Diary Of A Busker Day 636 Wednesday September 24th 2014 Chichester (1. Opposite Marks & Spencer, North Street, Time: 11:45am-2pm, 2. Opposite Next, East Street, Time: 2:30-4:05pm).
The 1st set brought forth no less than two instances of offensiveness. Firstly, three youths walked by, one dropping, in a rather careless manner, a 20p coin, which landed outside the bucket. He saw this but instead of stopping to pick it up, he, and they, chuckled and kept walking. This of course made me extremely angry but also speechless. All I can do is stop playing and glare at them. One of them turned, so he did see me and my glare. The twat.
But this is an extremely frustrating thing because if I want to call someone back, I first have to stop playing – which is annoying, then raise my voice (annoying) because they’re miles away by this time. Then, if they do come back, I have to waste more time bollocking them and then hope they don’t beat me up. It’s more hassle than it’s worth. Anyway, I don’t want a confrontation out here, and besides, there’s three of them.
The 2nd case of offensive behaviour: For the last bit of Yellow Bird, a woman in her mid-sixties stands in front of me. At the end she says, ‘Is that on the CDs?’ I say it is and get one for her to look at. She then says, ‘Is it all like that kind of music?’ I say, ‘It’s all mainly from the 50’s and 60’s’. She says, ‘So it’s £5?’, so I do my little routine: there not being any £5 ones left but I’m offering the £9 ones for £8. Again she asks if it’s all the same kind of music so I say it is. She says, ‘So, £5’ – and it’s not a question. I say, ‘No, they’re £9, but’, and she interrupts, ‘Oh, I’m not paying that’, and hands me back the CD. I finish what I was saying – ‘No, it’s £8 now’, and she says, ‘Oh, I’m not paying £8’, and looks at me, and I thought, ‘I’m not relenting’, I mean, no one else has moaned about the price. In fact, quite a few have handed over a £10 note and not wanted the change. Besides, I didn’t like her face: she looked like a miserable old bag. After a few seconds, she walked off. Yeah, fuck off.
The set was very long and went very slowly and I again messed up Music To Watch Girls By and a couple of others. Song Of The Day was The Third Man, as it got SEVEN donations, but apart from that, money was slow. I did a rough count at the end: just under £20 – not good. And £13 of that was the train fare. So I played 2 hours and 15 minutes for a profit of around £5. Speaking of The Third Man, a man about 60 came up when I was playing it and said, ‘Can you play Requerdos de la Alhambra?’ I said I couldn’t because of the hand problem and he said, ‘I can’, which sort of put me off. I mean, it’s bad enough someone interrupting, but then to say they can play something YOU can’t…I thought, ‘Why’s he said that? It makes me feel bad!’ Then he said, ‘I can pay it, but I can’t play what you’re playing – that pop stuff’. Anyway, I stopped playing (because I still WAS playing!) and said, ‘But you can play all that Spanish stuff. You must know the fingerstyle technique’, and I did a bit of Travis picking, just the thumb bit, and he said, ‘No, I can’t. I wish I could’. I thought that was bizarre.
Lunch was in the usual: the cathedral area, and was a rather depressing half hour, in that I started thinking about things – never a good thing! Like that poor 18 year old kid from down the road who killed himself in February. And then I was watching all the old people hobble about and I was thinking, ‘God, I don’t want to get like that!’ And then there’s the weather. I promised myself I wouldn’t be doing this another winter. It wasn’t cold today, but it will be soon. My miserableness was broken by a guy in his sixties who came up and started asking about my amp – ‘I’ve got one, I use it for pub gigs…what sort of stuff do you play?’ So I said, ‘Fingerstyle – Chet Atkins stuff, like that 50’s and 60’s stuff’. ‘Any Django?’, he says. ‘Oh no, too fast…I’ll be up there in a minute’, I said, nodding towards The Cross.
There was one good thing about the day. I got a photo of the Dancing Lady! In fact, she was the 1st donor of the 2nd set, that was after 4 songs. She did the usual: danced, smiled at people and said, ‘Isn’t he good?’ to everyone for a few minutes, then she went to go. I motioned her to stay and asked if I could take a picture. She thought I wanted HER to take one of ME with other people! As I was saying to her, ‘I have a photo album of people I see out here’, she asked for my camera and stopped two young people walking by. I said, ‘No, no. I want a picture of YOU, as I’ve seen you a few times now, and you’re always dancing!’
Well, she wanted me to take one of her with the young people, so I did that but then got one of her on her own, doing a little dance – which I asked her to do! I asked her name. She said, ‘Pat, Patricia…think of potty!’ Great. Then she went off, twirling away. You’ve got to admire someone like that, who does what she wants and doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks.
Earnings: £44.55p (gross) £31.55p (profit)