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Everything posted by Puppet

  1. No. no. no and no. There is no comparison to then and now. A 12 year old then (new member of any drum corps) cannot be compared to the adult members (18 and older) now. It's not fair to compare. To me and in my way infinitely humble opinion the amount of dedication was off the scale compared to now. Most kids of our era were not looking for a ring. We didn't have them to have for goodness sake and maybe that's why = it was for "goodness sake!" There was 'community.' not airline tickets. There was loyalty. Dedication was defined as a year-long effort to succeed, a year long effort from a pre teen inductee to become an integral part of and corps and wear one uniform for their entire marching career. All I do not like about DCI aside, it is the ring whores who I think are the worst of the worst of the current Drum Corps world. yeah, that.
  2. You make a good point but you must also realize that the way the NJ corps were able to fill those stands was because the activity throughout the Tri-State was so popular. Friends and family from all over would show up in droves (also their cars!) My friends and I would take the train to Roosevelt from NY. BTW, you left out Blessed Sacrament, St. Lucy's, Our Lady Of Loretto, The Queensmen, Selden and other big names of the early sixties. They had a little to do with the popularity here in the East.
  3. Not to belabor the point but I grew up in a city where we did have great band experiences. I played in the New York City All City Orchestra and the All City Band. We had jazz bands of every stripe at Music & Art High School. But Drum Corps was a thing apart. Maybe that was because most High Schools here didn't have football teams. For us, band was an indoor thing, Orchestra was an indoor thing except on those rare occasions when we'd play in the shell in Central Park. Darn right I wish I could have marched with the Queensmen in 1961 but by '71 I was in the Brassmen. By '81 I wasn't even looking at drum corps at all. In '91 I was becoming a fan again and have been so (with some trepidation) ever since. I won't trade my laptop for a Smith-Corona nor my iPhone for a rotary ... I get that whole 'the world has changed' thing. Some things (like honesty, work ethic, etc) have not changed for the better. But there ya go. Oh yeah, about the food: We had oodles of money through our weekly bingo so we ate and slept really well on tour. Wes Hobby didn't call us The Cinderella Corps from Brooklyn, New York for nothing.
  4. Thank you ... you're so polite. I apologize for the multi-post everyone. Hope you get a kick out of seeing what I was part of as much as I enjoyed BD from BITD!
  5. Whenever you start to envy them just think of the gruel they have to slop down while on tour. There was nothing better than to get out of a long bus ride or 5 or 6 hours and go into a restaurant and order anything you wanted, eat joke and relax and yes, actually talk to each other about the adventure of the next day ... that excitement that came when you were actually going to see a corps you'd only heard on a Fleetwood record from the year before or only saw a grainy photo of in DCNews. Please don't envy them, continue to feel sorry for what they are missing and know in your heart that if our instructors had thought of some of the stuff they're doing now, we could have done it then ... except for the penalties.
  6. Didn't mean to close down the whole thread. Sorry ...
  7. Kewl, Michael. And in color, no less. Kinda makes me want to post a link to the Brassmen OTL of the same year. Sort of an East Coast / West Coast thing. I think ours was shot on BetaCam then transferred later to VHS and I personally digitized it to an MP4. Picture quality not so hot and in B&W but the sound ( for 34 horns ) is good. Would you mind?
  8. My girlfriend had boots like that once. She's in there somewhere. Which reminds me. Was it me or were girls in suspenders kind of a turn on? Our uniforms (even the skirts!) were worn with suspenders and ... well, never mind. PS (edit) yes, they are twirling those 7 foot pikes!
  9. Hmmm. When I dream I dream of what junior corps was. Young people between the ages of say 12 to 18 who mostly spent their entire drum corps careers in one uniform. The current version is what we got. Mostly adult professionals (17 to 25) who will bounce around from corps to corps in search of that ring. It is what it is and whatever it is it is no longer "junior"! And that's my biggest beef.
