Thursday, September 4, 2014

Words and Music

Today we welcome our first guest Wisdom of the Oldies guest columnist, my dear old friend (since second grade) and the new Karaoke King of South Florida, Jim Borgmann. Jim has written about himself, his love for great oldie goldies and how we all sometimes get the words screwed up. More about what is called "modegreen", mishearing of a phrase, in my next posting. In the meantime enjoy, and thanks Jim!!

A little bit about me before we start.  
I can remember back to my high school days in Miami and how the rock music on the radio (WQAM 560 AM and WFUN 790 AM) seemed to have so much meaning for me. You could literally see your own life in the words of the songs.  It wasn't "soul" music, but it touched your soul if you let it. 

One of the WQAM DJs, Rick Shaw, came to our high school's very first career day and I signed up to see him.  How can you get paid for playing music and touching people's souls?  This had to be too good to be true!  I had to find out from the Master!
Although this was not my ultimate career path, it was a serendipitous moment when almost 45 years later, in 2010, Rick Shaw, George Butticaz, and I formed "Rockin' Again Productions".  This was a "part time" concert promotion company that reunited the old rock bands from the 1960's in South Florida and presented them in concert for the benefit of children's charities. Imagine becoming business partners with a person you idolized as a teen! I had arrived. 

What was really neat was being able to chat with Rick about the oldies in a "one on one" environment.  The stories he told of the groups he had met kept me literally spellbound. The Beatles, Beach Boys, Monkees – he met them all and has a room full of autographed photos with them in his home. That's for another column, though.
Since my retirement as a city manager in 2012, I have been able to relax and do just about anything I want.  Maybe not so strangely, my love of the "Oldies" kept rising to the top of the bucket.  So about a year ago I decided  I should take a crack at being a disk jockey, something I always wanted to do.  Huh?  A 63-year-old wannabe DJ?  Seriously?  Yep! And so I did. But wait, there's more....
Most of you have been somewhere where Karaoke is offered.  And I am also sure most of you have heard some really good singers and some not so good.  (I used to joke that Karaoke is really a Japanese word for "Drunk Americans singing badly".) But for the most part, karaoke singers are very serious about what they do, and I have only begun to appreciate them since I have become a "KJ" (karaoke jockey.)
One of the fun parts of being a KJ is seeing the words on the screen and singing along.  I have been in the middle of a song (yes, I started singing again) when suddenly, the screen has the wrong words!  Well, not really, but they sure ain't the words I have been singing all these years! 

Perhaps the funniest moment occurred several months ago as I was singing "What a Day for a Daydream" by the Lovin' Spoonful. Here are the actual lyrics to one of the verses:
And even if time is passing me by a lot
I couldn't care less about the dues you say I got
Tomorrow I'll pay the dues for dropping my load
A pie in the face for being a sleepy bull dog
Click below to hear the original tune:

I could have sworn on my dear mother's grave that the last line was "And find me a place for being asleep before dawn".  I swear I looked at the screen and truly believed they made up the words!  Those couldn't possibly be the right lyrics.  "A pie in the face for being a sleepy bull dog"?  Seriously?? 
Now, I ask you, how many of you sang the actual lyrics?  How many of you sang them more like I sang them?  I would really love to know!  If you have a song in your head that you always sang wrong before finding out the right lyrics years later, send me an email:  This could be a fun place to chat.

See you next time. 

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