Happy Ron’s appearance on Sunday, January 18, at Clairemont’s Blarney Stone Pub will be his 1000th open-mike performance.
“I started in 1997, and believe it or not, poetry open-mikes are the most borderline violent,” says Ron. “I’ve really thought people were going to come to blows over poems. Last year in L.A., this one poet started badmouthing this other poet on the stage and wouldn’t let him finish a sentence.… He rushed the stage like he was going to punch somebody, but the club kicked him out.”
The worst local open-mike contestant Ron has seen calls himself the Wolf.
“This guy showed up for years at Hot Monkey Love [Café] and would put on a CD of random industrial music, with him saying, ‘I am Luke Skywalker, I am Darth Vader, you must die’ and flailing around stage with his light saber. It was interesting for 30 seconds, and then it got real uncomfortable.”
One time, Ron says, “I was on stage at Fannie’s, and I kept feeling that something was whizzing by my head. Then I heard this voice saying, ‘Mom, quit throwing your tampons!’ The club crew picked up numerous tampons as I was getting offstage, and I put them in my hat. Fortunately, they weren’t used, and nobody was injured.”
Another time, he says, “I was at Harbin Hot Springs for a retreat thing, and they had a talent night, so I performed in the nude, wearing only my hat, in front of a hundred mostly naked people.…
“My favorite open mikes are at Cosmos Coffee, where I’ve played most Tuesdays for more than four years. They have a salad there named after me, the Happylicious.”
— Jay Allen Sanford