By, then explain some stuff about the technique and tell him all about Chet and some good TAB books to get. Then I give him my card and say I hope he puts the video of La Vie up, as it was a rather good rendition (as it should be by now).
Like on Sunday, I’m still playing as the ice-cream man packs up his cart/vending machine thing. Actually, I don’t see him do it – he’s there selling ice-creams one minute, and the next time I look up, he’s gone – cart, umbrella, everything. So no free one today.
At almost 20 past 5, a really loud fire alarm goes off a couple of doors up but it’s so loud it feels like it’s right on top of my head! I manage to finish the song – Borsalino, but it’s all a bit of a racket!, then I pack up – I was going to pack up anyway as half an hour here makes a total of 4 hours, which is long enough. Of course, just as I walk past the shop, the alarm stops.
Earnings: £74.38p (including 1 CD), but take away £1.40 for the CD I gave away, so the profit is £72.98p