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About reallyoldfrt

  • Rank
    DCP Veteran
  • Birthday 03/05/1940

Profile Information

  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    as a Marching Member: St Brendans D & BC, Dorchester Ma. 1948-1952; St Brendans Band Dorchester Ma. Dorchester Ma 1952-1955; Braintree Warriors, Braintree Ma. 1955-1960; Princemen, Boston Ma. 1961-1965; Legends of Drum Corps, Boston Ma. 1999-2002; St Kevin Emerald Knights, Boston Ma. 2005-2009; as an Instructor: Peabody Musketeers, Peabody Ma. 1962; Pembroke Imperials, Pembroke Ma. 1966-1973; Union Brigade, Brockton Ma. 1973; 27th Lancers, Revere Ma. 1974
  • Your Favorite Corps
    Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Chicago Royal Airs CYO Nationals 1965
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    1961 The Princemen were very competitive. I had a blast.
  • Gender
  • Location
    Pembroke Ma.
  • Interests
    Rehashing old drum corps days. Recently stopped playing. It was time.

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  1. The St Rose quartet members were Bob Gaff, Jim Wedge, Jordan Tuller and Howie Darish. They modestly billed themselves as "The Magnificent Four Roses Quartet". I'd post pictures of the quartet, and their special jacket patch if I had any clue how to post a photo on this forum
  2. St Rose was taught by another Prince guy. Bernie Johnson, through 1961. Scotty Chappelle taught brass in 1962. Jim Wedge played baritone alongside Bob Gaff. The broke up after the 1962 season. Many of the members went to the IC Reveries in Revere, the next town over. Cambridge Caballeros broke up after the 1962 season. They had very many simultaneous age outs, and no feeder corps system backing them up.
  3. Everyone's memory is subjective, and colored by their own experiences. I had the honor to know Scotty Chapelle pretty well. I judged with him for a while in the late 60s-early 70s. We had many conversations about the direction drum corps was heading. As a musician, he was quite pleased with the continuous improvement of the brass sections. And, like many brass men, he wished that the percussion side could be minimized, in the manner of a symphony orchestra. Since I was a drummer, we enjoyed a difference of opinion. He also recognized that the corps were all made up of ordinary kids who did the best they could. I'm sure he would marvel at today.s brass work. He was a wonderful guy, a living legend in the Boston area. But I believe he would be appalled to learn that the number of corps still in existence is so small. We had more corps in the Boston area in 1972, most of whom owed Scotty some percentage of their existence, than currently exist in the entire world. While he always strove for polish and professionalism, he also knew that making a musical experience available to the widest possible number of kids was what he had worked toward all his life. The current exclusivity has been the biggest failure of the DCI era. If that hadn't been their goal from the beginning it should have been.
  4. Don't look now, guys, but there's da&n little left now. And the currently popular "societal fluxuations" argument contains just enough truth to make it seem plausible if you're pre-disposed to believe it. The original basic concept behind the rise of drum corps was as a small, community based, inexpensive activity for ordinary humans, who had no desire to "be serious" about music. Other than the elite units, it was perhaps the collective faults of the hundreds of "ordinary humans corps" for not totally shunning the elitist few. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Many of us strongly advocated that course. We all began as eager amateurs, and wished devoutly to retain our amateur standing. Whether we worshipped at the alter of Tony S, or not, we were immediately singled out as being" part of the problem" by those, to paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, "Drum Corps Nazis". As with Ironlips, my undergraduate major was history. A couple of points should be raised. Prior to DCI drum corps was in a constant state of striving for survival. Corps formed, and other corps disbanded with regularity. It was almost never about finances. Corps were cheap to operate. It was one of the prime raisons d'etre of drum corps. After DCI it was ALL ABOUT money. Many national caliber units, who had been in existence for over 20 years in 1972, folded within a season or two, strictly for financial reasons. e.g. Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, a charter member of DCI, didn't survive long enough to enter a single championship contest. DCI, as we suspected they might, scapegoated thousands of us eager amateurs. They threw out the baby with the bath water in their eagerness to cleanse and purify the original concept of drum corps, and mold it into something exalted, and available only to the anointed professionals. They shamelessly devoured the acceptable personnel of the ordinary human corps, putting added survival pressure on those outside the inner circle. Nearly every new "innovation", and management stricture they put in place was designed to increase costs and therefore force more "unworthy" units to disband. It was, I believe, a calculated measure of drum corps genocide. I had originally thought that they were honest sincere folks who got a little carried away in the initial rush of power, and would soon recognize the damage they'd done, and take corrective measures. I was an optimist.....or perhaps, naive. Many of them are truly evil people, who set out to destroy we poor folks who were just having fun. Whether they actually enjoyed watching the pain and anguish they were causing is unknown. Since 1972 hundreds of thousands of kids and volunteers have been systematically excluded from whatever that "activity" is that the powers-that-be have created. Thank God it's not drum corps. I knew drum corps, and DCI ain't it.
