We’ve heard singers botch the words to the National Anthem, we’ve seen them forget the words, and we’ve heard them deliberately butcher what should be a serious song paying tribute to our nation’s history. Well Steven Tyler sang the National Anthem at The Patriots Ravens playoffs Sunday and he sounded like he was doing an Aerosmith ballad. He even did a little vocal riff for “Land of the Free.” The crowd was both booing and cheering, so I guess it’s safe to say he got a mixed reception.
Steven Tyler took some heat Sunday after singing an off-kilter, screechy version of The Star-Spangled Banner before an NFL playoff game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mass.
The crowd at the game began heckling the American Idol judge, 63, as he worked his way through the national anthem, missing notes and flubbing lyrics.
He sang “as bomb bursting in air” instead of “the bombs bursting in air” and “oh the land of the free” instead of “o’er the land of the free.”
ESPN analyst Skip Bayless spoke for many when he Tweeted: “How could Patriots be inspired by that awful Anthem sung by Steven Tyler? At least give him some screaming guitars to camouflage voice.”
The journalist and humorist Greg Gutfeld added: “i went outside to put a raccoon out of its misery – then i realized my neighbor was watching Steven Tyler sing the Star-Spangled Banner.”
Others felt that the frontman of Boston-based Aerosmith was just being himself. “I’m not understanding the people who say Steven Tyler ‘butchered’ the national anthem,” wrote one of his fans on Twitter. “He sang as he always does … what were you expecting?”
Some of the YouTube comments note that this is just how Steven sings, and that it was decent to awesome. Others say it was bad and disrespectful, and mention that Steven did screw up the lyrics. He sang “And the rockets’ red glare, as bombs bursting in air.” The real line is “And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,” but it’s a very minor difference and not what the crowd was responding to. (People claims he sang “Oh the land of the free,” but I didn’t hear that, I thought he said “O’er.”) One commenter noted that it was more disrespectful for the crowd to boo the Anthem than for Steven to sing it like classic rock. Personally I wouldn’t be offended by this, but I’m not a sports-goer by any means. People who are true sports fans take the Anthem very seriously.
Note: as I was looking for photos to include with this story, I came across these recent pictures of Steven Tyler shirtless and I actually shuddered.
Steven is shown on 9-23-11, 12-12, 12-13, and 12-14-11 (outside Idol.) Credit: FameFlynet