Mad Micky Bro

If I could combine all the times I have heard “My Way” by Ol Blue Eyes I would have an extra 24 hours at the end of my life; karaoke has been so cruel to me yet so kind. Like all good stories, in a nutshell, I am the nut and this is my shell!

Raised by a single Mum who used to belt out Barbara Streisand, I quickly grew up with a self conscious opinion that I could not talk or project my voice like Mothers and promptly developed a s-s-stutter by the age of 6. Throughout school my grades suffered until I turned 12 but all along I had the uncanny ability to memorise jingles, songs and limericks. That was until I met the most beautiful speech therapist. I never imagined that a woman could be so attractive. Hence my infatuation with older women that continued into my early 30’s.

I was stupid enough to think that an exchange program would broaden my horizons and at the age of 15 jetted off to America for a year in red neck Wisconsin. I came back a wiser yet hateful young man (hated the fact that I didn’t wait out for Denmark or Switzerland!).

Onwards and out of school and still not singing until I was at The Old Settlers Arms Hotel in West Gosford one Friday night. That new Karaoke jive was taking over the world. The year was 1993. I sang two songs to Sarah from radio station 2GO who was moonlighting for extra cash (that older woman thing again!). Those two songs were The Beatles “Get Back” and The Moody Blues “Knights in White Satin”. I WON!…HUH?? There was a prize of $100.00 and evidently someone thought I could sing, but it was not the singing alone; a combination of singing and movement. All of a sudden the world became clearer. I can make money off Karaoke and pay the rent! Next week I lost but the seed was sown. I sought out Karaoke almost every night from Hornsby to Wyong.

I completed the circuits winning (and breaking) hearts as I travelled the Karaoke road however my immaturity shone bright as I would often sing a song I had never sung before in the grand final just to prove Karaoke was about singing stuff you’ve never heard. BIG MISTAKE! As in Idol, it’s all about song selection; not what you want to sing, but what the crowd wants to hear…and to this day I have never sung My Way!

One night in ‘97 or ‘98 I was at a mate’s birthday party at this new theatre restaurant in Erina (Indies Night Spot Restaurant) when, at the end of the show, the host came around singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” – and she sucked! No energy, no passion, no response off the patrons when she would throw the microphone in their faces trying to get them to sing a line. Fate? I was coming up. This was my mate’s birthday and I would give him a night to remember.

I took the mic, NAY, stole it off her and tore the house down! Slithering off people I hardly knew – I was Freddy! But more mad, ruthless in my execution. I sang the rest of the song. The applause was fantastic. Tears from my mate’s Mum and the gob-smacked expression on the host’s face……….priceless! As I was leaving the host pulled me aside and offered me a job! Those were the best 2 years of my life where I learnt the art of entertaining drunks!

Weaving through life I discovered motorcycles and promptly hurt myself BAD! Doctors would soon take me off the morphine as the ward was in stitches with my impersonations of Grandpa Simpson. After learning to wheelie a 200kg motorcycle properly, I decided to combine the art of stunting with Karaoke. The only stage I found big enough was the drag racing set. No R.S.L would let my bike on-stage. Bastards!

I had a chance offer to sing in a Metallica tribute band but the other musicians were so busy rehearsing we never did a gig. Karaoke was calling me once again. Being a local Karaoke superstar is OK, but trying to live a normal life with people getting up you for not showing up last Friday when they specifically brought their family up from Sydney to see me “perform”, as they put it, is a little bit concerning. Have I become public property? Didn’t they know I was with that older woman last Friday, Saturday and Sunday? I have needs too, damn you!

KaraokeThe Bro has been good to me, fantastic actually. It has boosted my bank account, got me overseas, interstate and even on TV a few times. But of all those little triumphs nothing has come close to being head hunted by STEAM. Through word of mouth the most powerful tool known to man (now the second most powerful tool known to man due to this interweb thingy), they came, they saw, they liked…me and I became a STEAMER.

From a stuttering kid who hid behind his Mum’s skirt to what you see now.. who woulda thunk it?

P.S I am over older women now.