An 82-year-old man named John Hetlinger lived out his dream – performing Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” live onstage with the band – at Chicago’s Ink in the Clink festival Friday.
Hetlinger – a Navy veteran, aerospace engineer and self-proclaimed karaoke fanatic – achieved viral fame in early June after his America’s Got Talent audition – featuring his throat-scraping, frenzied rendition of the 2001 single – aired on NBC. His memorable audition ended with a standing ovation from the audience, and although the judges were more frightened than impressed, Hetlinger’s audition has been viewed over eight million times on YouTube.
“This would be a high point of my life and my many careers,” Hetlinger told judge Simon Cowell before his audition. While the octogenarian didn’t advance to the next round of the NBC competition, he was instead recruited to perform “Bodies” alongside Drowning Pool at Ink in the Clink.
Drowning Pool guitarist C.J. Pierce recently spoke to Loudwire about finding out about Hetlinger’s performance. “I picked up my phone and I got a handful of texts from a number of people because I guess it got out yesterday ahead of the airing.” Pierce said. “We had a band group text on there as well, and then I watched it, and man, I am so entertained by it. It’s awesome to just see an 82-year-old man get out there and just belt out some metal — whether it was our song or any song, it was just killer to see him do that.”
Hetlinger will provide an encore performance when he joins Drowning Pool once again during their Saturday set at the Chicago tattoo fest.