Diary Of A Busker Day 601

Diary of A Busker Day 601 Friday August 1st 2014 Winchester (1. Corner of Monsoon, Market Street, Time: 1:20-3pm, 2. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:43-4:25pm, 3. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 4:33-5:32pm).

A good session around the corner from the ice-cream man. I’v put Horizons back in the set, and was rewarded with a pound from a man who said, ‘That’s my favourite’. This spot’s OK as long as I get away before 4:30. Also, psychologically, it’s better, as the percentage of people ignoring me is less than around the corner in the High Street, because I made about £20 in an hour and 40 minutes, and I bet I wouldn’t have made that a few feet away with all those millions of people walking by.

AA Dave came to say hello on his way back from Greggs, with a baguette, which reminded me – I brought a ham roll along, which I told him about. He said, ‘How many days has it been there, though?’

Ian dropped by, so I wished him a happy (belated) birthday and told him I’d been carrying around a CD of The Other Chet Atkins to give to him, but I never saw him so I’d taken it out of the guitar case! I said, ‘I’ve been carrying around a present for you’, and he said, ‘Well, to hear you is a present, you know’. What a nice chap! Anyway, he went and stood across the road – only 10 feet away! – and I played Tzena. After, he came over and said, ‘I like that bit – da da, da da, da da’, and I thought, ‘I bet that’s the bit I’ve been working on – the difficult bit, so I said, ‘You mean this bit (played the D, F#7, B minor)’, and he says, ‘Yes, that’s it!’ I said, ‘Oh good, I’ve been working on that – it sounds easy but it’s not’. (I played the song another 2 times later on and it wasn’t nearly as good).

After the toilet break, I cycled around…the spot where I play, near Pavilion, was taken by those two old guys (two old guys! – they’re the same age as me!) who are usually on the bench opposite The Butter Cross, so I bombed down the arse-end. When I was setting up, I could hear a tinny sound, like someone listening to music on a Walkman (do people still use those?!) I reckon it was the market bloke opposite, who was sitting down, side on from me as he had something in his ear. But I thought I’d carry on, I mean, if he’s listening to something going right in his ear – it’s probably loud and he won’t be bothered by me! After 10 minutes, the tinny sound stopped.

That kid from yesterday, with the hat, walked by – this time with his dad(?) He kept looking back at me in a rather cheeky way but didn’t break into that manic jumping about. Not so confident when you’re out with the old man, eh?!

The spot’s rubbish: I didn’t even get £3 in 45 minutes, so I decided to pack up after Albatross, which brings forth some humming from the market bloke across the way. He then says something, so I lean forward…he says, ‘Did you hear me earlier? – I had my radio on.’ (So it was a radio, not a Walkman). I said, ‘Um…no, I didn’t think that was…’, and sort of trail off! ‘I had my transistor radio on…when you arrived, did you not hear it?’ , he says. I feign deafness and he sort of laughs, just a bit. Oh dear, I AM a naughty boy…and a liar.

3rd set. I was offended (it’s MY turn now) by a man, walking with his wife or whatever she was. The man stopped to off-load some shrapnel, in fact, I even heard the word ‘shrapnel’ as he was talking to his wife or girlfriend or whatever she was. He stopped for quite a while, while he dug around in his wallet, and I thought, ‘This is what you do when you stop in front of a bin and think, “I’ll just have a root around and get rid of all that rubbish I’ve got in my pocket” – crisp wrappers and stuff’.

Just before packing up – I was doing Moulin Rouge, and a bloke who’d been outside The Eclipse came down and stood in front of me. I’d noticed him everytime I’d cycled past, and he’d been there the whole afternoon, so I reckon he was a bit out of it, I mean, his eyes were well-glazed. Anyway, he just stood there and I thought, ‘What’s going on here?’, because he wasn’t smiling and I thought he was going to hit me or something, I mean, I’d rather be confronted with a smiling drunk than an unsmiling one. Then, after what seemed ages, he gets a coin from his trouser pocket, says, ‘Nice music’, and puts the coin in the bucket, which was one hell of a relief, is all I can say.

Earnings: £35.55p

  3 comments for “Diary Of A Busker Day 601

  1. alex in San Jose
    02/08/2016 at 3:22 AM

    I know about “odd” people; I was downtown today and some big beefy fellow was yelling and cussing and, I think, considering me as a target as I walked onto the light rail platform. At least there are cameras there and the transit police don’t fool around, I thought, and in the meantime I’ve got my pepper spray. But since I ignored him, or regardless of whether I ignored him, he turned around and stationed himself by the trash can, ranting at the world. Let’s hope both of our countries can “up” their public mental health game…

  2. akismet-790122596a85f4f37ea7fb8a9ab77715
    02/08/2016 at 9:25 AM

    Indeed, they’re all about us. The pepper spray is something I am seriously thinking about, actually.

    • alex in San Jose
      02/08/2016 at 8:51 PM

      I promised a friend I’d carry pepper spray when I moved up here, to an industrial area in San Jose, California. I’ve had like one run-in with a nutty homeless guy, years ago, and it was just yelling and stuff, threats, and the guy is/was just a loose cannon anyway …. haven’t seen him for a good long while now.

      I’ve never had to actually take the pepper spray out.

      I’ve never had a hassle while actually busking, the worst thing I’ve had happen was some bum station himself next to me to get hand-outs. One time in Mountain View a big half-drunk guy pretty much intercepted my tips, in pursuit of his loudly-declared mission of buying beer, but once he had the money for his beer he went off to get it and didn’t come back. Another time a guy went up to me and a violinist friend and would not leave us alone until we gave him money; I was playing my trumpet and I just blasted at him, chasing him all the way back through the tunnel we were in. That was pretty funny. I mean, I get it: You’re panhandling because you need money. But I’ve *been* in your shoes, and it’s FAR more efficient to simply be polite and if you get told “no”, to move on.

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