Monday, 25 May 2015

Karaoke Memories, Part 1

Do you like karaoke? I enjoy it every once in awhile. Over the years I've had three memorable karaoke experiences which I'm going to share with you this week.


The first time I ever experienced karaoke was in The Peg about 25 years ago. The karaoke fad had just come to Canada and was all the rage. So when Winnipeg's local lesbian bar, Ms Purdy's, advertised a karaoke night, a friend and I made sure to attend. We got there early too because the joint was packed!

Speaking of Ms Purdy's, here's a photo I took of it around the same time period. It wasn't quite as seedy inside as it looked from the outside, LOL! Ms Purdy's was a small place but managed to pack in a pool table, a good-sized stand-up bar, about a dozen tables and chairs and a small mirrored dance floor. Its windows were, of course, unbreakable one-way glass so we could see out but no one on the street could see in. The front door led into a security foyer where you'd first have to run the gauntlet of a couple of big dyke bouncers before being allowed into the bar itself. The purpose of that was to keep out gaybashers, religious nuts seeking to condemn us and/or save our souls, irate husbands/boyfriends looking for their AWOL wives/girlfriends, and men of all descriptions.


[Photo © Debra She Who Seeks, 1990]

Anyway, back to karaoke . . . .

A number of women got up and sang a few songs. OMG, they were dreadful! But everyone, being Canadians and members of the Sisterhood, clapped politely and did not boo them off the stage. Finally, at the end of the rather desultory evening, a chunky middle-aged lez with short salt & pepper hair went up to the front. She grabbed that mic and proceeded to just blow everyone away with an absolutely rockin' rendition of "Old Time Rock & Roll."



The whole bar erupted sky-high with clapping, stomping and cheering! She shut the place down too because no one had the nerve to follow that act at the karaoke machine, LOL! Later I heard that 10-15 years earlier, she had been one of the lead singers in a popular Winnipeg tribute band. And man, she still had it, baby!

Next post -- Karaoke at the Old Bastards Club

36 comments:

greekwitch said...

Haha! I love the Canadian politeness! I am a soprano and yet I have never had the karaoke experience!

DEZMOND said...

never been to one... but sounds ever so amusing!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Hahahaha! Good old Canadian politeness. You gotta love that.

I enjoy a little karaoke, too. To watch, not to participate!

Mark said...

I'm not much of a karaoke person myself to be honest but I hear it's still kind of popular on Canada. At least, most Canadians I know talk about it and go regularly. I could just happen to know all the only Canadians that do.

Adam said...

I've never really tried it

A Beer For The Shower said...

Proof that when it comes to singing, looks can be deceiving. I love karaoke, so much so that I had it at my wedding instead of dancing. It was a damn good time.

RO said...

I'm a watcher, not a doer, when it comes to karaoke, but it's always a fun time. Love your story! Hugs...Ro

turquoisemoon said...

I can't even sing a decent rendition of "Happy Birthday"...hahaha!

Insomniac’s Attic said...

After six months of trying to sleep through Karaoke every Thursday night at the Rockyview Hotel, I can honestly say I am no longer a fan. Joan Jett's I Love Rock 'n Roll has been pretty much ruined for me too. ;)

mistress maddie said...

I do like karaoke, to watch. I love it when someone gets up there and there really good, or make a fool of them selves because their tanked!

heartinhand said...

We used to have a karaoke machine when our kids were small. One memorable night, we had friends over and my friend Jeanette and I sang Crazy by Patsy Cline. Everyone else quit singing after that. The only time I've ever done it publicly was when a girlfriend was getting married, she forced us to get up and sing Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton. It was hysterical. My kid goes to Karaoke every Thursday, LOVES it.

Anne O'Leary said...

Karaoke bars aren't my thing. My sister loves them and has dragged me to a few and there's always the sloppy drunk, the guy who thinks he's sexy, the girl who thinks she can sing, the lounge lizard and sometimes, there's that one person who actually can sing. And I'd rather see the person that can sing standing in front of a band and doing it.

