I love to sing. Ever since I was about two years old, I would sing. I have my mom to thank for that.
I remember sitting in her bedroom (where the only tape player was in the house–part of her alarm clock) and would go through her country and christian music collection and just sing my heart out. From Dolly Parton, to the Judds, to Sandy Patti, Twila Paris. As I grew older I moved on over to my sisters room, where the only record player (that I could use) was. There I would listen to Debi Gibson, Whitney Houston and Tiffany. I would stand on her bed and sing and dance. I just loved music and still do to this day.
As I got older, my best friend Rachel introduced me to the world of Karaoke and my very best friend Terri Midkiff. Terri ran a karaoke show at the Eagles Club in St. Paul off Mounds Blvd.
There is where I met Amy.
I won’t go into details on that, but we went to the Eagles club for years where I was Mr. Hotshit. As soon as I would walk in the door, I would get requests to sing this song or that.
For someone who was the brunt of a lot of evil in High School, this put me on cloud nine and really made me feel good about myself. Here I was welcomed and encouraged and my self-confidence bloomed. Of course, my wife will say at times I was a ‘primadonna’ (but I think we all knew that!).
We then followed Terri to the VFW in St. Louis Park, then Roberts on 10, until she moved away to Annandale. So our regular Friday Night Karaoke came to an end.
So when we get the chance, we head up to Annandale where she lives and occasionally does Karaoke at the bar that she works at.
So, this past Friday Night that is where Amy and I were. At JJs bar in Annandale.
We arrived around 8:30 at Terri’s house and headed over to the bar a little after 9 p.m.
The bar has three parts to it, a front bar, a side room with tables and a back bar with a stage where the band/karaoke play. We were the only people in the back, and only 3 or 4 people in the front of the bar.
We hung our for an hour or so, just listening to music, until Tyler, one of her sound guys (he helps run the house system and lives with Terri) asked when we were gonna start. I told Terri I didn’t feel like singing (yeah…riiiiight).
Amy and Terri hijacked my song slips (yep, I have a permenant/laminated set of Terri’s songs that I sing that I bring with me) and they went through and picked out what I was gonna sing.
So we started out. The rotation went: Terri, Bert, Amy, Tyler, Terri, Bert, Amy, Tyler (from 11–1:30am).
So we got to sing a lot! I can’t remember what everyone sang, but I know that at one point Amy Sang “Something in Red”, Terri Sang “455 Rocket” (one of our favs), Tyler sang “My Own Worst Enemy” and I sang, well alot. (Click on the links to here the songs..I recorded them with my iPhone…click here for me doing Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia) Terri and I even did a Duet of Creeque Alley. Once I learned the song, she wanted help with the higher parts and there is one low part that she just couldn’t get…well, we sang it twice, I wish I had the first recording where she swears when she misses that part and we start over! LOL)
We had a blast, and as other bars closed early, people headed over to JJs and so we got a few more singers.
Now, I sing high. I always have. Growing up to the artists above I am just used to singing high. Now being married, having kids (if you know what I mean) has dropped my range, but only a little. I sing stuff like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Dixie Chicks, Pat Benetar, Tina Turner, etc. The only guy song I sing is Chris Isaac’s Wicked Game.
As I am up on stage singing, Amy and Terri can hear people make comments that I am gay, or this-or-that. Terri, bless her, always makes a statement after I sing one of my “power” songs of, “I know what your thinking and no he’s not, his wife Amy is up next!”
But after awhile it starts to get really old. Especially people who have seen me sing before and KNOW the real truth. For instance last night.
There is this guy who goes by the name “Night Train” (Or used to). He is a regular at JJs. First off, this guy CANNOT sing. At one point in his life, maybe, but not anymore. He showed up at opening time, saw that only we were there and left…Terri said, “There wasn’t enough people for him, so he left.”
He came back around 1:30 a.m. and put some songs in. Well, I went up to sing my last song, for Terri, Celine Dion’s version of “All By Myself”. My power song.
While I am up there, Amy is sittiing at our table, and right in fron of our table is a railing with a small table attached to the whole thing, and chairs.
This guy, starts going down the row, making sure everyone sitting there, knows I am “gay”. At one point he tells someone, “Look at the Chromosom’s on this guy, some one has a few extra Ys.” (Stop and look at that for a moment…what a dumbass.…he just said the opposite of what he meant. I am MORE manly! He meant Xs.)
Amy could hear him the entire time and just stared him down, and he kept looking at her to see if she could hear him. Well, we almost had a bar brawl. She was holding her water glass and as he is talking, she lifted it up and pulled it back, then caught herself and forced her to put it down. She was so ready to throw it at his head. She told our friend Mark, (one of Terri’s sound guys) and he told her she should have.
So when she heard that, she was hoping I would nail the song, becuase obviously this guy was insecure in his abilities. And since the music (to her) appear quiet, she was worried, it would just be more fuel for this guy. Well, no worries, I nailed it. Terri made her usual statement and I say down.
Amy alerted me afterward and told Terri as well, before we left (which was shortly after).
All in all I had a good night and am glad I hit that song, so I could, in my own way, get back at the guy. But it just gets old and tiresome. Amy and I talked on the way home about how small-minded people are, and how sad, that it always seems to get worse, the more north or south you go from the cities.
I facebook’d about it, and WOW the support I received from my online friends. I appreciate them so much!
Some people wanted to see Amy and I sing, so here is your chance. I realized that I have quite a few places online where Amy and I are posted. So here they are (just be kind, some of these recordings are crappy or from a time that I didn’t know what I was doing to adjust sound).
Terri’s Site: www.terrioke.com (check out the media tab–samples are under our photos)
Google Video: My Birthday Party & Slide Show (Birthday video has live recording of us, slideshow as recordings of me singing when I was 6 and then now. I was just listening to the recording of me doing Greatest Love of All, when I was 6 or 8, and how I still hadn’t learned when to breath and swallow…so there is ‘gaps’ in my singing! lol)