Monday, January 23, 2012

The Star Spangled Banter

There seems to be a ridiculous amount of armchair fuss and disgust over Steven Tyler's performance of The Star Spangled Banner before yesterdays AFC Championship game. From the internets, tweets and newsrooms I've been privy to words like "TRAVESTY", "disgrace", "butchered", atrocity", even "tasteless" to describe his take on this atrocious song.

Yes, I said atrocious song. I have a lot to say about it, but I may morph back and forth between into some sort of veteran huggin', beer slingin' good ole boy full of lung butter and adrenaline....and yours truly. Because for some reason, this song is sacred. It is symbolic of the good old USA, so you better remove your hat and slap that hand over your heart and pay attention, boy. Because it's the most important song that ever glorified war.

"Because the game wont be the same without it, man. The goddamn game wouldn't even be being played if it weren't for the good old righteous wars. We won the right to play it. Now hear me. We won the right to come into your country when you don't want us to, take over your governments and turn your country into a police state until order is restored and your terrorist leader is punished, killed or driven out of power. Freedom ain't free. Ain't nothin' like a good old war song to get those colors flying, that pride bursting, and heart a poundin'. Ain't nothin' like getting all big chested and misty eyed with a good old outdated, imperialistic sing a long that most of the offensive linemen ignore while they adjust their jocks.   And nobody who has the privilege of an invitation to sing it, better sing it off key, off color or whatnot because that'd be a goddamn sacrilege. An abomination. And goddamnit, you better have a fuckin' tear in your eye when those fireworks drop and drape over the fighter plane flyin low and slow over the stadium. You'd better straighten up while flyin' right."

Hey, butterbean, listen to the words. Your sentiment is disguised by your pride. War has never been the answer to anything through history but rather a disagreement of religion and false gods, and a pursuit of land, power and money.. But now people are pissed off, being civilly disobedient, distrusting their leaders, and the act of being patriotic falls somewhere between cutting back on high fructose corn syrup and Tivo-ing The Bachelor. And you soldiers? Bless your hearts for what you do, even when you don't know why you do what you do, or no longer believe in what you do.

May I suggest an upgrade to Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" to be performed in lieu of the Elitist Anthem. A true panorama and pastiche of what America truly symbolizes-inclusion.

Steven Tyler is still a rock star. Even after having to take the Idol job to fund his various alimony escapades, and his ridiculous Oprah interview, the guy is still a Toxic Twin. He's still the guy who wrote the words to Sick as a Dog and Lord of the Thighs. And that's enough for me. I've been in his company while in his dressing room with my late sister and he was the coolest, intuitive, non self- serving celebrity I'd ever been around.

What he's absurdly up against in this PR debacle, for which I'm convinced that he doesn't give a shit about is the ABOVE played out national  SENTIMENT.... PLUS his much higher profile. Due to his appearance 2x a week on a massively popular faux- starmaking show which is shoved down the throats of a general public who know next to nothing about music, he's a CELEBRITY, now. A 40 second soundbite at the end of every fly- over city's six o clock news broadcast. These couch proud cretins and pasty tweens have most likely never heard a fucking Aerosmith song. Therefore, they would never know that Mr. Tyler sounded exactly like Mr. Tyler SHOULD sound , while singing the NATIONAL ANTHEM. IN BOSTON, WHERE HE'S FROM. He sounded like a ROCK STAR. A 63 year old rock star who can still hit the high notes on this notoriously difficult song to sing. So many vocally white washed or melismally mutilating understudies have tried to go where Steven went and failed by falling off the edge of the key or being a sonic gymnast and rappelling down the ends of the phrases.

If you wanted the slick operatic white bread take on this song, you should have waited for Kristen Chenoweth's sparkly clean version before the Giant/49er game. Her teeth were shining through the misty rain, her vibrato was Rogers and Hammerstein strong and pitch perfect. Shit, I was waiting for jazz hands.We did get the Miss America wave, though.

I was personally much more offended with the New England Patriots who were handed the game with a dropped pass and missed kick. And now that sneering thankless snob Tom Brady gets to dirty up my Super Bowl again. Now that's a travesty.

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