Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

How the New Ville d’Epinal Open Mic in Paris Inspired Me to Fix the Pick Up of My Guitar – and Other Irrelevant Frivolities

September 12, 2016
bradspurgeon

Ville d'EpinalPARIS – It was a kind of quiet night on Friday and I had planned to stay home and do some work on my various projects, as I have all week. But I received a message from a Facebook acquaintance who told me he had a friend who was as fascinated with open mics as I am, and I should contact him. So I did, and then I found that he had recently started an open mic near the Gare de L’Est in Paris, and it was for Friday night – which is a pretty barren night for open mics in Paris. So I decided to go and check it out, and use some of my meal tickets to treat myself to a meal out, at what turned out to be an interesting, hidden-away old-time Paris café on a kind of lost street running parallel to the railroad tracks.

It turned out to be the third time the open mic had taken place at this bar restaurant, called the Ville d’Epinal. And it had a nice crowd of people eating, dining, and wanting to see what the even was all about. I ate in the opening of the café with a view of the Gare de l’Est on the one side, and the stage area on the other.
first at the Ville d’Epinal open mic

I then went up and played a few songs, but found that once again my Seagull guitar was lifeless in the amp. Ever since the guitar had been used as a dance floor, despite having the wood surface fixed, the electronics had ceased to be reliable, working only in some places and not others, and giving off a buzz in yet others.

b-band-pick-up-like-the-one-in-my-seagullThis was enough for me, being once again in a situation where I was taking my guitar to an open mic and it wasn’t working. So the next night, Saturday, I decided I would take the whole thing apart and see if I could fix it. The B-Band pick up was, it turned out, pretty cluttered with a furry substance – no idea where that came from – and the connection between the bridge and the pick-up processor looked suspiciously not quite entirely plugged in to its limit. So I unplugged that, then plugged it back in, straightened out some of the wiring, restrung the guitar and put it all back together, and… it worked in an amp and with a cable that half an hour before it had not worked from.

second at the Ville d’Epinal open mic in Paris

So I have concluded that the guitar’s pick-up is now fixed! But I’ll see this week if it continues to work in Singapore, that humid city-state where in the past the pick up has failed to work upon arrival due – I think – to the flight and humidity….

Anyway, this long and meandering post is all to say that I had nice evening out – eating home cooked food – at the new open mic of the Ville d’Epinal café restaurant in Paris near the Gare de l’Est and that thanks to my frustration over my guitar in that place, I have finally got up off my butt and fixed the guitar! Thanks Ville d’Epinal. And I hope the open mic continues, and prospers. Paris has always needed a good Friday-night open mic…as the success of the briefly run open mic at the Noctambules on the Place Pigalle last year showed….

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