Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sing Along With Sammy

A couple of weeks ago or two essays down, I talked about the pitfalls of kareoke. Since then, I 've gotten a lot of response from it so I thought I'd give you all a bit of an update.

Last Friday, I did another fill in hosting job for my friends at the hole in the wall redneck bar. The turnout was on the deadside since there was a severe thunderstorm warning for the area and you know that alcohol and water don't mix well together. I was feeling just a little bit better than I have in the past few weeks (thank you, Prozac!), but everyone in the bar was in there grumpy mood that wasn't made better thanks to the weather. Everyone decided they wanted to sing depressing ballads which was killing me. It didn't mater if they could hold a note or not, these were drunks with issues this night. I did my best to get them excited, but I couldn't get them more revved up, to parephrase John Cleese, if I threw 100, 000 volts up their bum. It got to the point where no one wanted to sing and I had to do something so I did.

At one point, there was a large drunk woman who decided to grab the mic at a point where I was using my patented snappy patter to get folks to do a tune when she out of the blue started doing an alcoholic version of Billy Vera and The Beaters "At This Moment" acapella. I nicely told the woman that we do have the song in the kareoke song list and all she would have to do is find it along with her name and the song number listed and I'll be happy to bring her up. To which told me that she didn't want to look for it. I sat her down and did my best compose myself on how to deal with this crowd when I decided to the song myself.

Now, anyone who knows the song knows that "At This Moment" is a very soulful tune that requires a lot of power behind it when it's sung. It needs to be done from the heart as well as the lungs and if you just sing in the shower, you should never do this tune in public. It goes back to the comparison of sushi from the original post: This song would be blowfish sashimi and if you don't know how to serve it, someone could die from poison. It's true. But I did it anyway first, to perk those drunks up; second, just to see if after the stroke could I still sing.

For the record, I'm not really a proud man about much and try to live a simple, humble life. However, when it comes to singing I can say that I'm that damn good. Although I shifted from high tenor to middle baritone from age, smoking never really helped out my lungs and I lost a lot of the power I used to have. But now that I've quit smoking (over sevn weeks and keeping count until the day I die), it made me wonder if my lungs were ready for a workout of a tune of that nature. It was and I KILLED. If my voice was a hurricane, I was a class five that night. The look on their faces was in shock and awe. I had been a fill in KJ there until the reguar host comes back this week, but finally I made them pay attention to me. The tune was note for note perfect all the way up to end to which I got major applause. With the way things have been for me lately quite truthfully, I needed that a whole lot. I guess I can make folks happy if I just sing so I can get personal gratification from it. I'm glad that I was born with such a talent like that so I can make folks feel good. I'm also glad that I sobered them up enough to keep the place hopping just a little bit longer.

Now for those of you who've never heard the tune before or are a kid of the Eighties who remember Alex P. Keaton fawning for Courtney Cox whenever this song was played on "Family Ties", here's Billy Vera and The Beaters with "At This Moment" with a reminder: if you ever decide to do this tune in front of a crowd, you better bring your A game. Otherwise, you 'd be best to stick with your freinds from the office and do "Love Shack".

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