Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Not Quite There at “Be There” Hier

July 4, 2011
bradspurgeon

Weird night that was last night going to the “Be There” bar’s open mic. I was supposed to be returning to the “stage” and wonderful open mic times in Paris after several days holing up in my home doing other things, and I ended up having strange time – but performing nevertheless, to a nearly empty house, and as the only performer.

That was not the weird and silly part. What happened was that I prepared all my video equipment with me in a bag, prepared my guitar with reading material for the metro, and then for the sake of convenience, I put a metro ticket in my pocket and my wallet in the video bag.

So I left home and took the metro and continued reading Patti Smith’s book about her life with Robert Mapplethorpe. This is a beautifully written story that takes you right back into the 1960s, 1970s, and the daily life of the artists in Manhattan. Love the writing about the Chelsea Hotel, where they lived, and which I am reading now. And she is so down-to-earth, contrary to the image I recall having at that time of the Patti Smith rock start.

Anyway, I got just about to the “Be There” bar on the Ile St. Louis when I suddenly realized I did not have the camera bag. I feared I left it on the metro, but I had simply left it at home – along with my wallet and further metro tickets and money for beer at the open mic.

Crap!

So I went to Be There anyway, and found the place almost empty. One guy had a guitar, but he would soon leave, and I had not heard if he was playing. Was there an open mic as usual? Yes, I was told by the manager, but maybe people would show up later. I then explained my predicament. He did not offer me a beer, but he did suggest that if I wanted to, I could go up and sing anyway. This was a huge relief, as it meant the night was not entirely wasted, and even better, I had a platform for getting rid of my frustrations.

I sang five or six songs, I think three of my own and two cover songs. Some people heard me from outside and popped in, others had perhaps been out smoking when I started, and came in, the others had been there. But there was not much of an audience, and I did not care at all. I just wanted to sing and play. And I did not have the slightest bit of nervousness, I was doing it entirely for myself. And interestingly, I think I did it well.

I thanked the Be There man and then left for a walk along the Seine. Then I looked at my iPhone map and discovered that it was about 10 kilometers walk back to my place. I decided to do it, walking at a mad pace, and forgoing my unicycle ride upon my return.

Talk about a Mad World….

P.S., by the way, the “hier” in my headline – for non-French speakers – is not a typo. It is the word “yesterday” in French. Pronounced to rhyme with “there,” obviously…. (Maybe I should do a daily French lesson… 🙂 )

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