Jim said...

That was a night to remember! Back in the day, 'those' places had to be guarded and secure. But once inside, it was time to let it all go.
I tried Karaoke a couple of time with someone else....no solos!! It was fun.
Always loved it when someone could outshine and out-sing us all!!

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Love Karaoke bars, and Bob Seger! Thanks for posting up the tune!

The Happy Whisk said...

I've never had the nards, to go up there and sing.

mrsduncanmahogany said...

Oh I recognize that sign!!! Never knew what it was until now! :) My karaoke days were at the St. Vital Hotel when it was pitcher night. Courage in a pitcher dontcha know! :)

JACKIESUE said...

I used to drink a lot..I used to do a lot of drugs to the point that I married a guy while on an acid trip...but never been so drunk or stoned that I would sing karaoke..no fecking way..

Kamyria said...

Ha ha ha, I've enjoyed some karaoke in the past but most of the time with an audience of one: myself. I've accepted that I just don't have what it takes to sing and I choose to not torture others. I love to listen to others though.. lol

laurie said...

wow, thats amazing,

I love the name of that place!!

Jacquelineand.... said...

No, no, nope! I would cry.

Janie Junebug said...

I have never karaoked, but I zou bisou bisou.

Love,
Janie

Guillaume said...

1990 was 25 years ago... You make me feel old.

Leeanna said...

I went to a wedding long time ago when karaoke was all the rage. That was the most fun I ever had at a wedding. Everyone got drunk and thought they could sing. Funny.

Jono said...

Canadian Politeness is a lot like Minnesota Nice. It's a northern thing. Not sure I could get drunk enough to overcome my self consciousness.

Mary said...

I've always wanted to try karaoke, but have never had the guts to get up in front of a crowd. I'm way too wimpy. This sounds like such a cool place!

Michael G D'Agostino said...

Oh I love that song so much. I have a similar story where I was at a karaoke bar with my fellow pub trivia hosts. I didn't know them that well yet, so I was a bit left out of the conversation. On the stage, there were a couple of acts in a row that did slow, boring songs and weren't that great singers. Then my number was called and over the speakers came the first few kick-you-in-the-face notes of Blink 182's All the Small Things. I bounded onto the stage and snatched the microphone from the stand and suddenly everyone was not only paying attention, but really getting into it. I hadn't worked a crowd that well in a long time. When I came back off-stage, everyone was cheering and all the hosts congratulated me and patted me on the back. I was in.

I'm also interested in the idea of those bouncers. How do they guard against religious types etc? Do they have to answer riddles? Do they have to kiss another girl in front of them?

PS - Got your email. All good. Sorry, I haven't been visiting you as much either. But I do find it cool that us bloggers always have so much going on :)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hi Michael -- The religious nuts were often carrying tell-tale bibles. Also, a look of disgust on their faces that they just couldn't hide. We know "the look."

psychelyn said...

Those two described performers were both fun! But what I enjoyedmost in this post was thr description of what the bouncer has to face, lol....all sorts.

Lois said...

Ah - I have never been brave enough... maybe someday!

Vanessa Morgan said...

I love to watch karaoke, even if it's dreadful. I would never sing myself, though. I wouldn't dare do that to people :)

Missy George said...

I would never have the guts!! Kinda wish others didn't either..They can be awful..but entertaining..Have a super week

Miss Val's Creations said...

Karaoke is always entertaining! Then there is that random person who can actually sing!

Weekend-Windup said...

Nice to know about Karaoke...

Riot Kitty said...

I've never done it, but I'd like to see yours!

Magaly Guerrero said...

My enormous hair and I have been known to delight in Karaoke night (and bring Gloria Trevi, Cher and Tina Turner to the house *cough*).

Rommy said...

I actually used karaoke to propose to my husband :) LOL, I don't remember how I sounded, but he did say yes.