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How intense were rivalries?


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#1 Ghost

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:21 PM

In Michael Boo's video of 79 North Star and one post about how some alumni of various Boston area corps show much more love these days, I'd ask you to read the following. Just one way of how some felt/acted way back when. I quote:

"To The Members Of THE SAINT KEVIN EMERALD KNIGHTS:

Those of you who marched with us last year remember that at the end of the 1962 season, most felt that 1963 would be a building year, a mediocre season, one that would lead to 1964 and the year we would again have simultaneously a national championshp horn lin, a top drum section, general effect and marching and maneuvering to match, and as a result, the 1964 V.F.W. National Championship corps.

Well, we were wrong on the first count. The year 1963 turned into the most eventful the corps has yet experienced, ex-
cluding 1960. For the first time since 1961, we topped Blessed Sacrament. True, a penalty was involved, but did they not steal the 1960 V.F.W. Championship flag from us on the same basis? For the first time, we finished the season with a winning record (3 wins, 2 losses) against Garfield. The mediocre corps we had expected turned into another champion. With such a combination in 1963, Lord help the other corps in 1964.

We lost few men at the end of 1963. We figure them to be expendable, for the bulk of the hornline remained. Our losses were replaced by several very talented men from Our Lady of Lourdes, and a few others, equally as talented, from other corps. No need to expound, for we all know these facts. These men joined up for the same reason the rest of you did--desire to march under the name of Saint Kevin; love the green, red, and white uniform; a supreme longing to call themselves National Champs.

We have just finished the first phase of 1964, the stanstill season, and sorry to say, we did not prove up to our expectations of ourselves. Out of three contests, we can point to a first place, a second, and a third and say, this is what we did. Out of a total of eleven captions in the three contests, we won exactly two. TWO! And these were in the General Effect categories. Our hornline has yet to place higher than second in execution. Our drum line, although improved, is still waiting for a win. Yet, every time we take a loss, the general feeling has been that we have been subjected to a screw job by this judge and that one. Please, can more than fifteen judges be wrong? Can we do no evil? Please gentlemen, stop playing ostrich and take your head out of the sand. Are you afraid of bare facts? Does one horn rehersal a week make a perfect hornline? Does a frantic effort the week before a contest create a winning drum line? Does a horn sitting in someone else's car from rehersal to rehersal create an able individual. Most of you seem to think that one or two extra rehersals before a contest is all we need. We're great. We're Saint Kevins. We don't really need to work hard. If we don't win, it wasn't our fault, we were screwed. Just let anyone prove themselves to be better.

Well gentlemen, it has been proven. The Boston Crusaders have taken a group of mediocre individuals and have worked them into a winning unit. At the moment, they are a better drum and bugle corps than we are. In two tries they have beaten two national champion corps-- ourselves and Blessed Sacrament. It's on paper, it's part of the record. What we think, what the stands think is inconsequential. The Boston Crusaders, for the time being at least, have shown themselves to be the best corps in New England and possibly the East. It's on paper. The scores are there to look at, and believe me,the whole drum corps world is looking at them. Not only looking, but saying, "What has happened?", "Is Kevins going down?", "Is there going to be a new dynasty?", "Is Sacrament taking a dive?"

Gentlemen, in our last four contests with the Crusaders, they have beaten us three times. We are now officially the underdog. Quite a change from this time last year, wouldn't you say? We have been so busy worrying about Sac, Garfield, and Chicago that we have allowed our own front yard to get a little messy. Remember, we have a reputation to maintain here too.

Our first M&M contest is one month away. At the present rate, that's four M&M practices. Four M&M practices with our primas missing. Four M&M practices with sub-par discipline, moving around at attention, talking when told to shut up. Don't you think this hurst? These are Class B and C tricks. Even the least significant of Class A corps know what the word "attention" means. The Boston Crusaders know what it means. They've shown what discipline can do with a lack of talent. Will you just stop and think what it will do with our abudance of talent? Are you content to be a second and third place corps both locally and nationally?

