Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bucket List #9 - Karaoke

I keep a bucket list (don't worry, you will get to see the whole list publish on New Year's Day).  Item #9 on my bucket list is to find a karaoke bar with one or two select friends to spend the night in.  I won't let just anyone see me karaoke so please consider yourself lucky if you even know about this bucket list item (shit - now everyone reading this blog knows).

First thing ordered will be a bottle of top shelf tequila that we can share before the music gets started.  NO QUERVO - that crap is shit when it comes to good tequilas.  Then we will order a crapload of appetizers to snack on for the next few hours because we are going to need them.  If the bar has popcorn (most dive bars do), we will get several baskets for the table.

Espolõn - One of the best tequilas available

Must Sing Songs

My must sing karaoke songs are a bit out of the box.  Well - I am guessing that they are but hell, since I have never been to a karaoke bar, I wouldn't know.  In my past, I listened to a LOT of Tom Petty and ZZ Top which is why 4 of my top 5 must sing songs come from these artists.  My other song comes from Billy Idol.

Each song has a lot of personal meaning for me.  I have many, many memories surrounding each one of these songs and I am afraid that my words below just won't relay what they really mean to me.

What is funny but really not that surprising is that these songs are coming back to me right now in my life.  I haven't heard many of these songs but Pandora is bringing them back.  The universe has a way of doing this to me.  In the past, the songs helped me grow up or learn to really listen to the meaning of music.  In the present, they are describing my wants and needs right now as I discover my true self.  I can only look forward to what these songs will mean to me in the future but I am guessing it will be something good.

Time for the songs and a bit of background or meaning.

Breakdown - Tom Petty

Holy shit does this song have meaning for me.  When I was a freshman in college, I got the strangest request.  A female upper classman with gigantic breasts (name withheld for obvious reasons) came to see me in my room late on a Friday afternoon.  I thought for sure I was going to get lucky but I was very confused.  This is because I knew she was dating a fellow soccer player.  Still, why she would visit me in my room if it weren't for extra-curricular activities.  It made no sense other than she wanted me (can you see where 98% of my mind was when I was 19 years old - it is still there by the way.  98% of my brain power is occupied by the opposite sex nearly all the time).  Actually the upper classman did want me.  She wanted me to strip for a bachelorette party happening that night.

Way back in 1994 when this occurred if someone said "let's get naked", I was usually the first one nude.  I had a killer body at the time and I knew it.  Getting naked help me cover up my insecurities (go figure).  When the upper classman asked me to strip for the bachelorette party, I tried to pretend I wouldn't do it (I was in before she asked me - remember the 98%).  She finally talked me into it but we had to pick a song.  We landed on Tom Petty's Breakdown.  It was short enough for me to get in and out (pun intended) without much damage to my reputation (everyone already knew I like to show off my body so what was the big deal).  The big road block was that I had soccer practice that night in the gym that I had no idea how long would last.  We arranged a time hoping that I could make it for my show.

I arrived at the dorm room where the bachelorette party was beginning around 8:30pm.  I came in and the women started cheering for me.  They hit the stereo and Breakdown started.  I just let the music take over and my clothes fall off.  I only went down to my boxers but if they had asked for more, I know I would have given it to them (Give it to me baby - listen to the song if you don't know it).  It was a thrill and rush to actually strip to one of my favorite songs and when I hear Breakdown, I still think of that night.

So why karaoke the song?  Well - Breakdown makes me happy.  Very happy.  It comes from a time when I was carefree - sure I still hid my emotions but I was carefree and had a body that I could use to cover up my insecurities.  The only thing I am worried about when I karaoke Breakdown is whether my cloths will stay on or not.  I hope they come off.

Breakway - ZZ Top

I want the answer, I want my soul
I'm dealing with a feeling deeper in love

But I'm helpless, so helpless, but I remember

She keeps saying breakaway

One of my all time favorite songs.  I am not sure if it is in any karaoke bar but I would have to request it.  There is not much to say about this song as it speaks for itself.  It is about a love that just won't let you get away (but you don't really want to).

Cradle of Love - Billy Idol

If there is a man (straight or gay) that grew up in the 1980s that did not like Cradle of Love, I want to have a serious talk with him.  This song was the song that I would sneak into the family room just to see if it was on MTV.  If it was on, I would hope and pray that no one would walk in on me.  No - I was not playing with myself but this song sure does play into any boy's or man's fantasy.

Think about it.  A very attractive woman knocks on your door and asks to use your stereo.  Who would say no to that?  What happens after that - well watch the video below.

Why karaoke this song?  Because it rocks.  Most people know it and you can really get into the lyrics and put some serious emotion into it.  Sing it!

Rock the cradle of love
Rock the cradle of love
Sent from heaven above
That's right
To rock the cradle of love

Stop Draggin' My Heart Around - Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty

I discovered Tom Petty late in life.  It wasn't until my freshman year in college when Mary Jane's Last Dance came out that I really knew who he was (see Breakdown above for more from my freshman year).  I had heard and embraced his song Rebels in high school because our mascot was the Atherton High School Rebel but I had know idea how Tom Petty's music would really reach me in the future.  As a southerner by heart, Tom Petty's music now sings to my soul.  My friends still make fun of my southern roots (they think I am ignorant).

This song is a duet so if you are with me as I check karaoke off my bucket list, you had better be prepared to sing with me.  We will share a microphone and sing this song with great emotion.  Listen to the words.  Stevie Nicks just nails it and Tom - well he always has had that strange but good voice.  I cannot wait to sing this duet with my karaoke partner in crime.

Legs - ZZ Top

Not a typical Karaoke song but a must for me.  Legs is about the underdog.  The beautiful person just waiting to be found.  I relate to this song because I have felt like that outcast, the nerd, the person who just doesn't fit in.  Plus this song was prominent in my youth.  When MTV first started playing videos, I was at the right age to incorporate them into my fantasies.  Just like Cradle of Love above, Legs helped me "grow" up.

Another reason to sing this song at a karaoke bar is this line:  "Oh, I want her, shit I've got to have her, the girl is alright, she's alright".  Just think about about it - this verse has a ton of meaning.  Well it does to me at least.  To me it means that I don't have a choice - I want her, shit I've got to have her.  That is what I get for growing up in the 1980s - songs influenced me in strange ways.

So there you have them - my five top songs that I want to karaoke.  I have no idea even if these songs are available for karaoke but they are on my list.  I am sure I could come up with 100 more songs but these are my top five.

So - when are we headed to the karaoke bar?  

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