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Posts posted by Puppet

  1. I am leaving DCP! I see this becoming like politics and Facebook. This site is an opportunity for all to talk about our activity. Instead it has become US vs. Them, New Corps vs. Dino's and frankly I hate it! I like the concept of DCP but sadly we have many members who feel that they are more intelligent than the rest of us. I have been and will always be a fan of drum corps no matter what changes are made. The debates that occur on here are like the division of Republicans and Democrats and I hate it as it has become somewht like the Civil War...to much division. We don't stand together anymore! Now it's divide an conquer! It sux! I walked away from Drum corps because I love my wife and 2 other marriages went down the drain because of corps. I didn't kiss anyone ### to get into "clique" of drum corps and let other ego's take center stage. So later on today I will leave DCP just because I value friendships and choose not to take anymore sides. I can be reached at susannkeith@comcast.net if you choose to stay in contact with me. Many of you that I have met on here are amazing people. MaybeI have overstayed my welcome. Maybe I'll see you all later!

    I, for one, will miss you. I understand and have tried to stay away (and maybe above) some of the snarky antics that go on here sometimes. But I have always enjoyed your company, insight and sense of humor on these pages. Thank you, Keith.

  2. Drum corps is both a visual and music activity. I have no problem with corps arranging the music and creating the visual design to maximize the totality of the presentation.

    Right with you on that, Mike. One thing that is different though, our Music Director and Instructor and Arranger did not have to negotiate the rights for any of his charts.

    That, today is very different from back then when Hy could put his own spin on whichever piece of music he wanted to arrange for whichever corps he was arranging for ... and probably holds back many of even the elite corps from playing many pieces.

  3. I saw that particular show...and I think that may have the most competitive show ever. Argonne came in 10th that night and came back later in hte season and won American Legion Nationals. Then you look at all the great corps that didn't make finals..wow.


    Can you imagine that in this day and age a show like that in 1971? There had to be about 50 Junior and Senior Corps competing that year! Plus that weekend in July was one of the most heavily contested like ... ever! The CYO Nationals in Lowel, The World Open in Lynn and then the Danny Thomas Invitational in Lawrence. What an awesome weekend and yes, although we did not make it to the finals (for some strange reason placing 16th in the prelims) The next day we placed 5th. Good luck on your research because Lynn, MA was the ticket BITD. Maybe a toss-up with Marion, OH for "Best Drum Corps Fans In the World" honors.

  4. When Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Festival the crowd went "What the.....?"

    Or, for that matter, when Herbie Hancock went all fusion in '71?

    What happened when Bobby Hoffman turned St. Andrew's Bridgemen into THE Bridgemen? What was you thinking, if you are old enough?

    From a marching standpoint we watched many Drum Corps from the late sixties to the seventies change their names from "Saint something" to something else - How many times did that corps from Garfield have seeming identity issues? The change in the Bridgemen however, was a makeover of epic proportion - they opened a lot of eyes.

    What was your thoughts when in in 1974 you are playing a valve/rotor horn and in 1975 you are playing a 2 valve horn?

    I didn't have that issue at all - and wasn't following Drum Corps at all during the change-over - I think Star was still playing two-valves when I first started to get back into the activity.

    Single tenors to double tenors? Double tenors to triples?

    I loved how the drum lines kept trying to become more and more musical. Rudimentary Bass drums, Double Bass, various sized cymbals and all that gave the lines more depth.

    G to Bb?

    All the brass manufacturers made more money.

    No grounding of timps and keyboards to a Pit?

    Everybody who plays in the Drum Corps, marches in the Drum Corps - one of the most beautiful Drum Corps experiences is to watch four individuals working as one playing four different sized instruments - and really making music!

    Symetrical drills to asymetrical drills?

    As the activity became less and less martial, the style of performance was bound to change ... it was only natural ... and it's much more difficult to have 100 Plus people on opposite ends of the 50 yard line mirroring each other ... Add to that how much the guard has changed being no longer an afterthought to the drill.

    Did they all really make a difference? If so....positive or negative?

    Discuss please!

