National Anthem, Jose Feliciano-Play Ball!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=shpJ-sRUB-8

It’s a great day, opening day of the baseball season! One of the unofficial holidays in the life of sports fans across America. Lucky me, on Spring Break and working from home this week got to see all the opening day festivities on TV, live from Miami.
They had all kinds of pregame fanfare: F-16 flyover, Vegas style showgirls escorting the players onto the field, an appearance by the ‘Champ’ Muhammad Ali and of course the National Anthem, sung by Jose Feliciano.
I am not one who usually enjoys much deviation of the norm on the Star Spangled Banner. I just don’t think it’s a song that should be used for personal self promotion and showing off what a great singer you are. The reason it is sung at events is to honor our country. So the runs, trills and ‘check me out’ vocal fireworks are usually out of place. And that is coming from a musician who loves to hear unique performances and musicians strut their stuff, just not so much on the National Anthem.
The Anthem just like all songs has room for interpretation. If a musician can embellish the intent and lyrics of the song, musically, I am all for it. Whitney Houston’s Superbowl XXV version is still the standard of great Anthem performances. A touch of her own personality and a boat load of passion! There are other famous versions out there too. Jimi Hendix’s opening of Woodstock was definitely not a traditional rendition in the least, but, has stood the test of time as a classic and was appropriate for the venue it was intended. Then there is the infamous. Roseanne Barr and her crotch grabbing, spitting and horribly out of tune antics at a San Diego Padre’s game in 1990 comes to mind.
Back to today’s baseball game, I was really taken by Jose’s rendition. It was a toned down version. Jose and his guitar. His arrangement is a bit pop/folkish, and although he lent his own style he was true to the melody. There are no ‘check me out’ antics. The lyrics were given precedence. Above all, aesthetically it was enjoyable.
Living in our modern world I immediately went online to see if it was posted yet and was surprised by what I did find. Feliciano originally performed this rendition in 1968 for a Detroit Tigers World Series game. He became a target of American’s who were used to ‘traditional’ performances.
His career suffered after the performance. He was boycotted by radio stations which obviously had ill effect on record sales.
Personally, I always thought he was a great singer, but, never knew much about him. Think I am going to listen to more of his music and find out more about him. Don’t be surprised to hear more about Jose Feliciano in future posts!
On another note: It was great to see Muhammad Ali driven onto the field before the game, but, so sad to see how his health has declined, Godspeed Champ!
And to all of you baseball fans out there…PLAY BALL!

Chargers Win, Beat Raiders! POD Chargers Anthem

Chargers Win!

It’s always a great day when the Chargers win and even sweeter when it’s against the Raiders. Sorry to all the grown men in the stands wearing their unoriginal Raider skull Halloween costumes that had to go home with another loss to the Chargers.

Interesting note; Gene Simmons of the band Kiss sang the National Anthem before the game.

Charger fans, celebrate with P.O.D.’s Charger Anthem!

Check out my NFL 2012 Predictions!

Happy 4th of July, 2013

Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope you have a fun and safe holiday while celebrating the  anniversary of our Nation’s Independence!

Just wanted to post two quick versions of the Star Spangled Banner guitar style.

I recently saw Yngwie Malmsteen in San Diego and he performed a tribute to the military with a rendition of the National Anthem( bottom video)

The top video is Yngwie performing the SSB at a Miami Marlins baseball game. I could lament how I think the Anthem should be played traditionally when played for events but c’mon lets face it no one really watches Marlins baseball anyway. Musically he does a remarkable job incorporating all his guitar fireworks into the structure of the song.

Enjoy your freedoms like they mean something to you! Happy 4th!

Superbowl XLVII Musical Wrap Up

At 12 notes & the Truth I talk music. So there is no way I could skip over the music of the largest happening on the planet, The Superbowl.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? Alicia Keys version of the Star Spangled Banner. I’ll start by saying I am a fan of Alicia’s. I think she is immeasurably talented and consider her if not an influence of mine, certainly an inspiration. So it pains me a little to have to say that I absolutely ‘disliked’ her rendition. Waaaaay too long, waaaaay too slow, waaaaay too self-serving. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong choice….

I am one that does not appreciate much deviation on our National Anthem. In my opinion it is self-serving to make it YOUR song, it is America’s song. If you are gonna change it and make it your own at least know your audience and where you are.  Jimi Hendrix’ guitar histrionics, version at Woodstock was completely in line with the venue, event and crowd populating the legendary concert.

The Superbowl is one of the largest global events of all time. The world is watching. The game is a fierce battle of two teams of huge, fast, strong athletes pumped up to do sports version of battle. Did you see the players singing along like…pick it up already…then when they were ready to go hit each other she is still diva-ing her way out of the song. The players actually looked physically effected by her rendition.

