Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

Bad Luck at the Good Luck Bar – or I WOS There, They Weren’t

August 22, 2012

However great, omniscient, informative and even invasive Facebook may be, it is NOT the place for an acquaintance to make an announcement on behalf of an event the person usually has nothing to do with in organizing it. So it was that I had told a couple of inquirers that the open mic at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance bar was indeed happening last night after a single session break last Tuesday. And so it was I rushed down my dinner, rushed on some clean clothes that I ironed, rushed out the door and hurried up to the bar to find that it was closed.

Fortunately, I knew that although my night of giving entertainment had a fall-back in receiving entertainment just up the road at the WOS bar, where the host of the Highlander open mic, Thomas Brun, was giving one of his weekly concerts. There I met a friend who attends a few of the same open mics I attend, but she as a spectator only, and it was from her that I learned one of our mutual Facebook friends had announced the sudden and unexpected closing of the Ptit Bonheur la Chance.

It was not, I discovered, the person most likely to make that announcement – the MC – but this musician who plays there most weeks, and who IS a friend on Facebook. But unfortunately, Facebook just is not reliable enough to make that sort of announcement, so I and I guess a few of the other people who thought it was open – including those whom I told – will have showed up and found they wasted an evening. (I hope it was not something really serious that kept it closed.) The month of August in Paris continues its reputation as a dead month. Forget April, T.S., August is the cruelest month!

Well, no, it was not a wasted evening, in the end, as I did go and listen to Thomas Brun. And there I heard the one-man band playing practically nothing but songs that I never hear him play as the Highlander MC. I am continually amazed at this man’s repertoire. When I commented on it afterwards, Thomas told me that he had a whole lot of songs he did not usually sing to open the open mic at the Highlander because he did not want to get the crowd too excited, foot stompingly mad right at the beginning of the evening, with much thought of whoever might take to the mic right after him. IE, who might be a lot, lot more down tempo and romping. As I then said to Thomas, following him is a difficult task for any musician no matter what he may decide to play.

Wicked Games, Betrayals, and Laughing at Oneself with Impossibly Crazy Stories – Through Two Open Mics

June 28, 2012

I did not have the time to put up a blog item last night because I had a devastating night the night before followed by an offer to meet an old friend to pick up a lent book that was so important to me that it took precedence over the blog posting – THEN I had to go on to my next open mic adventure. But that means stories of three venues here on this page today, as I made a brief transitional stopover on Tuesday at a bar where the host of the Wednesday night open mic was playing. Things get simpler:

So, the devastating night on Tuesday? Well, I think I just now suddenly realized that it all fits into a general movement and theme right here now: On Monday night at the Coolin bar I had started feeling problems of loyalty and correct, good treatment of people to other people. Right? Okay, so on Tuesday I go to the Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic, and my faith in the goodness and correctness and rightness of human nature is reinforced as the MC and organizer, sometimes known as Ollie Joe, fought off a somewhat aggressive effort by another musician to hold the stage while calling up his friend to sing a duo with him after his own slot, but with me standing in the wings holding my guitar as I had been told I would play next.

So Ollie Joe holds his ground and say, “Yes, fine. After Brad.” “No,” he repeats. “Not now, Brad is on next.” More insistence…, and Ollie Joe again says: “She can go up after Brad. It’s his turn.”

Oh boy did that feel good and right!!! So I had a good time at the Ptit Bonheur, sang some quieter songs, and put my head out on a limb dying to get one right that I have so rarely got right, and I did: “Only Our Rivers Run Free.” So then I leave with my friend Brislee Adams to go to make a brief stop on the way home to take in a few songs by the transition man, the MC of the following night’s open mic, Thomas Brun, who was playing not far from the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, in the Wos Bar on blvd St. Jacques, and he was playing in duet with Philippe Germaine. They were really good.

That was a transition to the Highlander open mic last night…. or not really. The transition was that I get back on Tuesday night and discover by Facebook that the woman who last Tuesday and Wednesday made out with me in a bar, sang with me on stage, invited me back to her place and told me I was the man of her life, she had realized how important I was to her, and loved me and wanted to run off to Spain with me for the weekend to see if we could really live together – as we had broken up and got back together – we make love on Wednesday in her apartment and then…suddenly after the first step of becoming “in a relationship” on Facebook with another guy on Saturday she has the guy MOVE INTO HER APARTMENT TO LIVE WITH HER, as of Tuesday, which I discover on Facebook as I arrive back home. Just a week after I was the man of her life she’ with another guy and I did nothing to provoke it!!!!

Okay, so that was the REAL transition. So I go off to meet this other woman from a previous relationship, pick up the book and find the woman has not changed one iota – which I had not expected anyway – and then I go off to the Highlander. I see Thomas Brun immediately, he signs me up, for once I’m pretty early on the list, and allows me to go out and eat my dinner – a loyal, honest and direct signer upper at open mics. So I got out for a falafel, come back, hear some good music, and get inspired by one of the performers who is a good storyteller. He tells tales before his songs. So I decide at the last minute to do the same thing.

I tell the tale of this woman who tells me she loves me and I’m the man of her life, we make love, she wants my child, etc., then of how she is “in a relationship” with another guy a few days later, and living with the guy as of the very night before! I say something like this to wrap up the story: “Now if that is not a ‘Wicked Game,’ I do not know what is. So then I sing Wicked Game, by Chris Issak. Then I decide to continue on the same theme, and I sing my song “Borderline,” about a treacherous love affair with an unstable woman. Then I finish off with the most logical song for the series: “What’s Up!” with its appropriate chorus: “What’s Goin’ On!!!”

PS., anyone who knows me well will know that it was all my fault from the beginning and I never should have seen the treacherous woman!!!! But still, I thought I had seen every possible scenario! In fact, no. There was still this other one to come. NO MORE!!!

PPS., not sure I should write such personal items on this blog, but what the hell – one from the heart…. One reason I am putting it up here is that I am capable of laughing at myself and what a fool I can be. No problem showing that publicly. Plus it’s the sort of story that if it was NOT true, no one would believe!

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