Steven Tyler: Good at Wearing Scarves, Less Good at Singing the National Anthem

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01/23/2012 11:32 AM |

Steven Tyler sang the National Anthem at Foxboro Stadium before the New England Patriots eventual AFC Championship-winning performance yesterday, and it turned out to be not a very good idea. Deadspin asked if it was the worst rendition of the song ever (my vote’s for Carl Lewis, while Business Insider, your obvious go-to music website, said that it was “straight-up awful.” Tyler also screwed up the lyrics, changing “the bombs bursting in air” to “as bomb bursting in air.” But that’s just artistic license, right?

My reaction: it’s 63-year-old Steven Tyler in 2012 — he shouldn’t be expected to hit the high note because he hasn’t been able to in many years now (I’m blaming “Jaded,” if only because that song is fucking terrible). That’s like asking Tom Waits to sing a pitch-perfect “God Bless America.” It’s not gonna happen, and I doubt Tyler was booked because Patriots fans wanted to hear the second-coming of Pavarotti; they got him because dude knows how to rock a scarf.

Though I will say there are plenty of other Boston-based singers (Tyler’s originally from Yonkers, but Aerosmith formed in Massachusetts) who should have been asked over the guy who once advised, “So never judge a book by its cover/Or who you gonna love by your lover.” This list includes: Jonathan Richman, J. Geils Band’s Magic Dick (he could belt? wail? something? on his harmonica), Ric Ocasek, the dude from Boston, Mission of Burma’s Roger Miller, Salem 66’s Judy Grunwald, Black Francis and/or Kim Deal, Swirlies’ Damon Tutunjian, J. Mascis and/or Lou Barlow, Jeff Conolly, Joe Pernice…