We lose approximately one half hour from each practice because guys are late, because there's talking in line, because our instructors have to repeat everything twice. In four rehersals, that's two hours down the drain. A complete rehersal vanished. In those two hours, someone might have finally discoverd a mistake he has been making, a squad might have finally clicked and become as one, enough polish might have been added to give us even one more tenth spread in General Effect. Don't you think these small things count? One half of a point would have put us above Garfield at the 1963 Dream, would have won the 1962 Dream, would have put us above Sac at Pittsfield, and would have changed the results of many, many other contests where "we were screwed". Are we so shortsighted that we cannot see the trees for the forest?

Please men, there's only one way we can establish ourselve back on top. No one is going to just hand us a first place, but they're willing to let us prove ourselves again. Remember, we have to become so good, so excellent, that not a single error can be found by any judge, any place. WE have to work so hard that no one can touch us. Remember, there were two parts to the first paragraph. Don't forget our second expectation, our prime hope. Please don't give away something we have worked for so long and with some extra work by everyone, can attain in 1964. The burden of proof has shifted to our shoulders. Let's give the public a corps that will make the Kevins of 1960 look sick.

Fraternally,

A Member"


NOTE: During the 64 season, I do not recall this letter being a lightening rod, or if there were any off field "issues" between both corps. It is interesting how there is no mention of the color guard. Boston's CG would have been pisssed (and rightfully) if they received no mention
If you're not a liberal by 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by 35, you have no brain.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. BF

Proper prior planning prevents pisss poor performance.

#2 Navillus WP

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

....... Wow. :shutup:
I've been walking around thinking about this post, particularly given the current (FEB-APR2012) unfortunate status of the SKEK Alumni Corps.

Some thoughts .....

In the 60's and 70's - rivalries between local corps in the Boston area included hard feelings over "raiding" - the notion that kids who had marched with local CYO or Eastern Mass Circuit units that were based "South of the (Tobin) Bridge" should gravitate towards the Boston Crusaders, and kids from "North of the Bridge" were expected to gravitate towards Revere's Twenty-Seventh Lancers. Those who did the opposite were sometimes subjected to snide comments.

Additionally in the 60's and 70's , people from the trying-to-emerge local corps competing at the CYO, Eastern Mass or Mayflower level resenting talented kids leaving their home towns in order to play for nationally-competitive St Kevins, Majestic Knights, Boston or later 27th, rather than staying behind to help the local CYO, Eastern Mass or Mayflower Circuit corps improve.

By the time North Star came into their hey-day, there was an additional rivalry - within the corps. That is, the "Locals" versus "Corps Groupies" (a.k.a.: "Corpies") who came from other regions, moving from corps-to-corps, auditioning for spots -- putting them up against locals who grew up dreaming to march with the local "Marching Major League" corps. My second year, three guys showed up from California and two guys from Maine. (We were glad to have them, and no one lost a spot to them.) However ... when auditions started years later, the level of receptiveness to "corpies" began to change.

Even in the 60's, this was a big source of the conflict when Immaculate Conception Parish council cast the "senior" Reveries adrift: newer members who wanted to compete at the national level lived outside the parish, and (in the eyes of some) took spots from kids whose families belonged to the I.C. Parish. (Note: it was not a problem among the kids at that point, just the adults. There was a sub-rosa element of racism as well among the adults, given that several of the new non-parish members were of color. See 1968 photo below.)

Posted Image



Edited by Navillus WP, 11 April 2012 - 02:00 PM.

W.P. Sullivan
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Not a fan of what drum corps has become.

#3 Wort

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:02 AM

The Guardsmen (Illinois) pretty much always had this "thing" about the Cavaliers, even though we had instructors that had marched with them and there were frienships between the 2 groups. Phantom Regiment and the Guardsmen, had a great relationship. They saluted our colors several times at parades, and we did theirs as well. We even stayed at the same school at least once, and I remember them as being very friendly.

As far as seeing them on the field, they were very different corps, but they were both excellent.

We had a lot of "new" members in 1977, many of them from out of the area.

#4 ContraLou

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:13 PM

In Michael Boo's video of 79 North Star and one post about how some alumni of various Boston area corps show much more love these days, I'd ask you to read the following. Just one way of how some felt/acted way back when. I quote:

"To The Members Of THE SAINT KEVIN EMERALD KNIGHTS:

Those of you who marched with us last year remember that at the end of the 1962 season, most felt that 1963 would be a building year, a mediocre season, one that would lead to 1964 and the year we would again have simultaneously a national championshp horn lin, a top drum section, general effect and marching and maneuvering to match, and as a result, the 1964 V.F.W. National Championship corps.

