Can You Do the Monster Mash? Going Beyond the Usual

The second special, unusual chore in hosting a Halloween bash is fairly obvious.  Nobody can have a Monster Mash without the “Monster Mash.” 

Your first thought is, “That will be easy.”  After all, we all believe that we know that Halloween anthem . . . until we try to “sing” it.  We then realize that we are pretty weak beyond, “I was working in my lab late one night.” 

On the chorus, we are really good at “He did the mash.  The monster mash.  He did the mash.”  Whoops!  Now, how does the rest go?

What we truly remember goes down hill from there.  Hey, this is not as easy as you thought.

The good news is we have the internet.  Google “Monster Mash (song)” or “Monster Mash + Pickett,” and instantly you have hundreds of thousands of pages from which to choose.  Youtube videos.  Sites with lyrics.  Sites with ringtones.  Sites where you can download the song. 

You probably will find the guy in the picture:  Bobby “Boris” Pickett, who co-wrote and recorded “Monster Mash” in 1962.  Yes, it was a graveyard smash.

But, as you dig a bit deeper, you learn that the verses never begin on the downbeat of a bar.  You hear tempos that vary all over the lot.  Hey, performances by the Misfits and punk or metal bands surely do not have the same eerie rock feel as the original.  You discover that the Halloween anthem has been performed in pubs in Australia and by Celtic groups.  The Beach Boys covered “Monster Mash” on Shindig.  You can watch black and white video captures Mike Love mugging his way through part of the song.

Given all of this, getting the “Monster Mash” ready for the Monster Mash is more of a chore that initially thought.  It will require some real practice on our end.  And then its fate beyond the Monster Mash will be in the hands of an audience.  As readers of this blog know, the last time I thought about performing a vocal number the prevailing look was disgust and the unanimous advice was, “Don’t.”

Oh, well . . . who listens to the critics anyway?

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