The Detroit Lions announced today that local saxophone legend Alto Reed will be performing “The Star Spangled Banner” during their annual Thanksgiving Day game this Thursday. Reed, a founding member of Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, is most well known for his saxophone introduction to “Turn the Page” and his solo on “Old Time Rock and Roll”.
Reed was born in Detroit, Michigan. The saxophone player performed the American national anthem during Game 4 of the ALCS between the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers. The Tigers lost that game 7-3 in 11 innings and lost the series 4-2.
The move to bring in a Detroit native by the Lions mirrors their recent decision to let Kid Rock do the halftime show. Last year, the Lions went with “popular” mainstream performers for their national television audience. The Lions used American Idol Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina as their national anthem performer. Alaina went silent after forgetting the words that came after “What so proudly we hailed, through the twi…” She later jumped back in with “Whose broad stripes and bright stars” and finished the rest of the song. Alaina was a judge favorite when a contestant on Idol. The former Cici’s Pizza worker released a cd shortly before the Thanksgiving Day game.
The Lions chose Canadian band Nickelback to perform the Halftime Show of the annual American holiday tradition game. That selection was met with an online petition of over 50,000 signatures to pick a different band to perform. Nickelback was met with some boos at the game and it continues to be believed that the Lions should have picked a local performer.
On Thanksgiving Day, the Lions take on the Houston Texans. Along with a home field advantage, the Lions will have a local national anthem performer, and local halftime performer.