Diary Of A Busker Day 705

Diary Of A Busker Day 705 Saturday March 14th 2015 Winchester (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:40-2:58pm, 2. Opposite Pavilion, Time: 3:10-3:40pm, 3. Opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 3:47-4:57pm).

It’s gone back to being cold: 8 degrees – not as if it was ever warm – and very windy. Windy & Cold, as opposed to Windy & Warm, featured everyday by me! But with the wind, it’s around freezing degrees.

Bob Jackson and his rockabilly bunch are at The Butter Cross…and down near Vodafone, a bunch on a bench(!) with a big sign saying University Busker’s Association. I couldn’t be bothered to stop and talk to them. There was even someone at the Pavilion spot – a girl setting up an amp. I asked if she was setting up. She said ‘Um…yeah’, so I said ‘OK, carry on’.

I ended up down the arse-end (of course), and the windiest spot…and it really was cold. Scouse Chris came by and this time it wasn’t Telstar he asked about. It was If I Fell – Beatles. I said I knew the chords but not the melody, so I was going over the chords to the verse when Posh BrYan comes by – I’d waved to him as I was cycling away from  Pavilion. He was at his usual perch outside his posh place with his glass of red. Anyway, he comes by, leans into me and this conversation ensues:

BrYan – ‘The next chord is WOW’.

Me, wondering what he means –  ‘What’s that, Bryan?’,

BrYan – ‘The next chord is WOW’.

Me –  ‘Wow? Wow what? Wow minor? Wow major?…wow diminished?’

Chris – ‘A demented?’

BrYan (chuckling) ‘You know, there’s a kid up where I was, he was strumming a guitar – so quiet you couldn’t hear anything, and he was singing – you couldn’t hear him, and his bucket was FULL OF MONEY. He was only young’.

Me – ‘How old was he?’

BrYan – ‘About 10, and you couldn’t hear him, but he had all that money. People were going “How sweet”, and you couldn’t hear him’.

Me – ‘That’s it, though. He’s 10: “How sweet”. That’s what it’s like, that’s the way it is’.

BrYan – ‘Yes, well…couldn’t you make yourself look younger?’

Me – ‘No’.

BrYan muttered something, chuckled again and walked off. I shook my head and Chris asked if I knew him. I said I’d seen him around for awhile now and told him the story of him telling me his name was with a ‘Y’ not an ‘i’ (like mine), so now I call him Posh BrYan. I asked Chris if he knew him and he said he’d seen him around – ‘I think, or HE thinks he’s a poet or an artist…well, put PISS in front of that, might be more like it’. A poet! I thought that was really funny. I told Chris I thought he was a retired barrister or lawyer. I’m not sure if I heard that from someone else, but Chris didn’t seem convinced. BrYan certainly has the air of someone important, or thinks their important.

Almost the whole time I was at this spot there was an old bloke (about 75) on the bench opposite. When he first sat down he got his camera out and I think he was filming me. Either that or he was taking a long picture! I let it go. I’d prefer it if someone asked before taking a picture, even more so if they want to film, but I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, he might come over and donate. After 45 minutes, he comes across and I can see he’s holding a pound coin, but he doesn’t put it in the bucket. He starts a conversation…

Old man – ‘Do you know any bass guitar?’

Me – ‘Sorry? Bass guitar?’

OM – ‘Um…Duane Eddy’.

Me – ‘Well…no, sorry. I just do solo instrumental stuff…Duane Eddy didn’t’.

OM (interrupting) ‘Yes he did’.

Me – ‘Sorry, yeah, of course he did…no, I don’t do any of his stuff’.

OM – ‘Oh, a shame’, and he keeps his pound and starts back across the road to his bench.

While he’s crossing the road, I say loudly ‘What, Chet Atkins not good enough?’ I couldn’t believe it, really. After he sat down, I thought ‘I’ve had enough of this – I’m not playing anymore with him sitting right across from me!’ so I packed up and left. I was getting a bit frustrated, anyway – apart from the cold – there were loads of people about but the coinage was well below the normal. I don’t know…when I came in there seemed to be alot of people with Help For Heroes and Red Nose day buckets. I think they (and that 10 year old) were getting all the money. I mean, I know it’s a good cause and all that…but I’m trying to make a living here!

I bombed up the road – no break – and set up at Pavilion, and it was even worse there. Loads of people but when i did the count-up after 1/2 an hour, it was £2.45p. I left in disgust. I mean, come one, that’s a bloody disgrace. I immediately set up around the corner, near The Butter Cross…where my first visitor was Otto, fairly out of it. We passed earlier in the alleyway and he never even recognised me! Otto came out with his usual ‘Give us some Chuck Berry’, so I did a 15 second Berryburst which seemed to pacify him. He went to sit on the bench diagonally opposite, so a couple of songs later, I gave him Purple Haze, which he sometimes requests. He liked that – he was stomping his foot.

Two people went to lengths to avoid passing in front of me. One was my councillor but I forgive him as he kept me in food with his £60 the other week. The other was Aurelia’s dad, Steve, who was clearly going to walk in front of me but, just as I turned to my left – and caught his eye: I bet he thought “I’m sure he hasn’t seen me” – I saw him vere to the side so he’d pass behind me. Ha, they will NEVER evade my detection!

The final incident of offence occurred near the end. A couple gave their two year old a 50p to give to me. They were about 15 feet away. The dad said ‘Just put it in the bucket’ but the kid wouldn’t come over, so instead of bringing the kid over, or coming over themselves, they didn’t bother and walked off with their – or my – 50p.

A very cold day. Hard work and most unpleasant. Intermittent aching in left hand and right arm. Almost three hours of playing: too much.

Earnings: £28.59p (+ one half-franc silver coin from 1997)

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