We Sang Karaoke For Bret Michaels For A Free Burger
We decided to see if we could really karaoke a song for Bret Michaels and get a free burger. As it turns out, you sort of could. The Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood alerted us to a Tax Day special where you could karaoke with a live band and in exchange, receive a free Legendary Burger. Poison frontman and Rock of Love star Bret Michaels was going to kick things off. What could go wrong?
I arrived at the Hard Rock to find quite a few people dolled and dressed up, ready to sing and/or seduce Michaels. Live karaoke band Casual Encounters was getting ready to perform, and I asked them what songs they liked people to choose. The general consensus seemed to be The Beatles, or really, any song that was sung with enthusiasm.
Bret Michaels has a pre-existing relationship with the Hard Rock, as it turns out, and has his own themed suite at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya, which he christened by smashing a guitar, obviously. Michaels had also done a similar tax event last year in NYC.
"Bret," I said very seriously, "you sing for your supper. It's great of you to offer this opportunity to people that aren't rock stars. What drew you to this event?"
"We had an absolute blast [in New York City]," Michaels told LAist. "We're just making an event that's fun so people can come and sing." Even, he noted, "if you're awful."
Michaels told LAist that his favorite karaoke numbers were "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Don't Stop Believing." That last one's kind of a karaoke cliche, but Michaels said it was the challenge of reaching Steve Perry's range that really drew him to the tune.
Michaels also told me he'd been working on a line of pet products with PetSmart called Bret Michaels Pets Rock. "I've grown up around pets all my life," he said. Now, I bet you're wondering if there are any spiky collars. Yes. The answer is yes. They'd probably fit you if you have a small neck.
Michaels soon took the stage, joined the Casual Encounters gang, and belted out "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." He was pretty good.
The host of the event, KIISFM's Manny Streetz, then turned the stage over to the crowd. I got the impression that a lot of people had assumed that Michaels would be there to hear them sing and possibly put them on his next album. However, what really happened was that Michaels was immediately mobbed by fans wanting to get selfies with him, and then disappeared shortly thereafter.
The karaoke, however, did not disappoint. Nearly every singer was enthusiastic and/or talented, which we have learned are the two key traits of a great karaoke performer. I was especially thrilled by an 11-year-old girl who sang "Rollin' in the Deep." Check this out:
I also really liked this Joan Jett number from two very excited ladies.
This guy's James Hetfield impersonation:
This man's seriously good "My Girl":
And this solid effort at "Chandelier":
I was number 17. I prepared for this by dutifully drinking two vodka sodas. Then I mostly awkwardly sang Bryan Adams' "Summer of 69." What? It's a great jam, and you know it.
And as sure as the sun rises in the East, I got a Legendary Burger.
The Legendary Burger is very burger-y. It's no gourmet burger with truffle oil, and it's not the sloppy goodness of a hot In 'n Out burger. It's a solid bar burger, the kind best washed down with a domestic while you watch more karaoke or a game, or choke out the answers to trivia questions.
All in all, I felt like an American. I'd paid my taxes, sang a song about lost youth, discussed pets with a rockstar and earned a burger.