Diary Of A Busker Day 623 Tuesday September 2nd 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:53-3:54pm, 2. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 4:11-5:11pm, 3. Opposite Bellis, Time: 5:20-5:55pm).
After When I’m Sixty-Four an old guy comes up, leans in real close and says, ‘You’re the only proper guitar player I’ve seen today’, for which I’m most humbled, and for which I thank him. Then he says, ‘I mean John and Paul, they couldn’t play like that, could they?’ I say, ‘No, they couldn’t but what they did was different. They didn’t really do the fingerstyle guitar. Their main thing was the songs, wasn’t it?’ He says, ‘Well, She Loves You, yeah, yeah, yeah – that’s not a song!’ I don’t want to have an argument, so I agree with him! In fact, I almost DO agree with him! I say, ‘I know what you mean. It’s disposable pop music, really’.
He goes on, ‘I’ve seen them all, over the years…Tommy Steele, I mean their left hand’s not even moving!’ Again, I know what he means! I say, ‘No, they just stand there and strum. They’re strummers, they’re pop people…pop stars’. He says, ‘Well, I was down in Cornwall and there were two violin players, like a duet, you know, just improvising. Then I was watching the young musicians on the telly and there was a cello player and they were hitting the notes exactly right, and they’ve got no bars (frets, I think he means)…how do they do that? – all up and down the neck…and get it perfectly right every time? And then with the notes going… (vibrato, I think he means)’. I say, ‘Well, they play alot. Like me out here. It’s their life’s work, it’s their…vocation’.
I put the capo on, he went off and I did Can’t Help Falling In Love…at the end he comes over and says, ‘Does that raise it an octave?’ I say, ‘No, just a couple of semitones’. He says, ‘Oh, so the strings are tighter’. ‘Well, no. It just raises the key’, I say. Anyway, he complimented me some more then went across the road and sat on the bench while I did Deve Ser Amor, then his wife turned up and they both sat there a bit longer, then he came over again and said, ‘God bless you’, and they went off. He never donated anything, though, after all that!
Three youths walk past. They’re all giggling and one chucked something in that wasn’t a coin, so I stopped playing and had a look. It was a ring with a skull on it, which really annoyed me. In fact, I was so angry, I couldn’t speak! Chucking crap like that in the bucket like it was a bin. Pricks. Anyway, a long set – 2 hours, but it yielded about £30, including a CD sale. And again, they wanted a £5 one, but I did the old, ‘I’ve only got the £9 ones. I keep meaning to change the sign on the bucket (I’ve got no intention of changing it), but anyway I’m offering them for £8’. It works every time!
Up at Pavilion, it was all a bit slow…but the hour was saved by a £5 note I found in the bucket at the end, and I’ve got no idea who left it. I had a request! A girl who I’ve seen before – early 20’s, who was outside The Slug & Lettuce, came up and asked for The Third Man Theme! After that, I was going to head home, but stood awhile in front of the bakery trying to decide if I should do a short set. As I was there, Brendan came up and I told him I was thinking of going home, to which he replied, ‘Come on up the road. I’ll buy you a pint’. But I declined. I never fraternise with the natives. I should have, though, as the set was more or less a waste of time.
Song Of The Day: Norwegian Mountain Song by my late mate Claes Neeb. I’ve only worked out the main riff. There’s a really difficult bit later on…but it got a donation in the last set, from one of a group of three women. I just kept the main riff going for a minute or so.
Earnings: £44.83p (Including 1 CD)