Tag Archives: the Mimic

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.

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Self review of my latest performance at Addison Court

Greetings, readers. On Friday, December 1st, on my late father’s birthday, I performed my latest show for all my friends at Addison Court Apartments. The Mimic (the persona I use for performances) and friend Mike Weaver rocked out to the Beatles and to some Christmas tunes. I performed the live album The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. Here’s my official review.

I started my show rather oddly with the song I was going to do in the middle of the show. My friend Tasha from work, who had every intention of coming but wasn’t able to, wanted me to sing Luke Bryan’s “Move”. For weeks I struggled with it and wasn’t sure rather or not I was going to be able to learn it in time. But once I put that cowboy hat on and the tape was running, I nailed it to the wall. Tasha watched the video I made of it and was deeply moved.

Then I grabbed my sport jacket and began the first segment of the Beatles show, with “Twist and Shout” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. I know these songs like the back of my hand, so not much practice was needed for those. Then came the bugaboo called “She’s a Woman”, sung by Paul McCartney. Though I’ve heard it many times, I really had to study the lyrics; if you’re not careful it can be a tongue twister. Continuing on with songs such as “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”, the show sped along. Before I knew it, it was time for “Roll Over Beethoven”, the last song before my break. Then Mike Weaver took over.

His segment was Christmas carols. My two favorite songs he did were “Jingle Bells” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. He used a small Christmas tree prop and literally walked around it as he performed the song. He also acted out and sang along to “Frosty the Snowman”. (It reminded me of the old 1953 “Frosty the Snowman” short cartoon video from my childhood, which was shown during commercial breaks on my local channel 6 during the Christmas season.) Well done, Mike.

My second Beatles set began with one of my favorite Ringo Starr songs, “Boys”. Not only did I nailed it, I crushed it. I think people could sense that I was really having fun. I followed that with “You Can’t Do That” and later in the set, was a Paul McCartney early classic “All My Loving”. I must admit, I did have a little difficulty with his higher pitch on this song, but I trudged through willingly. Running out of steam, I ended the show with some air drumming and back-up vocals for “Long Tall Sally”. I didn’t quite know all the words because it is a quick song, so I just did the best I could. The response from everyone was quite positive and a couple of people gave me heartfelt compliments on the job I did.

I would have to give myself a solid 8.5 out of 10 for this performance. It was way better than the last one was.

Before I close, within the last week the world lost a dear friend in actor and singer Jim Nabors. I don’t care how many times I watch the Indianapolis 500 from now on, no one will ever be able to duplicate Jim Nabors’ rendition of “(Back Home Again in) Indiana”, which he sang at the beginning of the event for many years. R.I.P to Jim (Gomer Pyle) Nabors.

Rebecca will be blogging tomorrow because I am taking a much needed day off. We’ll be back together next week on our usual Wednesday. So until next time, take care, have a great day, and 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!

I had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas

Greetings, readers. I had an unusually festive and rewarding Christmas Eve. Not only did I do exactly what I wanted to do, but thanks to a service called Zipcar, I was once again able to fulfill my traditional annual light ride around the State College area. As a lot of you know, this tradition dates back to my childhood and is most important to me. I reminisced about Mom and Dad, and the Christmases we shared. Four years ago, I had to do it on a bus on Christmas Eve eve. That went okay until the bus driver asked me aren’t you getting off anywhere? It became horribly awkward as I explained to him that I was looking at the Christmas lights and just waiting for the bus to get back into town. Last year I rented a car from a more traditional company, paid lots of money, got a great car, but thanks to a snow storm the day after Christmas, almost got charged an arm and a leg extra. This year, with my Zipcar membership, I was able to rent the vehicle for only the number of hours I needed it; and even though I extended my reservation, because my friend wanted to find a place to eat, it was still a lot cheaper.

Christmas Day got off to a late start for me and I did not watch the yule log on one of the local TV channels. Netflix has a very similar burning fireplace with Christmas music tracks, so I could start it whenever I wanted, and I watched it about 11:00 am. Keekee and I had a very nice Christmas morning together, and then out of sheer habit I went to Panera cafe and realized as I was approaching the door that they were closed.

After resting in the early afternoon, I used another Zipcar vehicle – they have several in town – to spend some time with Godmother. It was a truly cherished visit, since I don’t know how many more holidays I will have with her. After that it was Christmas dinner at, of all places, McDonald’s. It was the only place open. When I got home at 5:00, I had some eggnog, played some PS3 Football, and took a nap. Along with writing emails and Facebook messages to family and friends, and of course the phone calls, I deemed Christmas 2013 a good solid 9.5 out of 10 for me.

Next Wednesday, Rebecca and I are going to have a half day, leaving me time to watch a parade and perhaps the first half of a football game. That will be after I enjoy the New Year’s Eve activities. I will be watching the ball drop in New York City, on the show Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. As many of you know, this is another of my many traditions; I always like to ring in the New Year with Dick Clark’s show. I might even get myself a bottle of sparkling cider and pretend it is champagne.

We are planning to write a blog tomorrow about my performance last Friday, which turned out to be called The Mimic Unmasked. More on that tomorrow. We plan to add photos too, if we can get that to work. So the blog entry might not be posted until close to 3:00 pm. Until then, take care, stay warm, be well, 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.

Chris Rosenblum CDT article about my memorial lip sync show

Greetings, readers. This is the write up by Mr. Chris Rosenblum of the Centre Daily Times newspaper concerning my memorial show for my late friend Erin Beish. It was an incredibly enjoyable experience and most rewarding. I’m certain that she would have been pleased. Erin always wanted to see KISS but it just wasn’t to be.

