That Time I Saw Donna Summer Sing Karaoke

That Time I… is a (hopefully) weekly installment celebrating the unexpected and amusing that can happen when travelling. This next installment comes to us from Boston...

Boston is a pretty small city that seems big. Maybe it’s the major city reputation with some of the best known sports teams, universities, history, and landmarks in the country. Or maybe it’s just because people from Boston are really loud about being from and loving Boston (you know who you are).

But anyway, my point is that despite Boston being on the small side, I found myself living there in my early 20s after finishing college and realizing what little of the city I actually knew. I could probably walk the perimeter of where I spent the majority of my time there in a few hours. I lived 10 minutes from my last dorm room. But luckily, I had friends who branched out to exotic (read: south of Brookline) neighborhoods and out of the clutches of the ‘student ghetto’ and center of my then universe.

So one night I went to hang out with my friend who lived in West Roxbury (it’s as exotic as it sounds). For those not familiar, West Rox is one of the more suburban neighborhoods in the city, catering to families and very Irish-American proud. None of that transient nonsense proliferating other parts of a city where 25% of the population is in college. It was my first time there and my friend suggested we do a little bar crawl. A few drinks , phone-number acquiring (her not me), and wing-womaning (me not her), we ended up at the West Roxbury Pub.

Now, this place seemed like a pretty standard townie bar when we walked in. Old guys at the bar having heated debates, cheap beer specials, and a countdown to St. Patirck’s Day board. We sat at a table and soon realized we had stumbled onto karaoke night. Sweet! But, little did we know how amazing it would actually be.

Things started off tame enough- a little “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” “Living on a Prayer,” “Sweet Caroline”- all the hits. When the DJ announced that an “old friend from back in the day” was in town and came by to sing a tune…

Love to love you, Donna!!!

Love to love you, Donna!!!

“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Donna Summer!” And sure enough, a beautiful woman with long curly dark hair walked out in clear heals. She took the mic and a familiar disco beat started up from the speakers. “Toot toot. Ahhhhh…Beep. Beep.”

“Holy shit! Donna Summer is singing ‘Bad Girls’! I am watching a legend sing one of her songs! In a dive bar!” After my head exploded and I cursed not having one of them fancy phones that took pictures (damn you mid 2000s!), I pretty much just stared at Donna for the next 3 minutes.

Could it have been some wacky spot on Donna Summer impersonator? Maybe- but why would they randomly show up at the West Roxbury Pub? And Donna Summer is from Boston- she grew up in Mission Hill, just a bit north of where we were singing. While I will never be able to verify for sure (she sadly didn’t stay for a post-show drink and I probably wouldn't have had the guts to say anything anyway), I am almost positive I saw Donna Summer sing karaoke. Her own karaoke. And it was incredible. Toot-toot, beep-beep, indeed.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

From is actually a website-wow)

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Filed under: Random

Tags: Boston, Disco Fever, Karaoke, That Time I

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