GLENDALE -- The Coyotes are bringing live organ music back to Gila River Arena on Saturday night as part of the inaugural D-backs Night.
Bobby Freeman, who has provided live organ music at Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games since the team’s inception in 1998, will perform before and throughout the Coyotes game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I’m so happy about this,” said Freeman, a self-taught organist who has been working professionally since his first gig at age 15 at a roller rink in Cleveland. “What I really like about it is this is a co-branding effort between the Coyotes and the D-backs. Being part of the relationship between two pro teams in the same market that get along so well is wonderful for me.”
Freeman has played at Coyotes game before, from 2007-09. He got his first taste of working hockey games in 1995 when he performed regularly at Phoenix Roadrunners games at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“Playing the organ at hockey games is so different from when I play at the baseball games,” Freeman said. “Baseball is basically a laid-back, easy-going game and that’s what I and many other people love about it. Hockey, on the other hand, is let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, and I never know when I’m going to hear ‘OK Bobby, let’s do ‘Let’s Go Coyotes!’ at a moment’s notice. The pace of hockey is just so much faster and it’s a real nice change for me.”
Freeman will be stationed in section 108 on Saturday and he invites fans to stop by and say hello. He will be playing chants at key times of the game and classic rock songs from the 1970s and 1980s during breaks. Fans can expect to hear standards such as “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” and “Smoke on the Water.”
Freeman has been entertaining Valley residents since 1987. In addition to sporting events, he performs at RV resorts, senior programs, church groups and private parties. He’s a unique talent.
“There are no organists left in the world,” he said. “We’re like horse shoers.”
Live organ music is a hockey tradition and many insist it enhances the game experience for all involved. Freeman said he recalls being stationed at ice level at the Roadrunners games and having players high-five and fist bump him as they took the ice. Some even asked him why he didn’t perform at ALL of the games.
The Coyotes are excited about Freeman’s appearance.
“We are truly looking forward to having Bobby back in the arena to play for this game,” said Lamont Buford, the team’s Director of Game Presentation. “Organ music is synonymous not only to baseball but in hockey. Both are classic sports that are enhanced when you have a live organist. Having someone like Bobby, who knows both franchises is great! He is not only easy to work with but makes it so much easier to cross-pollinate between brands.”
For more info on Bobby Freeman, visit his website by clicking HERE.
For more info on D-backs Night, click HERE.