Many years ago, when I was impersonating a host on the QVC Cable Shopping Channel, someone in merchandising thought it might be a good idea to offer a Karoke machine to the general public. To my knowledge, no retailer had previously made such a device available, or done more with a single product to horrify the sensibilities of professional musicians around the world. It was my honor to introduce this product to my narcoleptic and unsuspecting audience, sometime after midnight, in the summer of 1990.
Ever since, the Karoke machine has enabled millions of aspiring American Idols – once content to simply lip-synch into a hairbrush as Rush played in their headphones – to sing along into an actual microphone; a microphone attached to an actual amplifier; an amplifier attached to an actual speaker; a speaker attached to a surprisingly robust volume control. Those looking for signs of the apocalypse, found one in the early Karoke machines – a device my old music teacher called “the democratization of noise.” And those looking for proof that I sold out long before I started crawling through sewers, can find it on You Tube, as I did my level best to hawk these turds in the wee small hours of the QVC morning.
Here then, for your amazement and amusement, is a very old audio recording of yours truly, singing what used to be one of my favorite songs, on an unlikely collection of tunes recorded by my fellow show hosts. Why I agreed to participate in such a doomed and hapless project is proof positive that once upon a time, I really was a team player. Why I’m posting it now might be indicative of an even deeper character flaw. Then again, maybe it’s just my way of saying Happy Valentine’s Day. Though I secretly despise all Hallmark holidays, I can’t help but think that this particular song combines my disdain for the occasion, with my sincere wish that you enjoy it anyway.
So crank it up, and feel free to sing along.