    Everything makes a difference. Time, thought processes, music, too. We can either grow and change or sit back and let the world go by. Back when I marched this forum wasn't available. Neither was this laptop or our ability to communicate the way we do. Would I want to go back to the time when I needed to find a pay phone just to call home? Heck NO! But when we travelled across country from New York to Wisconsin we had no idea what the corps we were competing against even looked like ... aside from maybe shots in Drum Corps News or Fleetwood album covers and back then it was difficult to tell corps like the Nisei Ambassadors or the Royal Aires apart (until you heard them play of course) because their uniforms were so similar - I'll probably get flack from that but their uniforms were similar and anyway you know what I'm driving at. Every show was kind of a surprise when you went on tour and it's not like that anymore. No it's more like if the Yankees had to play against the Red Sox every weekend for the entire season. Every corps gets to see every other corps like all the time. Is that positive? I don't know. It just raises the issue for me that there is far less diversity now. And I miss that.

  5. The criticism sometimes offered by us "crotchety old people" is NOT, repeat, NOT directed at the marching members. We KNOW they are great kids, just as dedicated and hard-working as those of any era, and that they love this activity just as passionately as anyone can. And we know they give their all and deliver very exciting and entertaining performances. It's not that we're nay-saying for its own sake or that we're negative people w/ a critical outlook. It's that we're terribly sad because we miss what drum corps once was and we wish it could be that way again. Not only for ourselves, but for this generation and generations to come. The differences between drum corps now and BITD aren't small and superficial. Another poster very eloquently pointed out the profound impact large numbers of community-based corps had on the lives of thousands of young people. This is the most important thing that's missing now. While present day corps serve the relatively small number of participants very well and can still be a saving force in young lives, it's not the tremendous force for good it once was. It would be so great if DCI would seriously undertake to bring back grass roots drum corps along the lines of the Garden State Circuit and provide leadership training and a competitive framework for these low-budget corps. The other thing that's different in a big way IMO is the raw musical power and impact of corps of the 70s/80s era. Again, I'm talking about show design here, NOT performance level. Part of it is the volume difference w/ G vs. Bb horns, and I know the real financial reasons for this, but G horns are not illegal and they are still sold, and someone could field such a line if they wished to. Most of it is visual vs. music in judging and show design. Of course, the former determines the latter. BITD, music comprised 2/3 of the total score; today it's 1/2. Hence the chop and bop style of arranging to compliment visual design as opposed to a fully developed, sophisticated, completely musical arrangement which is faithful to the original piece. Not to say this is never done anymore, but seems to be more exception than rule.

    What he said ... mostly. As to being elite, well I never was ... in our day most Drum Corps were of the blue collar variety ... we worked our butts off all fall and winter and then went out and did what we were taught. We were judged according to how well we executed - pretty much cut and dried unless you got a cadre of judges who plain didn't like you (and there were a few of them!) All in all (and I totally don't know anything much about the mid seventies to about '81/'83 because I was just plain angry at DCI!) Have come to like many shows during the past few decades and have every faith that the activity will get better. My biggest gripe is how amplification has hurt the horn sound (I mean, what the heck would a corps like the Brassmen would have done with 50 plus horns, 12 of them being Contras????) and the fact the biggest show of the year is in the very worst venue ever to be considered for music of any kind.

  6. Garfield added girls for the 69 season. When the Little Falls Cadets corps folded, the guard as a group came over to Garfield to become the first females in the corps.

    And what a wonderful thing that was for some of us on the East Coast! Added a whole new dimension to the corps! Just have to add though, (with the mention of Ms. Opie) that Garfield had one of the best ever Mellophone players I've ever heard - she would be Barbara Maroney!

  7. Since July 4th is quiet in terms of drum corps contests, I thought I'd post some scores from 50 years ago tonight:

    July 4, 1962 Hales Corners, WI


    St. Matthias Cadets--79.64

    Our Lady of Mercy--75.30


    Kenosha Shoreliners--67.80

    Kiltie Kadets--57.92

    July 4, 1962 Union, NJ

    Garfield Cadets--88.50

    Blessed Sacrament--88.20

    St. Patrick's Cadets--82.40

    St. Lucy's--82.20


    St. Vincent's/Madison--73.70

    St. Rose Imperial Lancers--71.70

    July 4, 1962 Pittsfield, MA

    Pittsfield Monarchs--71.15

    Holy Trinity--71.05

    Pittsfield Cavaliers--68.85




    Torrington Vagabonds--70.15

    Cortland Matadors--68.35

    I wouldn't begin my marching career for a couple of years after this date but the idea of this is not lost on me ... I checked around and oddly enough there didn't seem to be a lot of shows held on the 4th for some reason that probably had a lot to do with the day it fell on the calendar ... I know those of us who marched in local circuits in and around the Tri-State (NY, NJ & Conn) had shows every weekend. Thanks for the memory. :thumbup:

  8. I will try not to be redundant, Keith and first say I know what you mean.

    Indoor instruments (to me) just don't sound as good as those that were meant to be played outdoors.

