Diary Of A Busker Day 523 Sunday March 16th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Pavillion, Time: 1:20-2:50pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 3:02-3:32pm, 3. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:37-4:09pm).
The warmest day yet. I even swapped the corduroy coat for the light-coloured – or ‘stone’, as it says on the label inside – Primark summer jacket. But it’s another S L O W session. Some kids are annoying but it’s the parents who are more annoying. Witness: a three year old picks up an imaginary coin – or something imaginary – from the pavement in front of me, puts it in the bucket, lifts my camera case to see what’s under it, puts it back then stands and watches me while the dad looks on. I think that’s bloody rude…of both of them!, but especially the parent.
Phillip came by during Blowin’ In The Wind and said he’d never heard me do that before. He didn’t hang around, though. I asked if he was OK – he said he was, and was off. An old man wearing shades and with a walking stick, came up really slow! and put a pound coin in, and then he slapped me on the face! – not hard. I thought it was really funny – I felt like some kid who’d done something wrong.
Down the road, I bump into Rockin’ Rob and his missus, heading off. He says it’s bad for him, too, and ‘I don’t know what the problem is’, so I say ‘The problem is – English people are mean!’ He says he’s been trying other places ‘for fresh money’: Andover, London, Reading, although there’s alot of Health & Safety stuff there. I ask him if he’s been to Chichester – he hasn’t. (I haven’t been for months, in fact I never even used one permit they sent me, and that’s for two months).
As I’m standing at Vodafone, Guitar guy Chris turns up, just off the train from wherever he comes from. He asks how it’s going, so I tell him – rubbish! I say he can set up here if he wants, or if he doesn’t, I’m just going to do twenty minutes or so. He says he’ll come back, so I set up…and I do OK for the first ten minutes – certainly better than Rob who, when I said I’d made about £6 in one and a half hours, said he’d made about the same here.
…I think I scared a little girl! I was doing Albatross and she stood in front, sort of transfixed. Then I thought ‘This must be a bit boring, I’m going to do The Third Man – it’s a bit more up, she might like that’, so I stopped Albatross very abruptly and said ‘Here’s something a bit more cheerful’, and she looked at me, sort of terrified, I started up TTM, and she, looking at me the whole time, walked off to her dad who was near the bin on my left. She wasn’t into it. I shouted ‘Oh, I thought you might like this one, it’s more cheerful!’, but she never came back. I felt bad about that for about a second. I must remember – ‘Don’t do anything too abrupt in front of small children – it might freak them out.
That old guy from Southampton who loves Blackbird, turned up and stood to my right, near the Monsoon entrance. (He’s still got some time left on his 10 week buspass, then). He just appears and doesn’t say anything, and waits for me to play his song, which I always do, although today I’m cruel and make him wait a couple of songs. He got a bonus today, though. While he was waiting, I played Girl, then the riff from I Feel Fine – ‘A little bonus for you, today’, I said. After twenty minutes, Chris, true to his word, returns. I’d forgotten about him…he says he’ll set up around the corner, at Gieves & Hawkes. He says he saw me there, yesterday. So I do another ten minutes and that’s enough. I want to do a shortened set down at Oxfam, then go home…
…a teenage boy and his dad come over to contribute during Here Comes The Sun. The boy was wearing a Beatles Abbey Road T-shirt – something I was so impressed with, I stopped playing and chatted to them, informing them that almost all the people who wear album T-shirts don’t seem to have any idea what’s actually on the album. The dad said ‘Well, he listened to the album yesterday’.
Half an hour’s enough – that makes two and a half today, and I think my brain was stopping: I forgot to do the zip all the way up on the gigbag after I put the guitar away. I’d left it open at the bottom and when I hoiked it up on my back, the bloody thing fell out! Fortunately it landed upright on the back edge – I think the strap button took the brunt – but then it fell over – I couldn’t stop it in time. There didn’t seem to be any big dents, though. But that’s never happened before. I almost forgot, Chris came by just before I stopped – ‘I’m giving up’, he said.
Earnings: £23.40p (+ 3 euro cents)