Throwback Thursday: The Karaoke Blackbelts [VIDEO]
You may have heard WBSM's Phil Paleologos and Tim Weisberg recalling the legendary performance of the Karaoke Blackbelts during the morning show this week.
But unless you were there, you may have no idea what went down on this legendary night of rock and roll history.
Back in early 2010, an event was put together called "Rock Me Amadeus," a fundraiser for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra's music program that provides classical music to over 26,000 elementary school students in Massachusetts. The event featured numerous notable people from around the city performing on stage at the Sky Room in New Bedford's South End.
One of the groups featured was a band comprised of local media personalities, including ABC6's Doreen Scanlon and four WBSM talk show hosts: Ken Pittman, Phil, Tim and Matt Costa. Ken's son Keith, although just a young teenager at the time, rocked it behind the drums, and world-famous guitarist Ethan Brosh lent the band some rock credibility on lead guitar. Ken, a longtime fan of Bon Jovi's music, suggested the band cover two of their best-known hits: "Living On a Prayer," and "It's My Life."
After a few weeks of rehearsals, the band was finally ready to rock the stage at the Sky Room--but it needed a name first. Ken, a martial artist, came up with the name "Karaoke Blackbelts," although this wasn't just performing to a backing track; the band played all their own instruments (well, Phil played air guitar) and the crowd seemed to think they did a solid job.
In addition to raising money for the music program, that night also has other historic musical significance. The Karaoke Blackbelts led to Ken, Keith and Ethan forming "Living On a Bad Name," which has evolved in the years since into one of the premiere Bon Jovi tribute bands in the country. And of course, those two songs covered by the media band are part of their nightly set list--although now performed far better than the Karaoke Blackbelts ever could.