Diary Of A Busker Day 532 Saturday March 29th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 12:55-2:36pm, 2. Opposite Pavillion, Time: 3:25-5:05pm).
It’s a Saturday, so that means Rick’s here – at his usual place, and there’s loads of people sitting down outside, as it’s a sunny – even warm day, for once. Rick’s a nice guy – he stops playing to say hello to me. I say I’m going down to the other end of the street – he says he’ll look out for me – I’ll be in the sun, down there. I say I’m not bothered about the sun, being something of a vampire.
Like I said – the weather’s fine, so there’s lots of humans about, but the money’s not very good. Maybe that’s the problem – the old problem: too many people. It’s a shame, as I get some nice compliments (what compliment isn’t nice? – I ask myself). While a guy in a wheelchair is near me, listening, another bloke who donated a few minutes before, comes up again and asks ‘Did you used to be in Peter Gabriel’s band?’, to which I replied ‘I’m not THAT old, am I?’ The wheelchair guy then said ‘I think he meant it as a compliment’. Fair enough. However, after an hour and a half, there’s only £12 in the bucket. At least my hands aren’t cold, which is something, I suppose.
Break-time at Waterstones. I look through a new book on George Harrison. In particular, I want see if there’s anything about the April 1992 gig I saw him do at The Albert Hall, in aid of the Natural Law Party. I remember two things he said. After a couple of songs, when everyone was cheering – he got a great reception, he said ‘Thank you, I must be paranoid – I never think anyone likes me’, and then later he said ‘Vote for the Natural Law Party and let’s get these stiffs outa parliament’ – he pronounced it ‘paarleement’ – very scouse-like. Anyway, I would have thought the first comment, as it was quite memorable, would have been mentioned in the book, but it wasn’t. I might contact the publishers and suggest they put it in any future editions.
While I was in the bookshop, some pop/opera singers started up outside and carried on for about 20 minutes. Mind, I was in there for almost an hour – I needed a big break…in fact, I need a big break in more ways than one! I had to stand up for a few minutes to get the circulation going in my left foot (there’s a movie there) – I was shaking it round rather manically.
Back out, the sun’s still out, the loud rockabilly lot are still there – I forgot to mention them, earlier…at The Butter Cross, there’s a choir doing a silly version of a Take That song. I set up where Rick was – it’s definitely an off-the-High-Street day for me today…and the money’s still not good. I’ve resurrected Ol’ Man River, though, after going over it at home. I just must remember – keep playing it out here. Deve Ser Amor – that’s another one I need to get back in, especially as it’s getting warmer. Samba weather! That bit – D, F#7, B minor in Tzena is still getting me. I can’t get it right – not once, and it happens about TEN times in the bloody thing – I should be able to get it by now!
So, two sets of the same length: 1 hour and 40 minutes. That’s 3 hours and 20 minutes, and all for £27. That’s alot of playing for not much.
On the way home, as I got to the other end of the Arbor, the old lady in the posh corner house who has never spoken to me, now she speaks as she comes down her steps holding a plant pot: ‘Had a good day?’ Me, as I’m half deaf – ‘Sorry?’ Old lady – ‘Had a good day?’ ‘Well, not as good as usual’. Old lady – ‘Maybe they’re all at the seaside’. ‘Yeah, maybe’. Old lady – ‘Well, I see some of the young ones doing it (busking, I’m assuming she means), and I think, if they’ve got the BOLLOCKS to do it, well, give them the money. I couldn’t do it’. Me, laughing a bit, because an old lady’s just said BOLLOCKS – ‘Yeah’. But she said ‘young ones’. What about OLD ones like me? – I tell ya, it takes alot more bollocks to do it when you’re older! I should have said – ‘Yeah, and I’VE got more bollocks than them…or bigger ones!’