9.11 remembrance page

 2010 is the nine year anniversary. Are we better off?
American Life after the Terrorist Attacks

I remember 9.11
by Rob Mullins

9/11 Music Project by Rob Mullins


As we approadh the nine year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City, I am amazed at how different things are here in the USA.
In the years that passed since the one year anniversary of the 9/11 event when I recorded America The Beautiful with my band in Riverside, I saw attention to the aftermath of 9/11 dwindle. I got busy with life in L.A. Running my business, making my albums, doing shows. Now leading up to the nine year anniversary of 9/11 a couple of things happened in my life: I found the recording of the concert I did at the World Trade Center in 1993, and I noticed that there was a lot of tension growing around the world, including in New York City near Ground Zero.
Hearing the music from my concert in 1993 brought back of lot of memories-the cool fact that the World Trade Center was a jazz concert venue and I got to play there at the base of the towers. That I had written a song about the world at that time called "Peace" and made a statement that I feel is true to this day...."The only language spoken in every country in the world is MUSIC". The fact that people at my concert blew on whistles to show their appreciation at the end of songs. That in those days, air travel was cheap and easy, and LIFE wAS GOOD for most of us.That 1993 was a DIFFERENT ERA and that the world we are in now is not anywhere near as safe, happy, prosperous, or easy. That most people I know now are disillusioned, broke, and angry. Out of work, and sad.
So for this reason, I mastered the song "PEACE" and posted it online here for anyone who wants to remember how it felt to be American in 1993.

Then it occurred to me-hey, it has been nine years, why haven't the towers been rebuilt? What happened to all the people who helped out and got sick during the crisis? What about all the charity organizations, and where was the government on all this? I started to understand why people in New York are angry.  To me, things won't be right until I see those towers up again and I can once again put my piano at the bottom of them and play my music while looking up and thanking God for the freedom that was given to me by the Americans who went before me-giving their time in service and dedication keeping American's National Interest alive in their hearts and deeds.  These are the true Americans. The ones who understand the sacrifice of all the generations of people who died to just make things safe and keep them NORMAL so that guys like me could concentrate on making beautiful music and spreading songs around the world!
I wanted to do something musical on the nine year anniversary, so I went in to my recording studio and made three new recordings. "The Star Spangled Banner", "God Bless America", and "Amazing Grace." I also listened to my song of sadness "Tears For America" which I wrote Sept 2007. I put the music from the all of these parts of my thoughts on American Life and made it into the Nine Year Anniverary album which you see up top right.
The cover is close to the same as the America The Beautiful project which was basically just a single, and now it features Larry Antonino as well as my Band through much of the album.
So my message this year to America is this: United We Stand, Divided We Fall. Which shall it be America?

rem la ca
sept 9 2010


Like many of you, I am overcome with emotion approaching the anniversary of the 9.11 tragedy.  I will never forget the disbelief I felt as I watched the
hijacked planes crash into the World Trade Center towers one after another. The phone rang as it was all happening, and it was my girlfriend in a panic...then other people started to call. I called my parents, other members of my family, and I was just certain that this was the beginning of the end of the America I have always loved. I piled in the car that day and drove to the girlfriends and sat stunned watching the events unfold on the news and listening to all her family members calling about the New York situation. We couldn't get any calls to go through out there. It was quite distressing.

My next thought was about the future of LA, and if something was going to happen here, what would I do? How were we going to prepare? Where would we go, and
what would we eat, live on, and how would we make do.

Now, I can't believe that a year later, we have survived what will I'm sure be thought of as the strangest year in our history as Americans. Who would have guessed that Anthrax attacks, Federal Building closures, Post Office scares, war in Afghanistan, suicide bombing, Amber alerts, and the fall of the Catholic church would all be part of our daily lives as we plow onwards through a struggling economy uncertain of our future as a nation.

On just a personal level, I am still missing the WTC towers. WQCD Radio in New York brought me to the Towers in 1990 to perform on a stage they set up there for live jazz concerts. It was one of my best gigs ever, they taped it, there were numerous standing ovations, and all the while the towers were there with people coming out of them to listen to me play the piano. The sound there in between the buildings was awesome, not to mention the view. I still have the poster from that gig up in my recording studio, and it has an even more special place in my heart now as I am pretty sure that the towers will not be rebuilt. It kind of makes me wonder about certain things in life, like the fact that there ARE some things that only happen once. That there are moments where there is no going back, there is no repeating certain special
things-you just have to learn that you were lucky to have had that particular thing happen just that once.