  10. Wait, I'm going on record as saying the only things I really agree with is that 35 years ago was 35 years ago and that 35 years ago I would have been 25 and unable to march in any junior corps ... I believe might be the average age right now. And yes, if the Star model had been picked up by other drum corps there might be less financial woes among existing drum corps ... But, c'mon a rant is a rant. It's just this kid's feelings. Doesn't have to be factual. For most of us feelings are reality. This whole DCI thing (it's problems and everything)this whole "we lost so many corps" thing, this whole "the halcyon days of drum corps" thing is and has been a lot of whining many of my age gave up (and I sure did - but I stopped pouting after like 1989 and began to accept junior drum corps for what it was) and we have been somewhat rewarded with shows designed by George Z - Star's double-cross comes to mind - Spartacus and more recently Phantom's Juliet. In between, there have been some great little tid-bits. I will continue to look for that one little cherry in the bowl of vanilla ice cream and sigh with gratitude when it happens.
  11. I am 60 years old. I am a writer by trade. I began my drum corps career at the tender age of 12. I, unlike many of my peers, was about to attend Music & Art High School when I got hooked on Drum Corps and I already played The Horn In "F" in both the All City (here in New York City) orchestra. I was a member of the Queenaires Drum And Bugle Corps from Queens out of the St. Catherine of Sienna parish from whence the Queensmen and the Marionettes both originated. From there I marched St. Joseph Patron Cadets and then St. Rita's Brassmen. I will reiterate that there where no dues paid or needed to march with those corps. There were no auditions to speak of. After an entire winter of rehearsals, you knew who the "not-serious" were and that was that. Experience was a non-issue. You got experience by doing. Those were simpler times. Now that I have rambled on I must also say that these pages are not dissertations or essays ... just mostly replies to what we've seen. I am not here to change the Drum Corps world any more than I could change Hy Dreitzer's arrangements or Carmen Cluna's drills. I couldn't play the Mellophone like Barbara Malone but I was a #### happy mid range player who just happened to be in one of the best horn lines of our era. No. Really. We were. Quite right, Mike. And a better competitive spirit couldn't be found between our two organizations (among others!) at the time. Oh, yeah. They call it a 'rant' because it is a rant. Otherwise it would be called a formulaic equation or something. Just saying.
  12. While Elphaba said most of what I would have to reply and many of you have chimed in with your memories, I must most ardently add as I have said many times before. If these are World Class Drum Corps, why then are they sleeping on floors and eating from what can only be called roach coaches? With all the money we didn't have we always slept in Hotels and Motels and ate in restaurants while we were on tour. Why do these so-called World Class Drum Corps have so many money problems when the members are required to pay thousands of dollars each just to participate? I was a member of a "Class A" drum corps who funded itself by running a bingo once a week and we never required our members to ever pay a fee or any dues. All else has been said over and over on these pages. There is no solution to what DCI has become. Yes, I do love to see these fresh-faced adults going through their paces. No, I do not love that I have to have a second mortgage just to buy a ticket to a venue in which I cannot hear a blessed thing other than the synthesizers. Yes, I appreciate the time and effort put forth by these fresh-faced adults through their try-outs and camps and travel and so forth. But no, I do not think for one single second that they appreciate the year-long efforts we gave to play and march for our 6 to 7 month competition seasons. Am I whining? Heck no. I wouldn't trade my time and my experience for one single minute of those adults who are "marching" now. Why? Because those are memories (selective though they may be!) of my youth. My adolescent days are precious to me. There will never be any going back to how Drum Corps was. But I ask you: Will any of these adults in uniform ever experience thee thrill of seeing for the first time a corps they have never seen in person before? There's the rub, my friends. There is no thrill for these people ... ever. And it's a shame.
  13. So ... it's not often I get to do this but I've got to quote you verbatim on this because it's just beautiful. "They had a "Prelim" (Won by Blessed Sacrament, due to a 2 point "Lateness" penalty to the Garfield Cadets), but THE "Record Penalty" went to St Josephs Patron Cadets who were smacked with a whopping 17 POINTS in penalties for being late. Blessed Sacrament went on to win the junior "Finals" (St Lucy's & Garfield were the other "Finalists"), and the Hawthorne Caballeros won the Senior NY Daily News Championship with the Sunrisers and Marksmen rounding out the contest." And you're right - it was May of 1964 at Flushing Meadow 1 Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights 79.420 2 St. Lucy's Cadets 78.530 3 Garfield Cadets 78.200 4 Hawthorne Muchachos 73.900 5 Holy Family Defenders 72.000 6 Connecticut Royal Lancers 70.570 7 Selden Cadets 69.630 8 Bronx Kingsmen 67.620 9 St. Annes Loyalaires 67.270 10 OLPH Ridgemen 65.000 11 Lindenaires 55.300 12 St. Joseph Patron Cadets 42.020 - minus 17.00!
