Monday, June 04, 2007

I’ve Been Dying To Sing That

Next time I find myself in the Philippines, remind me not to sing Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ down at the Karaoke bar. Without offending anyone, maybe I should just stay out of the Karaoke bar altogether. The AFP news service reported over the weekend that a man in the Philippines was shot dead in the chest by a security guard who was upset that the karaoke singer was off tune. The story said that shootings and even deaths are not uncommon in karaoke bars in the Philippines and that ‘My Way’ has been removed from many bars because of the fights it causes. Isn’t it ironic that a song about doing things one person’s way can cause so many other people to get upset? Maybe everyone should start singing John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace A Chance’ or better yet, ‘Instant Karma.’ Or maybe not.

I got dirty looks once from a cowboy when I sang ‘All My Exes Live In Texas’ before he could, but I’ve never been threatened with firearms or violence because of my singing. And believe me, I’ve been to a lot of karaoke bars and am pretty sure that I have yet to sing what other people might refer to as ‘in tune.’ I have also performed ‘Copa Cabana’ complete with hokey choreography, sang Joe Cocker songs horribly while doing John Belushi’s impersonation of him, a Mick Jagger impersonation and a duet on ‘To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before.’ Yet despite of all of that, I’m still alive.

Call me stupid but if I was in a Karaoke bar where people were getting the Kelly Clarkson beat out of them for singing poorly or they knew they were in a bar where this had happened before, it would deter me from getting up to perform. For liability reasons are these bars required to put up a sign that says the owners are not liable for death or injury resulting from poor William Hung type singing? Do the karaoke machines have labels warning that improper use of them can be fatal? Imagine getting ready to hit the karaoke bar for the night and having to make out your will prior to leaving. I guess my friends and I are different because when we see a bad karaoke singer we just laugh, or sing along. Until now, violence had never occurred to me, not that I would resort to it now or anything like that. I’m just saying I hadn’t thought of it before and now that I have thought of it, I wouldn’t resort to it. In any case, I better call my lawyer.

I wonder how someone like Bob Dylan or maybe even David Hassellhoff would fare when singing in front of people who like to beat bad singers up. Maybe there is a happy non-violent medium that can be reached to stop senseless karaoke related casualties. By the way, why is it called a casualty when there is nothing casual about being injured, especially in battle? Shouldn’t it be called something more appropriate like an ‘uncomfortability’ or ‘inconvenience?’ At any rate, what if it was decided that bad or out of tune karaoke singers just get fruit or vegetables thrown at them? It doesn’t even have to be rotten produce; cheap discounted produce would do just fine.

Do the throngs of poor karaoke singers deserve to perform publicly like everyone else? Well, only if they can afford it. Ok, that was a bad joke. I should have asked if poorly singing karaoke performers have the right to serenade in public (and by serenade I mean wail like wounded geese who are about to give birth to full-grown pelicans). Like a ride at Disneyland that you aren’t tall enough to get on, should there be some type of pre-qualifying to be allowed to participate in Karaoke? If that were ever to happen, less than 25% of the world’s population would get to participate in the wonders of karaoke. I guess that’s ok though since the other 75% would just end up auditioning for American Idol anyway.

Now I will admit that my life has been threatened by the folks that I have done karaoke with. Perhaps that’s because in the middle of a song or right before a song I grab them to get up and sing with me. This of course always prompts a response of ‘Michael, I swear I am going to kill you when we’re done,’ but so far the threats have been hollow. With this new threat of full contact, retaliatory karaoke singing, I may have to be a little more cautious next time I’m out singing away in front of complete strangers. I guess I have performed ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ publicly for the very last time.

17 comments:

mist1 said...

No one beats The Hoff.

Which is really too bad. He could use a beating.

Michael C said...

I wonder if he was drowning on a Southern California beach if anyone would dive in to rescue him...imagine the irony if no one did.

Lizza said...

This is one of the reasons why I don't do karaoke, I value my life too much. There's a karaoke joint at nearly every street corner here, but murder doesn't happen in each one. Another thing, every karaoke bar I've been to, someone always sings My Way. Haven't seen anyone shot for doing it though, thank heavens. :-D

Michael C said...

Lizza: I was hoping you would weigh in to shed some light on all of this. I thought of you while writing it. I guess I can sing 'My Way' if I ever head to you wonderful nation. Woo Hoo!!
;-)

FRIGGA said...

I wouldn't survive, that's for sure!

Michael C said...

Frigga: Don't worry. I'm pretty bad too. ;-)

Patti said...

I think they invented karaoke after my time in "the bar scene."

oh well. I can't sing anyway.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I think I will be thinking twice before going out to the karoke bars from now on.

Not that I sing karaoke or anything like that. ;)

captain corky said...

"I wonder how someone like Bob Dylan or maybe even David Hassellhoff would fare when singing in front of people who like to beat bad singers up".

There's just something about this sentance that I really like.

Michael C said...

Patti: Give it a try. You will enjoy it a lot!

Silver: Just do what I do: sing away and don't make eye contact with anyone.

Captain: My guess is that they wouldn't fare too well.

Odat said...

LOL...I love to sing and I sing really awful...but like you, that does not deter me from singing into any microphone that's put in front of me....I've been cringed at but never shot at!!!! (yet)
Peace

Michael C said...

Odat: Wait a minute, you mean we need a microphone to sing into? Oops, I've been using anything that has a handle...

AndreAnna said...

I've only been to karaoke a handful of times and never sang. Though I am the next American Idol in the shower or while driving alone, I am sure I would be shot in the face if I tried to sing in public.

Stacey said...

At my local karaoke bar they sing Sinatra, but never "My Way." Every night you WILL hear "That's Life" and maybe "Luck Be a Lady" though.

CS said...

I don;t do karaoke because I value other's right not to hear me sing, but wow, what an insane reaction to a bit of bad music!

Michael C said...

AndreAnna: I think I won a Grammy once while singing and driving alone. Ironically, I was singing Neil Diamond's 'Solitary Man.'

Stacey: I've done 'That's Life' a few times.

CS: That is very considerate of you. Perhaps we should all be that thoughtful ;-)

kat said...

Holy fucking shit I can't beliee that someone was shot for singing out of tune.

Good thing that motherfucker wasn't at my birthday party on Saturday night - half my friends would be dead.