Watching episodes of “The Voice” sometimes puts me to sleep. Coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Nick Jonas and Blake Shelton fill the time with competitive banter, but it isn’t enough to hold my attention throughout the show.
Even so, the souped-up high school talent show echoes between my ears, and as I drift off I see a version of “The Voice” that will never be aired …
Dick Clark: “Hello, and welcome to ‘The Voice!’ And here come our coaches, the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra; the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald; country and pop star Patsy Cline, and the King, Elvis Presley. Ladies and gentlemen, please turn your chairs away from the stage. Here’s our first contestant.”
The coaches’ chairs turn away from the stage. A young unknown takes the microphone and belts out “Piece of My Heart,” rasping and shrieking the lyrics and, unseen to the coaches, alternately jumping and crouching around the stage. Patsy’s and Elvis’ chairs turn.
Patsy: “And I thought I would ‘fall to pieces.’ Sweetie, you’ve got me beat by a mile. As your coach, I’ll help you knock off some of those rough edges.”
Elvis: “I never heard nothin’ like that before! What’s your name, Honey?”
Janis: “I’m Janis Joplin.”
Elvis: “Oh, like Joplin, Mo. Love that town. Hey, listen, if you’re lonesome tonight we can hop down to the studio and you can teach me where you get all that wild energy. I’d like somma that.”
Dick: “Frank and Ella, your chairs didn’t turn, but how do you rate that performance?”
Ella: “Janis, don’t you listen to Patsy about knocking off your edginess. You just keep doing what moves you and be who you are.”
Frank: “Two words: crap! The song, the look, the wailing. You gotta show some class. You wanna be strong? OK, keep your cool, like I do, except when I’m punching people.”
Dick: “Janis. Who do you pick for your coach?”
Janis: “I pick Elvis!”
The coaches’ chairs again revolve. A young fellow takes the stage and begins a slow ballad about a one-way relationship: “Last night I said these words to my girl. ‘I know you never even try, girl. Come on, come on, come on. Please, please me, oh yeah, like I please you.’” No chairs turn.
Dick: “Sorry, Son. What’s your name and where are you from?”
John: “I’m from Liverpool. I’m John Lennon.”
Elvis: “That’s a catchy tune, Johnny, but you gotta speed it up. Know what I mean? This guy wants action, like surfin’, race-car drivin’, kissin’ and the other stuff I do in movies.”
Ella: “Up tempo would make it sound more encouraging, less demanding.”
Patsy: “Yes, Ella, despite all the pleasing, it’s not very pleasant.”
Frank: “Aw, look, the guy’s just tryin’ to get … you know. John, you need more backup. Form a small group — no more than four. See how that works, and try again next season.”
Louie@coastsidenewsgroup.com admits that Paul McCartney wrote those lyrics.