I remember my first karaoke experience. I was 13 years old. This is a true story…
In a last effort attempt to find what made her extremely shy and quiet son tick, my mother took me and my brother to a kid-friendly karaoke bar. We sat down, ate our food, and I watched in awe as each person made their way onstage to perform off-key (and often drunken) renditions of their favorite songs.
About an hour before closing time, I finally gathered the nerve to grab a songbook, fill out the tiny sheet of paper with my name, song, and artist and patiently waited for my turn. About 15 minutes later I heard the DJ call my name. I gathered as much courage as I could muster, took a swig of my Hawaiian Punch, and walked up the 3 stairs that led that led to the stage.
I looked out into the crowd and because of the too-bright stage lights my vision was impaired just enough to barely recognize faces. But I could still see my mother as clear as day…and judging by the look on her face she was probably more scared than I was. But when the music to The Beatles’ “Come Together” started, something strange happened. For starters, it wasn’t the song that I had originally chosen. (Thank goodness my parents were avid Beatles fans, so I’d already known the song.) Secondly, I felt a shift in my persona…I was no longer myself. Within the first 3 notes that came out of my mouth, I had noticed that the people who were once gathering their belongings and preparing to leave had either stopped dead in their tracks or sat back down. By the end of the song, people were hooping, hollering, and throwing loose bills onto the stage. Needless to say, from that point forth I was hooked.
I take karaoke very seriously. For some it is a chance to act silly, let the liquid courage do its thing and drunkenly belt out songs that you would normally sing in the shower. For me, it’s a chance to express myself and sing the stuffing out of songs made popular by your favorite artists. The songs I choose tend to reflect what emotion I am going through at the current moment, so one night I might sing a little Red Hot Chili Peppers; other nights I might do some David Bowie or Billy Idol. And if I’m feeling brave I might tackle a vintage Mariah Carey number to show off my range. But whatever your thing, remember: karaoke is all about having fun!
My best friend of almost 10 years Ken (mentioned in my blog “Miss Jackson…If You’re Nasty”) usually accompanies me to different karaoke spots in the St. Louis Metropolitan area and no matter where we go, we always return to our favorite spot Just John’s, located in The Grove district. Hands down; they have the best singers, the best sound system, and the absolute best DJ’s. (with whom we have developed an awesome friendship with over the last 4 years.)
So check out:
….you’ll be hooked. Ken and I have turned out plenty of people and molded them into karaoke superstars in their own right.
BONUS: Attached to this blog is some video footage I’ve collected of my favorite singers…enjoy!
What are your favorite karaoke songs to sing?
What factors determine what songs you will sing at karaoke?
Do you have a favorite karaoke spot that you tend to frequent? Let me know!
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