For those of us that were Los Angeles Kings fans back in the days of Gretzky and the Fabulous Forum, knew Warren Wiebe. He sang the national anthem before many games, chosing to sing America The Beautiful instead of the tradtiional Star Spangled Banner, ending the song with his right index finger pointing upward high above his head.
Being a tenor, he sang in a key that I could also sing along with. The Star Spangled Banner is a tough sing, but America The Beautiful is easy, harmony included. I always felt patriotic singing America The Beautiful at those games.
Sadly, as the 1998-1999 hockey season started, rumor ran rampant through the Forum late October that Warren had died by his own hand.
On October 25, 1998, Warren Wiebe committed suicide.
I shall forever miss that wonderful tenor, who was a favorite of David Foster. Someone has maintained a great website dedicated to his memory, and it is very informative and worth a look. I do not understand what it takes for someone to decide this life is not worth living, especially someone who possess such obvious talent. As the following videos indicate, and show, Warren had the chops and he was well connected.
Here's thinking of you still, Warren.
The original was "removed" due to terms of service violations, whatever. I found this badly filmed version, but it is one of the rare Warren pieces -- Warren performed at Celine Dion's wedding.
Love lights up the world, Warren. We miss your light.
On an aside, the David Foster tour featured the "Seawind horns." If you've never heard of Seawind, you've not participated in the "funk fusion" revolution of jazz. That's for another post, for I was a regular on Monday nights, back in the mid 1970's, at the Baked Potato on Cahuenga Blvd., where the band held court.