And now for something completely patriotic and wholesome: how about a high-school basketball player in his game wear shredding the national anthem on an X Series Jackson Soloist just moments before taking to the field for the last home game of the season?
Oh, all right then. That’s exactly what we have here. Andrew Logan, a senior at Calallan High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, is doing the honors on electric guitar – and his rendition at the Calallen Wildcats' final home game of the year was so impressive, it's racked up nearly 700,000 views on TikTok.
Logan puts his stamp on it, knowing when to lean into the wah pedal as a filter to make his Soloist’s high-output ceramic HB-103B bridge humbucker squawk, knowing when to dial it back and keep it on point, some super-fluid double-handed tapping because game day is a day for excellence.
Grover Jackson can take some credit for the sustain, of course – the neck-through build of the Soloist comes into its own on that score. And spalted maple veneer on basswood is a classy finish and wholly befits an occasion such as this.
Head to Logan's TikTok page, and it becomes clear where his chops come from. Here is one kid who has crossed the streams, mixing music and sports, pitting faculty against faculty on who gets more of his extra-curricular time and attention, and by all accounts excelling at both.
Okay, so we don't have his stats for interceptions made or successful passes, but in terms of the music, Logan is a premium shredder in training, making short work of Marty Friedman's finger-twisting Tornado of Souls solo.
It’s quite remarkable the journey that this tune has been on. Back in 1780, John Stafford Smith could have had no idea that the melody for the Anacreontic Song would a) become the national anthem of the United States of America, b) would become a standard that all American guitar players must learn, and that c) would sound so good through a high-performance metal guitar like this.
It was Jimi Hendrix who showed us all how the song could be turned into a work of performance art on six strings. His was both subversive and in its own right a form of patriotism, an incendiary, psychedelic experience.
Legions of players have followed since. Can you even call your high-profile sporting event an event without inviting a top-tier guitar talent – Metallica, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Alex Skolnick, Steve Vai et cetera – to open the play with a solo performance?
And the beauty of the track is how the melody is so strong that it withstands reinterpretation, of everybody’s individual style being pressed upon it. Maybe there is a metaphor there for the country if you’d be so inclined to read it that way.