Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Of Loyalty and Success at the Ptit Bonheur

February 13, 2013

I’m a great believer in the concept of loyalty in certain situations in life, maybe even in most situations. But when it comes to deciding where I am going to go to have fun playing my music in an open mic, I don’t care at all about loyalty. I’m going to go to the open mic(s) on any particular evening where I think I’m going to have the most fun, both behind the mic and at the bar talking to people, and within the confines of what my availability is within the sign-up rules of the open mic. But when it comes to the MCs of great open mics, I sometimes feel that maybe they should show a little loyalty. And last night, Ollie Joe, the MC of the great Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic decided to disappear from his post to go off and do a personal concert at the Espace B. I wanted to go and see him, but given the choice, I decided to go to his open mic, being hosted exceptionally by Sven. Wow! I was not the only one who remained loyal where Ollie did not! The place was jam packed with spectators and musicians, more than any other time practically that I have seen….

Having said that, Ollie Joe is a wonderful musician, and had I not had such a selfish motivation in doing music at open mics, I would have attended his concert – and he later returned to the Ptit Bonheur la Chance and told me the Espace B was also packed. So all ended well. But I can say that loyalty had nothing to do with the fun at the Ptit Bonheur last night. A vast list of performers, a full bar on the ground floor, standing room only in the concert room below, and some wonderful acts. NOT a night to miss – and woe to all those other bars in Paris that choose Tuesday as their open mic night….

Oh, I forgot to mention that I was actually taken enormously by surprise, got to the Ptit Bonheur so late that I was virtually the last one on the list to perform, and even then, I was no doubt on the “standby” list. As it happened, I had so much fun as an audience member and listening to others, that when it came my turn and Sven had reduced people’s slots to one song, I decided to give my second song to a crazy Australian and crazy Frenchman who had never performed at the Bonheur before. And even that was selfish, since I actually did not want to perform at that point, it was such a great night.

OK, I admit. I’m not telling the full truth. Another reason I didn’t want to perform by that time is I had a run-in with a very disagreeable spectator who treated me like cow manure for making a video of one of the better performers. That kind of thing happens very, very rarely; which is why I tend to take badly to it. (I’m actually completely cool with someone telling me that they hate being videoed and would rather I not do it – but the secret is in how it is done, IE, treat me like a normal human, my video camera is not a weapon, and lots of people love seeing the videos (of themselves or others). I needed a bit of time to cool off on the only low point of the night…. (There, I have adhered to my strict effort to speak my mind on this blog, no matter what happens….)

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