    That said, the sound we are listening to (what little there is from the horn lines, however embellished) is not as full as our meager little horn lines long ago.

    I like what was said about Boston and to that I will add the pre DCI intonation quality of the Anaheim Kingsmen, St. Joe's of Batavia, and even some of those from the little town of New York like the Bronx Kingsmen, St. Rocco's Cadets and yes, even the St. Rita's Brassmen.

    We played well enough given what (and who!) we had and more important I think the thousands of real kids who marched and played got much more out of their 5 to 10 years on the field and made many more friends than the professional performers we see today.

    I miss more than ever the grin on a kid's face trying on a first uniform - and not the hardened thousand yard stare of those who just "traded up" to the uniform they know will get them a ring.

    Ring?! We didn't even have rings .. the corps got a championship flag ... the corps members got the best experience of their young lives.

    Stuff we took with us and still carry to this day.

    Yes, viva la difference but I still think of how many are missing so much while so few don't even know what they are not getting.

    Just saying.

    And I apologize for the garish size of the type of my original post.


    • Like 2
  9. Well, my friends, there are so many With the late St. Joseph Patron Cadets and St. Rita's Brassmen ...

    David Smith - French Horn circa 1965-1969

    Anthony (Tony) Franco - Director circa 1962-1968

    Howard Jensen Sr.- Quartermaster 1971-1973

    Steve Choronzy - Soprano 1973

    John (Willie) Williams - Drummer 1967-1973

    Norris Sutton - Solo Soprano 1967 -1972

    Phil Maldonado - 1st Baritone circa 1964 -1967

    Edward (aka Goldfinger) Hernandez - Solo Soprano 1970

    Mario Melita Sr. - Business Manager 1968-1973

    John Santana – French Horn 1970

    Joel Glover - Soprano 1970

    Anthony (Tony) Lacks - Rifle Section 1970-1972

    Raymond “Skippy” Brown - Solo Soprano circa 1965-1971

    Michelle Camardo - Color Guard circa 1968-1972

    Viola Christie - Chaperon 1968-1973

    Salvador “Sal” Barbera - 1st Soprano circa 1966 -1969

    Thomas “Tommy” Barbera - 1st Soprano circa 1966 -1969

    Thomas R. Costa - Director St Rita's 1970

    Elmer Lugo - Baritone/Quartermaster circa 1966-67/1970-71

    Henry Brown - Solo Soprano 1969

    Thomas “Tom” Dover- 2nd Baritone 1970-1973

    Robert Sartori – Baritone / Contra-Bass 1961-1966

    Diane Chambus - Color Guard

    Penny Smith - Color Guard 1972 -73

    William (aka John Wayne) Christie Quartermaster 1968–1973

    Father Brugli – St. Joseph Patron Cadets Moderator circa 1962-1967

    George (Sidemouth) Richardson Baritone/Soprano 1970 - 1973

    “Mr. Frank” – Chaperon circa 1966 -1968

    Joe Mason Color Guard Instructor 1970

    Douglas James - Boys Color Guard, American Flag Section, 1970 -1972

    Calvin Haskins-Snare drummer 1967-69

    Phil DiPaolo- Soprano 1959-1966

    Oscar Thompson - Soprano 69 - 70

    Raymond "Konga" Richardson - Baritone, Contra Bass 1966 -1971

    Reggie Furby-Soprano 1970-72

    Peter George-Double Tenors 1972-73

    Russ (aka VaVoom) Forrer- Baritone 1971

    Vinnie Magrino - French Horn 1963-69

    Bobby Green - Double & Triple Tenors 1968-69

    Vernon David- Triple Bass 1972

    Barry Swain- Cymbals 1970-71

    Curtis Briggs_Snare 1965-66

    Honorary SJP/SRB Alumnus

    Joe Genero

    Robert “Pepe” Notaro

    Fran Virgilio - Color Guard who was taken from us on September 11,

    Carman Cluna Herman "HY" Dreitzer

  10. You can't make everyone happy! No matter what you say or what poll you put on DCP, there is always someone who has to upset the apple cart. Yes I could have included this corps and that corps. I chose those corps because they were on the top of my head at the time. There were really only a couple of corps that were consistently at the top and that's the reality. I included a few more for the heck of it.

