I just finished reading Rob Sheffield‘s ode to karaoke, “Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals Of The Rituals Of Love and Karaoke. While it is indeed, a love letter to the joy of your (in)ability to “Sing Your Life“, it is also a love letter to connecting with other humans through your love of singing either “Don’t Stop Believin'” or “Livin’ on A Prayer”. Apparently the key to creating a good karaoke song is omitting the “g” in your song title. In retrospect, perhaps Ed Sheeran should have called his #1 song, “Thinkin’ Out Loud” to ensure karaoke success.
The book is really about the joy of sharing your passion with strangers. It’s why we love to go to concerts. I can mention the band Wilco to many people I know and get a vacant stare. But when they play a show and I’m in a club or theatre full of people that love the same exact thing as I do they will sing all the words to “Heavy Metal Drummer” right along with the band. It’s one of the best feelings in the world because you feel like you’re a member of some secret club and you know the secret songs that most of the world doesn’t even know exist.
Some of Sheffields insights include
Three ages of man
1) He Thinks Rod Stewart is cool
2) He doesn’t think Rod Stewart is cool,
3) He is Rod Stewart
Female Rush fans are called Geddycorns because they are rare and mythical creatures rarely witnessed with your own eyes
He is the Colonel Kurtz of the whole karaoke cult, shining his heart-light right into the heart of darkness
It’s a fun read and just like attending a concert of my favorite artists, it’s nice to know there’s someone out there that has the same insane love of pop as myself.
I’ll end this with a few karoke scenes mentioned in the book, showing that movie stars are just like us, only prettier and with bigger bank accounts.
“When Harry Met Sally”
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan perform “Surrey With The Fringe On Top’ from the musical Oklahoma
“The Cable Guy”
Jim Carrey goes over the top with Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody To Love”
“Rush Hour 2”
Chris Tucker kills it with Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough”
“(500) Days Of Summer”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt sings like everyman for The Pixies “Here Comes Your Man”
“Lost In Translation”
And the brilliant Bill Murray performing Roxy Music’s “More Than This”