bg/ish: “…Oooh The Fiiiight…”

So, I just find myself having to watch this from time to time. The NBA All-Star Game usually makes me think of it. Fact: Marvin Gaye is my favorite singer of all time. I’ve heard the bongos in “What’s Goin’ On”! For me, it’s Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, and then everybody else.

So, it’s the 1983 NBA All Star Game, a simple beat fades in, and up steps Marvin looking cooler than the other side of the pillow in a double-breasted suit and some sunglasses. He humbly acknowledges the crowd, adjusts the mike stand, and then gently eases his way into the coolest version of the National Anthem ever. Think I’m exaggerating? Then explain the 2:20 mark when the entire crowd forgets they’re listening to the National Anthem at a basketball game and just starts grooving with Marvin. Try not to dance.

Ya, a good National Anthem can be moving, and people love to talk about pre-crackhead Whitney’s Super Bowl version. The Dixie Chicks and others have gotten love. Hell, Jimi turned the song inside out way back at Woodstock.

But as far as I’m concerned, no one will ever be able to top what Marvin did in the Great Western Forum in 1983. It was too cool, and too classy.



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