Diary Of A Busker Day 690 Saturday February 14th 2015 Winchester (1. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 2:40-4:21pm, 2. Opposite Bellis, Time: 4:40-5:50pm).
At The Butter Cross, there’s a guy sitting on a stool playing Cavatina on a Spanish guitar. He sounds OK, and he won’t get any competition from me on that number. But he needs to pull his trousers up, as he’s showing rather a bit too much butt crack, if you ask me.
Around the corner, my generous benefactor of three days ago, turns up to have a few drinks at the posh place down the road on the right. And you know what? He does the same as before: he comes over and puts in a £20 note!! Then goes back to his table. That’s £40 he’s given me this week – has he won the lottery or something?! Well, this is all good stuff – I’m alright for ‘dough’ today. The bad stuff is: 1. I’ve got a pain in the left palm, mainly when I close it against the fretboard during certain chord shapes. It’s very annoying and quite distressing, meaning I think it’s probably something like arthritis starting up. In other words, something that – like Focal Dystonia – I can’t do anything about. Something that may well finish me off.
…and 2. I messed up two songs: Somewhere Over The Rainbow and the new one, Moon River. Well, I WOULD have messed up Rainbow, if I could have started it. But as I couldn’t even remember the second chord no matter how many times I did the first one, I couldn’t progress beyond that. Moon River, I messed up halfway through until right before the end, but it still got a donation. Cloth ears, that’s what they’ve got around here. I did quite a long one – over an hour and a half, during which the hand improved a bit. Maybe it was because I hadn’t been out in three days.
Second set: back to near The Butter Cross, and butt crack bloke gone, hopefully to buy a belt. After awhile, the weeks’ most generous donor turns up for a brief chat. He’s smoking what’s left of a very good quality Cuban. You shouldn’t smoke more than half, I’m told, but my friend’s gone well past that. He asks me how I’m getting on. I say ‘Fine today, thanks to you!’ I then remark on the fine quality of his ‘smoke’ – he apologises he hasn’t got one for me but produces a small packet – ‘These are Italian, they’re very good’, and he takes one out. Odd shape – narrow at the mouth end and about three inches long. He hands me one – I say I’ll savour it tonight.
I then – rather belatedly – thank him for his donation of earlier. I say it’s a hell of alot of money. He says it’s OK, he’s just been paid. What, today? What about the £20 on Wednesday? Then he says ‘You don’t often hear Here Comes The Sun’ (apart from when I played it earlier around the corner), and walks off. I finish whatever I was playing when he came up to me, then go into Here Comes The Sun. I see him standing against the wall opposite, not dancing, not really swaying..but SOMETHING! He must have had a few before he turned up at the place earlier…and a few after I left there, I reckon.
I attempted Moon River again. This time – pay attention Bond!…oh, Bond, please DO pay attention – I got it right. A man turned up near the end and said ‘My friend’s busking in Marseilles. He makes 80 euros an hour’. So I waited a few seconds and said ‘Right, so that’s supposed to make me feel good, is it?’ Bloke says ‘Yeah, well…the police keep hassling him’. I said ‘Well, the police are different every place you go. They might not be very nice down there’. Bloke says ‘Yeah, he doesn’t have a license, but…’ I interrupt – ‘Well, some places you’re supposed to have a license or permit’. ‘Yeah…well, I’m going out there in August’. ‘Well, that’s nice…good…I hope you have a good time’, I said.
I wasn’t sure about a Song Of The Day…possibly the 1st. Gnossienne, but for once I’ll replace SOTD with DOTW (Donor Of The Week): my generous councillor.
(At the 1st set, Craig and his wife came up. He said ‘I’ve been reading your diary and I really want to be in it. I was thinking, if I came up and pulled my trousers down, you know!’ I said that would definitely get him in it, then told him about bum crack bloke and I said ‘He’s definitely in it now, because of that!’)