Diary Of A Busker Day 627 Sunday September 7th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:22-3:22pm, 2. Opposite Gieves & Hawkes, Time: 3:32-4:47pm, 3. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 5:01-6:01pm).
I’d just started Wonderful Land when I spot Scouser Chris, from across the road. I’m playing ‘his’ song and I swear I never saw him, which I tell him when he comes over. I said, ‘Honestly Chris, I never saw you, honestly!’ Weird. He asks if I’ve learned Telstar yet, so I tell him the truth: I learned the main bit about a month ago then completely forgot about it. I’m going to have to sort that out. Anyway, I thank him again – I do it every time I see him – for suggesting Wonderful Land, as it’s one of the more popular ones in a very slowly growing repertoire. Not popular enough, though, as I only got £6.10p for an hour’s hard graft. I leave in disgust!
Up the road, a rather uneventful hour and a quarter…then, up the other end of that road…a man and woman approach and I can see the woman’s holding an album (vinyl): Desire by Bob Dylan. So when they get opposite me, I go into Blowin’ In The Wind. Nothing, not even a glance. Now, how can anyone holding a Bob Dylan album – assuming they haven’t forgotten they’re holding it – not respond when they hear Blowin’ In The Wind – possibly the most famous Bob Dylan song ever, assuming they know what it is?…and how can they not?
Near the end, two women drinking wine (definitely not their first) outside the posh place on my right, clap after Albatross. Then one shouts, ‘Any Elvis?’ Now, the capo was already on the 3rd fret for Windy & Warm, so all I’ve got to do is slide it down a fret and I’m off! Then another woman appears and starts singing along with it, really badly. (Don’t gatecrash my performance, woman!)
After Elvis, the women clap, then one comes over, asks for a card and how much I charge for playing two hours. I say £180, and she then asks how much for THREE hours! I say two hours is fine: I can play all my stuff, but three hours, I’d have to do some of it again. She says she’d love me to play at something in Chandlers Ford. Well, what she says is, ‘Are you local?’ I say I am and ask where would the ‘do’ be. She says, ‘Oh, local. Winchester, Chandlers Ford’. Which means Chandlers Ford, doesn’t it? Not Winchester. If it was Winchester, she would have said it.
Anyway, a bit later, a cab arrives for these two women, who are laughing and stumbling about quite a bit, and the cab driver’s chuckling. Women and wine! Women, know your limits! So I shout over that I’ll have to learn some more Elvis, and the one that came over shouts, ‘Yeah, get your repertoire sorted out!’, so I say, ‘OK, but I can’t promise American Trilogy’, and she shouts, ‘Oh, we’ll sing it!’, so I say, ‘I bet you will’ as they fall in the cab. The driver thought it was hilarious. I reckon he’ll have a rather noisy ride to Chandlers Ford and a really quiet one on the way back.
Just after they leave, two men walk by and one says, ‘Was that you playing Albatross?’, so I answer in the affirmative (‘yes’, in other words), and he says, ‘Great, really great’. And how does that praise relate in terms of coinage? It doesn’t (zero, in other words).