Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Do You Still Sing Karaoke?

Answering the questions people have
asked (or I have asked myself) about
my past, present, or future.
The answer is: not as much as I used to, which translates to hardly ever now. It's not that I don't like it, it's that times have changed considerably from the first time I rocked the mic, back on January 2, 2000. I had just completed my first weekend shift at KOLD, and the producer who was showing me the ropes decided we should all go down the street to one of her favorite watering holes: The Old Father Inn on Ina Road. A few newfound friends and colleagues joined us, including the anchors.

We walked in around 11pm on a Sunday night, where the beer was still flowing and people were belting out tunes.

"I forgot to tell you," my producer mentor said, "It's bad karaoke night here."

Bad, good, whatever. I was just relieved to have gotten through the first weekend at the new station with a lot of expectations riding on me. A previous producer had flopped. I had reason enough to celebrate -- and being off of work on a Monday and Tuesday wasn't bad, either.

That night I decided to try out my voicebox on Earth, Wind And Fire's "September."

It's not an easy song to sing. I don't know how I hit the falsetto notes. Maybe I had help from beer. I really hope I was on key. But I managed to pull it off.

Thus began a nearly-weekly ritual where we'd wind down after the Sunday night shows with beer and singing. I sunk my vocal cords into dozens of soul and rock classics, including bringing down the house with versions of James Brown's "Get Up," and AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds." I threw my back out performing the latter one time, fortunately not enough to leave me flat on the floor.

Times changed. My schedule changed, as did the schedules of others, and those get-togethers ended. I remember singing David Lee Roth's rendition of "Just A Gigolo" on New Year's Eve of 2015 -- but that's it. And I was wearing a kilt at the time.

When another opportunity comes around, I can't rule it out. But absent a group of singing friends surrounding me, I don't see myself going to karaoke nights anymore. Maybe it's one of those things I'm comfortable having left mostly behind after getting right with GOD and exploring other interests. Or maybe we just gotta put the band back together.

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