Diary Of A Busker Day 395 Wednesday July 3rd (1. Opposite Oxfam, Time: 1:07-3:07pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 3:32-5:02pm).
Young Sam’s at his usual Butter Cross residence. I’ve never seen him anywhere else. I bet if I did, I wouldn’t recognise him! I was at The Butter Cross spot and also at the crossroads spot yesterday, so I head down to Oxfam…and I’m pleased to report a huge difference in the financial situation compared to then. In fact it’s so much better, I even tell a woman as she’s donating! She thinks it might have something to do with the tourist office nearby – ‘people just coming into town, haven’t spent any of their money yet, they hear some nice music – not a racket’. Maybe, although I’ve been here at this exact spot loads of other times and it’s been terrible. Another thing that’s crossed my mind lately is I’m sure I sell more CDs down here and it’s usually to the people who’ve been listening (or forced to) across the way, sitting at the tables. They might have heard me play for half an hour or more, and I suppose a certain percentage will like that sort of music and a certain percentage of that lot will like a CD of it.
I manage to sell one on the strength of the Elvis number, so Can’t Help Falling In Love – Song Of The Day! Although before that, due to a respectable amount of coinage, SOTD was Here Comes The Sun. But that’s the new rule: any song that secures a CD sale is conferred SOTD status instantly, and there’s no discussion. Anyway, it’s about time I sold another CD – by my records the last one was on June 18th.
At the 2nd spot, some young guys request Angie by Bert Jansch. Oh dear, I used to do that one but the hand problem nightmare makes it really difficult. However, maybe I can attempt it again, as I’ve got a bit more used to dealing with the problem, so I thank them and say I’ll ‘look into it’ – not now though. They have another request: Blackwater Side by Jansch. Well the nearest I can get to that is of course Jimmy Page’s version/rip-off he did on the 1st Led Zeppelin album, which means I have to tune down, which I do rather too quickly so it’s not quite in tune. Still, as I’ve been teaching it to young Ollie, I’m pretty well up on the main bit, but then these guys say they ‘don’t really like Jimmy Page’!
An amusing moment: during the 2nd outing of Can’t Help Falling In Love (SOTD, of course), Big Issue Simon walks by, laughs and makes the universally understood sign of someone hanging themselves – holding an invisible rope above the head. I take it he’s not a big fan of it – Can’t Help Falling In Love – Song Of The Day, don’t you know, my homeless friend!
Another request is from a man in his 60s – Yesterday. But it’s not The Beatles one he wants to hear. It’s one by Charles Aznavour, actually, he’s got the title wrong – something I work out when he starts singing it. What he’s thinking of is Yesterday When I Was Young – lyrically, at least, far superior to the somewhat more covered P. McCartney ‘standard’. ‘Of course’, says my man, ‘Charles Aznavour sings it with that marvellous French accent’. Yes, I believe that’s one of the big attractions of his – Monsieur Aznavour’s ouvre(?), which is fine so long as I can find a way of playing the guitar with a similarily Gallic accent. That’s the trouble with converting some famous songs: is the melody strong enough to work on its own, without an accent, in fact without words, even. I reckon there are good songs and there are good records and there are a few that are both. I reckon Yesterday When We Were Young is a good record.
Earnings: £49.06p (Including 1 CD)