My worldwide open mic journey began in China in 2008 after the Formula One race in Shanghai, and little did I know that it was a journey that would continue for six more years and cover most of the globe, every continent except Africa (where I once lived and played music in an open mic decades earlier) and Antarctica, and that it would spawn a book, a blog, an album, a documentary film, numerous podcasts, music videos and other multimedia projects.
This year, 2014, I have decided to finish all of the projects and tie them together into a consolidation of multimedia. As part of my personal impetus to gather it all together for myself, but also put it into perspective on this blog, I have decided to create a page for each city I have visited on the journey, tying together samples of the whole multimedia adventure linked to that city.
There have been a couple of new races added to the calendar this year, and others dropped, and so on a couple of occasions I have to put up a consolidated media page for a race that no longer exists, but in place of the new one, which is not ready. So it is that the last race I attended was in Austria, and it was new this year – after last appearing on the calendar in 2003. I have therefore chosen a race that is no longer on the calendar but IS in my open mic adventure:
Has the news of the cancelled Metallica concert in New Delhi spread around the world yet? The fact that the stadium was going to be filled over-capacity and the group refused to play? (That’s the rumour I heard.) That the angry fans started tearing the stage apart and burning Formula One posters and destroying equipment as a result of the cancellation? Well, Metallica may not have been able to play New Delhi – as part of the F1 race sideshow known as F1 Rocks – but yours truly did two concerts in New Delhi, one on Thursday that I already reported on here, and another last night.
I met a bunch of disgruntled Metallica fans on the New Delhi metro and I invited them along to hear me last night at Bennigan’s.
I repeated my name.
“Can you give us your card?”
That meant, “Thanks for the offer, we’ll think about it….”
Well, it may not have been a Metallica concert, but we all sure had fun at the open mic at Bennigan’s, in Greater Kailash. Despite the sound of the name, this is NOT a real Irish pub inhabited by nothing but foreigners. The open mic was run by Gautam Lahiri, a musician who plays at Bennigan’s every Friday and runs his evening as an open mic, jam session, inviting friends, acquaintances, his guitar students and anyone else who wants to come to play. We did some on-camera talk for my open mic film, and I found a real kindred spirit.
I played for about 45 minutes or so, maybe more. And I was eventually joined by some of the other musicians present on guitar, vocals and harmonica. We did my song “Memories,” with two people playing harmonicas, including Gautam. It was really touching….
Oh, and it turned out that one of my own acquaintances met at the Formula One race who was supposed to go to Metallica ended up showing up at Bennigan’s to see me instead of going to Metallica. But he left before I arrived, which was just after 10 PM, since I was delayed by writing about the Metallica cancellation – among other things – on my NYT F1 blog.
PS: My internet connection is so slow in my cut-rate hotel that I have not been able to upload the videos I did. I will do that tomorrow….