Steven Tyler and the National Anthem: Sounded Fine to Me

Steven Tyler rocked out his version of the National Anthem today. I thought he was just fine-- delightfully screech-y in fact, if a little off-key. The audience cheered -- it was good entertainment.

I don't think the person who posted this video on You Tube should have used the words "messed up" because he sang "a bomb bursting in air" instead of "bombs bursting in air." Big deal.

Tyler is no stranger to singing the National Anthem. Check out his Indy 500 version. It's not like they didn't know what they were getting, he's been singing it at sporting events for a decade at least.

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    you hire Steven Tyler (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:27:27 AM EST
    you get Steven Tyler.  I'd never hire him, but if I did I would not complain about him.  He was fine.  he was him.  I'm an opera snob.  I don't like good pop Broadway voices much.  Give me a classically trained voice every time.

    But I agree, he was fine.

    Kristin Chenoweth sounded like she may (none / 0) (#12)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:08:51 AM EST
    have been classical trained.

    Her version: too pokey and too dramatic (ie singing to the back of the house and chewing the scenery)imo.


    She was marvleous (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:26:28 AM EST
    Her soprano voice was amazing.

    She is a Tony-award winning singer, and her version IMO (and the opinion of many others) was that it was way better than Steven Tyler's.  (Who looked like he was going to collapse at any moment).


    I agree she it it well (none / 0) (#34)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:58:59 PM EST
    but there you go...Tony award winner...used to singing to back of the house! I rest my case. ;0)

    everybody is mic'd (none / 0) (#37)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:32:07 PM EST
    these days.  It is hard to know exactly who can sing to the back of the house anymore. Some people can, but most have never had to try.

    true (none / 0) (#39)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 08:05:30 PM EST
    yet the metaphor remains....in the style of presentation

    she is classically trained (none / 0) (#36)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:26:41 PM EST
    she has gotten in to some bad habits though. She is trained but her training is thrown out for pop indulgences. That's fine if you like that.  

    I just (5.00 / 0) (#5)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:31:46 AM EST
    wonder why the singing of the National Anthem is necessary at a sporting event.

    To me, it is another intrusion on our lives from the government.
    It has nothing whatsoever to do with sports.

    I don't know if they still do it, but in England they use to play "God save the Queen" at the cinema. People used to run the hell out shortly before the film ended so that they wouldn't have to stand there like idiots while the music droned on.

    I guess that's why it became accepted to have funky versions of the anthem. It makes us feel a wee bit anti-establishment while we genuflect to BIg Brother.

    A brief history of the National Anthem (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:47:41 AM EST
    at sporting events.

    Been going on at least since 1917.

    Everything is not a "Big Brother" intrusion into our lives.


    They (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 09:52:37 AM EST
    seemed to manage quite well until 1917.

    I do feel this is government intruding into our lives.
    Sporting events are recreational. A chance to get away from thinking about terrorism and the wonderful things our government is doing to k e e p  u s  s a f e....

    But they've got to remind us.

    Why not at movies?
    Why not in restaurants before the appetizer?
    Why not in the subway during rush hour?

    Anyway, it doesn't bother you, or so it seems.
    How does it feel to you to stand up, hand on heart, before sitting down to watch the game - or the race - or whatever?


    I feel fine with it (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:02:08 AM EST
    As a matter of fact, it's a reminder to me that, no matter how bs things seem, we are a country of optimism and hope.

    It makes me proud.


    then you clearly are either very young, (none / 0) (#14)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:18:08 AM EST
    or have chosen to totally forget american history prior to oh, say, 2011.

    As a matter of fact, it's a reminder to me that, no matter how bs things seem, we are a country of optimism and hope.

    i recall, in a more controversial day (lets call it, for the sake of brevity, the "vietnam era"), when playing the national anthem at sporting events was hardly a "come together" moment for all americans.

    i remember very clearly, back in high school, when fights broke out in the stands, when the national anthem was sung, at the beginning of football games. those who stood up, hand over heart, took great offense, physically, at those who chose to remain seated. and my school was hardly unique.

    given the high level of polarization existing in our country today, it wouldn't at all surprise me to see this happen again.


    HA HA HA! (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:28:28 AM EST
    No - I'm 43.

    But I don't find a boogey-man around every corner.

    And while I understand the "vietnam-era" mentality and problems that were highlighted then, I think there are some who won't let little things go - ala taking a moment to come together for the national anthem.  

