Tag Archives: air guitar/air drum performance

I am officially semi-retired from performing

Greetings, readers. Although I am not discounting doing standup comedy or some other kind of light entertainment for the residents of Addison Court, my days of performing KISS tribute shows are now over. This morning I could barely get my hoodie over my aching shoulders. Rebecca made a good point when she mentioned that I was like someone who had never gone to a gym before and tried to lift every weight in the place for three solid hours. I expected to hurt today … but not quite this bad. Lol.

In my last rehearsal, in the wee hours of yesterday morning, I realized I did not know the words to “King of the Night Time World” as well as I needed to, so, yes, at the very last second the song “Watchin’ You” was added in its place. This is something I have never done before. Usually my playlist is set in stone two week’s in advance.

After fingernails were painted black and make-up was applied I was primed and ready to go. Only one problem. The pizzas had not arrived yet. So I held my position while Mike checked the lobby door again, and again, and again. I was trying to keep my face war-paint a secret, but from my perch I could tell that we had a full room. Eventually I had to tell Mike please just hit the play button. We couldn’t let the folks wait endlessly.

It was quite a surprise when I came out to my first song, “Deuce.” I was full of energy and I was raring to go. At the end of the third song, “Ladies Room,” I was most happy that I had my water bottle, with a hefty splash of grape flavored 5 Hour Energy, because I knew that my energy levels were already declining. Even though the face-paint job looked good, my lipstick application, that I did myself, did not turn out as planned, and every time I took a sip of water, more of the lipstick got stuck in the bottle’s drinking hole. After a while I began to taste grape with lipstick. Not a good combination.

I must say that Mike Weaver stole the show. Where I performed a KISS tribute show, where not many people know the words to the songs, Mike chose soft rock numbers and had the entire audience singing along. Even our friend Julie, who knew the hand signals to “YMCA,” came up front and helped the crowd follow along with the song. My friend Smith told me at the time that Mike was having the time of his life and he was so happy that I included him in the show. I think I will be turning the entertainment over to Mike the next time around while I do the half-time show. Folks, I’m gettin’ to old for this kind of thing.

Well, there is today’s blog entry. After Rebecca and I are done, I will relax the rest of the day. This morning I was up in arms thinking I had a dentist’s cleaning appointment this afternoon, where I would have been horribly uncomfortable in their chair, but I found out that appointment is not until next Thursday. Yay! Around 1:00pm will begin R & R time. I might listen to the show’s playlist one last time for pleasure before erasing it from Spotify.

Until Sunday, when I dictate a new entry, have a great couple of days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

P.S. Thanks to Rebecca, for catching the goofs that the auto reader on my speech recognition program failed to catch on Sunday.

One week to go before what could be my final musical performance

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe I only have one week to go until the big day, my KISS tribute show in the Addison Court apartment’s community room. I had two months, I blinked and sneezed and all that time went away. Seven days is not much time when you’ve only had two full-scale rehearsals, one of which was ruined by an argument with an outside party. I’m going to practice in my room this afternoon and I hope to have at least one more full-scale rehearsal down in the community room; possibly this weekend. With the aid of a lot of prayers, and some 5 Hour Energy shots, combined with lots of agua, I think I can pull it off.

I’ve had to be very careful in selecting my playlist. The song “Take Me” almost had to go, for its first two lines are, “Put your hand in my pocket and grab onto my rocket.”  Yes, I want to imitate my favorite band, but I also don’t want to embarrass any of my friends of the female gender. This is why I did not include songs such as, “Love Gun,” and “Rocket Ride.” I think I’ve selected a very good playlist, with most of KISS’s famous standards well represented. From “Strutter” to “Detroit Rock City”, from “Calling Dr. Love” to “Rock and Roll All Nite,” I think I have chosen the ultimate assortment.

