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12:43 a.m. - 2004-02-25

OKEY DOKEY KARAOKE

Well there ya go. After a 13 year hiatus, I'm officially a club DJ again.

My first night back in this line of work was ... strange.

To begin with, the club that I'm working at I had never stepped foot in before. Ever. Not even to talk to the owner to get the job. We met in another club.

I'm not sure I'd want to see the place with the lights up.

I introduced myself to one of the bartenders and she was very nice and cordial.

I went to the DJ booth to check out my new home.

I didn't want to touch anything. Everything seemed to be coated in a thin layer of filth.

I put my stuff down and checked out the system itself.

It was primitive, but it was all I needed.

I loaded up a CD and got ... no sound.

Hmmmm.

I asked my new best friend the bartender if she knew how to get the CD player to work.

"Is the power on?" she asked.

... I'm sure she was impressed with the new DJ.

As it turned out ... the second CD player is broken. Don't use that. Use the Karaoke player for your second CD player.

I can deal with this.

But then the microphone didn't work.

And the monitors didn't work.

After an hour of screwing around with the system, I finally got everything fixed.

So as I'm playing the first couple of songs, the Karaoke requests start flowing in.

The first couple of people could sing.

Then came Charlotte and "Diamond Dave".

Charlotte butchered ... and I mean BUTCHERED "Can I Have This Dance" by Anne Murray.

She sounded like she was giving birth to a breached baby on the dance floor.

Up until Charlotte, after people sang, I would say something like "How about a big hand for Bill! Way to go Bill!"

You know ... encourage them a bit. Make them feel special.

After Charlotte, I was stunned.

"Charlotte," I mumbled into the microphone as I cued up the next song.

It was Diamond Dave's turn next and he had Elvis rolling over in his grave as he sang "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" in a voice that couldn't possibly be mistaken for "in tune".

Then ... he walked through the door.

Black Elvis.

Black Elvis is a local legend in these parts.

Factory worker by day and African-American Elvis impersonator by night, the crowd parted when Black Elvis entered the room.

...Mostly due to his choice of cologne that he had bathed in before stopping by.

Apparently, it is customary in my club to shun all other karaoke requests and hand the microphone over to Black Elvis when he graces us with his presence.

Black Elvis travels with his own Karaoke disc, which he whipped out of his faux leather jacket and handed to me.

"Play Track 4" he mumbled.

"Will do, Black Elvis," I responded.

I had never heard this particular Elvis song so in all fairness, I have no idea if Black Elvis tore it up or not.

But he beat the shit out of Diamond Dave, that's for damned sure.

Soaking up the smattering of applause like a high school janitor mopping up piss, Black Elvis turned to me and said "Let it roll."

"Huh?" I countered.

"Let the next song play too," he hissed.

Whatever you say, Black Elvis.

Black Elvis then crooned a little ditty warning everyone to steer clear of his Blue Suede Shoes which garnered him yet another lackadaisical round of applause.

And just as quickly as he appeared, Black Elvis was gone. Into the night like an Elvis impersonator who just happened to be black.

I then met a fairly creepy but nice guitarist who's in a regional band that I had actually heard of.

He hung out at the DJ booth which automatically tells me he's a loser because only losers hang out at the DJ booth. Trust me on this one, kids.

At one point, he wanted to do karaoke to Prince's "Kiss".

I let him.

My God. A heavy metal guitarist has no business trying to cover Prince in a karaoke bar.

He made Charlotte sound like Anne Murray.

After three hours of these shenanigans, I turned the system off, collected my $150 and split.

Now I'm off until Friday night.

Thank God.

It'll take that long to get the stale cigarette smell out of my hair.

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