Diary Of A Busker Day 571 Thursday June 12th 2014 Winchester (1. Opposite Bellis, Time: 3:41-4:50pm, 2. Opposite Vodafone, Time: 5:10-6:05pm).
I start off with Siboney, a rather unusual starter but what the hell! I then do a bit of Puff The Magic Dragon, which I did a youtube recording of a couple of hours earlier on the Sigma twelve-string, which turned out OK, but not out here: I only did a verse before I messed it up. Brendan the painter happened to be there and he asked if I knew who wrote it. I only know it was a poem by Leonard somebody, who was an American student, and the music was by Peter Yarrow, and I only know that when I had to look it up, when I put the video up. Well, Brendan begs to differ. He says it’s from around 1910, and the first person who did it was Marlene Dietrich. I’m sure he’s wrong – it didn’t exist before 1962, but he’s sure he’s right. He’s definitely not…I’m sure…I think.
The Councillor comes by and after not conversing with me – or donating – for ages, drops a £5 note in the bucket, which was good, as it was going a bit slow. There’s mainly schoolkids about and they don’t give anything. After 45 minutes, I suddenly got really hungry and I also needed the toilet, so I did another 20 minutes then packed up, went to the toilet then bought a Snickers (for 60p).
I started to set up at Pavilion, but looking about I noticed there was hardly anyone at any of the tables, and not even anyone walking around, so I packed up and headed back down to Vodafone, which I’d just gone past on the way from the toilet. But it was a good decision, as it turned out, because I had the good fortune to meet an old guy, who was watching from across the way, and he came over with a(nother) £5 note! So, two in one day!
But that’s not all. After I did La Vie En Rose, he bought a CD! I also might have got a gig out of it – a garden party…in Norfolk. I gave him my card but I don’t hold my breath for that sort of thing anymore*. Anyway, this guy came up after Blowin’ In The Wind and commented on the arrangement, so I told him it was mine but in the Chet Atkins style. He said he knew that, so I said I did a few of Chet’s arrangments, including La Vie En Rose, which I then played a bit of and told him where I’d found it, on the double CD of Chet’s home recordings, which they released after he died. Well, this guy knew all about them. He said they were found by Paul Yandell – also dead, which I found out recently – who went through all of Chet’s home recordings and he said, ‘These are good enough to be released’, and they certainly were: they’re all brilliant. Ol’ Man River’s one of them, though I had to fake some of the middle as it’s so difficult to work out.
So, out of all the takings, this old guy with his fiver and buying the CD, accounted for £12.50p – more than half the total. And it could have been £13.50p, as he wasn’t bothered about the pound change from the CD, which I insisted he take! Great business sense, Mr. Naylor…
Earnings: £33.31p (Including 1 CD)
*I never heard back.