In about an hour I am going to dust off my favorite cowboy boots and sweater vest for an evening of Fleetwood Mac at Danny's (my fashion sense is a little more Buckingham than Nicks). I have been experiencing a renaissance of Fleetwood Mac lately. This culminated with the discovery that I love to sing their songs at karaoke.
I'm headed into my third year of frequenting a magical little place I like to call VFW Post 7975 for karaoke and other attractions. This post is not about the Post, mostly because I'm saving it for a short story collection, but more about the few lessons I have learned from karaoke, which like life you have to accept your shortcomings and embrace your strengths. For example, most people love Bruce Springsteen (this is an assumption based on good faith in humankind) but most people can't sing "Born to Run." Yes, it is a great goddamn song, one of the best, but attempting and failing to sing it well will not make your new friends. (Side note: If you do sing it well we should be friends, or better friends. If you sing "Streets of Fire" well we should get matching tattoos). I love Aretha Franklin but I have learned to leave "Do Right Woman" well enough alone. I can sing Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and most of Patsy Cline's hits. Granted, first ladies of country is not my first choice, but I can pull them off and have found satisfaction in doing so. You can imagine my delight in discovering with a friend that we can sing the hell out of "The Chain" and haven't failed with any song off of Rumours to date. These are our first choices and we can kill it on the mic when she sings the Lindsey Buckingham parts and I sing the Stevie Nicks parts (I can't have Buckinham fashions and vocals, that would be too much).
We started with "The Chain" and again while I have to reiterate that we are really good at all of them, I think that is our finest work. You have to know some heartbreak, some loss, some disillusionment to get that song right and it's a real cruncher that we can both belt it out so well. But maybe that's exactly the way to the other side of tough times, through a song, with good friends, and lots of whiskey. Increasingly I think my sentiment is bending toward old cowboy wisdom and I am more than fine with that.