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Sunday, February 15, 2004

Captain Jack is Long

I knew that would get your attention. Sorry, but I am (again?!) talking about karaoke.

Sunday night I went out with THP and the beautiful muscular Apollo to karaoke at The Embers. My first song was a Billy Joel classic, Captain Jack. It went very well. The song has all the perfect elements of a party song. Suicide, heroin addiction, dropping out, loneliness, masturbation, nose-picking. During my performance, several people in the audience looked like they wanted to slit their wrists or swallow a handful of pills with their vodka tonics.

To my shock, the KJ, Rocky Rhodes, told me that I would not be allowed to sing my second selection. He said Captain Jack was too long. Since the song only lasts seven and a half minutes, I gently explained to Rocky that I had only used up half of my fifteen minutes of fame. I could fly through "Sweet Caroline" and still have a couple minutes of fame to spare. But he would not be swayed.

Right after I sang, THP got up on the stage and rocked the house. Everybody wanted to date him or sleep with him. Part of the reason for this was most likely gratitude that he followed up my funeral dirge with some popular party music.

Immediately after THP sang, my friend Apollo with the huge biceps swaggered up to the microphone and sang something. I don't remember what it was, but I remember his black muscle shirt. Another crowd pleaser.

I have always had a problem with karaoke selections. I tend to choose whatever I feel like singing, rather than keeping my audience in mind. It's horrible of me to inflict my taste in music on others. And I have done my share of inflicting, believe me. That's why my friends keep me in line if I dare to make fun of a karaoke singer (unless it is Monster).

The last time I heckled someone, my friends simply burst into a chorus of "Heat of the Moment" by Asia to humble me and remind me of my most humiliating karaoke moment. (How was I supposed to remember that the final two minutes of that song are a repetition of the phrase "heat of the moment" in a pitch way too high for my baritone voice?)

I am the man to come to if you need a song to kill a party. Sometimes I receive requests for song dedications. For example, only last week someone asked me to sing a song for their dead friend. I sang Josh Groban's "To Where You Are".

Great funeral song... not so good to dance to.

One week I tried "Earth Angel" thinking that there was no possible way that could be a downer. As I left the stage I noticed a woman crying. Tears were streaking down her face as she told me that her son sang that song at her wedding to her second husband.

I give up. I'm sorry for making everybody cry when I sing. But if you need a song for your dead friend, give me a shout.

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