After we publish today’s blog entry and have our weekly meeting, Rebecca and I are going to Amazon to find some stage props, in the form of posters. I think it will help the audience who don’t know KISS well to see an image of whom I am portraying. If I can find four posters or T-shirts for a decent price, I’m going to make the purchase. When we get on the site, I’ll have to hunt for a good deal. If not, I’ll dig out my old record albums and use those.

I’m 53 years old now, with an aching right shoulder, bad hips and feet. But hell, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are in their late 60s. If they can do it, so can I. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

There’s our blog entry for today. I shall post another new one on Sunday; on a brighter topic than last weekend. Rebecca and I will be back on Thursday. If my show turns out well and is recorded I intend to put it on either my Facebook page, YouTube, or both. Wouldn’t it be a gas if one of the members of KISS somehow saw this tribute? That would be awesome! 😉

Until Sunday, have a great week and early weekend, bundle up if you are in the cold, spread love around, and as always happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe performed the Beatles last week

Joe gave another of his shows last Friday, April 10, 2015 in the community room of Addison Court, and it was a good one. He did air guitar and air drums to some of the songs and sang all of them. His playlist was mostly early to mid Beatles music, with a few songs from other artists included. Joe started the show with a disclaimer to the audience; he used a music service called Spotify which does not own the rights to the original Beatles music, but does have a cover band called the Coverbeats. He said that the Coverbeats are a good band that sound enough like the Beatles for the show to work, and I agree. I could not tell the difference during the show.

Joe started the music with a tribute to the veterans in the audience by playing the “Star Spangled Banner.” In a spontaneous moment, when the anthem began, all dozen of us stood up and put our hands over our hearts, for the duration of the song. Joe followed the anthem with the sound of fighter jets flying overhead. He finished the tribute with a song called “Real American,” also known as the Hulk Hogan theme.

Joe had a different format this time, where he performed three songs at a time then took a minute to catch his breath and introduce the next three songs. I think it worked very well and kept the show moving a bit faster than in the past.

His first trio of Beatles songs was “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Should Have Known Better.” The performer chose a mix of well-known as well as lessor-known songs from the Beatles. Selections in the first half included “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “We Can Work it Out,” “If I Fell,” and “Boys.” He finished the set with the trio “Come Together,” “Slow Down,” and “Roll Over Beethoven.”

Joe had invited a few friends from outside the building to come, and a couple did arrive during the break between sets. Joe had put a few songs on the playlist that he would do for friends who showed up, so the second set began with two of those. “The Love Boat theme” and “Billie Jean” got people back from the break for the rest of the show.

Then the first trio of the second set was “Love Me Do,” “Eight Days a Week,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” Other songs included “Ticket to Ride,” “Act Naturally,” “Twist and Shout,” and “She Loves You.” Joe included a song that meant a lot to him, “Yesterday.” He had played it in a tribute concert for a friend who had passed away, and he performed it in this show again in her honor. Many of the people in the audience remembered this late friend, and were touched by the song. He closed the show with the trio “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” and “St. Pepper’s {reprise}.”

Halfway through the first set, we in the audience started singing along and dancing in our seats. Joe was happy for the participation. Joe performed to ten to fifteen people. Though some came and left as they had to, most stayed.

Joe, as usual, gave the show his all. He didn’t have as much time as usual to practice for this show, due to some unforeseen events that took some of his time in the previous two months, and he did look really tired by the end of the concert. But he made it through to the end, drumming, strumming, and singing to the last note.

From Rebecca: Official report on Joe’s September performance

As readers of this blog know, Joe performed a show of music from the 70s and 80s on September 12th in the community room of Addison Court apartments. We have both mentioned it a few times in the past month. We also put the pictures in the Performance Pictures page of this blog. So forgive us if we are repeating ourselves too much. We have a tradition that when Joe does a performance that I write up a report on it afterwards; two weeks after the performance, here is the official write-up.