Jennifer Hudson and the Sandy Hook kids were great. It was cute, well sung by the kids and amazingly sung by Jennifer Hudson. And hey Alicia Keys…it had a little energy to it! Albeit perhaps a bit exploitive…yeah I said it, just my opinion.

Then there was a halftime show too, I believe…oh yeah Beyonce! All apologies to my musician friends who were tweeting and ripping her the whole time…..lighten up!!! Just because she doesn’t throw in any minor 9ths or riff on the Lydian dominant scale, c’mon? First of all what did you expect? She is a pop star, that is what she does. She also just happens to be a great singer and put on an AMAZING half time show! These guys tweeting, face booking, etc sounded whinier than the losing Harbaugh brother. (Who is still complaining about the last call, BTW…how about don’t fall behind by three touchdowns in the first half and you might not have had to come down to the last play.)

Beyonce and her act are what the Superbowl is all about. Mega-entertainment. The show was visually  appealing and interesting, as well. It would have still been entertaining even with the sound off.

A+ to Beyonce from me! The reunion with Destiny’s Child was cool but the weak part of the performance. I was expecting the whole time to see Jay Z appear and props to him for not. I was also expecting some guest appearances, maybe an Eddie Van Halen or other megastar musician join her…although the girl in the band with flames shooting out of her guitar was pretty cool.

On a side note but a cool part of my personal music experience of the game, came after the CBS postgame show. We were wrapping up our party with friends, saying our goodbyes when I heard, “Hand of Doom,” by Black Sabbath. I believe it was used for the intro of whatever show CBS cut to after their coverage…anyone else catch that?

What will they do next year? The game is going to be outdoors in New Jersey were it was 20o at game time…not sure what musician is going to want to take that one on…good luck to who ever it is. Maybe the NFL will even think outside of the box one of these years and find or create a halftime show of their own. Maybe even get a comedian, pee-wee football game, and not exploit some poor megastar musician and paying them millions of dollars they don’t even need….or maybe exploit me to come play my guitar 😉

Top 10, My Favorite Posts on ’12 Notes & the Truth!’

It’s almost 2013! This compels me to create a few lists from the year in review, my first as a blogger.

My last post was my top 10 posts of the year according to WordPress stats. The 10 listed on this post are MY favorites…according to ME.

There were many, but, these are the ones that stood out in my memory as either being fun, rewarding or challenging to write. Some were very popular, some were not and some were early before I had much following. Hopefully this list will supply my followers with some new insights into this blog 12 Notes & the Truth!

These first two are important to me as both guitarists were HUGE in my inspiration to be not only a guitarist but a musician.

1.  Van Halen Week in San Diego – Concert Review

2. Michael Schenker Said No to the Rolling Stones, Ozzy, Aerosmith…

This post was cool because I found a new guitarist, influence and a historical perspective I never knew. I knew of Jose Feliciano, but,  not much about him. An amazing musician that really took an unfair career hit with his version of the Star Spangled Banner. A great version in my opinion and better than many of the renditions today. Expect more posts on Jose Feliciano in 2013!

3. National Anthem, Jose Feliciano-Play Ball!

These next three are my favorite attempts at ‘writing.’ Some of my posts are just that…posts. These three were more of a personal perspective on guitar, myself and my musical past.

4. Beware of the Pick Gremlins! Important as ALL guitarists know there has to be Pick Gremlins stealing our picks! How else can they disappear so quickly?

5. Function of My Dysfunction An insight into my mind…

6. Band Logos and Dreams What did I study in school? Drawing band logos on my book covers and folders.

Sports has been another major interest throughout my life. So it is nice for me to be able to combine the two. I thought these were pretty clever, tongue in cheek ways of combining music and sports. They are also an exercise in creativity much like composing music.

7. A Musical Tribute to the 2012 Olympic Games in London

8.  2012 NFL Predictions ‘Rock n Roll’ Edition

Playing a fair amount of weddings every year and working with so many great couples I really enjoyed blogging about different musical aspects involved in making the ‘Big Day’ special.

9. Weddings

Yeah, I had to delve into the ugly Presidential campaign of 2012. I feel I gave both a fair ration of disrespect as I feel ALL politicians deserve.  Much like the sports posts above it was a fun creative process putting this post together.

10. Presidential Campaign 2012, Romney v Obama (Scherzino Falsetto)

Happy Independence Day – Jose Feliciano

Here is a link to a previous post I wrote about Jose Feliciano’s interpretation of the National Anthem. I first heard this version this year and personally really enjoyed it. Jose suffered serious career implications from the reaction to his anthem. So my goal is to give Jose, a great musician, his props and share the version 40 plus years later…actually now comparatively a very tame version.

 

Previous post on Feliciano’s National Anthem Interpretation.

 

Here is the video.