Over the course of the next few days after the attacks, I watched tv constantly, playing the piano in the studio with the tv sound coming through the studio speakers. I wrote almost 90 pieces of music before I finally had to stop everything and get back to my life.

Do you remember what its been like this past year just always being on the heightened state of alert? Frankly, watching the news became exhausting after a couple of months, and I know many people just had to turn the TV off and go ahead with their lives. What a test of our character as individuals, communities and a nation.
The 9.11 tragedy made me rethink everything about who I am, what I am here to do, and why I should continue, or not continue living life. While things have just been
unbelievable this past year, I am certain of a couple of things now that I wasn't so sure about before. Number one, I am so much more appreciative of the things that I have, the talent I've been given, and the people I know and love. Two, I am sure that I am supposed to be entertaining people and taking their minds off their problems
with great tunes and not so great jokes (lol).

One of the things that I've noticed about my songlist is that there are certain songs that just bring God into the room, or to the place where I am at any particular time.
One of those songs is "Daybreak" which has always been a special one for people who have heard it since I first composed it and put it out many years ago. In times of
stress and trouble, this song has never failed to make people feel better. When it first came out, one of my friends took it to Swedish Medical Center in Denver and had great success with it helping patients make it through the days. Just about everyone who hears it is changed and affected by it, and that is truly a blessing. Most recently,
I performed that song at a patriotic tribute jazz concert held by the city of Riverside California. I played the song outdoors at night next to a building with an 11 story flag
draped on it in front of about 5000 people.

This was truly a spiritual moment for me as many of us there while that song was being played were touched by the force of God moving through the music. Many people commented at the end of that show about how much it affected them, and all of us were thinking the deep thoughts of people trying to unite and find our voices in the wake of rememberance of those who died at the WTC on 9.11. I think all of us there that night came away feeling a special presence of some kind, and feeling like things were going to be okay in the long run.

I was really feeling the power when we did "America The Beautiful" that night as well, for all the same reasons. We have so much to be thankful for. It is up to all of
us to realize what a gift our freedom is, and to use it responsiibly. I remember speaking to my parents about this tragedy after a couple of months had gone by and things
had kind of gotten back to "normal."  Both of them seemed deeply saddened by what these events had done to them, their friends, and the world. Its almost like they noticed things about human nature that were so dissapointing, they are painful. I feel a lot of pain when I think about what goes on in our world. I think my parents have
just seen a lot of cycles of behaviour over time, and lived through a lot of wars. I mean, there has been a war every ten years their whole lifetime. Over a 70 year time span, that pain must just be a tremendous thing to carry around.  I notice going into this anniversary, that I am carrying some pain around as well. The pain of not knowing
exactly what the future may hold. The pain of hoping my friends are going to be okay. The pain of the people who still haven't gotten their money from the relief

Thankfully, there is a lot of pain that I am NOT feeling going into the anniversary of 9.11.  I don't know the pain of having my body twitch uncontrollably because
I was exposed to nerve gas. I don't know the pain of having my leg blown off. I don't know the pain of wondering where my relative serving the country is, and whether or
not they will return safely. For those of you dealing with that pain, my heart goes out to you.

I have always felt like jazz music was a uniquely American thing. It is our greatest cultural export. It gives life, and breathes hope and invention into other cultures and beings. It is a beautiful thing. I thank the people who fight and give their lives for me and other Americans around the world so that I can contribute my music to
the causes of cultural enrichment, spiritual healing, and all around good fun.  Thank you to everyone in a city, county, state, and national government who does the best job they possibly can in the midst of the most trying moral times in over 100 years. Without you, jobs like mine wouldn't even be possible.

And finally, to the dissenters who hate America and spend their days on AOL talking about what a rotten place America is and how terrible we are here, I have some excellent advice for you. LEAVE.



9/11 album cover

America The Beautiful 9.11 Tribute CD