I’ll never forget the first time I heard this song.
Through high school and college I worked as a server for a wedding catering company. I had to wear a stuffy tuxedo and give up all my weekends, but mostly I enjoyed the job. I liked eating fancy food for free on my breaks, and singing along to dance songs as I bused tables. I secretly wished a wedding band would overhear me and invite me to join them. It never happened; at our venue bands were increasingly rare. Most parties opted for DJs, and most DJs were pretty poor.
It was one of said DJs that night. Most of the wedding party had cleared out and the dance floor was virtually bare. The bride and groom were making a gradual pilgrimage around the room, checking in with elderly guests. I wasn’t busy, but I paced around pretending I was, intermittently swooping by the sweet table to pluck Swedish Fish from the candy buffet when no one was looking.
I chewed thoughtfully as my ears perked up and took note of what could only be…a baseball play-by-play call? How bizarre. I heard a female voice wail “Stop right there!” and stopped dead in my tracks. The song had my full attention. By the coda, I was full on smirking at both the ridiculousness of the song idea and the inappropriateness of playing it at a wedding. “Praying for the end of time” indeed.
When I got home I read the Wikipedia page about Meat Loaf and devoured every other song I could find by Jim Steinman. For awhile, Paradise by the Dash was a go-to karaoke song whenever my idiot friends and I wanted to dominate the bar for an obnoxious nine minutes.
You can imagine my joy to discover later that Paradise by the Dash is one of the top song requests in the dueling piano world. Most players I know do it from piano, but we had a blast working it up in full band arrangement. When we found out in that Tim would be leaving us to take over the club in Chicago, we set a plan to get some high-quality video recordings of our top songs. I’m biased of course, but Paradise by the Dash was my personal favorite of the five we recorded. You can check it out below, with videography by Benton Palermo and audio mix by Drew Bayura.
Tim officially left at the end of July, and watching the video now gets me a little choked up. Tim was the one who trained me when I first started at Howl, and he’s left big shoes for me to fill as Entertainment Director. As much as I love singing this song, it’s sadly going to be awhile before we can work it up again and get it sounding good with our new lineup. Someday! For now, I’m just happy we had this moment together, and that we have a great video to commemorate it. KM