Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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The Illusion of Total Fatigue as Cured by Paris Open Mics – and Brislee’s New Song

May 2, 2013

All day yesterday I was convinced I was dead tire, I was convinced I was coming down with a cold, I was convinced that I could drop into bed ultra-early and sleep for a day and a half. The last thing I felt I wanted to do was to go to an open mic; I had been to two in a row already on Monday and Tuesday, and I was much sated by that, and even, well, tired. I thought I should take the precaution of preserving my inner and physical strength by not going out last night, and just dropping in bed. That is why I decided that it was exactly the right moment to go where I felt I would not have the strength to go: to two open mics, the Vieux Leon and the Highlander, where I ended up playing in both of them. The effect was suddenly, irreversible, perfect, strong: I was no longer tired, I no longer felt a cold coming on, I had a great time, and I had the energy to go and ride my unicycle the usual 4 or 5 kilometers around the neighborhood afterwards. And today when I woke up, I was completely cured!!!

Funny the games we play with ourselves when we get in a physical and/or mental funk, right? Well, of course, it also had to do with the external stimulus of the two open mics. At the Vieux Léon the new program is that every week there will be a different host, a different MC who plans the evening, calls on their friends, makes it happen. Last night it was Cléa Molette, a wonderful singer and up-and-coming artist, who for some reason although she knows me, made a strange mistake of putting my name on the list as “Serge.” Of course, not so strange, I thought. She obviously associates me with the late, great Serge Gainsbourg thanks to my greying hair, my haggard aged looks, and my songs – I hope!!!! – and although I find it a little insulting on the physical side, if Cléa will be my Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot or Vanessa Paradis, then I accept the insult….

From there I walked the 10 minute walk over the Highlander where normally I would be too late to play. But it seemed that the effect of the 1 May holiday was having its toll on the crowd and musician level of this, one of the most crowded places on earth, and there was room for me on the list. To my great good fortune, Juba – with whom I played on Monday at the Galway – was there, and he offered to play along with me. In the context of the evening – and my imaginary fatigue – it seemed like a good choice of song was, “I Won’t Back Down,” by Tom Petty. So I started with that, and then I did my new song, “Gotta Shake Her,” and then I did “Borderline,” on which song I felt we were tightest.

There were some other interesting acts, and the most fun was no doubt that of Brislee Adams doing his new song all about the Paris open mic scene, in which he sings of the venues where we play, the musicians we know and listen to, and…well there is a bit that goes something like: “and Brad films us, and that’s ok….” YEAH!

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