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Lead singer of Tulsa band Pillar bowled over by success of ‘For the Love of the Game'

By Brandy McDonnell Modified: February 29, 2008 at 5:59 am •  Published: February 29, 2008
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the music. And if it's not that song, hopefully people buy the record and be inspired by other songs,” he said.

"I don't have any regret if people want to use the song for other reasons, because that's the beauty of music is one song can have a billion different meanings.”

In January, the band cut a deal for the song to be played inside University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona during Super Bowl XLII. "For the Love of the Game” was played at halftime along with first-half highlights on the stadium's big screen.

"You don't expect these things to happen. It's like we haven't even played a show on our new record yet, you know, and it's like we're getting all these people playing our song all over,” he said.

The band also was taken aback when Grammy nominations were announced in December. The quartet was playing a show in Germany when it got word that its fourth disc, "The Reckoning,” was nominated for best rock or rap gospel album, an award that went to Ashley Cleveland for "Before the Daylight's Shot.”

Since "The Reckoning” was released in October 2006, it fell at an odd spot in the Grammys cycle. By the time it was eligible, Pillar had already recorded "For the Love of the Game.”

"I'm not saying we wrote off the record in a negative way, but when we found out about the Grammy nomination, we had already in our minds moved on to the next record,” he said. "It was just one of those things that we were extremely thankful for, because you know, we worked really hard on that album.”

The nomination brought for the singer several memorable experiences, including meeting fellow Oklahoman Vince Gill and his wife, Amy Grant, at a Grammy nominees' party in Nashville, Tenn.

"He was a big influence on me. I grew up on country music, and it was just weird to me, because in my mind, I'm sitting there and just all these Vince Gill songs are running through my mind, and he was like talking to me, and I'm not really hearing what he's saying. ... It was kind of surreal,” Beckley said.

He also was inspired by his encounter with a polka musician enthusing about his 21st Grammy nomination.

"It's just an honor to be able to say Grammy-nominated. It's like, honestly, who cares if you win. If you win, that's just like icing on the cake, but for the rest of your career you at least get to say ‘Grammy-nominated,'” Beckley said.

Podcast: Pillar's Rob Beckley