Turn Around Bright Eyes by Rob Sheffield

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke - Rob Sheffield

It's okay, really. Go ahead sing as much of the song as you can. See that's what this book is about. Being able to let go and just SING! Even if you can't carry a tune, Karaoke makes you feel like it's okay to suck and still be on the stage singing to a bunch of strangers.


"It's a spiritual quest.

This spiritual quest, like so many spiritual quests, involves Bonnie Tyler."


  This book is not just a book about karaoke, it's actually a biography, which for some reason I didn't realize until after I started reading it and a spot in the book made me look at the label on the spine. It has a lot of other stuff in it. Like the time he went to a Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp. (which I felt was one of the boring parts of the book)

"Over the years, I've gotten totally obsessed.

Like I said, I have a karaoke problem.

But admitting the fact that you have a problem is the first step toward making it an even bigger problem."



Rob Sheffield is older than me so the type of music he talks about is not the music I was obsessed with growing up, but there were plenty of bands and  songs I knew. Like -

 The Beatles - he goes through a chapter talking about how during your life you love one Beatles song then in a little while you mature and another one becomes your favorite.

I also never payed attention to what was going on in the song  "She Loves You" until he pointed it out. Weird. (pg 155)


Rod Stewart -

"Nice try, Oedipus, but there are in fact three ages of man:

1. He thinks Rod Stewart is cool

2. He doesn't think Rod Stewart is cool.

3. He is Rod Stewart.

No man ever plans to turn into Rod Stewart. It just happens. There are days when I dread this fate. And there are other days when I think every minute of my life I don't spend being Rod Stewart is a waste of time."


I didn't know that they wouldn't play a line of his song "Tonight's The Night" on the radio because it talked about "spreading your wings". What a joke. Now they have songs like Blurred Lines on the air.


Neil Diamond - Yes, I know who Neil Diamond is, and I could probably sing the whole album of The Jazz Singer. My mom was a big fan , and when your parents are big fans of some one when your little, that means you are too, because it's the only records in the house!

"Honey's sweet, but it ain't nothing next to baby's treat" - Neil not only wrote that line, he kept it in the song. Now, if you or I were trying to write a hit, and we came up with a lyric like that, would we say, "Hey, I think that's a keeper - our work is done here" ? Ah, no. We would immediately crumple the paper, burn the tape, and never mention it to even a closest friend."


 He also talked about movies like Jaws, Star Wars. TV shows like Welcome Back Kotter.

If you know what I'm talking about, then you'd understand this book. I'm afraid the younger generations just won't get some of the references.


Now I'll admit..  at the time I started this book I'd never been to a "Karaoke bar" or to a Karaoke night at some bowling alley or any where else. So I was kinda fascinated by the whole "getting up in front of strangers and singing". I can't believe it's still popular. Doesn't it seem like it's just a crazy fad and it would have been long gone by now?

BUT about halfway through the book my little coffee shop down the road had Karaoke Night. So I bravely took my teenage sons and their friends and we went.

Did I sing? Hell yes! Even my youngest who HATES talking in public got on that stage and became a Showman. He was twirling around kicking out his legs, flirting with the audience.(who were just the people that came with us, Thank God!)

Sheffield talks about when you first start singing you find out whose voice suits you and whose doesn't. this is true. I found mine. It's Pat Benatar. (That's right Hit Me With your Best Shot!) But I can also have the Joan Jett quality


"We came here to be stars

. But it goes deeper than that - we came here to make each other stars."