Diary Of A Busker Day 616 Tuesday August 19th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 3:44-4:49pm, 2. Corner Of Monsoon, Market Street, Time: 5:04-6:04pm).
A somewhat peaceful hour near the cathedral grounds to start off. Hardly anyone about but the percentage of donors was very high as there was about £20 at the end of the set. That includes a sale of a CD, to a couple who were listening in the pub opposite, who I could see through the open window. First, the man came over and said, ‘We’ve enjoyed your music, god bless’, before he went back to the pub. Then, 15 minutes later, they both came over – that’s when they bought the CD, and paid the full £9, too, although when he came over, he was holding a £5 note: for the cheaper CD, which are no more.
Rain-wise, it started to sprinkle a bit, but nothing too heavy. In fact, it was one of those where it was raining where I was but not on the other side of the road. After cycling around a bit, I ended up down the road from the first spot. During California Girls, a big CPSO comes up and starts going on about a Beach Boys thing he saw on TV – ‘They still sound great’, he said. I said two of them are now dead, then we talked about that and Brian Wilson. My cop was wondering if he has Parkinson’s (Brian Wilson, not the cop). I said I didn’t know. All I know is he’s had a stroke or two and he used to take a lot of drugs.
After 5 minutes, the cop makes to leave, so I say, ‘Well I thought you were going to arrest me!’, which I did. I mean, these guys don’t usually stop to talk to me. Or I thought he was at least going to ask me to turn down.
Mick comes along carrying two shopping bags. I ask how he is. ‘Alright now, as I’ve got my bargain food’, he says. ‘That’s what I thought’, I said. He says he’s off to get some coffee as he gets one free at the place up the road. That’s good, I say. ‘Well, you’ve got to buy one first, of course, then you get a free refill’. ‘Oh, I see’, I say. Like in motorway service places: a free shot of expresso’.
Mick says, ”course in the States, you can sit there all day. They keep refilling, you only have to buy one’. Do they still do that? That sounds like a 1970’s film! I wonder…(all this time, I’m playing Albatross)…Mick then does a seagull-like very high pitched sound, where the note slides down a bit (2 semitones) from a very high one, and I suddenly think: ‘I can do that on the guitar – why didn’t I think of that before?!’ So I’ll have to put that in.
Just after Mick goes off for his buy-one-get-one-free coffee, Big Issue Simon turns up with his bashed up guitar. Amazing – it’s been years since I’ve seen him with one. He’s got a crushed Special Brew can clipped to the soundhole, which I ask him about. He says he uses it as a distortion effect: he’s got some small pebbles in it which rattle around when he plays!
A Drongo on crutches passes me and says something I can’t quite hear, so I say, ‘Sorry?’ This follows: Drongo – ‘You should maybe stick to the music areas and not the cathedral grounds, you know’. Me – ‘Why’s that?’ Drongo – ‘Well…people, you know…they don’t like it’. Me – ‘What?’ Drongo – ‘Have you not noticed? Maybe you’re engrossed in your music. Lots of people walk by’. Me – ‘Just because they walk by, doesn’t mean they don’t like it. They’re just walking by. Has someone said something to you?’ Drongo – ‘Not exactly…they just…they don’t like it. I’m just sayin’, you know, someone could come up and whack you’. Me, getting angry – ‘Someone could come up and whack me? Who, you? Are you going to do that?’ Drongo – ‘Well, no…I’ve got these crutches…I’m just being polite…someone could do something’, and he starts walking off, so in a very loud voice, I say, ‘Well, thanks for your concern!’ I bet he’ll get one of his mates to “whack” me now, just to prove a point!
Earnings: £25.99p (Including 1 CD)