Diary Of A Busker Day 513 Friday February 28th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 12:55-2:28pm).
A sunny but cold session: one and a half hours, straight through…long enough! Two songs in, and I notice that guy who plays all the fast stuff with his guitar on his lap – he’s just sat down on the bench across the way with his guitar and amp.
Some familiar faces turn up. Christine, who likes my – or rather Satie’s – 1st Gnossienne. She thinks someone’s donated a purse when she sees the camera case in the bucket. I have to tell her I use it as a weight when there ain’t nothin’ else to hold it down! Then, two minutes later, in fact right after the Gnossienne, Faye turns up to ask what it was. Like a load of others, she’s heard it somewhere – probably in a film, but doesn’t know what it’s called. I think I’ll name it Song Of The Day, for all the attention it gets, although attention doesn’t always equate to coinage.
Posh BrYan walks by with his usual accessories: pipe, posh umbrella, although not in his usual posh gear of posh jacket and (posh) red corduroy trousers. Today he’s in a very smart (and very posh) pinstripe suit. Posh BrYan – the last of his kind…
Mike, father of guitar pupil Tom, donates a pound, which is very kind, as he ‘donates’ £20 every Monday…or rather his wife does! He says ‘I’ll have to put some persuasion on Tom to practice’. I say he’s doing well with The Third Man – he just has to get over the tricky bit with the F#. Hopefully that’ll get back to Master Tom. (I AM quite impressed, though. No one else has dared to try TTM, although Ollie does quite well on Dixie McGuire, which is actually more difficult).
The lap-guitar busker even donates, and says ‘Sounds great’, then he disappears…he comes back around 2:15 and sits on the other bench, near WH Smiths. I think he wants to play so I indicate I’ll be another couple of songs – I wasn’t going to but I might as well make it an hour and a half…he’s not bothered about setting up, though.
I end with While My Guitar Gently Weeps, then Bond, then start to pack up. Lap-guitar guy comes over. He’s been on a reconnaissance – ‘That old bloke with the flute’s down there’, he says, and I know straight away who he means: that guy with the white beard and all the toy percussion things he tries to get the kiddies to play. Guitar guy says ‘He’s mad! – he’s been to Devizes and Salisbury’. I say he probably IS mad. I say this for two reasons: 1. He’s out here doing this, like us, and: 2. He looks like a nutter. Anyway, I have to ask my Guitar guy’s name…it’s Chris. I apologise because I’m sure he’s told me before, and then I say ‘Of course, I’ll definitely remember, next time’ – I bet I won’t. Guitar guy Chris asks how I’ve done. I say ‘A lot better than usual’, but after looking in the bucket ‘…or maybe a BIT better than usual’. A ‘bit’ better was, indeed, more accurate. Then I’m all packed up, so I say ‘goodbye’ and wish him luck.