Well, it's not exactly like 1997, but sort of.
When I first moved to San Francisco, Blondie's in the Mission was my very favorite bar. It had quite the neighborhood feel eleven years ago, and I recall spending many a Saturday night sipping pint sized lemon drops and listening to live swing bands alongside Mission denizens. I also met a couple of really cute boys there back in the day, and that was enough to keep me coming back again and again. Plus, I became friends with the owner, Nikki, who is super nice.
I didn't live in the Mission, myself, however. I had come to Blondie's from another neighborhood, as would many, many people over the next several years. By, say, 2001 or 2002, the weekend crowd at Blondie's had grown exponentially, and the bar had lost it's live music license, meaning no more bands. The bowling shirt clad gentlemen who previously had filled the place were nowhere to be found; replaced by overgrown frat boys and the lingering happy hour crowd who now bounce to the beat of far too much hip hop and house music. So I turned my attention to other San Francisco watering holes.
Well, I just may become a Blondie's regular again, at least one day a week. Nikki got her live music license back about four years ago, and last month, Rosa and I made an appearance at Blondie's Wednesday night open mic. Then last night, I was back. Sadly, as I mentioned before on this space, Rosa's unforgiving work schedule is keeping her away from open mics these days, but thanks to the magic of Craigslist, I have found another guitarist.
With my barstool fan club of Suzanne and Zeina cheering me on, and several members of the house band joining in on my three-song "set," I treated the crowd to renditions of the Beatles, Icicle Works (again) and the Stone Poneys. Plus, thanks to some lucky timing, I think the bar was most crowded while I was singing, and people were actually paying attention. I even got the weirdo-chic punk hippy who had performed before me to sing along while he gave me a beer bottle salute. That, in my opinion, is a serious accomplishment.
I'll be back in two weeks, armed with more three minute pop songs. And there just may come a time when, if you want to find me on a Wednesday night, the open mic stage at Blondie's will be the only place you need look.