Diary Of A Busker Day 546

Diary Of A Busker Day 546 Thursday April 17th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 11:53-12:38pm, 2. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 12:50-2:20pm, 3. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:47-3:53pm).

There’s a guy about my age (too old for a pony-tail, anyway) who’s been at The Butter Cross for hours. He was there this morning at 9:30…and there’s the two young strummers, down at Vodafone, so I decide to visit the arse-end as it’s been awhile!

…and no donations till the fourth song, Here Comes The Sun, and then five!, which makes it Song Of The Day. I debut Scouser Mick’s favourite, Wonderful Land, and it goes pretty well, with no major errors. It’s one of my combination chords/melody jobs – a bit awkward but at least the melody stays on the three highest strings, so I can do the chord stuff on the lower ones. I’m not clever enough to put in a bass part: he can’t have everything. But I think it works better than Apache, which is mainly just me doing the lead guitar line. I pack up after half an hour, with £5 – better than I thought.

Up the road at Gieves, where I’ve got my eye on that big brown UPS van parked up the road, a woman with her father(?) stops at a safe distance from me and says ‘That looks like a Gretsch’, to which I reply ‘It isn’t’. ‘You wish’, she says, which I thought was a bit cheeky so I don’t reply. After some more seconds, she says ‘I’ve got a VOX’. ‘What?’, I say. ‘I’ve got a VOX pre-amp’, she says, as if she’s got a Picasso. All I can think of saying is ‘Excellent’, because a VOX pre-amp means nothing to me.

I do Wonderful Land again because I’m so thrilled I’ve got a new song in the set!, and it earns a donation from a woman who says ‘Wonderful Land – my favourite Shadows song, takes me back to the Sixties’. Looks like I played it at the right time. I even say how I learnt it yesterday, to play for a guy who keeps asking for it.

I sell a CD to an Australian couple, but only a £5 one. In fact I was kicking myself, as the man produced a £10 note, like he was going for the £9 CD until I showed him the cheaper one. I’m an idiot! Song Of The Day has to be revised – to Wheels, as it secured the sale.  A long set here: one and a half hours, and it was only near the end when the UPS van came down and went passed me.

So, a toilet break and a wander up the road…and there are lots out today. The order of play, as it were: at The Butter Cross – two blokes with dreadlocks and electric guitars doing Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel. Down a bit – a middle-aged bloke (older than me) on a ukelele, doing Give Me Sunshine, because he’s advertising the Eric Morcambe play at the theatre. At Vodafone – two young strummers (TYS, I should start calling them, as it’s a common occurrence). Even old Frank’s about – I haven’t seen him in ages. And going back up the side street, I see two big vans up at the other end where the UPS one was. What is this – delivery day?

So I decide to head back down to Oxfam. But before I do, as I was hanging around the corner, that tall, white-bearded nutter comes up to me, and only God knows what he was going on about. It’s like a stream of consciousness thing – ‘Do you like Scottish bank notes?’ Me -‘Umm…’, then he interrupts – ‘Like them better than English ones?’ Me – ‘Well, the shops don’t take them but’ – he interrupts again – ‘If you had the choice – English, Scottish’. Me – ‘Umm…’. ‘Now, if I wanted to learn the guitar, you’d be the man, eh?’ Me – ‘Well, if you wanted’ – he interrupts – ‘Professional? – you’ve been in groups, I know’, and then he’ll just suddenly stop and walk off. I see he’s carrying a prescription package from the pharmacy.

Down the road (again) I play Wonderful Land for the third time! And this time it’s BrYan who donates, and I think just for that, as it’s such a rare event, Song Of The Day really needs to be Wonderful Land! BrYan does a short Shadows dance, too (the one the short Shadow did!?) The twit. I hold out for just over an hour – a bit too long, as the noise and especially the buses, really starts to grate. I’m not used to it, here.

The last song, or what I thought was the last song, While My Guitar Gently Weeps – I’m nearing the end when that tall old-lady-regular turns up with a tall, lanky, long-haired youth – her grandson? Anyway, she says ‘Oh, come on, play something more cheerful!’ – the cheek! I stop and say, with mock incredulity ‘Madam, this is my ART!’ Actually, not so mock – ha! But it’s the end, so I don’t mind. She says she wants something Jamaican, so I offer Yellow Bird, the only vaguely Caribbean-sounding thing I do, and proceed to tune down the two strings. The things I do…

Earnings: £34.53p (Including two CDs)

  2 comments for “Diary Of A Busker Day 546

  1. Alex in San Jose
    15/02/2016 at 4:21 AM

    The only thing VOX pre-amp means to me is, I guess she’s got a VOX guitar with a pre-amp in it? Which doesn’t make it that great a guitar; the ones with pre-amps built in are for people who just like to noodle around as the pro’s don’t do it that way – generally it’s a nice pickup/mic then a pre-amp etc that they choose on their own. Sorry lady but having one of those little plastic thingies built into the side of your guitar doesn’t make you (or your guitar) special.

  2. 15/02/2016 at 8:13 AM

    My thoughts exactly, Alex!

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