Diary Of A Busker Day 596 Sunday July 20th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:13-5:13pm, 2. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 5:25-6:10pm).
I think I’m usually pretty polite with foreign visitors, and if I’m in a really good mood (unusual), I’ll even stop playing if they interrupt me to ask where the bloody cathedral is. But some guy came up and just said, ‘Can you play Go Johnny Go?’, and I thought, ‘I’m not going to stop playing whatever it was, and go into some rubbish Chuck Berry riff, no matter how legendary they are. So he stood by while I ignored his request, then he shoved his phone at my face to show me a live shot of Mr. Berry, playing Go Johnny Go, no doubt. I ignored him, kept on playing and he went off. Some people! – and I bet he was thinking that about me, too! I mean, I might have been more polite if he’d been, but not if I’m in one of these depressed moods.
Song Of The Day: the zither-style Third Man arrangement, because during the performance – if I can be so bold as to call it that, I had to stop TWICE, to sell CDs. That’s right: before I got through the song, I’d got rid of TWO CDs, and the £8 ones, to boot!
It’s Sunday, so the bloke from the Gospel Hall came out with his table of pamphlets. He was there on my right for the whole second hour of my stint. Near the end, he came up to me (I’d done his favourite – While My Guitar…earlier) and asked if I knew Rob Berry. I said I sure did. He said, ‘Yeah, he used to be a session man in London. He played on Keith Richards’s solo album’. I was impressed. I said, ‘Really? I didn’t know that’. My man said, ‘Yeah, that’s what he told me, anyway’. Then he invited me in for a cup of tea – this was at 5 o’clock. I thanked him, but remembering the awful brew they brought out to me before, I declined.
Then he couldn’t resist – he tried it on: the religion. He picked up a pamphlet – ‘Would you like to have a look at this?’ Me – ‘Oh, what’s that?’ He – ‘On Christianity’. ‘Oh no, I’ve got my own beliefs. There’s other worlds out there’, I said. ‘What, like this?’, he said. ‘No, all different. All different life forms’, I said, and I was going to start on about The Kingsclere Group when he said, ‘Right, well I’ll leave it to you’. A wise decision, God-man. I was going to go home after packing up but decided to try up at Pavilion, although I knew there was no way it was going to be a repeat of The Golden Day that was yesterday.
Well, I don’t know what gives people the right to think they can come up and say anything. A bloke about 60 was sitting in Posh BrYan’s usual seat, and he came up after the Gymnopedie, contributed and said, ‘I saw you two years ago and you weren’t very good. You’re alot better now – must be all the practice’. Now, I always thought I was pretty consistent out here, or maybe I can’t tell the difference as I hear myself all the time, everyday almost. I did grill him about it – like was he sure it was me? but he insisted it was. He said I was on the High Street and I was reading the music from a book on the ground (sounds like me). I wonder what I was doing – he couldn’t remember. Might have been Vincent, or La Paloma, Georgia On My Mind…Take Five, Cavatina even.
Then when I was packing up, a bloke came up from outside The Eclipse and gave me £5 in coins, for which I thanked him (profusely). He was Scottish and his name was Keith. He said, ‘No, thank YOU. I was thinking – reflecting on busking’. Me – ‘Are you thinking of doing it?’ Keith – ‘No, I was saying to my wife, you know, why spend all that time practising in your flat, house…bedsit, when you can play out here?’ Me – ‘Well, I do spend alot of time practising – not out here…does it sound like it?’ Keith – ‘No, I wasn’t saying you sound like you’re practising – no, don’t get me wrong…it’s all about giving enjoyment utills’ – he pronounced it you-tills. Me, not knowing what the hell he’s on about – ‘Utills?’ Keith – ‘Yeah, a measure of enjoyment. Like when you have a beer, you have five utills, then after another, you have six utills’. Me – ‘Six? – don’t you have ten?’ Keith – ‘No, it doesn’t work like that. It’s the first beer that’s the best’. Me – ‘Oh right, I see’. Keith – ‘Yeah, it’s like a…line on a graph, you know, it steadily decreases in utills’. Me – ‘Like an exponential growth curve…but in reverse’. ‘Keith – ‘Yeah, so after a whole lot more beers, you’re life’s not worth living – you’ve wasted a whole evening’. ‘Oh right…yeah, I see’. Indeed.
Earnings: £41.91p (Including 2 CDs)