Friday BBQ Spotify 7/5/13
We hope you’re all enjoying the long Fourth of July weekend! I know that some of you are working today, and for the military and especially personnel in active service, they don’t get a day off any day. On this weekend of all weekends, we really need to remember that. And quite frankly, for as important a day to Americans as Independence Day, the music over the years has been somewhat predictable and repetitive. But every once in a while someone cranks out the National Anthem like it’s never been done before. And for my money, no one has ever sung the Star Spangled Banner like Whitney Houston. Good case in point is Ms. Whitney. Poor creature had a life full of warts and turmoil to go along with her sublime voice. But isn’t that the same for all of us? A country full of go-alongs and misfits, natives and immigrants from throughout the world, rich and poor, downtrodden beyond description and fortunate beyond compare. And all of us mixed together in this fabulous soup. This grand experiment of democracy and freedom put forth in 1776 that’s full of its own warts and turmoil, but ever full of possibility and still the grandest country and way of life on Earth. So I offer up Whitney’s terrific rendition of the grandest song in America, and a sweet little one from Randy Newman called Follow the Flag to play when everyone around you is saying this country is done. One of my dreams is to have Randy play this song in the University of Colorado’s football stadium before their legendary Independence Day fireworks display, and then have all the fireworks cannons go off on the last note from his piano. If you’re already familiar with this song, you know what I’m talking about. And another look at one of the coolest National Anthems I’ve ever seen performed, when Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of The Grateful Dead and Further teamed up with musician and third-base coach Tim Flannery of the San Francisco Giants before Game 2 of the 2012 National League Championship Series. They originally performed it together before a Giants home game in 2011, and it’s always a highlight when they repeat it. Besides being an accomplished coach and former player for the San Diego Padres, Tim is also a terrific musician and unflinching humanitarian, having performed several benefit concerts to assist in the recovery of Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium in 2011. Tim Flannery is a perfect example to me of what it means to be a TRUE American on Independence Day. Immensely talented but not dangerously prideful, and incessantly hard-working. Gets along with everyone yet follows the beat of his own drummer. And is the guy you can always count on to be there to kick your butt when you need it, but always help you when you’re down, and sometimes just help show you the way. No wonder he’s a third-base coach. So let’s try to remember what we should all be about as Americans on this Independence Day weekend. Embrace the power of ourselves as individuals but always be ready to lend a helping hand – no matter what color, no matter what creed, no matter what belief, and no matter what origin. This is still the most incredible place on Earth, and all of us individually and together are the only ones who can keep it that way. Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend everyone.