Diary Of A Busker Day 567 Wednesday June 5th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 3:21-5:22pm).
First day back after a week off. An old couple contribute and the man asks about my amp: what does it run on. ‘Six double-A batteries’, I say. He asks how long they last. ‘Twenty-four hours’, I say. ‘That’s a big stint!’, the woman said.
A bloke with hardly any front teeth shouts something at me from a car as he’s going round the corner. Uncouth swine. A few minutes later, Bertie The Flowerman drives by in his van and waves, which is a bit nicer.
During Wouldn’t It Be Nice, a man who I’ve seen before parks himself against the pub opposite and listens for awhile…he really likes Twelve-String Shuffle: big smile, so, although I despise shouting, I shout across, ‘Bert Weedon!’ He shouts back, ‘He used to have a guitar book!’ I shout, ‘Yeah, 1-2-3 step!’ Then he shouts back something I can’t understand…then I do California Girls – he really likes that one, as well, so I shout, ‘My own arrangement!’ He shouts, ‘Do you do any more Beach Boys?!’ I shout, ‘Just that and Wouldn’t It Be Nice!’ He nods and says (doesn’t shout) ‘Oh’.
The coinage is a bit slow here, but at least my memory’s holding up. I even do Ol’ Man River and the 5th Gnossienne…and the thumb’s going OK…I even get through Deve Ser Amor, which I need to record, soon. The weather’s fine, too: not too hot or cold. About 68 in the old measurement, I reckon.
Trumpetman Colin turns up near the end, talking very quickly as usual – ‘I was following a Chinese girl, there she is…’ A short-skirted girl is disappearing down the path in the cathedral grounds. Me – ‘You were following a Chinese girl?’ Colin – ‘Yeah – nice legs. I was on the way to the bank, on the High Street, and I saw her and thought “I’ll follow her, yeah!” Anyway, I don’t usually come here more than once a week…maybe once in two weeks, usually Monday…’ So there you are!
As I’m packing up, Gregg locks up Gieves & Hawkes, comes over, says hello and asks how it’s been. After apologising for being here two hours, I say it hasn’t been very good. I did a quick count-up and it was around £15 – well under the average. He says he’s nervous as he’s got to go into the recording studio tomorrow for the first time, and record something for a charity CD. He reckons he’s going to have a couple of drinks before. I say ‘Yeah, have one…but have a load more after you finish’, and he says he might have a few during, as well. I wish him luck! He says he’ll let me know how it goes, if I’m here on Saturday.