Diary Of A Busker Day 654 Wednesday October 22nd 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 2:17-4:25pm).
The weather was alot better than yesterday. No rain at all and about 60 degrees – perfect playing temperature, in fact. Actually, 65 would have been perfect, but 60 is fine! Song Of The Day – the 1st. Gnossienne, as it secured a £5 note from a man, plus two 50p coins. I make that 6 quid. And only the 3rd song in, too. A dad and his son of about 10 stopped to listen, or rather the dad forced the son to stop and listen. After a minute the son went to move on but the dad stopped him. After I finished the song, the dad said he’d (the son) got a classical guitar and was learning some classical stuff, but he (the dad) thought what I was playing was great.
So I started going on about Chet Atkins, who he’d not heard of. I said he (son) should have a look on youtube: it’s all there. (How many times I wish it was around when I was that age)…then I wrote down Chet’s name and also ‘fingerstyle guitar’ and ‘Tommy Emmanuel’ and gave them the bit of paper. Then the dad said to the son ‘We need to get you playing like that so you can come out here and earn some money’, and I thought ‘Don’t say that to him, he’ll never want to learn!’
Posh BrYan turned up, smoking his pipe. I think he’d just come from his usual tipple outside his posh lunchtime place near Pavilion. He stopped in front of me but didn’t say anything so I said, ‘Good day Bryan’ – I don’t emphasise the Y when I speak to him, which he sort of acknowledged with a grunt, then went across the road and sat on the bench. Ten minutes later, just after the Gymnopedie, he comes across, says ‘A little something’, and puts a couple of coins in. He’s obviously a bit drunk because he never usually does that. Anyway, I want to grill him about something – ‘So, Bryan, I was wondering about something. I smoke a pipe, too, and I was wondering what tobacco you smoke’, and here he interrupts – ‘Oh really? What do you smoke?’ I say ‘Well, I used to get Kendall Black Cherry’, and at this he did a really condescending sort of guffaw and a then a little laugh of poshness.
He’s such a pompous, posh twat, is BrYan. I bet he thought ‘Peasant barbarian’, to use Mick’s recent word for me. Anyway, I carried on – ‘But my partner’s bought me a mixture from that newsagent around the corner, but it’s really dry and it goes out quickly…I mean, you need some moisture in it, don’t you? So I was wondering, do you buy a mixture, or what?’ His Poshness says ‘Tricky thing, smoking a pipe. I smoke Dunhill’, and he just walks off! He’s such a caricature, with his posh manners and waistcoat and red corduroy trousers and cane and pipe and condescending attitude. It just makes me laugh! I think he was on his way home and I’m sure he lives in the alms houses – the same building as Anthony, and Ralph, the really old guy. I reckon alot of the old guys live there. Quite posh – need some money to end up there, I reckon.
I sell a CD – first one for about a week. And to a rather pretty girl – 20 years old, maybe. Pale blue eyes. While we were talking – well, while I was talking about the CD and demonstrating some of the songs – ‘Albatross is on this one…you know Albatross?’ No, of course she doesn’t, so I do a few bars of that, then ‘…and La Vie En Rose – you know that one?’ No, of course not, so I do a few bars, demonstrating first, the thumb/bass part, then adding the melody. Anyway, she buys it and just then, that young bloke who requested The X last week, walked up with two mates and asked if I’d listened to any of that stuff, because I said I’d check them out. Well, I did and I didn’t like it and didn’t think it would suit what I play, so I told him (not the bit about not liking it, naturally). He asked what I’d heard and I couldn’t remember but it was 3 or 4 songs. He then said I should listen to Angels, another one of their songs, so I said ‘Right, OK, I’ll have another listen’ He went off and the girl said ‘Yeah, I can see why he said Angels’, so I said ‘Well, if you think so, I’ll definitely have a listen’, and wrote it down as I can’t remember anything these days.
For the last hour – the 2nd, that weird punkish-looking Drongo woman with the hat and pasty white face was sitting in the Gospel Hall doorway, of which the front wheel of my bike was half across. This was about 4 feet to my right and she never spoke the whole time. Mind, neither did I. She’d bought loads of packets of really big safety pins and she was pinning them all on a red jacket the whole time. I’ve seen her around the High Street for years and never seen her smile. So she was on my right. Then a young guy who’d been nursing 2 beer cans on the bench opposite for awhile, came over and stood near me on my left. I think he might have been seriously considering becoming a Drongo – he was definitely getting there. Anyway, he starts asking me questions like ‘When did you start playing? Is this all you do?’ Then ‘Some people do it as a hobby…do you also do it as a hobby? My mate plays a guitar…it’s hard, isn’t it? Do you practise, too?’ Me – ‘Oh yeah, I play all the time, here, and then I go home and learn stuff…I practise everyday (when I’m not bloody writing all this rubbish down)’ He says ‘Hmm…practise makes perfect’.
It’s quite a friendly chat, although he’s slurring a bit and it looks like he’s just been in a fight – he’s got some teeth missing and looks well rough. But I’ve got him on one side and this other weird one on the other and I don’t like it much. I don’t know, maybe it doesn’t look so good. I’m in the middle of a Drongo sandwich, so I say I’m leaving after the next song. So he goes off and I do 2 more…as I’m about to go off – I still have to put the amp on the back of the bike, I say to the woman ‘I’ll just take my bike from here, and I think she might have heard me wrong because she says ‘What? You think I’m gonna’ take your bike?’ I say ‘No, what I meant was I’m just going to take this away so it’s not in your way’. She says ‘Oh, suit yourself’, like she’s really offended. I say ‘No, I’m finished – I’m going home’, and she says it again – ‘Whatever, suit yourself’. Anyway, I’ve never spoken to her before and probably won’t again, and so I’m now dubbing her an OFFENDER.
Earnings: £24.60p (Including 1 CD)