Diary Of A Busker Day 326

Diary Of A Busker Day 326 Friday February 8th 2013 Winchester High Street, opposite Vodafone. Time: 1:30-2:45pm

Another bitterly cold day. I have a chat with Janet halfway through. I hadn’t seen her since well before Christmas and was fearing the worst for her, along with some of my other regulars I haven’t seen, although at 63, Janet’s one of the younger ones. She says how cold it is and asks if I can get some other work, inside. I tell her that awhile back I did go to all the places around here but no one wanted a solo guitarist, including the pizza place down at the other end of town, which she mentions. Or they weren’t willing to pay. Or there are some pubs that have live music (open-mic nights) but, of course, there’s no money there, either. I’m increasingly becoming more offended by this whole open-mic thing, as regards pub owners; free entertainment without them having to pay out. I tell Janet I went to a lot of them a few years ago but got bored with the whole routine; having to wait my turn, listening to a bunch of idiot students, and so-called musicians who shouldn’t have been let anywhere near a stage. Sometimes it was unbelievable. People taking five minutes to tune up a guitar ONSTAGE. Five minutes – or more, to tune six strings. Or one string. And a fair share of ‘I just wrote this last night’ preambles before playing something that wasn’t anything. In fact, they hadn’t written anything last night – they were writing it there and then! And the same people, including me, every week. I wouldn’t have minded so much if I could have had a drink to numb the pain, but it would have messed up MY playing whenever the interminable torture ended and it was suddenly my turn to bore everyone.

However, I digress. ‘What about The Railway’, says Janet. Apparently Jet Harris tried to get a gig there and if I’m not mistaken, she said he wanted £800 for it. After Janet goes, regular old guy Eddie drops by (better than dropping dead), making himself comfortable on my right, next to the bin. He says I need a hat to keep me warm, which is at least a change from his usual; I need a hat so I can be Orson Welles when I’m doing The Third Man, or Humphrey Bogart when I’m doing As Time Goes By. I explain, ‘The thing is, a hat won’t keep my hands warm, Eddie.’ I tell him I’m going home after a couple of more songs as my fingers are hurting, but as usual, because I like playing in pain, I do a bit more. Eddie stays for ten more minutes, says goodbye and I manage another ten minutes, then I’m off because it’s too bloody cold!

Earnings: £16.61

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