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Loud and proud: Local guitarist Paul Wane rocks National Anthem ahead of Jaguars game

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline
Posted 1/11/23

CLAY COUNTY – Paul Wane’s 47-year music career came down to a 90-second performance last Saturday in the final regular season game for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And the guitarist from …

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Loud and proud: Local guitarist Paul Wane rocks National Anthem ahead of Jaguars game


Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Paul Wane’s 47-year music career came down to a 90-second performance last Saturday in the final regular season game for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And the guitarist from the Duval County Line Band absolutely rocked TIAA Bank Field.

His rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” not only put nearly 70,000 fans in a deafening frenzy, but it also sent shock waves around the country. Social media responded quickly with praise for the local musician, including nearly 112,000 likes on YouTube in one day.

Wearing biker boots, sunglasses and a No. 23 Jacksonville jersey, Wane put a distinctive Southern Rock spin on the song that represents the nation.

“It’s been way more than I expected,” Wane said of the overwhelming response. “It’s been a whirlwind. I’m doing my best to keep up with it, but it’s not easy. My phone has been going crazy.”

The pregame song was a solo act that shook the stadium. When he finished his final lick, the crowd erupted in approval, and national media outlets who are more accustomed to long-winded versions of the song were impressed.

“They had a story in USA Today. Guitar World did a story. Everybody wants an interview,” Wane said.

The story in Guitar World said Wane “melted thousands of faces” before the game. The headline read: “Florida man serves up uber-patriotic, shred-heavy rendition of the national anthem at Jaguars vs Titans game.”

Oddly enough, nobody in Duval County Line lives in Jacksonville. Most of the band is located in Clay County. Wane lives in nearby Putnam County, but he performs regularly in restaurants and saloons around the county.

“We were on our way to our first show and we passed a sign as we got into Jacksonville,” Wane said. “It said Duval County Line and we agreed that was our new name.”

The process for the Jaguars game started with Wane’s Guitars for Kids Foundation’s Rising Star program. Wane takes donated guitars and has them refurbished before he gives them away to children. The foundation was created to provide children with the option of music instead of drugs and alcohol.

One of the guitars went to a boy whose father works security at TIAA Bank Field. He told fellow workers and word eventually reached the Jaguars brass.

“I was in the studio when I got an email from the Jaguars asking if I could send them a tape,” Wane said. “We did it right then and sent it. Before I got home, they already emailed me back and said they wanted me.”

Wane said most of the apprehension disappeared once he tore into the song.

“Sure I was a little nervous, especially at first,” he said. “There was a little more excitement than what I was used to. You have to be a little more excited when ESPN puts you around the world and there are 70,000 fans in the stands.

“And when it was over, I couldn’t believe the crowd. They were so loud. What and honor.”

To see a replay of his performance, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=noCr2-VmHXI.

Wane’s phone and Facebook page have been deluged by people who want to donate to his foundation. Others are asking about getting guitars and clubs from Northeast Florida and Southern Georgia are trying to book dates.

“That’s a good thing, especially for the Rising Star foundation,” he said.

Instead of entertaining millions, Wane now will go back to working in smaller venues. He has regular weekly gigs in Crescent City and the Howlin Wolf in Melrose.

And if Jacksonville wants to get in another rockin’ mood before a game, Wane is just a call away.

“Anytime,” he said