    So, what about the Olympics?  Are you ashamed when the US gold medal winners get to hear their national anthem?

    I think it's a silly thing to be offended about, when there are so many real things to be offended about.


    It makes (none / 0) (#29)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 03:09:12 PM EST
    you feel proud.

    It makes me feel like I'm in a banana republic - or the third reich.

    Different strokes as they say.

    The thing is - you can feel proud as often as you like in any fashion you choose. You can put a big flag on your lawn.
    You can put the President's picture on your wall.

    I choose to be patriotic in my own way.
    When the anthem sounds before a goddam football game, I feel anything but patriotic - and I have to endure it just to watch a game. It's a little like smoking in restaurants. Some diners considered a right and a pleasure - while others had to endure the unwanted smoke.


    Galeano (none / 0) (#33)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:33:55 PM EST
    the Uraguayan writer, in an essay, examined the national anthems of something like twenty different major countries scattered across the globe, and found that the one thing all the anthems had in common was the romanticization of the country's past glory-in-war and military might.

    I (none / 0) (#35)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:28:27 PM EST
    was thinking of something like that.

    It's about the bombs bursting in air.

    "America the Beautiful" is kind of nice.
    Spacious skies and amber waves of grain.

    Not the stuff of National Anthems, however.

    The other thing I think of is when they get to the ending of the National Anthem, and the question is asked, "Does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'r the land of the free and the home of the brave? - I silently think to myself, "No. It doesn't."


    What I don't like in recent times (none / 0) (#40)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:39:48 PM EST
    about the singing of the national anthem is this need to bring in superstars to sing it -- solo.

    I recall the days when we all sang it together at baseball games and other events.  That came closer to what you're talking about, jbindc, rather than the recent trend to watching a millionaire sing it.


    Do they still play (none / 0) (#11)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:07:01 AM EST
    God Save the Queen in British cinemas, at the end of the movie?

    I don't know. (none / 0) (#30)
    by lentinel on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 03:11:12 PM EST
    I'm glad to report that in Irish pubs (none / 0) (#41)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 12:41:59 PM EST
    that I enjoy, we still sing "A Nation Once Again" at closing time.

    A pub owner explained to me why he encourages it, and not only for patriotic reasons.  We have to stand to sing it, which gives employees a chance to start putting chairs on tables and getting us the heck outathere.  Otherwise, it's notoriously difficult to empty an Irish pub.


    Used to hear Star Spangled Banner and (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:56:13 PM EST
    and the national anthem of the visiting international orchestra at classical music concerts.  But last time I heard this pairing was Israel Philharmonic, guest-conducted by The Dude.  

    1917.. (none / 0) (#32)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:24:07 PM EST
    there was certainly a fair amount of Big Brotherism going on in that era -- including the government intimidating, rounding up and imprisoning, and sometimes deporting citizens who publicly opposed WWI and the draft..

    That period was also near the beginning of the (ongoing) era of statesmanship-by-p.r-firm, and "the engineering of consent", and all the excessive public displays of jingoism and warmongering that went along with it.  


    Not Sure How a Piece of Music is Intruding (none / 0) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:03:48 PM EST
    The NFL is a private enterprise and can play whatever they want, there is no law requiring it, therefore you can't claim the government is doing this or that, they aren't.  It's simply a tradition that people like.

    Your argument might stand at say a high school game, if it were illegal for the government to promote itself.  It's not, seems like you are making the religion argument which is clearly illegal.

    From a practical stand point, if they removed it from sporting events, no one would know the words.  Which I guess wouldn't be real important if it was never played.

    I like the reminder of sacrifice while I sit on my cozy couch eating pizza before the game.  It's a thank you for allowing everyone to have a better life IMO.


    Big brother? (none / 0) (#38)
    by TeresaInPa on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:45:05 PM EST
    The Government is us.  We are not big brother.  The national anthem is not an intrusion and if you don't want to sing it or even stand no one can make you.  You don't end up being erased from society as if you never existed.

    If sporting events are a whole lot of Americans gathered together for fun and profit, I see no harm in the National Anthem being sung.  It's not mandatory.


    if you ask steven tyler to sing the (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    national anthem, what you'll get is steven tyler singing the national anthem. expecting anything else is grounds for assuming insanity, per albert einstein.