Well, we were wrong on the first count. The year 1963 turned into the most eventful the corps has yet experienced, excluding 1960. For the first time since 1961, we topped Blessed Sacrament. True, a penalty was involved, but did they not steal the 1960 V.F.W. Championship flag from us on the same basis? For the first time, we finished the season with a winning record (3 wins, 2 losses) against Garfield. The mediocre corps we had expected turned into another champion. With such a combination in 1963, Lord help the other corps in 1964.

We lost few men at the end of 1963. We figure them to be expendable, for the bulk of the hornline remained. Our losses were replaced by several very talented men from Our Lady of Lourdes, and a few others, equally as talented, from other corps. No need to expound, for we all know these facts. These men joined up for the same reason the rest of you did--desire to march under the name of Saint Kevin; love the green, red, and white uniform; a supreme longing to call themselves National Champs.

We have just finished the first phase of 1964, the stanstill season, and sorry to say, we did not prove up to our expectations of ourselves. Out of three contests, we can point to a first place, a second, and a third and say, this is what we did. Out of a total of eleven captions in the three contests, we won exactly two. TWO! And these were in the General Effect categories. Our hornline has yet to place higher than second in execution. Our drum line, although improved, is still waiting for a win. Yet, every time we take a loss, the general feeling has been that we have been subjected to a screw job by this judge and that one. Please, can more than fifteen judges be wrong? Can we do no evil? Please gentlemen, stop playing ostrich and take your head out of the sand. Are you afraid of bare facts? Does one horn rehersal a week make a perfect hornline? Does a frantic effort the week before a contest create a winning drum line? Does a horn sitting in someone else's car from rehersal to rehersal create an able individual. Most of you seem to think that one or two extra rehersals before a contest is all we need. We're great. We're Saint Kevins. We don't really need to work hard. If we don't win, it wasn't our fault, we were screwed. Just let anyone prove themselves to be better.

Well gentlemen, it has been proven. The Boston Crusaders have taken a group of mediocre individuals and have worked them into a winning unit. At the moment, they are a better drum and bugle corps than we are. In two tries they have beaten two national champion corps-- ourselves and Blessed Sacrament. It's on paper, it's part of the record. What we think, what the stands think is inconsequential. The Boston Crusaders, for the time being at least, have shown themselves to be the best corps in New England and possibly the East. It's on paper. The scores are there to look at, and believe me,the whole drum corps world is looking at them. Not only looking, but saying, "What has happened?", "Is Kevins going down?", "Is there going to be a new dynasty?", "Is Sacrament taking a dive?"

Gentlemen, in our last four contests with the Crusaders, they have beaten us three times. We are now officially the underdog. Quite a change from this time last year, wouldn't you say? We have been so busy worrying about Sac, Garfield, and Chicago that we have allowed our own front yard to get a little messy. Remember, we have a reputation to maintain here too.

Our first M&M contest is one month away. At the present rate, that's four M&M practices. Four M&M practices with our primas missing. Four M&M practices with sub-par discipline, moving around at attention, talking when told to shut up. Don't you think this hurst? These are Class B and C tricks. Even the least significant of Class A corps know what the word "attention" means. The Boston Crusaders know what it means. They've shown what discipline can do with a lack of talent. Will you just stop and think what it will do with our abudance of talent? Are you content to be a second and third place corps both locally and nationally?

We lose approximately one half hour from each practice because guys are late, because there's talking in line, because our instructors have to repeat everything twice. In four rehersals, that's two hours down the drain. A complete rehersal vanished. In those two hours, someone might have finally discoverd a mistake he has been making, a squad might have finally clicked and become as one, enough polish might have been added to give us even one more tenth spread in General Effect. Don't you think these small things count? One half of a point would have put us above Garfield at the 1963 Dream, would have won the 1962 Dream, would have put us above Sac at Pittsfield, and would have changed the results of many, many other contests where "we were screwed". Are we so shortsighted that we cannot see the trees for the forest?