  5. Corps had been giving the veterans the single digit salute since the 1930s. The vets said, "No valves!". The corps got valves. The vets said, "No pulling slides!". The corps pulled slides. (e.g. The Syracuse Brigadiers concert tune, "I wonder what became of Sally" in 1955). The vets frowned on BAC's marimba in IIRC 1966, even though Madison had competed with Glockenspiels since forever. The vets, most particularly Tony S, were thoughtlessly obstructionist at times. They also were like the Church, in that they never just sat down with the corps and explained the reasoning behind their apparently capricious rulings. It might have helped if they had been more forthcoming, but they weren't. The fact that 95+% of all the corps that existed in 1972, prior to DCI, are no longer in existence proves, to me at least, that the vets, and Tony were basically right, and that DCI is basically wrong in their approach to the community function that drum corps were originally intended to perform. It's only old farts like me that GAS. The cool aid drinkers are serenely blissful.
  6. Let's strive for a little accuracy here. Yes. Drum corps began with the veterans groups. Yes. They formulated the rules for competition. No. The AL and VFW rules, while similar, were not the same. But! While admitting the activity's origin, by the 1950s the vast majority of corps were not directly affiliated with the veterans groups. They were CYO units, Masonic units, or completely independent, self supporting units. Local circuits were the primary area where drum corps competed. Each circuit had it's own rules, which were only slight variations of the veteran's rules. Corps would hook up a temporary "sponsorship" with a VFW or AL Post solely for the purpose of competing in a state or national championship. Most corps would not attend a National unless it was being held in a locale that was geographically convenient for them to travel to. Other than that, most corps had no direct contact with the veterans whatsoever. e.g. In 1958 the VFW Nationals were at Ebbet's Field in Brooklyn NY. That's about 200 miles from Boston. Of the 25 major corps from Boston only 3 went to the Nationals, St Kevin Emerald Knights, Hyde Park Crusaders, and Cambridge Caballeros. St Vincent's Cadets of Bayonne NJ, about 15 miles from Ebbet's Field, did not attend. Other than the basic Rules of Competition, the State or National Championship, and possibly a Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Armistice Day (now Veteran's Day) parade, and in some cases, the use of the Post hall for rehearsals, most corps had no contact with the veterans. Local circuits, none of whom were affiliated with any veteran's groups, were the main focus for competitive drum corps. If a corps' all volunteer management team could raise $10,000.00 annually, (a considerable sum at the the time, but doable), the corps could go on with reasonable security. We are talking 50 to 60 kids, 4 instructors working for gas money, no trucks, no buses, no props, no stagehands, no electronics, cheap bugles and drums, competing within 50 miles of their community against a large number of other competent local units, and having no national ambitions. Change, except for the megalomaniacal few, was not needed. Let's have a big round of applause for the few.
