Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thank You Long Island!

I admit that I must confuse people. I mean, here I am - radio guy, supposedly outgoing and garrulous.

And sometimes painfully shy.

Among the many people who have been looking out for me has been my once and forever Section 5 compadre Mick. He reached out to me a few days back to invite me to a friend's party. Intrigued, and in need of a night out like that, I accepted. With the party's theme being a luau, I even donned a Hawaiian shirt. I tried to not think about going to this strange land where I would know exactly two people - Mick and his wife, Gretchen.

The party was already rolling when we pulled up around 7:00 PM. Mick was gracious in introducing this strange character to all of their assembled friends. The houses owner, James, has quite the collection of "man toys", most notably a completely refurbished arcade game machine, loaded with some 3000 games. This was clearly the place for the guys to be.

That is, until Rock Band came out.

You know by now what a music nut I am, and I've been intrigued by Rock Band and Guitar Hero for some time. So the chance to watch everyone play it was cool. But I knew, eventually, the question would come up.

"Why don't you play?"

I wasn't up to trying the guitar or drums. Not yet - maybe some other time. The third option was to sing, but while I like to believe that I have a decent voice, I didn't want anyone to hear it. Plus most of the songs that I would consider belting out had already been done.

Mick was persistent. I know he would have let up if I said to, and I must admit that my eyes were really dry (a long day of contact lens wearing), so seeing the TV screen was a semi-chore.

It was time to make a decision. Could the tired, quiet stranger from the northern suburbs bring himself to step out his shell and rock out with his dignity out? I took the microphone and the Wii controller and began to scan the songs. The truth is, I had already been considering what song I would do and was pretty sure of my choice. I had been rehearsing the lyrics in my brain and wondering what potential notes might get me. One last decision: would I go "all-in?" That is, would I sing, or would I sound like every other tone deaf person? Would I try to carry a tune?

I made my choice, took a deep breath, tried to ignore my now racing heart, and sang the first verse...
Ever since I was a young boy
I've played the silver ball
From Soho down to Brighton
I must have played them all
But I ain't seen nothing like him
In any amusement hall
That deaf, dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pinball
I was a "Pinball Wizard."

I wondered how pained Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend might be. I feared the ghosts of Keith Moon and John Entwistle.

I tried to stay ahead of the game - prepping mentally for "How do you think he does it", one of the song's higher notes...that is until, "Even at my favorite table, he can't beat my best." I didn't want to go all "Peter Brady" on the crowd.

In the end, only a few people actually listened. In truth, nobody cared. I got a favorable review from Mick and it was over. Had there been another song to my liking, I would have done another. But alas, it was time for the concert after-party. You know - groupies, libations, herbal refreshments. I'm sure one of the attractive ladies at the party wanted my company, right? Mick, Gretchen, and I soon left. My backstage pass was the set of car keys in my pocket.

The glamorous life of Rob Adams, rock star, included a brief nap at the park and ride off Exit 4 of Interstate 684 (nope - no tour bus for me). I arrived home at 3:00 AM.

Onto Sunday. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.


Sean G. Kilkelly said...

Forget singing...using the word 'garrulous' is really what's cool!

Rob Adams said...

I used that word just for you!

I was hoping you'd be impressed with my song choice. Seriously, there was nothing left at that point - at least nothing that interested me.