Patriotic Medley

Patriotic Medley Single rT 5:17

 2020 Light Without Heat

Richard Peikoff: Solo FingerStyle & Slide Guitar

John M. Keane: Producer

Wyn Davis: Engineer

Steve Vai: Executive Producer

Jeroen Noordhuis: Web Master

Matt Guthrie: ArtWork & Graphics

You Tube Video: Performance for 20K people,  Live at the Staples Center in L.A. 

Guitar: Taylor 414 Koa, Customized

Slide: Jim Dunlop Metallic Mudslide


Because of the events of September 11, 2001, I was moved to play the National Anthem on a daily basis for about 4-5 months. It was my way of healing from the shock of it all. I began arranging “America The Beautiful” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” as well. “The Star Spangled Banner” features slide guitar. The medley is played solo in CGCFGC tuning. I’ve shared this arrangement several times with the public. Each time it’s aroused a deep response. I therefore decided to record it & release it as a single.

I’d pressed about 200 copies which were sent to the government & the private sector: All NY Civil Servants involved in 911, 50 US Senators, Mayor of NY, NPR (All Things Considered), the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pacifica Radio. I received some beautiful letters back in response. I received a great call from Bob Boilen (NPR) who at the time was hosting All Things Considered. I believe his show today is the Tiny Desk Concerts. Lisa Estrada, choreographer for the Lakers Girls was the person responsible for inviting me to perform. She said that there was no payment for the performance, but there were perks. She provided 4 front row seats at the goal, and a $200 gift certificate to the dining room. The control room also provided with the video. I took  3 students with me to the game.

It was an  honor sharing the National Anthem at a Lakers/Pistons game. It was quite an experience for me to play this slide guitar arrangement, center court, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. There were 20,000 people on hand. It was very moving. I was pretty nervous as that was a first for me. I did a sound check while both teams were shooting hoops, then went upstairs to eat with my students. I was too nervous to eat much so I had a dinner salad & a shrimp cocktail. Meanwhile there was no stopping my students who went over to the buffet and piled on enough food for 3 days! Hey, they had an appetite! Afterwards my students took there seats and I went to the Green Room to tune up. 

The Staples Center was fully lit when I walked out on the floor. Both teams were lined up on the sidelines at their respective goals. As I sat down on the high stool provided for me the house lights went black, & a very bright spot was thrown on me. The only 2 people on the floor for the next 90 seconds were me & the cameraman squatting to my left, with a lens the size of a dinner plate, filming for the Jumbo Vision overhead!

All that aside, I was able to relax, focus on the piece, & share the arrangement, which until that moment, had only been heard by a limited audience. It was an honor. I played the piece passionately & with much love & devotion. It was a blessing to be able to do so. The crowd was drop dead silent. A lovely applause followed.

As I left the court to a very warm ovation, the late Glenn Frey of the Eagles, who was sitting court side next to Magic, made a point of  getting out pf his seat to stop me on my way to the Green Room and acknowledge the performance. He gave me a big hug. Towards the end of the game he left about 8 minutes early, walked over to where I was sitting in the front row facing the goal, and said goodbye, shaking hands, big smile on both of our faces. I felt a sense of completion & was grateful to have been able to share the piece with so many people. rP