  14. You know, I forgot how long ago this thread was started and whilst reading through a thought struck me: Troopers: when did they really start that touring thing? It had to be 1964. They traveled from Colorado through the Midwest, out to NYC and ended that year in Connecticut for the World Open. The stopover in New York City was memorable ... why? Because the World's Fair was happening The World's Fair Championship sponsored by the New York Daily News. The scores: 1 Chicago Royal Airs 85.300 2 Saint Kevin's Emerald Knights 84.600 3 Cavaliers 84.450 4 Racine Kilties 84.350 5 Troopers 82.800 6 St. Joseph's of Batavia 82.300 7 St. Lucy's Cadets 81.950 8 Racine Scouts 80.900 9 Garfield Cadets 78.550 10 Magnificent Yankees 76.950 Suffice to say many, many people from around the World took in that show.
  15. I really don't have much to say beyond the fact that I just love when someone posts a line that totally encompasses not only the spirit of the subject but also gives an historic nod to one of the all time best OTL performances and in doing that causes us to remember one of the all time great solo soprano players of our era. All in one sentence. To me, that is one Bad Axxed Corps reference.
  16. Which allows me to introduce a small corps from Kweens, NY who were an off-shoot of the once great Kweensmen from St. Katherine of Sienna. I marched with the Kweenaires for two seasons just before I joined St. Joseph Patron Kadets of Brooklyn, NY. ...K?
  17. Please ... let's just nip this before it goes from full flower to hedgerow because it is the people who poston DCP who amaze me. I was not being facetious when I said you should stick to your guns. I was not (as I sometimes can be) being jocular or in any way deliberately inappropriate (as I also sometimes am) and please pardon the parenthetical prepositional ending but what I was doing was defending your defense of a corps you went out of your way - and somewhat obtusely off-topic - to let us know from your initial post how much you love and respect. I respect that. I drop as much love about my own past on these pages to hope that I do not become too droll when I do. I mentioned Barbara to in some way bring the Garfield reference back on topic as to how The Good Old Days [that] Weren't All That Good were sometimes very good. So continue to stand up, just don't get so up tight that your message gets garbled with dropped punctuation and unnecessary capitalization. Oh ... and one would think you would be somewhat proud of the fact that some outsiders have enough respect for one of your own to voice their feelings about her. She was a standout to me when I couldn't have cared less about Drum Corps at all. That's right for about two decades ('73 to '90) I didn't care a wit for Drum Corps. That said, from what I have read and heard from other horn players, I was not, and am not alone about my respect for a great horn player. I know, I just can't shut up once I get started ... so I'll stop.
  18. You just stick to your guns. 'Cause I believe people gotta stand up for something - so you go.
  19. As a horn player, I may not have the creds to mention this, but BITD before there was a DCI there were many drum corps with great rifle lines (and who carried pieces that were in excess of 8 pounds) who did a great many things besides just walk around with them ... The Troopers were mentioned and I will not let Anaheim's line go unmentioned, but there were others on the east coast For instance: I thought our guys kinda looked great just marching in formation before they did stuff... And they did do interesting stuff, too... I wish I had some more shots of the Bridgemen, Bluerock, Warriors and if I'm not mistaken didn't Boston have a good looking rifle line, too?
  20. Of kourse! All things konsidered, it was easy to be konfused ... what, with all the Kiwis and their kin.
  21. Sam, I was one of those who saw your letter and piled on with many others to get the folks at Garfield to change their minds... Tradition kinda sucks when you can't honor your own.
  22. If you knew what kind of obstacles she had to overcome and all the horn players she inspired I truly believe she went far beyond the pale. But I do want to say that the only reason I made the reference was because I wanted to mention something about the good old days that was positive and not the generic clap that I'd read. There were too many good things about the good old days and to me they far out weighed the bad. One of the best was seeing corps for thee first time. I remember our mid west tour when I saw the Anaheim Kingsmen for the first time (I'd never even heard them before that!) and marching against the Troopers and hearing the crowds love you. Playing our rep in the parking lot on kazoos in the parking lot of a Howard Johnson restaurant in Warren, Ohio to the crowd's amazement and delight ... there were all kinds of good stuff like that. Now the good old days may not have been all that good but to me the were all that.