Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Bastard by Motley Crue

When I worked at The Little Oxford Publishing Company on the Hill I had an almost sibling relationship with a girl in my department. Whilst I was more sensible and pragmatic, she was deeply intelligent yet a bit erratic so we got on and hated each other at the same time. My approach meant my Directorial bollockings were less frequent and my pay rises marginally better. Although in that company, this really only meant that my peanuts were dry roasted and hers ready salted.

Anyway, she had perfect punchline to any musical conversation: -

“So what are you having as the first dance at your wedding will it be Bastard by Motley Crue?”
“What are you going to sing at the Karaoke how about Bastard by Motley Crue?”
“I always sing songs to my niece, Row Row Row Your Boat, Incey Wincey Spider, Bastard by Motley Crue.”
“Which tune from Oklahoma shall we sing next, hmm, Bastard by Motley Crue?”

I use it all the time, it’s the perfect way to end any conversation about music. Anyway, I had my first homoerotic experience last week, a mid-week karaoke night in Coventry.

I have no beef with Karaoke, herds of women screeching Summer Lovin’, tribes of men hollering Wonderwall. People seem to enjoy themselves, there’s a sense of fun in humiliating yourself with your mates. It’s safe, it’s silly, it’s what you do from time to time. I wouldn’t do it even if you nailed my scrotum to my feet, but people do it don’t they?

Only this wasn’t that type of Karaoke, this was for regulars, earnest men with delusions of a semi professional singing career clustered round a small dance floor taking it in turns to show us their stuff. Wind Beneath My Wings, Forever in Blue Jeans, Life is a Rollercoaster, and, ulp, Angels.

God it was awful, navigating an axis of Stereophonics and Neil Diamond, each bloke, aged about 50, dressed casually, with the look of the killer about them, would step up, close their eyes in emotional concentration and with a little echo effect from Dave’s Mobile Disco, give it welly. I can’t imagine for a second that they would go back to work on Thursday and tell their mates what they did. They probably don’t tell their wives, it would have been like, I don’t know, buggering farmyard animals or something.

These guys were serious about their seedy hobby; they even did that thing where they moved the microphone away during the long notes. You know, to protect the sound system from their powerful range.

My reticence to engage in this musical S&M meant I was accused of trying to look cool, mainly because I didn’t dance to the bloke in the braces singing Enrique Inglasias’ Hero. I was accused of being miserable because I suggested we threw sugar lumps at the bad people, glasses at the really awful. People were even shocked when I got up to sing, but alas they didn’t have Bastard by Motley Crue.


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