King of Dreams
Harry N Down
The bar is a bit dark. There are booths in a horseshoe around a stage with three TV sets. Two either side of the microphone and one on the floor just in front. We are introduced to Takuchi, whom I will refer to as Doc.
The reason I say Doc is the man, wears these coke bottle bottom glasses that make is eyes look bloody enormous. He is short, or rather shorter than the standard Japanese man is. He is dressed in a suit and has a raspy voice when he speaks. Smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish.
So, by all accounts should do well with Kev and me.
We order drinks and the music plays. There are some very good singers here and we are starting to chill out and relax. This is what Karaoke is all about, relaxing.
Of course, that is until you are asked to get up and sing too. I should have known. Kev, because he is Kev, had bragged that I sing Karaoke well and that I had been in Japan some years before. So guess who got sucked in to sing? Yep! ME!
The BLOODY BASTARD has shafted me again!
Being that I understand the Japanese culture and I do not wish that KEV and I lose face, I agree, but only after a few more beers are consumed.
So let the singing begin.
Being a traditional Karaoke bar it only has five songs in English. I proceed to sing each one to the best of my ability. Judging by the response from the crowd, I am going down a treat. Yesterday by the Beatles, My Way by Frank (The Tank) Sinatra, Can’t Help Falling in Love and Love Me Tender by Elvis Parsley (Whoops I mean) Presley and then the ultimate in music, When the Saints Come Marching In by god knows who.
So in the mean time I get up and sing a song and then some one else gets up and sings. Doc is constantly getting the booze in and telling me it is my turn to sing. Up and down up and down.
After the fifth song, there is no more English songs to be sung. “Thank God! I am done” I say somewhat intoxicated.
“Steve Knows Tombo” Kev offers as Doc looks on.
“I can’t sing that!”
I haven’t sung that since 1991. Bloody Hell mate I don’t even know all the words. Worse still it is in Japanese.”
“You will be alright mate. Have another beer it will all come back to you.”
“I hope” I hear him smirk.
“Get Steve another beer”
“He’ll be fine.” Kev tells Doc slapping his back. “Steve will see you right”
“Always does. Don’t you mate?” Kev looks over my way and I give him that look that could kill.
Doc organises the beer and we sit and listen to this other guy strut his stuff. The crowd applauds and Doc gets a bit pushy for me to get up next.
A mouth full of beer, a burp and I slow make my way to the stage.
Tombo starts up. I close my eyes and remember my time in Japan way back in 1991.
I remember the cherry blossom, the friends I made, the work I did and most of all I remember my first time singing Tombo with Suzuki.
Well Bugga me if the words did not just flow out of my mouth. The emotions I felt then flowed through to the now. I sang with such emotion tears rolled down my cheeks.
For a moment, I thought I saw Koryuki watching on and smiling, clapping her hands.
The song finished and some guy rushed out of the place throwing a temper tantrum. The lights in the booths came up a little and there where people applauding.
For a short time, I felt like a celebrity.
I went back to my seat and supped on my beer. People where asking me to sign stuff from coasters to pieces of paper. What the hell, was going on?
“You Bloody Beauty!” Kev yells at me. “You sure as hell kicked that bastard’s ass.”
I look at Kev in a bemused manner.
“You are the Numero Uno in this place mate!”
“This was a competion?” I ask as another beer comes my way.
“Yes. You were quite good actually.” Kev says in a manner of fact manner.
“Bloody Marvellous.” I sit back as more patrons come to pay their respects.
I do what is expected. We kick back and enjoy the moment. Life for the moment is all-good.
Kev and I enjoy ourselves eating and drinking. “Life’s good eh mate?” He tells me, as another female parks her lips on my cheek. “Yeah mate. But I ain’t getting laid.”
We both laugh and decide that before we both become legless. We should head off to the hotel and finish off there.
To be continued ............,...here