Bay area horn
player Mic Gillette can hardly wait for the
San Francisco Giants’ Opening Night.
because he’ll be playing a solo version of
the National Anthem before the Giants’ first
home night game of the year on April 9.
you play it, it’s a big deal,” says
Gillette, who has played at the Seafood
Festival the past two years and did a
benefit concert at the Creative Arts
Building in December for the Pittsburg High
School Band’s trip to London.
National Anthem is becoming old hat for
Gillette, who played it prior to Willie
Mays’ 80th birthday celebration
at a Giants’ game. He’s played the anthem
before A’s and Raiders’ games and also
before a NASCAR.
Anthem is known as a tough song to sing, but
it is not tough to play on a trumpet said
Gillette. “It’s easier to play than ‘Taps.’”
lead horn player who played for the original
Tower of Power now has his own band, MGB,
which features his daughter, Megan McCarthy
on percussion and vocals. MGB has already
applied to play at this year’s Seafood
played briefly with Blood Sweat & Tears and
locally with Cold Blood and Sons of Champlin.
He is also a sought-after session musician,
appearing on albums by Santana, the Rolling
Stones, Elton John, Huey Lewis, Jefferson
Starship, Quincy Jones, Sheryl Crow, Rod
Stewart and the Doobie Brothers.
be playing to a packed stadium on April 9,
it will be a piece of cake after his first
solo National Anthem.
It goes back
to July 4, 1984, when Gillette was invited
back to Washington DC to back up the Beach
Boys at the National Mall.
the Beach Boys to the crowd of 700,000 was a
fellow Southern Californian, President
Megan, was only 12 days old, but I was hired
to play background, and it was a pretty
good-paying gig,” said Gillette.
Reagan brought the Beach Boys out and asked
them if they could play the National
Anthem,” said Gillette. “They talked it over
for about three minutes and didn’t feel they
talking with sax player Lenny Pickett (a
Tower of Power alum who currently heads the
Saturday Night Live Band) and said I could
do it. He told me to volunteer, and I did.”
later, Gillette was standing beside the
President of the United States preparing to
play the National Anthem in front of 700,000
If there was
ever a me-and-my-big-mouth moment, this
might have been it.
accept pressure, it’s no problem,” said
was no pressure.
closed his eyes and began playing, not for
700,000 people in the audience, not for
President Reagan, but for himself as he
always does in big musical moments.
It went off
without a hitch, although Gillette was in a
bit of a daze.
sure the Beach Boys thanked me,” he said,
but then it was on to the good vibrations of
a vintage Beach Boys’ set.
whose father played with the Escovedo
brothers, Coke and Pittsburg Entertainment &
Arts Hall of Famer Pete, is actively
involved in mentoring now in addition to his
He works with
individual students as well as school bands
and has provided invaluable information as
PEAHOF works with the Pittsburg Unified
School District to create an Arts Mentor
Program for local junior high school
students. He has even indicated interest in
working with local schools through the
Anyone interested in becoming
part of the PEAHOF Arts Mentor Program as a
participant or sponsor should contact PEAHOF