I can vouch for this story from the NYTimes. (Quick, read, before the pay wall is erected!) Philipinos love karaoke and love their songs, but Sweet Mary Jeebus, you fuck up something like a classic by Sinatra or Como or Tony Bennet and you’ll be lucky if leave the joint with your teeth in your hands. Quite a few unlucky pitch warblers have left in either a stretcher or a pine box. This phenom is not limited to the land of Marcos. In Seattle, Washington, if you screw up a Nirvana or Alice In Chains tune at the local karaoke bar, you’re likely to be coughing up the mic the audience just made you eat or being tossed outta the joint, along with several chairs and
tables and P.A. equipment. Interestingly enough, if you decide to try your pipes out at the local in Olympia, don’t even attempt to sing a Courtney Love song, whether you’re pitch perfect or have a voice guaranteed to sterilize cockroaches rustling at the bottom of a dumpster at dawn, for even mentioning her name in those parts is an invitation to a fist sandwich with a quarter pounding of hurt on the side. That’s what I learned one drunken night, slapping on a trashy blond wig and bansheeing out “Celebrity Skin”. Fifteen sobering seconds later, I was skedaddling out the door with a lynch mob not more than fifteen yards behind me. I was soon on my way to a nonstop solo marathon in below zero temps which didn’t end ’til I was in Pierre, South Dakota. I may have lost the mob in somewhere in Billing, Montana, but fear kept me running just to make sure. Hey, I did lose about sixteen pounds, so it wasn’t a total loss, right?