    Yeah, Keith. You're right. The thing we should do is not slap you down for not including like every single corps in your poll. No one will get them all - I know that. Of course, Nanci said it best.

  11. A few stand out for me but I go way back.

    I think the guard stuff during the Pines Of Rome Star show was pretty awesome.

    There's also a few rifle sections that stand out - most notably Anaheim, SCV and of course The Blue Stars for their uniforms alone.


    But way before that there were the young women in St. Joseph Patron Cadets who ( I believe ) in 1966 were the first to actually twirl their flags as part of the show ...

    That was pretty awesome for the time.

  12. Ever since the discussions on saving drum corps have been going on, I find myself in deep thoughts about this "problem." I personally though all was well in DCI and DCA when someone informs us that there is a "problem." The other thing that keeps me awake and stressing out about is that I went to college in my 30's to become a music teacher. Now I find out that people hate music majors! What am I to do?

    Here I thought the musicianship of drum corps had improved every year since 1972. Drills were even better. Now the "experts" are saying this is not the way to run drum corps. I refer to Dr. Boo from time to time as well as Dr. Puppet to clear my mind, but what else can be done


    Your last line pretty much says it all. Laughing at what needs to be laughed at is the best medicine. BTW I am not to be confused with Dr. Pepper. And lastly, as an English Major I am certainly glad that Music Majors have taken some of the onus off of us wordsmiths.

  13. Is it just me or is anyone else seeing the disdain that the OP has for music majors? This person starts a post and is rarely heard from. Troll?

    It's just you and me. And without belaboring the points all bashed into our skulls over this and the prevous "Part I" series, I must say that it seems to me that someone must be preparing a dissertation or class thesis or some #### thing because I'm reading a great deal and all of these words are not nearly as important to me as what I see in photos and one liners that give me real memories of what "Historical Junior Corps Discussions" are (and should be!) about.

    Phrases like:

    Remember that night every corps had to march in the rain with no lights ... & Whoever thought spats looked good ... or Can anyone tell me why some corps wore white bucks and some didn't ...

    These are the things that bring up real discussions amongst us old farts.

    Keith is good at that.

    there are dozens of us who are able to respond with witty and fun repartee to most of that kind of stuff.

    Stuff that makes us dig out the pictures and dig into our memory banks.

    We are NOT saving Drum Corps (Part I / Part II / Part III or X!) on these pages.

    You know it, I know it and we all know it ... sooo the OP's disdain for all (or any!) of us who have degrees in Music or English is pretty much moot.

    I say, let's all just go over to the "OMG could we have been so young?" and post some pictures ...

  14. So .... if kids aren't doing drum corps these days, what are they doing? What's new today that wasn't around thirty-five years ago? [as I type this on my PC...]

    Thank you for this post ... it is what I have been waiting for all these pages ... and why we should never take topics like this seriously. There is no fix because there is no problem. We were (as if no one gets it!) different from the youngsters of today ... as different as we were from our parents. The world is different. The #### weather is different for goodness sake. Junior drum corps are being marched by adults ... people who can vote, contract STDs and not by pre adolescents who were mostly the pre-cursor of nerds and geeks. We did not have to worry about homosexuality because the males marching were not thinking about being dancers on Broadway or any such thing ... this topic, if I continue to think about its absurdity and lack of focus will cause me to just point to it and laugh - just like the jocks of my youth laughed at me in my St. Joseph Patron Cadet uniform. And like the original poster, who doesn't care, I didn't either - but then again I was only 15 years old and stubborn.

