Legendary musician Dave Navarro had an amazing moment June 24 at Madison Square Garden, delivering a breathtaking, guitar-driven performance of the National Anthem. An AXS contributor, sitting in the upper level of "The World's Most Famous Arena," captured live footage of Navarro's majestic riffage.
The 50-year-old, perhaps best known for his work with Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, gave the Bellator NYC main event a patriotic, emotional feel. Since the headlining fight on the card pitted Brazilian Wanderlei "The Axe-Murderer" Silva against American wrestler Chael Sonnen, Navarro's performance got the crowd on its feet -- and set off small pockets of "U-S-A, U-S-A" chants.
After Silva and Sonnen walked out to the cage, Brazil's national anthem blared over the P.A. Moments later, Navarro emerged from backstage with guitar in hand, and delivered a performance for the ages. It certainly wasn't the first time a legendary musician performed a guitar-based rendition of the National Anthem, but Navarro nailed it better than most others.
Booking the iconic performer was an idea that came from Bellator head honcho Scott Coker, as he wanted to give his New York City debut a truly special, big fight feel. It was important to him to put all the bells and whistles on the production of the pay-per-view, and differentiate his product from the UFC. Navarro wasn't a surprising choice to perform, considering he's a host and judge on a show that airs on the same network as Bellator.
He regularly appears on Spike TV, hosting a tattoo competition reality show. Since Bellator also airs on Spike, it made sense to sign him for a cameo at "The Garden."