Yesterday I found this email in my Facebook messages from a man named Martin Christie: Hi Brad, your blog keeps popping up on google whenevr I search for open mics and I’ve just finished a book called ‘Open Mic Travels,’ so I thought you might be interested. It can be found here:” http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/open-mic-travels/18788958
What!?!? Well, it turns out, as he said in his closing sentence, we are not exactly covering the same terrain, as his adventure was all around the UK, and mine is all around the world. Still, you can imagine all the emotions I went through after working three years on this “original” idea! My immediate reaction was: “There is no way I will read this guy’s book until I finish writing mine.” Then I thought, no, take a glance, nevertheless. So I went and read the first few sentences of his introduction, and I said, “Crap! He is doing the same thing as I am.” I staggered away. Then later last night I pumped up my courage to take a look in a chapter, and there I found I could breathe again because there are huge differences between his book and mine. In fact, there is no comparison – my book also has this running theme of a personal effort to get over a family loss.
And now, suddenly, my attitude to Martin’s book and adventure has completely changed – except that I STILL will not read it until I finish my own book. It turns out, however, that Martin ALSO has a blog on which he writes about his open mic adventures. And I checked out some of his music as well, and found that we also differ completely in our approaches to music. So again I could breathe. And then, finally, my ultimate feeling of summation was, “Well, part of the reason I was writing my own book was also to inspire other people to do similar things with their lives. So seeing that someone already IS doing something similar can only be praised and promoted. It’s wonderful, in fact. And who knows, maybe we can start a whole new musical, open mic, travel movement or genre?
Anyway, check out Martin Christie’s music samples – most are done with music machines, but he said he uses the guitar sometimes too – and drop by to lulu.com to buy his book, Open Mic Travels, if the sample you read interests you. I’ll do that once I finish mine! (Which I hope will be the case within a matter of weeks – all the writing is done, I’m still compressing and editing.) Oh, and by the way, some readers of the blog may discover eventually that I have now removed from this blog the introduction to my book that I had posted, and the sample from the Brazil chapter. It turns out that I think that introduction was bad, and the sample from the Brazil chapter was almost wholly unedited and not up to the level of the rest, either. One of the advantages of an Internet blog is that you can put up whatever you want whenever you want – but that is also its disadavantage, because there is no screening process even with oneself.
Anyway, what a cool story to put up today when I spent yet another night trying to get over my cold – which is almost gone…. Oh, I almost forgot, Martin also has a facebook page for his open mic adventure that you can “like.”
PS, all of this reminded me of another friend’s project. Paddy Mulcahy is an Irish musician I met at befriended at the Highlander open mic in Paris last year or the year before, and he has just come out with a short documentary film about a South American song he has translated into English and turned into an interesting, almost Irish, folk song. I’m reminded of that because last year I took around cameras with me to the open mics around the world and am currently working on making a documentary of the open mic journey. I’m posting Paddy’s video here.