Day 20 – June 27th at Gilligan’s in Scottsdale
This night we’re in old town Scottsdale at Gilligan’s with our KJ host Dan Dan, accompanied and assisted by his partner/girlfriend Priscilla. We’re familiar with Dan Dan from Day 11at the Goat Head. Of course, there is the same massive binder of songs, the same crazy slides and videos we’ve come to expect from a Dan Dan show, in all, the same great entertainment. Priscilla and Dan Dan are cool folks to hang out with. We’re looking forward to a fun night.
Gilligan’s is named for the TV show Gilligan’s Island, and the place is decked with party décor. There is a large patio that you pass through to enter the front door. Inside they are going for a kind of island-y feel, as in lost-at-sea trying-to-get-off-this-island ambiance. There is a full bar alongside the entire back wall of the medium-sized room, equipped with sixteen bar stools, and one swing (why, I don’t know, but I was sure to try it out).
There is another short bar directly to the right as you enter. It is purportedly a “midget bar”. This bar is lower and shorter than most, with six bar stools a couple feet off the ground. It is also tended by an honest-to-god “midget” – I of course mean “little person”, but this place is in no way attempting to be PC, so we’d better lay it out there. It fits Dan Dan the karaoke man, cause his show gets wild. Offensive? Maybe to some…but that doesn’t seem to worry him none.
There are lots of monitors placed about the bar, making the lyrics easily visible. Dan Dan is set up with his laptop and console in the corner by a large screen across from the long bar. Close to the screen are nine tables with seats in the center of the room. Bar food is served until 1:30 am, and “midnight specials” kick in at 11 pm.
It was sparse when we got there. There were two or three others sitting at the bar, when Suze and I arrived. We took a seat near the front – toward the KJ set up and large screen. Then we looked through the binders, and chatted with Priscilla for a bit. Karaoke was off to a late start that night, and didn’t begin until after 10 pm. It was understandable as Suze and I were the only singers there at first. Then one other person showed up, so it was the three of us, plus Dan Dan and Priscilla in rotation. Just before 11 pm, a group of three or four guys showed up to sing too.
As the rotation was light, Dan Dan put in filler music and videos. But then he usually does this. This night it was XTC (yay!), ZZ Top, and an awesome R&B song by Raphael Saadiq. Very entertaining. These music – and occasional comedic – videos provide a brief respite from all the singing. However, when there’s a long list of singers, it does add to the wait. Just sayin’, Dan Dan. Happily, not that night, though. Turns out there was plenty of time to get our sing on.
I was so thrilled to discover that Dan Dan had found a few songs that I love to sing, that no one else has available for karaoke. Sade’s Is it a Crime? and Maria McKee’s If Love is a Red Dress. So excited! Awesome. I’ve also been on the lookout for Leela James’ version of A Change is Gonna Come. Dan Dan had Sam Cooke’s version, so I made do. Very nice. I also sang Express Yourself (Madonna), and Cry Me a River (Barbra Streisand’s version). The requisite duet I sang with the Suze :You’re So Vain (Carly Simon). Of course, there was dancing throughout the night. That is just how we do it, people.
Suze and I were almost ready to call it a night after a couple hours or so. Toward midnight, in walked a drunken wedding reception party of about thirty 20-somethings (“babies”). Suze and I each had a song or two left in the rotation, so we planned to stay to finish up. The large group of drunks filled up the place with their revelry. The mood changed from intimate and cozy, to irreverent and boisterous. No worries. We are comfortable either way. The wedding singers started putting their own songs onto the list, and taking the stage (really just an open area near the big screen). The list suddenly got really long, and the joint got very lively. When Suze sang Wildest Dreams, one young guy danced with her as she sang. He was acting a bit wild, as Suze kept singing, keeping her composure all along. This kind of abandon can be very enjoyable, but…we were on our way out. And the wedding party was already drunk before they got there. Inebriated Scottsdale “babies” – draw your own conclusions.
It was a successful night of much singing and good times. There’s always seems to be something unusual to make the night special. Onward to Day 21!