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Part of a series of publicity photos I did in a cheap 42d Street photographer's studio in New York City in 1976, I had little idea that two of the main themes of my life decades later came together in that photo:  The guitar and the Shell Oil T-shirt....

Brad Spurgeon Mini-Bio


I started out in the entertainment industry as a teenager and in my early 20s, performing in a circus as a juggler, unicyclist and ventriloquist.  I also worked on a musical television show taped in Ottawa, both behind the scenes in production and on camera juggling, acting and unicycling, along with performers such as Harry Chapin, Lynn Anderson, the Bay City Rollers, John Sebastian, Maria Muldaur and many others.  


I then landed a role in an historic milk commercial, "Wear a Mustache," before disappearing into bit part hell - including, however, in a neat little film called "Deadly Harvest," where I shared the set with Clint Walker and a future star named Kim Cattrall.  


After trying my luck in New York City, playing in the open mics in the Village - including Gerde's Folk City - and comedy clubs across town - including The Improv and Catch a Rising Star - I set off for England and repertory theater. Failing to get work, I ended up busking for four months, then working as a bartender in the National Theatre for nearly a year - mostly in the green room serving the stars of the day, like John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Albert Finney, Diana Rigg and many others (Harold Pinter, David Mamet) - and during that period I realized theater was not for me and I changed direction entirely, choosing writing.


That's when I went to university and switched to a career in journalism and writing. I have published several short stories and written thousands of articles on a multitude of subjects for newspapers, magazines and web sites, but I ended up specializing mostly in writing about Formula One motor racing for the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and, and then the International New York TImes where I worked until December 2016.  During my writing career I turned away from performance, never setting foot on stage - but once at a crazy mystery writers' festival in Spain in 1997 - but I also never stopped playing music and singing while at home and writing my stories!  (Breaking the sedentary mental work with the more spiritual and physical moments of singing and playing guitar.)


In October 2008, I returned to performing music in public after nearly a 30-year break, after several musician friends encouraged me to try some open mics again.  I got addicted, and since then I have played in open mics and open jam sessions in dozens of countries and on all continents except Africa (where I did actually once live and play) and Antarctica.  Based on my musical travels, I am writing a book, filming a documentary film and running a blog - with a highly successful list of open mic venues around the world - and all tied in together with my worldwide open mic and open jam session adventures.  


I also perform the occasional gig – including in Paris, London, Toronto and Budapest – and I am constantly developing my repertoire of both cover and original songs and I released my first album in 2016. 


Among my other passions are chess, wining and dining…and unicycling to burn it all off.

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