    That wasn't as tortured as some versions (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 02:04:54 PM EST
    I've heard at baseball games.  Pretty straightforward, actually.  It's the embellishers who bug me.  

    Yes! (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 02:14:25 PM EST
    A singer should not sing their own interpretation of the national anthem because it is a song that everyone is encourage to sing along with.

    FY - it is also an extreme breach of etiquette to start cheering in the middle of the song or before it is over.


    How about instrumentals? (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:41:30 PM EST
    Jimi at Woodstock...best god damn version I ever heard.

    How about Springsteen's 2012 tour (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 01:55:21 PM EST
    schedule?  See:  signonsandiego.com (he ain't comin here).  

    Link: (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 02:05:06 PM EST
    well sure Jerri (none / 0) (#1)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 10:09:41 PM EST
    you have always had a secret crush on Steven Tyler but I thought, even though he did a good job, he looked like he was going to faint...

    I guess the Ravens (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 10:14:48 PM EST
    are "nevermore," at least for this year.  New York (New Jersey?) vs. "New England" (Boston?) - it's like the Yankees and the Red Sox, kinda.

    more like (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:14:08 AM EST
    the Mets vs. the Red Sox.

    The Jets = Yankees.

    But don't worry, we still hate all teams from NY.  Just some teams a little more than others.

    I like the mets analogy though.  In both cases you could say we're trying to make up for history.  This would be like if we met the Mets again in the world series in '91 with Buckner still on the team.


    jets=yankees? (none / 0) (#18)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:38:16 AM EST
    i take offense, on behalf of the yankees. the jets, in their entire existence, only ever had one really good season, with joe namath under center, culminating in its defeat of the (then) baltimore colts in SB III. since then, nothing.

    the giants, by way of contrast, have been in multiple super bowls, winning several, with the most recent championship against these (almost) same patriots, in SB XLII. they also share an attitude with the yankees: they expect to win it all every year, while the jets are just happy to still be in the NFL.

    btw, in the interests of full disclosure, i am (slowly dying) redskins fan, so it isn't as though i have a vested interest in the giants, just being realistic.

    jets=yankees indeed!


    I just meant in terms of (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:45:01 AM EST
    the rivalry.  If you are going to compare the rivalry it's pats/jets not pats/giants.  Since they play in the same division and hate each other with a similar level of vitrol.

    With the exception of that superbowl there is no pats/giants rivalry since they almost never play each other.  Kind of like the red sox and the mets.  We hate them for that one world series but it's not like we face them multiple times a year or they can stop us on the way to the big game.  The patriots will never play the Jets in the superbowl and the red sox will never play the yanks in the world series, but those games are still always must-see.

    I can't BELIEVE I'm about to write this, but if you put the Pats in as the Yankees it makes more sense.


    the problem (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 10:37:43 PM EST
    "It's not like they didn't know what they were getting."

    That's the problem.  They picked him because he is famous, not because he can sing anymore.  Next they'll have Kim Kardashian or Snooki sing the National Anthem.  Ugh.

    also (none / 0) (#7)
    by CST on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 08:37:10 AM EST
    He's semi-local.

    At least, we file him under local.


    Or Carl Lewis. (none / 0) (#20)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:48:09 AM EST
    He was the Rick Perry of Anthem singers in that one NBA appearance:  "uh-oh".

    Best I can say about Steve Tyler is that somehow he managed to finish the song still standing and not being booed off the field.  And he was better than Carl.


    How about compared to Roseanne Barr? (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:58:35 AM EST
    Comedienne. She set out to (none / 0) (#23)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 12:11:41 PM EST
    make a mess of it.  Poor Carl actually thought he was a singer.

    Was just thinking (none / 0) (#24)
    by Amiss on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 12:28:55 PM EST
    about her appearance.

    So sorry I missed it. A few years (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    b/4 I became a Padres fan.  

    Given a choice (none / 0) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 10:09:09 AM EST
    I'll take the way it was sung by Kristin Chenoweth for the Giants/49ers game any day.

    Roger that. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by brodie on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:56:35 AM EST
    Not bad for a classically trained singer from OKC University.  And she nailed it even under adverse weather conditions.

    If we have to put up with these faux displays of patriotism then I say we should make it a federal law that Kristen gets the exclusive rights to perform the NA at all sporting events, or an assignee performer of her choosing.