Diary Of A Busker Day 331 Saturday March 2nd 2013 Winchester High Street, opposite Bellis. Time: 3:58-5:18pm
There’s something I can’t work out. Why do people request a song and then walk off once you start playing it? What’s the point of that? That happened twice today. The first time was just after my Theme From The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. A man comes up and says ‘I saw The Shadows live (how else?) and they played that.’ ‘The Shadows?’ I say, because I don’t believe him. ‘Yeah, what was that called?’ he asks me. ‘The Theme From The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – The Shadows did that?’ ‘Uh…oh no…what was the other one you did?’ Now we’re getting somewhere. I know what’s going on here; he means Apache, the one I did BEFORE the Good, Bad & Ugly. What’s happened is this; the enormous amount of reverb and a certain amount of vibrato-arm usage has brought to his mind the famous trademark sound of The Shadows, which he would have heard in the distance but it probably didn’t register, and he’s become confused. So I make him aware of his confusion and then say it doesn’t matter if I played Apache a few minutes ago because I’ll play it again. After all, a request is a request. Now, he appears really excited by this but when I start playing…he wanders off!
Then, the chap who loves my version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, comes forth. ‘Have you played it yet?’ he says. Well, strangely enough, I HAD, about ten minutes before. But even though I’ve tuned two strings down and was playing Yellow Bird, I offer to tune up again – ‘It’ll take me a minute because the neck has to adjust to the change in tension, then I’ll have to check the tuning again’, I explain. He doesn’t mind. He’s ecstatic and goes over to sit on the bench to await the fulfilment of his request. So…after a minute I launch into the song, head down, so I look like I’m in serious concentration, because I think that impresses people…but not even a minute later, I look up and he’s gone! Anyway, I think I’ve worked it out. I reckon people just want you to KNOW they like a certain song and most of them aren’t bothered if you play it.