As host, I could jump onstage anytime I wanted to play harp, djembe, or sing back-ups. Playing with Jesse Green was always a highlight, as was playing djembe with Brian Simms, & singing back-ups late at night with Tim Melanson (I lost my voice a few times doing that, after too many cups).
Adam White, bartender & purveyor of good music & great times, was a stalwart behind the bar through-out my tenure. I think there were only 2 Wednesday's he missed in 15 months (which is less days than I missed), and both those Wednesday's were either just slightly off kilter, or else complete mayhem.
Some other regulars included Johnny Mac, Matty McD., Tara Holloway, Lisa Poushinsky, Dave Norris, the Turd Burglers (later known as Darth Bader & the Sometimes Wise), and countless others whose names I can't remember through a fog of beer. Several years ago, when Amanda Rheaume was hosting, I said that I'd love to host this open stage some day - I got my wish, and I made the most of it. Our 'Red Hot Chicks Sing the Blues' nights in particular revived the frantic scene that was the cache back in Amanda's day.
The talent level we got consistently was way above & beyond what I expected. The worst 'musicians' who ever took the stage were also the best comedians. I'll never forget the guy who asked the audience to name a job title for him to ad lib a song to - I suggested 'proctologist', naturally, to which he wrote the song "Dr. Longfingers" on the spot! We were literally rolling in the aisles.
As much as anything -over & above the great, spontaneous musical collaborations- I've enjoyed the good love vibrations at open stage. We were among friends, and big hugs abounded... plus the odd bite on the neck (hey, 2am is prime vampire time). Romance occasionally sprung, and for a minute there it looked like we were going to become the speed-dating locale for Ottawa South's dissaffected, divorced 40-somethings.
Thanks to John, Adam & the staff at the Georgetown Pub, and thanks to all who came out regularly & sang and played and got in on the act. Every Wednesday it's like I've been transported to this magical dreamworld, & it's been an absolute blast!