The room looked a little empty just before 1:00 pm, but it didn’t take long for it to fill up with people ready to watch and hear Joe. He did more singing this time, with just a bit of air drumming and air guitar, and even less lip-syncing than before. As usual, he practiced a lot for the show. When he did his KISS shows, he knew the words to almost all of their songs, since he has been performing to them since he was a kid. He chose an eclectic selection for this show and though he knew and liked all of them, he didn’t have them memorized as well. He told me that one of the songs he had chosen turned out to have different lyrics than he had been singing all this time! So he had to find and learn lyrics to the songs on his playlist.

One of the songs Joe sang in his first set was one he chose because it reminded him of when he and I would hang out in high school. The school library had a place people could listen to music under headphones, and Joe had a Elton John album he and I would listen to, which included the song “Honky Cat”. Eight songs in to the show, Joe told this story and sang this song. It brought back memories for me too.

 

Joe singing during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe singing during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

He started his first set with the Dominik Hauser version of the Love Boat theme, to get people in the mood. He followed that with “Enjoy Yourself” by The Jackson 5 and “Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt. Other artists he sang to included Highway 101, the Beatles, KC & the Sunshine Band, and the Bee Gees. Joe finished the set with a song from the film Rocky, “You Take My Heart Away” by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. It is a duet and he sang both parts.

 

Joe doing a dance move, for the song Billy Jean by Michael Jackson, during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe doing a dance move, for the song Billy Jean by Michael Jackson, during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

Joe started the second set with “Love Me for a Reason” by the Osmonds. Then he had me speak for a moment while he ducked into the bathroom to change his shirt and put on a dress coat for his next number. He came out, put on one glove (black instead of white because that is what he had) and he was ready. He sang and danced to “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson. He had more dancing in the show, but found out in a rehearsal that he couldn’t do it very well. So this number represented all his dancing. Afterward, he changed back to the other shirt for the rest of the show. This set included “Knock Three Times” by Tony Orlando and Dawn, “The Hustle” by Van McCoy, and “I’ve Got the Music in Me” by Kiki Dee. He finished the show with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”.

In between the sets, Joe took a break while a friend of his did a song. Mike Weaver sang and performed “Take Me Home Country Roads” by John Denver. It was a good performance, and many of us sang softly along with him.

 

Mike Weaver sang and did interpretive dance to a song by John Denver at Joe's show on September 12, 2014.
Mike Weaver sang and did interpretive dance to a song by John Denver at Joe’s show on September 12, 2014.

 

I grew up with these songs, so I really enjoyed hearing them again. As usual, a good time was had by all. Thank you Joe.

 

Joe doing a drum move during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.
Joe doing a drum move during his 70s and 80s show on September 12, 2014.

 

Beautiful late summer day

Greeting, readers. Keeping to my after-camp resolution, I am getting up early and going to bed early. This provides me the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful cool mornings that we had yesterday and today. Although both afternoons were a little steamy, it’s nice to have that contrast between the day’s warmth and the morning’s coolness.

I was so hoping not to get back into my rut of being a night owl. I think I’ve finally broken that habit. I am tired between 10:30 and 11:00 at night and I’m waking up just before my alarm goes off at 6:45. Being a regular at Panera, I love the fact that only the early morning regulars are there at that time. When I arrive at 7:30, I can usually find a table near an outlet for my computer. I get myself my morning coffee and a pastry and I’m set for a nice long morning. Okay, it’s not like fishing in Maine, but it is a nice long morning nevertheless.

After my September 12th performance, I will be writing longhand in the mornings. I have chosen that to be my creative time. I’m really psyched about the upcoming year. As for the current project, the third Bear Spring Camps book, I’ve already had to get rid of a few ideas because those stories have already been told in another form. The one thing I refuse to do it tell the same story over again just to fill up pages. I fully intend to come up with 20 – 26 new stories about my experiences at Bear Spring since the age of five. So stay turned for updates on that.

