It was a very intimate evening with some great musicians and other unexpected, and exceptional guests (my globe-trotting writer friend Adam Hay-Nicholls, who lives in London, blew me away with his presence), in a warm, thought-provoking moment of what was also a hugely nerve-wracking – but proud – evening of showing in public some excerpts from my film for the first time. A great core group of musicians from Paris showed up, as well as a surprise visit from the great science fiction novelist, Norman Spinrad, and his other half, Dona Sadock, who among many other things, once produced the Firesign Theater comedy troupe. I first wrote about Norman Spinrad in an article in the International Herald Tribune when he was selling the rights to one of his novels via the internet for $1. The book went on to find a publisher some time later, and he has continued to publish non-stop since. I last wrote about Norman Spinrad on this blog when I attended his 70th birthday party, in 2010 – which, when I re-read it, was a hell of a night!
The film, “Out of a Jam,” was filmed the following year, but took me until now to complete the editing, and put it in what I consider its final shape: a 21-part series for streaming. Among the guests who attended on Friday night was one of the main “talking heads” of the documentary, Sheldon Forrest, who graced us with his presence despite it being a strike struck period in France and his living a couple of hours away from the Aubervilliers venue! I was thrilled.
The first truly nerve-wracking thing of the evening, though, was that my computer refused to boot! So there was no film. Fortunately I had brought my iPad, and while I could not show the Paris moments to start with, as we waited for more spectators to arrive and for my computer to boot, we watched the Istanbul episode of the series. After that, magically, my computer decided to boot. (Actually, it is not magic. Although I had just a few weeks ago replaced the battery for a similar experience, I think I have solved the problem: It is a Macbook Pro, and after losing my adapter, I replaced it with a non-Apple charger, which I think does not have the same performance capacity as the Apple charger, and so if the computer runs out of charge, it takes FOREVER to re-charge enough to boot!)
I was therefore able to show the compilation of Paris moments from the open mic, which was a 37-minute film without form. But I got all sorts of great responses from the people present.
After that, Joe Cady, my violin-playing friend with whom I have play with several times over the years including at the F1 FanZone in London in 2014 – and whom I first met at Spinrad’s 60th birthday party! – suggested we do a song together, and the very-much-shortened open mic took place! I did “Mad World” with Joe, and it was amazing to play again together, and then Angus Sinclair played another cover with Joe, singing “Wicked Game,” in a wonderful rendition that made it his own.
The evening ended up being more about the film than the open mic and a couple of other musicians who came had to leave early so we did not go beyond that. So it turned out to be completely different than I either planned or imagined. And so much better, in the way it decided to be!