Diary Of A Busker Day 700

Diary Of A Busker Day 700 Tuesday March 3rd 2015 Winchester (Opposite Oxfam, Time: 3:45-5:15pm).

The 700th Day. How many more of these before I chuck in the towel?! Another sunny but cold day: 8 degrees. I cycled around a bit before deciding Oxfam was the least windy spot. But before I decided, Otto passed me in The Square and totally blanked me. I even said ‘Hello Otto’ – nothing, which was weird as he didn’t look out of it. Maybe he only sees me when he’s out of it!

Someone else who ignored me – in fact, he’s done it for months now…I wonder why – is Eddie, the old guy who used to be a Southampton cabbie in the ’70s. He walked by during my set and never even looks at me now. Maybe he’s depressed, maybe his wife died, who knows.

During the Gymnopedie, a man about 65 stood by and said ‘You’ll put everyone to sleep’. I said ‘Thank you’, thinking it was a compliment but I’m not sure, now. In fact, he said something else after but I couldn’t make it out and I wasn’t going to stop playing. He eventually wandered off but I think he wanted to start a conversation.

I started to get cold quite quickly as the wind picked up a bit…and there seemed to be a bus going by every five minutes, which of course started to get on my nerves…and there was alot of rubbish blowing around me, like cigarette packet wrappers, empty sugar sachets from the tables across the road. It was all starting to get a bit much, not to mention a pain in the joint on the inside of the right arm. I’ve had it now and again for a few months but it seems to be almost all the time now, even when I’m not playing, sitting at home. In fact, it’s hurting now while I’m writing this. Probably because the arm is always bent the same amount, about 45 degrees, like a repetitive strain thing. I’m a bit concerned about it.

Anyway, all this was bothering me and just then, at precisely 4:15, right after Je Te Veux, a woman crosses the road and gives me a £10 note, saying ‘That was lovely to hear as I was walking up the street’. Wow. And it was just what I needed. Song Of The Day – Je Te Veux!

A few minutes after, that really thin, wasted-looking Drongo (they all look wasted, though) comes by and says ‘A quid if you can play The Wind Cries Mary. I know you can ’cause I’ve heard you play it’. Well, the poor wasted Drongo is mistaken as I’ve never played The Wind Cries Mary. The poor chap’s confused. What he’s heard me play is Purple Haze, from the same album as The Wind Cries Mary. So I say ‘No, I’ve never played that one but…’, and go into ‘Haze’ – he loved it. And when I get to the ”scuse me while I kiss the sky’ bit, he goes ”scuse me while I kiss the sky – not KISS THIS GUY!’, and oh, how we both laughed.

After that distraction, I started to get really cold, painfully cold in the fingers of both hands. So that was it, an hour and a half straight through. Long enough when it’s 8 degrees with a wind blowin’ up…and there’s a pain in the arm that’s getting worse. But that £10 from the kind lady…just that one person completely transformed the outcome of this, the 700th day. One person, for this is all it takes.

Earnings: £21.60p

  4 comments for “Diary Of A Busker Day 700

  1. 03/03/2018 at 11:35 PM

    Oh, I love it when I get that rare $20 tip. Interestingly, I’ve never gotten a $10.

    You probably know that Les Paul had a bad accident and had his right arm fused at a 90-degree angle so he could still play guitar. Ouch!

    • 05/03/2018 at 11:52 AM

      I had no idea about Les Paul’s arm!

      • 06/03/2018 at 12:38 AM

        There’s a rather good documentary about him on YouTube as well as several books.

        I like how the electric guitar far predates rock-and-roll and the Fender Stratocaster was originally made, in fact, for country & western music. All those bendy, twangy notes. Rock-and-roll at the time tended to use the saxophone in the “lead guitar” role.

  2. 14/03/2018 at 9:54 PM

    I had to Google Fahrenheit to Celsius converter to see what temperatures you were dealing with; I used to busk in Jacksonville, Florida (USA) across the street from a bank which had a sign that displayed the time for a few seconds, then the temperature. Every degree below 10 (your scale) that it fell, I could feel exponentially, below 6, I was constantly playing to keep the strings warm, at about 4 degrees, I had to switch to songs that used the simplest chords, like a G major using the thumb for the bass, and 3.3 degrees was the coldest that I ever played in; back when I drank a 6 pack every night (I guess that would be a -14.4 pack for you) LOL!
    The soreness in the ligaments is an accumulative thing, where the ache from a night of vigorous playing is felt in the morning and hasn’t gone entirely away before the next gig…It is related to diet, with sucrose being a likely suspect…and/or bleached white flour…check out “3 day juice fast and mucous-free diet” by Doctor Christopher to put you on the right track…the tendonitis can take 2 or 3 weeks to subside…
    And I had to Google pounds to dollars to see that you got a 14 dollar tip…I busk in New Orleans and it is usually one 20 dollar bill that makes up half of my income at the end of a 3 hour night…
    I just discovered your blog and will bookmark it and read more…you’ve got me psyched to do Space Oddity tonight!

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