Diary Of A Busker Day 658

Diary Of A Busker Day 658 Sunday October 26th 2014 Winchester (Opposite Pavilion, Time: 2:30-4:40pm).

A landmark day: the 4th anniversary of the start of all this busking business…and of this diary, of course. Oh yes, I remember it well: Southampton in the cold, and I was so embarrassed to set up, I delayed it as long as I could. And now? Now, I don’t give a damn! I could set up anywhere. What have I got out of it? A lot of fresh air, a fair bit of grief, met some nice people, some arseholes. It’s kept me alive for 4 years and I’ve got a 1,000 (at least) page book out of it.

Anyway, enough of all that…another very reasonable day for this time of year: no wind, and the sun’s even out. First song, Albatross, and two blokes stand nearby, then into La Vie En Rose and one comes over and buys a CD. But first, he asks me how much they are so I give him the usual: no £5 ones left but the £9 ones are now £8. But he never saw the sign that said CDs £5/£9, so he didn’t know what I was going on about! He gave a £10 note and said not to bother with the change. Wow! So Song Of The Day’s La Vie En Rose, as it secured the sale, although Albatross certainly helped.

This guy was curious about my amp set-up, so I did the usual – ‘Six double-A batteries, Procell – the best, last 24 hours, can’t get them in the shops, get them on eBay…Micro-Cube amp: can’t recommend them enough…’ In fact, I gave the ‘product’ speech no less than THREE times today. Another time was to a couple at one of the restaurants: the man white, she black. He loved the fingerstyle so I told him about Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel, who he’d heard of. After a few minutes chatting they left…no contribution!

A couple, just married, walked past during Siboney. Now, I’d seen them a minute before, coming down the path in the cathedral grounds and I thought, ‘Should I do the wedding march, or finish Siboney first?’ I decided to finish Siboney, so I was playing that as they went by, however, 15 seconds later, it was done so I did the wedding march – just the main melody, as that’s what I’ve been teaching (trying to) Neve, aged 8, for the past 20 years. They must have heard it, but no response/acknowledgement.

A young couple with a toddler – a boy definitely not more than two – walked by, then stopped as the kid observed my foot tapping and then imitated it by stamping his down, to the amusement of a few people at the tables. People like all that, don’t they? It’s all, ‘Ahh’s, isn’t it? But he was doing it for a long time and when they eventually dragged him away, one of them came back and put a £5 note in the bucket. That little boy, Ethan, with autism came by with his parents for a strum. He was quite tiered today – he’d been swimming, apparently.

I flicked the pages to get to the Gymnopedie, started playing it and seemed to get along without looking at the music…until the very end, so I had a look down and realised I’d opened the book to the 5th Gnossienne! No help at all, so I messed up the last few chords. Still, the rest seems to be more or less memorised.

Above average coinage for once…in this one-horse town…on this landmark day…of the FOURTH anniversary…of this busking business…

Earnings: £33

  4 comments for “Diary Of A Busker Day 658

  1. alex in San Jose
    08/04/2017 at 9:59 PM

    Well it’s a good little business indeed. You’re making more than most people do on this side of the pond, and you’re not having to break your body down (as you would at most jobs) to do it.

    • 09/04/2017 at 12:21 AM

      Unfortunately Alex, I AM breaking my body down – literally. Carrying a gig bag with all the stuff I have to use, plus an amp on the back of an early 1960’s bike is having its toll. At the age of 54, I have a painful backache (and shoulder ache) ALL of the time now. It’s not the playing, it’s what goes with it.

      • alex in San Jose
        09/04/2017 at 9:25 AM

        Ouch. I’m 54 myself, and limited in a lot of things like having a bad eye – can you believe the Federal Aviation Administration wants pilots to see well out of BOTH eyes? Sheesh! Can’t be a bus or truck driver either. I’m kind of surprised I keep getting my regular old driver’s license renewed. I can’t do the kind of heavy physical work I could in my 20s although I do a certain amount of lifting around here. My boss is around 70 and generally we team up on things that are heavy. Or let ’em lie sometimes.

        I’ve got a friend who plays sax, and he’s got a wheeled shopping basket sort of things, the kind beloved of little old ladies everywhere, and he loads that up with his sax, music stand with light (because he simply MUST look at those “bugs” to play something he’s playing a thousand times!) and it’s not all that bad for him because he lives close to the light rail line, and can just wheel it to the light rail stop, get off downtown, and reverse the steps when he’s done.

        That’s one thing I like about trumpet, it’s pretty small and easy to carry.

        I’d hate to be “that guy” but you might want to consider a step-through bike and get a couple of GOOD panniers so you can put the guiltar in one and the amp in the other. Just tell anyone who ribs you for riding a “girl’s bike” that your main bike’s in the shop.

  2. 17/04/2017 at 8:15 PM

    Thank you dear sir for still keeping at it! – Gary from Singapore

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