Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

Mad World – around the (mad) world

December 9, 2016
bradspurgeon

The World

The World

PARIS – Regular readers of this blog will know that one of the songs I sing most often on my world travels is the now classic Tears for Fears song, “Mad World.” I really don’t know how this came to be a staple of my open mic stage repertoire. Well, except that I like playing it, everyone seems to know it, and it turns out to be one of the few songs that I feel really comfortable playing impromptu when I’ve got other musicians on stage, none of whom I have ever played with.

With the recent absolutely MAD events around the world – such things as the Donald Trump election, Brexit, Italy, who knows what in France, and goodness knows how many surprises to come in the future – I thought it was a good moment to make a video of as many of the “Mad World” videos that I could find of me playing in open mics and open jam sessions around the world. The idea was to join them all together at the lip, and use as the common thread the recording of “Mad World” that I have on my album, released this year, “Out of Jam.” (Which is available now on all the basic downloading sites, such as iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp, and who knows how many others!)

I also decided to let slip into the video the occasional “live” sound from the actual recordings at the open mics, where it seems to fit O.K. without too much disruption.

Needless to say, this compilation of “Mad World” moments from early 2010 up until last month in 2016, is only a small sample of the hundreds of times, and dozens of countries in which I have sung the song solo or in a group, due to the fact that I’m usually not the subject of the videos for this blog, but the recorder of the videos. This video represent some of the few occasions in which someone actually did record me – and I have so many other musicians around the world to thank for the times they played “Mad World” or other songs with me, that it would take too long here – and be too boring – to name them all.

So check out the link above, to my “Mad World – Around the (mad) world.”

A mad idea in a mad world, for a Mad World.

“Mad World” – Third Song and Video of the Melodium Sessions in Montreuil

May 9, 2014
bradspurgeon

Mad World (Brad Spurgeon)

Mad World (Brad Spurgeon)

BARCELONA – In recent weeks, I posted my first two videos and recordings of the songs I recorded in the studio in February, in the post for “When You’re Gone Away.” and my song “Crazy Lady.”
Today, from Barcelona – although the video was filmed in Paris – I am posting my third video and song recording, which is the only cover song I did during the session, for one of my regular covers: Mad World. As I said in the previous posts, I plan to do different style videos each time, and this one is definitely a slightly madder video than the previous two – as befits a song like “Mad World,” by Tears for Fears (later covered brilliantly by Gary Jules).

As with the others of the five-part series of the five songs I recorded at the Melodium Studio in Montreuil outside Paris in February, I recorded with my favorite lead player, Félix Beguin and drummer, Jeremy Norris – both of whom are in two excellent Paris bands, The Burnin’ Jacks and the Velvet Veins – and also with Scott Bricklin – a Paris expat musician originally from Philadelphia – on bass. Together, as I mentioned, we spent three days in the studio.

In the coming weeks I plan to continue making videos of these songs and releasing them, and then I plan to put out a CD of the whole, as well as others of my songs (and a wicked cover song). The videos, as I said, will all be quite different; the first one I did while walking around Paris and being filmed by Raphaëlle. With “Crazy Lady,” I decided to have a completely different kind of fun doing a completely different kind of video to illustrate my song, drawing on black and white films from the public domain to try to illustrate this song with a story to tell that is a little tricky to illustrate otherwise! With “Mad World,” it too is in Paris, but I decided to add a few mad aspects of my own personality – as you will see – and some mad places in Paris.

The beauty of doing these recording sessions was the incredible cohesion and talent I was surrounded with in Félix, Jeremy and Scott and their wonderful arrangements and Félix’s mixing. All three have worked together extensively, and often at the incredible Melodium Studios, and of course, I have gigged with Félix regularly in the last five years. So it was all just so together.

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