Please men, there's only one way we can establish ourselve back on top. No one is going to just hand us a first place, but they're willing to let us prove ourselves again. Remember, we have to become so good, so excellent, that not a single error can be found by any judge, any place. WE have to work so hard that no one can touch us. Remember, there were two parts to the first paragraph. Don't forget our second expectation, our prime hope. Please don't give away something we have worked for so long and with some extra work by everyone, can attain in 1964. The burden of proof has shifted to our shoulders. Let's give the public a corps that will make the Kevins of 1960 look sick.

Fraternally,

A Member"


NOTE: During the 64 season, I do not recall this letter being a lightening rod, or if there were any off field "issues" between both corps. It is interesting how there is no mention of the color guard. Boston's CG would have been pisssed (and rightfully) if they received no mention


Ghost, Thanks for the memories. Pretty good letter isn't it?? I haven't seen it in years. Although it was issued before I joined SKEK I have an original copy. I think everyone who joined the corps after that letter was written got a copy on their first day.

It was not meant to put down the Crusaders, instead it was using the Crusaders as an example of what hard work can accomplish. St. Kevin's at the time was becoming a little too comfortable with themselves and "The Letter" as it has become to be known, was a tool to motivate the members of the horn and drum lines. The color guard is not mentioned because it was the one section that wasn't having problems.

There is much folklore about who composed the letter, but A Member doesn't necessarily mean a marching member. Some think it might have come from the Assistant Corps Director or because of the stylish writing pened by the departed Corps Director Ed Rooney himself. I still don't know.

The Letter did have an effect on the corps. It helped get the heads cleared and although things didn't start out great for the corps early in the season, by mid summer (The Dream) things did turn around and the corps finished the season very strong by finally pulling ahead of the Crusaders, winning the Dream, finishing high at the VFW Nationals and winning the CYO Championship. Hard work and Determination = Success.
And for the record, St. Kevin's didn't beat the Crusaders again after the 1964 season.

There's a lot that can be said for the rivalries in Boston with as many corps as there were in the 60's.
The Crusader - St. Kevin rivalry was just as much a neighborhood rivalry with the corps coming from different sections of Dorchester as it was a local/national drum corps rivalry. There were off field issues throughout the years. A lot of it due to dating a member of the other corps. Others just due to bad blood, I.E. 67 AL Nationals parade in Boston.
ContraLou


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Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights Alumni
Mass Brass Mini Corps
MA Legends of Drum Corps

#5 Navillus WP

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:57 AM

Ghost, Thanks for the memories. Pretty good letter isn't it?? I haven't seen it in years. Although it was issued before I joined SKEK I have an original copy. I think everyone who joined the corps after that letter was written got a copy on their first day.

It was not meant to put down the Crusaders, instead it was using the Crusaders as an example of what hard work can accomplish. St. Kevin's at the time was becoming a little too comfortable with themselves and "The Letter" as it has become to be known, was a tool to motivate the members of the horn and drum lines. The color guard is not mentioned because it was the one section that wasn't having problems.

There is much folklore about who composed the letter, but A Member doesn't necessarily mean a marching member. Some think it might have come from the Assistant Corps Director or because of the stylish writing pened by the departed Corps Director Ed Rooney himself. I still don't know.

The Letter did have an effect on the corps. It helped get the heads cleared and although things didn't start out great for the corps early in the season, by mid summer (The Dream) things did turn around and the corps finished the season very strong by finally pulling ahead of the Crusaders, winning the Dream, finishing high at the VFW Nationals and winning the CYO Championship. Hard work and Determination = Success.
And for the record, St. Kevin's didn't beat the Crusaders again after the 1964 season.

There's a lot that can be said for the rivalries in Boston with as many corps as there were in the 60's.
The Crusader - St. Kevin rivalry was just as much a neighborhood rivalry with the corps coming from different sections of Dorchester as it was a local/national drum corps rivalry. There were off field issues throughout the years. A lot of it due to dating a member of the other corps. Others just due to bad blood, I.E. 67 AL Nationals parade in Boston.

Thanks for adding the insight and for adding context, Lou.

BTW, I dated a Lancer color guard member from "North Of The Bridge" who had been theretofore "going steady" with a BAC member, who eventually went back to seeing him "steadily" while marching with Two-Seven. That was a source of some minor annoyance, but not outright hostility.
-Bill-

Edited by Navillus WP, 13 April 2012 - 09:02 AM.

