Do you like Tyson Chandler? Of course, you do. Everyone likes Tyson Chandler. Over the course of a couple seasons in which Knicks fans have spent most of the time arguing among each other about just about everything, it’s Tyson that has been the constant, the guy almost no one’s complaining about, and for good reason.
For songwriter, and long-time Knicks fan, Fred Cantor, the poetry of Tyson’s play led him to the lyrics to “The Minister of D,” a song he collaborated on with friends and musicians Charlie Karp and Michael Mugrage, who put Cantor’s lyrics to music.
Two musical veterans, Karp toured internationally with Jimi Hendrix, while Mugrage’s credits include music composed for Chaka Khan, Smokey Robinson and the baseball classic “Talkin’ Baseball” by Terry Cashman, Karp and Mugrage provided the instrumentation for the track, with Karp as the lead vocal and Mugrage singing backup.
“We wanted the music to harken back to the glory days of the Knicks of the early 70’s,” said Mugrage, a time when Walt Frazier inhabited a New York cool that fit the sounds of acts like Sly and the Family Stone and Isaac Hayes. It’s an era one imagines Tyson would have felt right at home in.
The Knicks spent a long time in the basketball wilderness, with a lost decade that wasn’t exactly inspiring music, the Eddy Curry inspired rock opera “Fat Jokes” notwithstanding. So yes, the season still isn’t halfway through, and the Knicks have so far proved exactly nothing, but they have succeeded already in one respect: They’ve got us singing again.
You can hear the song on Charlie Karp’s website, or purchase it on ITunes, where 25% of the royalties will benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation.