Carlos Santana to NFL: ‘Real live music, real live vocals’

Latin rock guitarist Carlos Santana has penned an open letter to the National Football League (NFL) and CBS inviting them to consider asking iconic bands to be perform live as part of future Super Bowl Half Time entertainment shows.

“Dear NFL/CBS….I would like to take this opportunity to thank you both for including me as a part of your Super Bowl entertainment. I do feel compelled to point out to you that the Halftime Show should have included some of the local iconic bands that the World would have loved to see perform,” he writes on Facebook. “Bands like Metallica, Steve Miller, Journey and yours truly. We would have rocked the Half Time Show and done the SF Bay Area proud. This is just an invitation for you to consider iconic bands as part of your Half Time entertainment. Real live music, real live vocals, and give the audience real live chills.”

Santana’s comments are in response to the NFL’s requirement that all artists must mime to pre-recorded music while the vocals are sung live. This became a controversy during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ performance at Super Bowl 48. Fans and musicians noticed the guitars were not plugged in, sparking backlash against the band on social media. A few days later, bassist Flea responded via the band’s website.

“When we were asked by the NFL and Bruno to play our song ‘Give It Away’ at the Super Bowl, it was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums, and guitar would be pre-recorded,” he writes. “I understand the NFL’s stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the t.v. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.”

Should the NFL change their stance on the issue, a Utica, NY rock DJ made a suggestion that would please fans young and old. He suggested mixing current and historic bands from the area that would rotate on and off and perform condensed versions of some of their biggest hits, among others. Genessee Joe of 92.7 The Drive made the following suggestion via Facebook:

“Journey is the house band they play a song, Carlos Santana comes out and he plays one. Bruno Mars comes out and Does Oits Redding ‘Dock of the Bay’ with the Tower of Power horns. Sammy Hagar comes out plays “I Can’t Drive 55′; he’s joined by Kirk, Lars and James from Metallica for ‘Enter Sandman.’ They leave, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh come out and do ‘Touch Of Grey.’ Katy Perry and Pink come out and join for a medley of ‘Somebody To Love’ into ‘Me and Bobby McGee’. Steve Miller comes out for ‘Fly Like An Eagle’. Everybody comes back out to join Journey for an all-star version of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’. Fireworks go off there’s dancers end of show. Back to football.”

While either scenario would be great for classic music fans, it’s highly doubtful the NFL will change their minds on using pre-recorded music for the event. It’s also doubtful that any of the classic rock musicians named above would agree to perform live to pre-recorded music no matter how many eyes are watching.

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Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.