1. Madison Rising Provides a Lyrical Update
Madison Rising is a rock group with a mission - to make The Star Spangled Banner cool again. When the band got word that there were certain people out there dissing the tune, they made it their goal to reverse that notion and get the national anthem jingling in heads and iPods all across the nation.
2. 150 Service Members Perform the Song in a Montage
Each note in this song is represented by at least one service member, proving to be a both a symbolically fitting and heartfelt rendition.
3. Played on Crystal Water Glasses
While playing songs on glasses is not exactly new, this is certainly one of the more impressive performances I’ve seen - not only for how many different glasses the man uses (and how much effort it must have taken to get each to the perfect water level), but for how on pitch the song remains throughout.
4. Robert Downey Jr. and B.B. King in “Heart and Souls”
In this comedy, Robert Downey Jr.’s character ends up on a stage at a B.B. King concert, and performs The Star Spangled Banner. Of note, is that this is in fact Robert Downey Jr. singing, and not someone else’s voice dubbed over.
5. A Cello Cover of the Jimi Hendrix National Anthem
Caught on film at Zucotti Park during Occupy Wallstreet, cellist Matt Haimovitz performs this rousing cover of the Jimi Hendrix version of The Star Spangled Banner.
6. Steve Vai Performs an Electric Solo
Performed by legendary guitarist Steve Vai, this is arguably one of the more spirited modern electric guitar renditions of The Star Spangled Banner.
7. Nirvana Performs a Very Bad Rendition
At the end of a show in 1992, Kurt Cobain performed what is perhaps the most half-hearted ad-lib version of The Star Spangled Banner ever put to film, going off pitch every few notes, and seemingly figuring it out as he went along.
It’s also probably my favorite.
The Star Spangled Banner starts at 2:44 - before that, it’s mostly monkeying about and stage destruction.
Happy America Week, folks, and enjoy having The Star Spangled Banner stuck in your head for the next few days.
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- Actor Gene Wilder, who starred in classics like "Willy Wonka" and "Blazing Saddles," has died at 83.