W.P. Sullivan
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Not a fan of what drum corps has become.

#6 Ghost

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:56 AM


It was not meant to put down the Crusaders, instead it was using the Crusaders as an example of what hard work can accomplish.


Hi CL!. Glad to read your reply and may you and your family be enjoying life.

Without starting a urinating contest, you must agree that comments such as "mediocre individuals" and "lack of talent" are far from positive.

SKEK did improve that year, but since BAC was not part of the CYO circuit or marched in the Dream, the main contest, as mentioned in the letter, was still the VFW Nationals. Type in the year of 1964 in the following site.
http://www.corpsreps.com/

In 64, the only local contests BAC didn't win was the May 24th invitational in Holyoke, MA. and the Sept. 5th Pittsfield Invitation. We finished second in those two and my scrapbook does not list who won. SKEK did beat us at the World Open that year. Third place to fifth place. Not counting prelims at the VFW or WO, we competed 26 times that year beginning March 14th with the Pittsfield Boys club Standstill. 22 firsts, 2 seconds, 1 fourth (VFW), and 1 fifth (WO).

With some great corps visiting MA this year, may our wounded friends be able to join you for a contest or two. After a masters track meet in Pasadena June 161h, it's back on Big Bird for a ride North to spend a week with BAC. First time to volunteer. After the contest on the 23rd, they head to their next site, and it's back to SW UT for moi.

Edited by Ghost, 14 April 2012 - 09:25 AM.

If you're not a liberal by 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by 35, you have no brain.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. BF

Proper prior planning prevents pisss poor performance.

#7 ajlisko

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

In 64, the only local contests BAC didn't win was the May 24th invitational in Holyoke, MA. and the Sept. 5th Pittsfield Invitation. We finished second in those two and my scrapbook does not list who one.


From corpsreps.com:

Sunday May 24, 1964
Holyoke MA State Open Invitational Championship STADIUM: McKenzie Stadium
Position Corps Score
1 Bridgeport PAL Cadets 79.360
2 Boston Crusaders 77.760
3 St. Rocco's Cadets 75.330
4 Pittsfield Cavaliers 71.760
5 Dumont Police Cadets 68.850
6 Blue Rock 66.580
7 Pittsfield Monarchs 65.520
8 Royaleers 61.850


:-)

#8 Kevin Doherty

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 03:47 AM

It surprises me that there has been no exchange on the NJ rivalries. SAC and HN/ Garfield had an intense rivalry and each was winning National Championships - VFW vs AL.

Would this thread include the brawls with St. Lucy's?

#9 Ghost

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:41 AM

From corpsreps.com:

Sunday May 24, 1964
Holyoke MA State Open Invitational Championship STADIUM: McKenzie Stadium
Position Corps Score
1 Bridgeport PAL Cadets 79.360
2 Boston Crusaders 77.760
3 St. Rocco's Cadets 75.330
4 Pittsfield Cavaliers 71.760
5 Dumont Police Cadets 68.850
6 Blue Rock 66.580
7 Pittsfield Monarchs 65.520
8 Royaleers 61.850


:-)

PAL of all corps! They sure were ready earlier that year. By VFW, they didn't make finals. Haven't had any luck with corpsreps, so any chance ajlisko you can look up that Sept. contest? Thanks.
If you're not a liberal by 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by 35, you have no brain.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. BF

Proper prior planning prevents pisss poor performance.

#10 ajlisko

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:30 PM

PAL of all corps! They sure were ready earlier that year. By VFW, they didn't make finals. Haven't had any luck with corpsreps, so any chance ajlisko you can look up that Sept. contest? Thanks.


... of all corps? ... hmmm ... you almost sound offended ... :-) ... true, we came in 13th (tie with Racine Scouts) in Cleveland ... unfortunately, we missed finals because of the tabulation error with Garfield's M&M score ... we did however make finals at the WO ... no luck with the Sept 5th score ... I'll check my DCN's sometime to see if I can find it ...

:smile:

ps - for the record, the 64 & 65 Boston shows were my favs ... what a nice mix of musicality and difficulty ... bravo!

Edited by ajlisko, 14 April 2012 - 02:32 PM.





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