This was the first time ever in my lip syncing air guitar “career” that I went all the way by including make-up and black fingernail polish. What follows is the reporter’s actual article from the on-line late Saturday night CDT. What is included is the two-minute video promo of me talking. The photos did not transfer to this blog entry, so you will have to follow the links to see the work of Nabil K. Mark.

Update: 10/11/13 – We just discovered today that these links to the CDT pages do not go to the video or article. Update: 8/26/16 – We removed the links to the CDT pages since they did not go to the content anymore.

Chris Rosenblum | Tribute sealed with a little Kiss

Published: June 15, 2013/

By Chris Rosenblum —crosenbl@centredaily.com

Joe Kockelmans rocked out, his invisible guitar slung low on his hips.

Black and white makeup covered his face like the members of his favorite band, Kiss. His fingernails shone black, the same color of his Kiss T-shirt.

No longer was he a mild-mannered 48-year-old writer.

He was Ace Frehley, lead guitarist, slamming out the solo to “I Stole Your Love” in the community room of the Arnold Addison Court apartment building in State College.

He was a grieving friend remembering a lost soulmate.

He was the Mimic.

That’s his alter ego, his stage persona for the air guitar, lip-syncing performances he’s been doing since childhood. He loves rock, but mild cerebral palsy keeps him from playing real guitars and drums.

For his latest show, he wore a black M on his face, Kiss-style, not for himself.

He did it for Erin.

Erin Beish, an Arnold Addison Court neighbor of his, died in May from cancer at only 34. Also a diehard Kiss fan, she always wanted to see a concert but never had the chance.

Kockelmans, in her memory, filled in the best he could.

“I’m going to give her spirit a show that she would be proud of,” he said the day before his performance.

He chose 18 songs for two sets and downloaded them to his laptop. Studying Kiss concert videos, he picked up mannerisms of original members Frehley, bassist Gene Simmons, rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley and drummer Peter Criss, as well as musicians from later lineups.

In a backroom of Panera Bread downtown, his second home, he rehearsed for weeks. He shaved off his beard.

On the big day, a friend at a salon painted his face. About a dozen friends from the building gathered in the community room. Kockelmans arranged his laptop and two tiny speakers on a table in front.

Then it was showtime.

His audience wasn’t treated to spurting blood or pyrotechnics — just good, clean, rock ’n’ roll theatrics.

Singing sometimes, lip-syncing other tunes, the Mimic furiously strummed as he shifted from Frehley to Stanley in midsong. He shook his shoulders and head, strutted, nodded, grimaced and glared. One minute, he pointed skyward and then the next, he wagged a finger at his audience or, after slashing power chords, raised his fist.

During some numbers, he switched to drums, laying down a crunching back beat, rolling fills and riding a cymbal.

He even showed some tongue, a Kiss staple.

Of course, no concert would be complete without song introductions.

“Some people like to have a little wine. Some people like to have a little beer,” the Mimic said, playing to the arena. “Some people like a little something harder. And some people like a little …”

And he kicked into “Cold Gin.”

Before “Nothin’ to Lose,” he offered a dedication.

“Some of these songs I chose just because I like them. Some of them are just great Kiss songs,” he said before explaining his next selection.

“Because to me, it signified what Erin had to go through to fight her cancer. She had everything to gain, and she just put up one hell of a fight.”

To applause, he added: “She had everything to gain … and nothing to lose.”

Two more songs honored his friend directly.

Opening his second set, the Mimic sat and gently sung his only non-Kiss song, “Yesterday.” Six months before to the day, he had rehearsed it in front of her for a Beatles show he and friends were doing.

“Why she had to go, I don’t know,” he sang.

Then came the classic “Beth,” only with a twist.

“Sister, sweetheart, this is for you,” he said. “It’s called ‘Erin’ today. If they want to sue me, go ahead.”

Rock ’n’ roll is hard work, and the Mimic needed a few breathers. During one, a boy in the audience came up, curious about the middle-aged guy in makeup. Like a pro, the Mimic gave him a few minutes.

“I’m Joe — usually,” he said. “Today, I’m the Mimic. I know I can’t sing. I know I’m all over the place, but, hey, I’m trying.”

Toward the end, the tribute began taking its toll. His solos grew less frenetic. He stalked the stage more slowly.

But he rallied for the anthem “Rock ’n’ Roll All Night,” waving his arms and urging his audience, in true arena fashion, to sing the chorus.

After a rousing “I Love It Loud,” he closed the performance with the showstopper “Detroit Rock City.”

He pulled out all the stops: a hip-shaking, head-tilting, tongue-extending song from the heart to a fan dearly missed.

“We love you, Erin,” the Mimic sang.

He windmilled a chord.

“Thank you so much, Addison Court,” he said.

With a last resounding strum and the time-honored two-fingered rock salute, he said goodnight to State College.

“Thank you.”

Chris Rosenblum can be reached at 231-4620. Follow him on Twitter@CRosenblumNews.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2013/06/15/3654857/chris-rosenblum-tribute-sealed.html#storylink=cpy

From Rebecca: Quick post about Joe

Joe gave a performance today, Friday June 14th, in tribute to his friend Erin who passed away earlier this year from cancer. He did some lip-sync, some singing, air guitar, and air drums to KISS songs (and one Beatles song) in the community room of the Arnold Addison court building. He did a great job and it was a fantastic show. The local newspaper, the Centre Daily Times, covered the show and will put the human interest story in this Sunday’s paper, probably the front page.

He had to do a lot to get ready for it, so he was not able to blog this week. We also had a couple of technology glitches to work on, so that took time too. We will get back to regular blogging next week.

Have a great weekend. Thanks.