Christopher Maddox wants to be the San Diego Chicken of our time.
Carlsbad’s Christopher Maddox aka the “Crisis Crooner” — Telematics Executive (whatever that means), husband, father, Elvis impersonator, civic booster, sculptor of online parody songs — watched the coronavirus creep through his Chinese business contacts; then along social media, and then, finally, hitting close to home.
“I was in the Albertsons parking lot as we were on a normal grocery run,” he recalls. “My wife came back and said most of the aisles were cleared out. The toilet paper, Vitamin C, bread, bagels, etc, were all gone. Even the gross bagels with onions & stuff on them were gone!”
Still, Maddox resolved to maintain positivity through comedy. He went right home and composed “Hand Spray,” to the tune of Sinatra’s “My Way.” And he hasn’t stopped since.
This lead in rapid succession to “It Seems I Clean” (“I Dreamed A Dream”) “I Walk The Dog 5 Times A Day” (“You Give Love A Bad Name”), and the one that shot him to, if not the top of the charts, at least “Hand Sanitize,” with a singalong chorus borrowed from “Sweet Caroline.”
“I love to sing,” Maddox explains. “I’m in that closet singing on my music apps whether there is a crisis or not,” he laughs. “I use the social karaoke app called Smul, and will go on there for hours.
“I’m not a doctor, so I wanted to use the skills I have to help. To get people to stop, breathe & laugh. Mental health help during a time of extreme focus on physical health.”
His next move involved Cash’d Out, the Johnny Cash tribute band based out of San Diego. Maddox knew them through tribute band circles, since he’s played Elvis for several years in his own Graceband project.
“I reached out to them because I had a great idea that fit: A theme song for out-of-work musicians called ‘I’m for Hire,’ to the tune of ‘Ring of Fire.’ They loved it & recorded it remotely on their phone, sent it to me & I completed the project on iMovie.”
Maddox credits his parody-song zeal to “Dr. Demento on KMET in my formative years. Of course Weird Al is the spiritual father of all this. He was smart and clever with lyrics, which I also try to be. He is the quality standard. But songs like ‘Fish Heads,’ They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!,’ `The Lumberjack Song’ all informed my sense of comedy, and they rattle around in my brain when I do this.”
He says he wants to be “The San Diego Chicken of our time.” He looks forward to retiring the Crisis Crooner and plopping the Elvis wig back on, but until then, he emphasizes: Donate to the San Diego Food Bank, support the Belly Up’s aid to struggling musicians, and don’t forget to laugh.
“We have an Elvis garden gnome that we move each day for the kids to find as they walk around. We try to find ways to do little things.”