  7. I think I mentioned that there was an alcohol problem. Rumor had it that in 1968 he introduced the 27th Lancers as being from "Reverie" Massachusetts.
  8. There were, indeed, a lot of political BS pulled at both Veteran's Nationals. Both organizations were, and are, extremely political, both nationally and internally. Tony wound up as the pointman for the lions share of the "games" that were played. Most of the flak is richly deserved. Some is not. He had a fairly autonomous hand in running the drum corps show, but he did have to kowtow to the internal "Heavy Hitters" in the VFW hierarchy. On occasion, (1966, for example) he was attempting to please some higher ups and he botched the whole thing. He had to do it on other occasions, and got away with it. In 1966 his biggest problem was that the corps that would get screwed was George Bonfiglio's corps. Many people could have told him that it was not a good idea. If he had simply taken one of the many phone calls from GB I'm pretty sure something acceptable could have been worked out. But, Tony chose to stonewall, to pull a CYO act. (We are the Church. You cannot question us.) We all know what happened then. Tony had another problem....alcohol, which often clouded his judgement. But he was basically NOT a bad guy. He truly loved drum corps, and cherished his job as Head Honcho. He saw drum corps the way it had been originally intended to be, a relatively inexpensive local, social activity. He fought against all innovations, equipment wise, or show wise, because he realized that more and better stuff meant higher expenditures for the units, which would inevitably reduce the number of units that could afford to keep up. This would mean fewer units showing up at his competition, and less money that the VFW could make from the show. This, he felt, would endanger his lofty position, reduce his omnipotence, and, coincidentally, ruin the entire drum corps activity for everyone. He saw this as undesirable. So he played the obstructionist. It didn't matter that he was right. So, Did Tony destroy drum corps? No, he did not! Other people did! JMO
  9. In 1974 the World Open allowed corps the option of doing a short (Veterans Rules) prelim show. Most non DCI corps chose that option. The DCI corps had no short show prepared, and were compelled to do their full show. This disparity cost at least one DCI corps a place in the finals that year.
  10. I hope that this means that there might exist a color tape of the entire evening. That would be AMAZING!!!!!
  11. That entire competition, the 1970 World Open, was one of the best shows I've ever attended. 12 All Time great corps, all at the top of their games, What a night. BSGK were astonishingly good. Best I ever saw from them. The only show that might, possibly, have been better was the 1971 World Open. As a 27 fan I tend to give the 1971 competition a slight edge. I admit to bias.
  12. In Canada, in the 1950s and 60s people over 21 were allowed to march in Junior Corps. e.g. Jim McConkey marched as DM with the Toronto Optimists in the early 60s. In regard to the question of this thread, although not a champion corps, the 27th Lancers marched quite a few kids aged 11 and 12 during the 1974 season. And were very glad to have them, too.
  13. Yes. I am old. The Warriors were not stellar in those days. We improved greatly from 1958 through 1960, largely because of the influx of kids from the Braves, who were a #### good corps at that time.
  14. My first show in drum corps was in Claremont NH in May of 1956. I was in the Braintree Warriors, and I remember we didn't win. The only other corps I can remember was the Enfield Sabers from CT. I know we did beat them. I also remember that the crowd was between 300 and 500 people. I vividly remember a collision on the field between our corps proper and the color guard which cost us dearly.
  15. I. Royal Airs 1965 2. Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights 1970 3. 27th Lancers 1980 4. Santa Clara Vanguard 1988 5. Blue Devils 1988 6. Phantom Regiment 1983 7. Kilties 1969 8. Cavaliers 1966 (to pick one) 9. Bridgemen 1980 10. Boston Crusaders 1967 These are all exceptional corps. I chose them for their excellence, and for the shows that I enjoyed the most. Honorable mention: St Lucy's 1966 Argonne Rebels 1971 St Kevin Emerald Knights 1960 Pembroke Imperials 1973