Diary Of A Busker Day 599 Wednesday July 30th 2014 Winchester (1. Corner of Monsoon, Market Street, Time: 4:33-5:12pm, 2. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 5:17-6:12pm).
I must remember: avoid playing on Market Street from 4:30-5:30, as all the market people bring their vans around to load up. It’s only a little street and I had to stop and rescue the bucket 4 times or it would have been a crushed ex-bucket. And the money was terrible – I got less than £2 for almost 40 minutes playing. I shouldn’t have bothered. I packed up in disgust.
Down the corner and up the road (is this bit still Market Street?), I had a guardian angel who saved the day. This took the form of a hatted man who was sitting outside The Eclipse. He came up about 3 songs in, put a £5 note in ‘for some Zeppelin – I’ve heard you lots of times, I know you do some’. I said, ‘Of course, you must mean The Rain Song’, and said I’d do it. I mean, FIVE POUNDS – you must be joking! So I finished what I was doing, did Siboney, because I’m not going to drop everything straight away, then tuned down and did the request (he took a photo of me during it)…after which he gave me the thumbs-up. He then mentioned Little Wing, which, oddly enough, might be a bit like The Rain Song, ie: a good guitar piece on it’s own, without any vocal melody. So I thanked him for that.
A couple of songs later, during the Gymnopedie, he comes up again and this time drops a £2 coin in, so that’s £7! He says he loves Satie and has another suggestion – another Satie one – a waltz, something called Je Te Veux. I said I’d look into it. He goes back to his seat…then comes up again as I’m starting Ne Me Quitte Pas – not purely by accident: I reckon if he likes Satie, he might like the minor-key Brel one…and I was right. He says, ‘This is great, you’re playing my greatest song list – Jacques Brel!’
Now, before he came up, I was toying with the idea of doing the 5th Gnossienne, but decided against it as I haven’t done it in a couple of weeks, and I definitely DON’T want to make a hash job of it in front of an…aficionado. I finished with Dixie McGuire, which was terrible: the Focal Dystonia on the middle finger stops me from doing the main bit right. Bloody awful.
P.S. My saviour also mentioned something about playing at his 60th, but these things never usually come off.*
* It didn’t.