The Rock Star in Me

“…Well we all just wanna be big rockstars And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars…” – Nickelback, Rockstar

“…Under the big top world We all need the clowns To make us smile…” – Journey, Faithfully

Other than being Pilots, some boys for sure dreamed of being Rock Stars. It has something to do with being free, being able to get that high. I know most teenagers would discover it in no time if you know what I mean.

Of course, most kids have also heard of fairy tales, whether they admit it or not. These fairy tales they would sooner or later discover as what enlightened adults call fiction. In short, it is not true. Does not and will not happen. For some, however, fiction could become reality. They would become Rock Stars.

For Arnel Pineda, this is exactly the case. He is the Filipino equivalent of the character Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg) in the movie Rock Star. If you check the film bit by bit, the resemblance of his and Arnel’s story is almost the same:

  • Chris Cole was discovered by Steel Dragon’s guitarist thru a tape recorded performance of his cover band, Blood Arnel Pineda was discovered by Journey’s Neal Schon thru a YouTube.com video of his band Zoo while performing the song Faithfully.
  • Chris Cole was contacted by a band member and dismissed the first phone call as a  hoax and Arnel Pineda reacted just the same.
  • Both characters eventually became lead vocalist of the band they just used to idolize and copy after being invited (and flown in) for an audition and passed.

Watching Arnel’s cover of Faithfully that was shot in Hard Rock Café and uploaded on YouTube sends goosebumps as I’d always remember the scene from Rock Star when Chris Cole did his cover of Stand Up. Both stories are must-know of any Rock Star wannabee.

So tomorrow if anyone by chance sees a bald driver doing air guitars and some passionate head bangs while stuck in traffic, most likely that would be me.

My Love-Hate Relationship with the Videoke

In my list of my most hated things, the videoke would be there. I would wonder every now and then if there was a necessity for it to be invented but since it’s already in existence I have tried my best to deal with it.

The videoke is like the eye. It’s the window to one’s self. I’ve discovered a liking to some people when I hear them sing—my wife can decently sing any of The Coors song. But along with the appreciation of others singing the lines—appearing as foreground to mostly naked women gyrating on the background—is the loathing that I feel once off-keyed people start singing their favorite piece.

I’ve almost despised friends when I learned that they’re into videokes. Just this December while on vacation I had a drinking session with my high school best friend and I almost scrambled out of the neighborhood bar when I saw him checking out the song list. Trying to be game and giving him the benefit of the doubt I anxiously waited while the waitress punches in the magic numbers. A canned drum roll followed.

He selected U2‘s Sunday Bloody Sunday. I secretly glanced at my friend just to give a quick check if he’s somewhat similar to Bono. Hmmm. Obviously not. The song’s intro finally signaled the start of the song. Then it happened. I almost cursed in protest and thought if my friend could be sued by U2 for performing their song in a public place not to mention the bad rendition. It wasn’t Sunday, but I’m sure it was Bloody–as the Brits would say. I’m sure I was drunk that time but the alcohol didn’t work to a favorable opinion.

Now I’m being hounded again by the presence of this singing machine. Just outside and in front of our house is a party in progress. And the magic box with TV monitor, round colored keys and 15-inch speakers was just delivered. We’re in for a long night. My only hope right now is that no drunken male visitor would sing a Celine Dion song while we’re trying to sleep tonight. That is if we can achieve sleep. Whoever invented this machine, I hope you’re in the “hottest” place right now.

By the way, possessed by the spirit of alcohol, I also sang a couple of songs on videoke before and my faves are The Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling and 500 by the Proclaimers. Well, sometimes the good guys take revenge.

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