OK, so your band is playing at a wedding. You’ve paced the crowd just right. Dinner is over, and you’ve got a full dance floor with people dancing their asses off and screaming for more. The place is rocking. Then the bride approaches the stage and says, “Can Uncle Tony sing?”
You hope, in vain, that she catches you looking at the screaming crowd ready to do more serious dancing, followed by your ever-so-subtle frown as you prepare to answer question. She awaits an answer, obviously having missed your visual hints. You respond, “What would he like to sing?”
You are told, “I don’t know. He’s great. He can sing anything.”
Meanwhile, the crowd is getting restless and loud. They want to party.
You’re wise enough to know that the bride is the boss here, so you say, “Sure, send him up.”
Four or five minutes pass as the bride, groom and their agents search for Uncle Tony.
The crowd is getting pissed; they can’t understand why you’re not playing. They begin to leave the dance floor.
They locate Uncle Tony at the bar, and he ambles up to the stage with a fresh drink in his hand. Great. Dean Farookin’ Martin.
When asked what he wants to sing, he says “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime.” Yep, I knew it. The guy thinks he’s Dean Martin. Bad sign.
You ask Uncle Tony what key he would like to sing the song in.
He responds, “It don’t matter. Any key.”
Right there, with those two words, “Any key,” you know you’re screwed.
“Ladies and Gentlemen. May I have your attention, please. We have a special treat for you. Uncle Tony is going sing!”
Uncle Tony’s anticipated vocal performance has just slammed the brakes on the party.
You play the intro. Uncle Tony is holding the microphone down by his waist rendering it useless, which turns out to be a good thing, because he starts singing at the wrong time and isn’t even close to singing in the same key that the band is playing.
You try to make a bit of a joke out of stopping the music to give Uncle Tony another bite at the apple, this time in a different key. You tell him to hold the microphone closer to his mouth.
Uncle Tony makes a joke to the crowd about how the band isn’t getting it. (Flashback to Godfather II – the wedding). We all smile.
You start playing again, this time, hopefully, in a key that Uncle Tony can sing in. You realize that Uncle Tony isn’t even listening to the band. He again starts singing too early. You also realize that you could play the song in the key of “X,” and it wouldn’t make a damned bit of difference. Uncle Tony can’t sing.
The few people left on the dance floor watch, and except for the bride, groom and Uncle Tony’s wife and kids, they are just being polite.
Uncle Tony breaks into the chorus way too early. You try to follow him, but there is no hope.
Finally, it’s over, and a dozen or so people applaud. The other 175 are busy talking.
The party momentum is out the window.
As Uncle Tony leaves the stage, you can see his pinkie ring as he points over his shoulder at the band, and you can hear him tell his buddies, “Dese guys didn’t know da song!”
Thanks for every farookin’ thing, Uncle Tony.