Wednesday, December 5, 2012

karaoke - a retrospective

Jan, Clare, Ali and David doing ACDC's Dirty Deeds, June 2010

Continuing with my Top 10 list of Tokyo people, places and things that I miss the most...


Yes it's true. The Hiroo karaoke cellar bar that smells like skunked beer and is so frequently overtaken by blotto mic-hogs (who, me?) holds a special place in my heart. As do the guys who work there: Alejandro, at the door and behind the bar, and Saito-san at the controls.
Our Cuban friend does more than serve the drinks. He also turns in song requests, especially helpful when there are several bodies standing (or swaying) in the narrow aisle between the stadium seat where you're sitting and Saito's booth. And he keeps order, onstage and off. Don't let that sweet smile fool you - he'll promptly bounce anyone who makes trouble. Stripping, for example, is a big no-no. (I wasn't there that night, but apparently he tossed out one of the teachers from the kids' school for refusing to keep his shirt on.)

My last night at SH, Saito gave me his nylon jacket. It's way too big on me, but I will treasure it, always, even if it's the shade of Skype blue and smells like plastic.

At one point SH stopped giving out their trademark drink tokens - apparently they had run out, with so many patrons forgetting to trade them in for that second drink and pocketing them instead. KT had enough for a half dozen pendants and earrings. 

 AJW scored the Supersize edition. Suits her, don't you think?

I could always count on Alison to meet me there, and she could sing anything
Terry, Mark and David, June 2012

Russell, in his stage debut (maybe he needed time to recover from the night we lured his parents here and they sang a duet of When I'm 64)

Sean helps Terry with Delilah

Me and KT. BeeGees? Abba? Who can remember

with Clare, Julia, Gabrielle, Susie, Kate and Tash, June 2010

 Alejandro, when he used to wear a headband

Mark singing with Claire on tambourine

 Terry often had trouble getting me to leave

 Terry, Rupert, David L., Rory

with Clare on my 39th birthday

Clare, Julia, Zoe, Gabrielle, Ali, Susie, Kate, Nicole, Victoria, Victoria's niece, me and Tash (with Rory paying close attention from the stands)

 Terry, Scott, Rupert, David L., David D. and Rory, June 2010

Read more about this wonderful establishment here.

5-2-26 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 

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