The national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, has been treated to plenty of high-profile electric guitar renditions in recent times, from James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett’s two-guitar take at a San Francisco Giants game in May, to Phil Demmel’s wah-heavy performance at a high school basketball game back in February.
And on Saturday night (January 7) in Jacksonville, Florida, a local guitarist by the name of Paul Wane threw his hat into the ring, and boy, did he do it in style.
Appearing before the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Tennessee Titans game at the TIAA Bank Field, Wane, armed with an appropriately patriotic stars-and-stripes-adorned Murphy Custom Guitars Telecaster-inspired model, blew the crowd away with a face-melting take on the anthem, complete with slick legato runs, fiery two-handed tapping and even some rapid wah-flavored alternate picking.
Electric National Anthem tonight by Paul Wane. #TENvsJAX pic.twitter.com/54CdT3ukDKJanuary 8, 2023
Yes, it was about the most exuberant display of patriotism you could imagine, and no doubt inspired the Jaguars in their inevitable 20-16 defeat over the Titans.
Beyond his stellar performance of the national anthem, Paul Wane plays in a band named Duval County Line, and operates the Jacksonville-based charity, Guitars 4 Kids.
As he explains, it was through his foundation – which gifts guitars to children – that he was offered the opportunity to perform before the Jaguars vs Titans game.
“We gave an instrument to a young man, and it turns out his father works security here at the stadium,” he told News4Jax. “He got to talking to some of his co-workers about it, and they invited me to do this.”
According to Touchdown Wire, Guitars 4 Kids has gifted between 200 and 300 guitars to Jacksonville children in the last two years.
Electric guitar players often get the call up to perform the national anthem before sports fixtures, but last year, Red Hot Chili Peppers man Flea proved the composition is just as suited to the bass guitar with a fuzzed-up version at an LA Lakers basketball game.