Diary Of A Busker Day 468 Tuesday November 5th 2013 Winchester (Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 2:25-3:55pm).
Octogenarian Ian – a good name – maybe I should call him that from now on! (maybe not to his face), stands nearby and listens to my first attempt at Horizons then comes forward for a chat. He starts by telling me about some man he’s seen here recently, who wears a bowler hat – ‘looks like an old rocker’. As I try and work out who it is – it can’t be Rob, Ian seems distracted. He sees me seeing him distracted and says ‘Oh sorry, I was just…there was a tall blonde up there’. You old dog, Ian.
After The Third Man, a man comes up, contributes and tells me HIS Third Man Story – lots of people seem to have one – ‘It always brings back memories of when I was at prep school in Glasgow. My friend had an old record player – only played 78s, and he had about six records…’, and it’s then when I realise I’ve heard it before. I don’t recognise the man but I definitely recognise the story, but I let him go on (instead of suggesting he might like to consider booking an appointment for that disease that affects the memory, which I’ve forgotten the name of) – ‘…one of the records was Anton Karas doing The Third Man – the original, of course…’
One of my old-lady-regulars turns up during Yellow Bird and, oblivious to my efforts of concentration, goes on about god knows what…I can, and never will, work out how anyone can do that while someone’s playing. The conversation (I think) was about another conversation she had with me awhile back about someone – she couldn’t remember his name – she saw on the TV, singing Yellow Bird. Not Harry Belafonte and not ‘the other guy – the Haiitian’, anyway she now knows who it was: Edmundo Ross. I say I’ll look into it on youtube. If anyone’s made a record of anything, it’ll be there. But then she says there was no record! OK, I say, if it was on a TV show, it’ll be up there, on youtube. She doesn’t know what youtube is so I tell her: it’s where everything in the history of the world is, not least of all, every recording of every song in the history of the world. I say it’s on the computer. ‘Oh, I don’t…computers’, she says. Same here, I say, but it’ll be there and I’ll have a look for it. She’s really grateful – ‘Oh would you, really?’ Of course – I’d like to hear the great Edmundo Ross’s version.*
After thanking me again and advising me to dress warm – I say ‘I DO have a t-shirt under this shirt’, she goes off. But the weather IS getting colder – it IS November, after all. I was alright for the first hour and a bit, but the last twenty minutes were pretty hard-going. I start Dixie McGuire too fast and can’t do the verse right, then mess up Horizons so I do an extended version until I get it right! (Or ve vill put you in ze cooler!)
On the way back I took a photo of my hand, purple with the cold…and at home, I count up and discover my public have once again displayed their great generosisty by contributing a below average amount.
* It’s not there!