I originally started karaoke by helping Chicken John with his Porn-E-Oke shows in 2000. He would runs his Porn-E-Oke shows off of a disc player that had a feature that allowed him to make the background color of the karaoke transparent. Chicken would then play porn videos that he got from Leather Tong Videos behind the karaoke text. It was a lot of work finding the right karaoke disc and managing the videos etc. and he asked me if I could figure out how to computerize it. The software to do Porn-E-Oke did not exist at the time, but I did manage to computerize his karaoke set-up and helped him set up a computerized karaoke system when he opened the Odeon Bar in 2001.
I had rediculous stage fright at the time, so I never sang. I was just the techie guy Chicken would ask for help on stuff. I had had a very traumatic karaoke experience years prior and really NEVER sang karaoke or even got near a microphone at any of Chicken John’s shows. So I started out my karaoke career as a karaoke tech-guy who never sang.
A couple of years after Chicken started doing his regular Porn-E-Oke shows and after at least 4 years of Chicken John watching me cower away from any stage, especially if there was a microphone on it, he recommended that I host karaoke on my Monday night bartender shift at the Odeon Bar! There was a “Self Service DJ” night on those nights and we needed to change things up to discourage the rowdy elements of the crowd that was showing up to play their records. Besides, the Odeon was all about bad entertainment and they were playing records that did not fit with what we were doing there.
Karaoke was really the perfect thing for the night and I had all the skills except for the fact that I was scared of the mic. Well, there is nothing like getting throw into something head first. We called it “Bad Karaoke Night” and it worked like a charm. My signature songs were the Roberta Flack version Killing Me Softly and Bette Midler’s The Rose. People stood on the bar and sang horribly off key. The San Francisco Chronicle even did an article featuring my “Bad Karaoke Night” in their entertainment sections. The article was titled Bad to the funny bone Purposely awful poetry, karaoke, stand-up find willing participants, appreciative audiences.
Ten years later and I am now a full time karaoke host. And now you know the rest of the story:).