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A Wild Man's Freedom

A former athlete and drummer, John Peck is used to the limelight. Now, physical limitations with Tourette's and Scoliosis have driven him to a new outlet: karaoke.

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John Peck:

In high school, my caption wrote under my senior picture that man is not free until he is master of himself (laughs).

John Peck: [Singing]

Oh come on child. you're not mine but you sure are sweet honey.

They call me Mr. Entertainment. They call me wild man. I'm pretty well known around town (laughs). I know approximately 128 songs and everything from country to rock. I've been a regular at the smiling skull for two or three years. I usually only get 3 to 5 songs a night depending on the rotation of singers. I took up karaoke as a hobby and had pretty good success with it. I tend to lean to singing more or less rock material for the college crowd.

Karaoke announcer:

John Peck, come on up and see me. Here he is. The one and only. Potty Mouth Peck.

John Peck:

[Singing "My Sherona" by the Knack] Let's take on out down the fucking line at the Skull! Oh you so sweet honey. I'm in love with you!

Can't work and can't concentrate because since the age of seven, I've had Tourette's syndrome. Have you ever heard of that?

In spite of my movements that I'm sure people do notice with the Tourette's, they tend to accept me for what I am.

I've had it all of my life. It's too much dopamine in the brain that's produced that causes involuntary movements pertaining to shaking your hands, moving your head.

For years people thought you were really weird and in the older days the thought it was a mental condition. Doing something really strenuous or something you can concentrate on you can do it like playing the drums and you don't have the ticks as long as you're occupied.

I played for a few years but I stopped because the scoliosis was too painful to play bent over at a 45 degree angle.

The things about karaoke that makes it so popular is that there's a very high percentage of people that can't sing, but the whole point of it is that it makes you a star in your own right in the limelight for just a few minutes. Even if you don't sing well it makes you feel fulfilled.

I think the college kids, when I perform, see my aura and my personality, just..eh...what's the word for that? Uh...radiates!

Radiates. yeah!

If you're a performer and all they like you and they do see some inadequacies in you, they just let it ride. If I can make them feel good about themselves and good as a person because through music you can communicate with people in that manner.

[Singing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison]

Just like every night has its dawn

Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song

Every rose has its thorn

Yeah it does!

(laughs)

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A Wild Man's Freedom