Lastly, an update on my rehearsing for the show. My singing is coming along quite well, but I have not gone full-scale rehearsal yet. I have permission from the office manager to rehearse tonight in the community room if I keep noise down to a minor dull roar. I need to work on any dancing moves that I can do. My apartment is not big enough to move around in. Hopefully my balance and coordination will allow me to give the folks at my apartment building a good show.

Until Friday, have a good week, take care and happy reading.

Now that the holidays are done …

Greetings, readers. First off, before I forget, four more pics of my musical KISS performance have been added to our new page, which is now called Performance pictures. The name I chose yesterday, Pictures of Joe’s Musical Performances, was too long for the top of the blog, especially compared to the one-word names of the other pages.

I hope everybody had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a wonderful New Year’s Day. I certainly did. As I told Rebecca, I was planning on watching one of the New Year’s Day’s parades, but after a mild case of insomnia after staying up to watch Ryan Seacrest and his co-host of several years Jenny McCarthy drop the ball in Times Square, I just couldn’t get up early enough. So, this is what I did instead. I awakened about 10:00 and immediately put on the Netflix streaming version of Crackling Fireplace. I chose the track with the traditional Christmas music and watched and listened to it for an hour. After that I went to Panera – yes they were open New Year’s Day – and got myself a yummy blueberry muffin and a cup of their wonderful coffee. At 1:30, Rebecca came in to work for a half-day session. After that, I turned on Netflix again and watched a whole slew of my new favorite show in re-runs, Futurama. Never having liked the Simpsons, I didn’t think I would like Futurama either. Oops, who knew? I’m addicted.

New Year’s Day evening was spent losing … I mean playing … John Madden football at the highest difficulty level. Yes, I love a challenge. I decided to get to bed a little bit earlier than usual.

Overall, I would have to give this holiday season from Thanksgiving through yesterday a B+. Last year I was depressed and did not really make my apartment festive. This holiday season was much better. Lights went up, I watched A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott a couple of times, drank lots of egg nog and listened to Christmas tunes. The only thing that would have made this holiday season better would have been if my mom and dad were still here to share it with me. I do miss them everyday of course, but much more on holidays.

The banner image for this blog is currently a shot of Christmas lights around a framed painting that used to hang in my mom and dad’s house, but now hangs in my apartment. This banner will remain up until next Wednesday. That is when Rebecca and I will choose another picture and switch it out.

For all of you who are in the major snow storm this week, take extra care, stay warm, and as always, happy reading.

Blog update – 1/1/2014 :-)

Greetings, readers. As you may know, I [The Mimic] had an air guitar, air drum and vocals show of KISS songs on December 20th. Today Rebecca and I chose some pictures which we added in a brand new page; Performance Pictures. It’s our brand new tab. Here other photos…, once we get through the 1000 +, may still be added. 🙂

Tomorrow, Rebecca and I will be posting a new blog entry. This was just a quick update note from me. Have a great night, pleasant dreams and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe the Mimic put on another performance of KISS songs

Last Friday, December 20, 2013, Joe gave us another performance of air guitar, air drums, lip-syncing, and singing KISS songs in the community room of Addison Court. He did a great job. We remembered to use Gatorade this time, so he did not get dehydrated like the last concert. Joe was once again his persona, the Mimic. Like last time, Joe arranged with a stylist to have his Mimic face make-up and black fingernail polish put on before the 1:00 pm concert, but this time the stylist couldn’t do it. Joe went up there without make-up – The Mimic Unmasked – like the KISS band in the 80s!

Each table had copies of the playlist. Joe greeted the crowd and pointed out that several of the songs in his line-up were new, songs he had not yet done in any concert. This included his first two songs, “Creatures of the Night” and “King of the Night Time World.” He moved from playing one musician to another, literally moving in the performance space, from left stage for one guitarist to right stage for another, to center stage for the lead singer, to sitting down back stage for the drummer. He would move from one position to another within each song, which kept the audience engaged. Some of the other songs on the playlist were “All American Man”, “I Stole Your Love”, “Firehouse”, “The Oath”, “Move On”, and “Shandi.” His final two songs were “Rock ‘N Roll All Nite” and “Black Diamond.”

