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ironlips last won the day on October 28 2017

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About ironlips

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  1. Freelancers in 1984 movie

    I had never heard that anecdote. What a great story! The Cambridge Cabs were a very progressive group. I think I wore out 2 or 3 copies of the 1960 LP, "Horns Aplenty" which features a cover photo of the corps performing an outdoor concert at the band shell. The great Al Saia wrote the brass book, Don Benedict, the drum charts. Prince's Scotty Chappell scripted the drill. Their version of Maleguena set the standard for all the others that followed.
  2. Freelancers in 1984 movie

    I hear that. It was Nelson's lush and swinging arrangements that showcased all those legendary Sinatra hits. Later that year ('84) I was in Japan to work with the Yokohama Inspires, and my hosts took the staff to see the touring show wherein he and Linda Ronstadt were appearing. When I mentioned we had met at that Freelancers shoot, the concert promoter ushered us backstage to say hello. Nelson was very gracious and made a point to compliment the Freelancers and drum corps in general, much to the delight of the Yokohama crew. I asked him how he found working with Linda. It's fortunate that not everyone in the room spoke English, as his reply would not be printable here. Suffice it to say it resembled a controversial comment at a recent White House meeting.
  3. Freelancers in 1984 movie

    I don't know what the financial arrangements were, but the experience for the corps members was priceless. Just being around Nelson Riddle, A-list actors and a professional film crew was a real treat. It definitely encouraged the performers to raise their game in every respect for the rest of the season. I remember that shoot at Lincoln Center in '68 for Sweet Charity. Shirley MacLaine was a hoot. We used the cash to charter the plane to New Orleans, where we won Legion Nationals. The Skyliners used their share to buy a set of the new G/F horns. Both corps benefited greatly.
  4. Freelancers in 1984 movie

    Because of the PBS broadcasts, drum corps in the mid-80s was enjoying some pretty significant exposure throughout the professional media world. The film producers had decided to shoot this lightweight comedy partially at the Sacramento Railroad Terminal museum in Old Town and envisioned a "marching band" component for this scene. The Freelancers were a perfect fit, and the lead cast members, George Kennedy and Barbara Eden, were definitely not lightweights; neither was the music director, the legendary Nelson Riddle. I was on the Freelancers brass staff that season. John Zimny had modified the "Choo-Choo" chart Ken Norman had originally done for the Kilts. Perhaps the best moment came when Mr. Riddle arrived at corps rehearsal with his recording crew. I had prepped the corps members as to his prominence and the protocol of applauding when he entered the room. As he and his entourage walked through the door I said, "Maestro, these are the Sacramento Freelancers" and, on cue, the kids stood and began to applaud. Without missing a beat, Mr. Riddle took off his hat and did a little Gene Kelly "Singin' in the Rain" pirouette, dancing across the room. Clearly, formality was not his thing.
  5. "What is Hip?" is always a good question. Throughout their history, "Minnesota Brass" has been a good answer.
  6. "Donga, Donga", as they say. Merry Eastern Rite Christmas to you, too. Be careful while you're there, though. Don't get compromised by any Russian agents.
  7. Vince Macciocchi's name may not be familiar to most readers here, but he was a prime mover in the world of drum corps. Dating back to the 50's, Vince was a driving force within the Canadian Drum Corps activity whose influence spanned from the Jolly Jesters (whose approach preceded the Bridgemen by 20 years) to the Canadian Commanders, quite possibly the single most powerful corps ever to emerge north of the 49th parallel. He was a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame Inductee by virtue of these and other major accomplishments. May his memory be honored by all who are involved in this activity for as long as drum corps itself persists.
  8. If you are within 100 miles of an Al Chez clinic, hop in the car and drive over. Should you be further away, check airline schedules. Either way, he's not to be missed.
  9. I always liked this quote. It came from a middle-aged nun who taught "Medieval and Renaissance Art" at Manhattan College in the '60s. (Think "Sister Wendy"): "You'll hear that art imitates life. I can assure you the reverse is also true."
  10. Here's another great site: It's the Drum Corps Xperience "Virtual Museum" that launched recently and it promises to be the most comprehensive collection of items documenting the activity ever assembled. The Galleries contain Photos, Corps Histories, Publications, Artwork, Uniforms, Equipment,...etc. and will soon feature audio, as well. Resources from Drum Corps World, CorpsReps, and several private collections are being curated and catalogued. DCX is on its way to becoming the Louvre of Drum Corps, worldwide.
  11. some old corps photos

    Community involvement was the key to the vitality of Drum Corps in those days. Ghost, you really know the history. I, for one, am not surprised since I know your pedigree.
  12. The Alberta Girls were an outstanding drum corps, taught by some outstanding instructors like Ralph Hardimon, Fred Sanfors, Mike Duffy and Wayne Harris. Man, could they play! Linda P is their former guard captain and historian. I'd love to see excerpts from those letters. Please post some of that.
  13. "Free Again"...with solo by Buglers Hall of Fame member, Eddie Haywood and later, Spirit of Newark director, Glenn Eng. The modulation to the major was one of the most uplifting moments in the entire history of Drum Corps. Dick Burns had incredible musical intuition. All of us apprentice arrangers studied his charts note for note.
  14. Dick was among the first and very best of the modern day brass arrangers who had actual music degrees. His charts for the Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights were master classes in voicing and would stand up to anything written for today's corps. And swing they did, with a real groove, right in the pocket. From Sac to the Florida Brass, all of Drum Corps benefited from the talents of Dick Burns.
  15. There were many "championships" and champions in those days. One I recall very clearly was the 1970 Miami show. While warming up the Garfield horn line, I kept hearing some pretty fine sounds from just out of sight around the other side of the stadium. When we finished I began to walk in that direction and the sound just got better and better. It was a corps from Kansas I had never even heard of, the Argonne Rebels! And half the horn line seemed to be populated by 12 year-old girls! When I finally got around in front of them the drum major gave a downbeat and they tore into Barnum and Bailey's like it was raw meat. I was totally gob-smacked. When they finished I asked one of the kids who their horn instructor was. "That lady over there", he replied, "Mrs. Opie." Sandra Opie. She sure took me to school that day. Then, that evening, Boston wailed Mancini's Conquest, complete with young Jimmy Centorino's scorching solo, and I stood on the back sideline as the Troopers blew open the circle while every flashbulb in the universe went off in my face. I get high even now, just thinking about this stuff. The '70s? Yeah. What a trip.