  15. Albion Grenadiers, Shelby Tamboliers (really), Oakfield Swordsmen, Scotts Sabers, Alpine Girls, Roch. Ststesmen, Salamanca Black Knoights, Warren Cornplanters, Shapsburg Cadets, Maumee Demons, OYB Lamplighters, Kitchener Flying Dutchmen, Fulton Gauchos, Utica Executives, Southern Tier Vagabonds, Seneca Chiefs, Kingston Criterions, Westmorland Esquires, York White Roses, Emmaus Sentinels, Milton Keystoners, Northeast Shoreliners, Johnsonburg Diplomats, Johnsonburg Grey Knights, Rochester Grey Knights, Lockport Blazers, Grantham, St. Catherine's Queensmen & their all girl contingent: St. Catherine's Marionettes, Cataract Cavaliers, Knights of the Noble Callahan, Excaliber, Ft. Edwards Vagabonds, Pittsfield Cavaliers, Selden Cadets, Patterson Cadets, Carver Gay Blades, Springfield Targets, Puoghkipsy Pacers, S.C. Mariners, NYC Knickerbockers, Nesei Ambassadors, CMCC Warriors, St. Rita's Brassmen, St. Joseph Patron Cadets, Barons of Steuben, Emerald Cadets.........

    St. Catherine's of Sienna also had a corps named the Queenaires -

    and there was (from the Proctor-Hopson VFW Post 1896 post in Queens, The Scarlet Lancers.

    The Staten Island Lawmen.

    The Bronx Kingsmen

    The Manhattanaires

    The Wynn Center Toppers PAL Corps from Brooklyn

    The Lindenaires from Long Island, New York

    further afield I remember the Appleknockers and The Polish Falcons, too.

  16. A well-done 'retro' guard show would just not present enough of a show to generate a high score. Look at a 1980 show and compare it to a 1950 show. Guards of today are just so far beyond guards of 30 years ago in show demand and overall performance skills involving the whole body that they would look like they are doing next to nothing to enhance the show. Guards 'back then' prided themselves on being military and motionless...and emotionless visually. How would that EVER work in terms of 2012?

    Those days were wonderful...back then. Today's shows are wonderful...for today.

    It took me quite while to come this same conclusion. What was, was. What is, is.

  17. I, along with many others, believe that Maurice "Moe" Knox should be inducted into the WDCHOF. I do not know what the specific prerequisites are for induction, but Moe devoted many years of his life to preserving the memory of our activity, through his photos. I would guess he was the most prolific of any drum corps photographer, and beloved by his many fans and customers.

    Moe Knox belongs in the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Long overdue.

    I enthusiastically support the nomination and acceptance of Moe Knox as a Full Member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Moe is a man who has traveled throughout these United States, many times at his own expense, to document for posterity, the history of corps and events. He spent countless hours at field-side tables, showing his photos to spectators and participants, patiently answering all questions no matter how trite. He should be considered for Full Member status.

    Mr. Knox's photos and his ambassadorship at shows has "enhanced our visual understanding of the marching world through years of drum corps photojournalism".

    The WDCHOF committee passed over Moe in the selection process to the Hall of Fame, allegedly because he "made money off drum corps."

    In fact, the WDCHOF has never honored anyone for photojournalism, yet honored the owners of the for-profit journals for which they too photos.

    Moe Knox should be inducted.

    "Who For the Hall":

    MOE KNOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    May I hasten to add that before the advent of the phone camera or video ... there was Moe!

  18. Well, you said this...

    ...which is what I was commenting on. As you say, you can't really compare 12-year-olds of then to 18+ of today.

    OTOH, the top corps of 'then' were not full of 12-year-olds, either. And...on the whole, the 18+ year-olds of then were just not as skilled...on average...as the members today, given the reality of scholastic backgrounds, auditions, and the many more staff who focus on the minute details to an incredible degree today.

    As for 'ring chasers'...unless you are trying out for the Cadets, Blue Devils and maybe Cavies, how can you be called a 'ring chaser'? And even those corps members don't deserve that, IMO.

    From 64-70, 7 years of VFW Nats...the Cavies were in the top 4 all 7, Troopers, 6 years, BAC and the Kilties 4, and Des Plains and the Royal Airs 3 times (BS rounded out the total, with 1). Did members of those corps deserve to be called 'ring chasers' because they were so very good?

    I stand corrected. I wasn't aware there were rings to be had during those years long ago. Mea Culpa.