During the intermission, a friend of Joe’s performed. Terry started at the piano, singing Christmas carols and taking requests. The audience was encouraged to join in to sing the familiar classics, especially “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Then Terry read one of the poems he has written, titled “The Christmas Star”, about the night Jesus Christ was born. It was touching and inspirational.

Then Joe was back for the second half of the show. Sometimes singing, sometimes lip-syncing, sometimes lead vocal, sometimes back-up vocals, arms always moving with air guitar or air drums, he put so much energy into each song. He filled the room with rock and roll.

Joe had photographs taken of the show and we wanted to have some photos in this blog entry. But, Greg Brown shot over a thousand photographs and downloaded them on Joe’s flash drive. We tried to go through them today, but that is a lot of photos and we ran out of time. We will have some photos up in the gallery soon, probably next week. We picked out a number to choose from already, but have a lot more to go.

Joe told me he didn’t do a good job on a few songs, which bothers him, but he sounded great to me. Rock on, Joe!

Snowy start to the winter

Greetings, readers. I live directly across from a parking garage. The other day we had a six-inch snow storm. The following morning I watched snow removal crews quickly try to remove snow from the roof parking area. I wondered what the hurry was. That evening I got my answer. State College received another two inches of snow.

In this age of global warming and climate change, winters here in Central Pennsylvania have not been what I remember as a kid; very cold and very snowy. This year, however, at least for now, it appears that the jet stream is in just the right spot for storms to start on the west coast, dump lots of snow on Denver, continue on in the plains, get more moisture somewhere and deposit that on us. To make a long story short, we have had three snowfalls in three weeks. I’m not happy.

Usually I do not write a blog about the weather, but with my performance coming up on Friday and other personal things going on, I’ve not had time to make a good top ten list or dive into any other topic. After Friday, we will all be able to get back to normal.

Next week, either Rebecca or both of us will let you know how the show turned out. Until soon, take care, have a great day, stay warm, and happy reading.

One week to go until show day

Greetings, readers. I will be doing what is turning out to be my semi-annual show for the residents of my apartment building, a week from today, at 1 p.m. So far rehearsing has gotten off to a very slow start, with not as much progress as I would like. Luckily, all the songs I am doing are from my favorite band, so I should be okay.

Yes, at 1 p.m. next Friday, the 20th, Joe, AKA the Mimic, will perform 21 KISS songs in a show that should last just over 2 hours with a break. Two friends of mine are going to provide what I call half-time entertainment, by singing Christmas carols while I rest and drink Gatorade. I have come to enjoy these shows much more than I ever thought that I would. I am generally a shy person, but under the right circumstances it seems I can be drawn out of my shell. This all started at a friend’s party with a DJ where I sang up to 20 songs Karaoke-style. I learned that these nice folks here at the apartment building like to be entertained and don’t really care if I don’t sing like Frank Sinatra. The motto is just do the best you can.

Since I have been fighting a head cold/sinus infection the last few weeks, my energy has been drained. I should be much more prepared than I am, but we shall see how it goes. I would hate to cancel it at this late stage, but I must be able to breath properly when exerting myself like this.

A slight notation about the weather here in Central PA. It has gotten colder in the last few days and we have had a number of snow storms varying in intensity. Another one is scheduled for tomorrow into Sunday morning. I shall keep my fingers crossed that Thursday night into Friday the weather holds up. I’m hoping to have folks come from out of town to see the show. But of course I would not want them to have to traverse in bad weather.

As for next week, we will have a blog entry of some kind up on Wednesday as usual. From there we will see. It will be a workday Thursday and then show day next Friday. So please readers, wish me luck, keep your fingers crossed. Have a wonderful weekend, stay safe, and happy reading.