Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Don’t Think Twice, Music Ain’t Alright in Sao Paulo Hotels at 9:30 at Night

November 22, 2013

musical brazil?

musical brazil?

SAO PAULO – For the last five years I have carried my guitar around to all the races of the Formula One series and found places to play in open mics and open jam sessions. I am now in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the last leg of my journey this year. This marks five full years of playing on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. (I used to live in Africa, so I have played there before; and Antarctica is too cold anyway.) But tonight, just five minutes ago, I have encountered for the first time ever – in a hotel where I have stayed for four of the last five years – a complaint from the front desk for the music I have played in my room with my acoustic guitar and vocals.

I arrived this morning in Brazil and I’m dead tired, and intended to go to bed very soon. But I just went out for a meal in an Italian restaurant, and returning to my hotel room, I decided to pick up my guitar and play a couple of songs just to keep in shape, and for my pleasure. It was only 21:40 at night, and we are in swinging, moving, great rockin’, bossa nova’in Brazil. And I’m in a hotel I know well in central Sao Paulo. So I picked up my guitar and sang two Bob Dylan songs: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” and “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.”

Halfway through Baby Blue the phone rang and it was the front desk. The poor guy could not speak English very well and had to break up his words with use of the computer keyboard to find a translating web page so he could find his words. But here is what the message was in the end: “A neighbor of yours on your floor is complaining about the noise in your room. Can you please keep it quiet.” I told him that he had just won the prize of being the first hotel in five years where I have had a complaint about playing some songs in my room. He then responded, “I’m very sorry, but in Brazil, you cannot make noise after 10 PM at night.” Of course, the fact that it was 21:55 went beyond him….

In any case, I’d love to know who this cowardly and nasty and thin skinned neighbor is, and I’m very disappointed in Brazil! But now I know why my favorite open jam open mic here has been thrown from one venue to another over the five years that I have come here, each time because of complaints from neighbors over the music.

Jeez. So much for musical Brazil. Of course, perhaps had I been playing some much quieter bossa nova, it would have been tolerated???

Still, the first time ever in five years that I receive a complaint from a neighbour in a hotel and the hotel acts on it, and it had to be in Sao Paulo?!?!

We’ll see how well the weekend progresses after this.

PS, I suspect this is some silly European or American who intends to get up at 4:30 AM to sight-see…. (or go to the racetrack?!?!)

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