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I don't believe it died in 1971. DCI had to happen! Lets face facts, if DCI didn't happen think of the bad intonation we'd still be hearing and the squad moves, and the color guard with the long poles and little movement.

I hate the fact that there are ALOT less corps than in the 60's and 70's but look at the product that comes out of these corps. The Open class corps today could blow alot of the bigger (1970's) corps away. Put 2007 Spartans up against 1972 Blue Rock, Spartans would win hands down. Don't get me wrong, I loved drum corps back then and it just kept getting better and better.

Maybe corps have died of (to many of them) but the product that DCI has put out every year gets better all the time.

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Mike their drum line wasn't just "very good".  They took high drums at VFW Nationals in 68 and were undefeated!  That was a killer drum line.

Ken Norman

lol I just realized this thread is 10 years old....lol

Yes, the product has improved. The days of the home-town corps has passed. Appreciate DCI for what it is; a select few are chosen to participate and pay a hefty price to do so. Although I miss the days when hundreds of mediocre corps competed with squad drills and patriotic mis-matched repetoires, I also love what today's corps are doing. IT IS WHAT IT IS. No amount of complaining or reminiscing is going to change anything. Sorry for the rant. Watch DCA for a while and become a fan. I, personally love both DCI and DCA for what they are.

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please allow me this:

Up front this is neither bashing DCI, DCA or any organization that currently causes my inbox to be filled with literally hundred of pre-season requests for money to enable youngsters to participate in what was once to me a source of pleasure, learning and personal growth. All things being equal, (which they are not!) I don't think the amount of time and energy put into today's product is equal to the sheer verve which the corps of my era displayed. The forced pageantry and beauty queen smiles of the now so called guards do not win me over. The short, seemingly one dimensional shows don't cause me to cheer. Yes, the musicality is better - all the players are now pros. Their instruments are probably better made. And yes, Jimmy drum corps today is what it is today - change is good, change is change. As a writer, I wouldn't trade in my MAC and go back to an IBM Selectric typewriter, ever. But I am respectful of the past and would like to think that my memories of what once was - the fleeting months of competition, the agonizing winters of rehearsals, the summers like 1971 or even 1965, the togetherness - that's all good stuff to me. Drum Corps didn't die in 1971 and again yes, something else was born. 30 years from now, perhaps those of you who weren't able to participate in an activity that brought together kids from all walks of life and different economic strata for free (that means no dues, no fees, no paying for your own uniform or instrument etc.) will see how folks like me hold those times so dear.

Puppet

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30 years from now, perhaps those of you who weren't able to participate in an activity that brought together kids from all walks of life and different economic strata for free (that means no dues, no fees, no paying for your own uniform or instrument etc.) will see how folks like me hold those times so dear.

Puppet

Yes, but we did FUND RAISE!!!!

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Puppet,

My post was not meant in any way to be disrespectful of the past. I marched from 1968 to 1978 and taught from 1979-1982. I was off the streets, given a bugle, and was taught to blow into it until a sound came out. I didn't read music, and learned to march the old fashioned way - in the church gym, up and down the basketball court being constantly reminded to not look at my feet. My original corps, the I.C. Reveries juniors, never went to a DCI competition. We stayed local and made one major trip a year (either Butler, PA or Marion, OH). Our dues were $1.00 a week, and we had to sell 10 raffle tickets every month for a 50/50. We also sold candy door to door. There was no cost involved for our annual trip, other than $5.00 per day spending money that was held onto by management and doled out to us each day. (Poker games on the bus were popular back then).

Had there been a "tuition" of $2,000 to $5,000 I would not have been able to march - heck, my college tuition was $1800 a year, and I could barely afford that.

I did march in a DCI corps for 3 years. We paid $200 for tour. We had few fundraising responsibilities. We did a LOT of parades and exhibitions. My audition? I was handed a soprano and asked to play from low c up as high as I could go.

So, could I march today if I was 18 again? Likely, not. Not talented enough, wasn't in good enough shape, could never afford it. I hear you, my friend! I wish I could go back to Manning Bowl one more Saturday in early August and watch 50 corps compete in prelims. I wish I could watch a World Open finals just ONE more time, and watch St. Rita's, the Kilties, CMCC, Boston and the many others who thrilled me night after night...

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Our dues was 1 dollar a week

"I'll Buy That For a Dollar":

Well said. I know that "Times have changed" but for the bargain basement price of .25 a week we recieved an "Education" (From day one) that is worth it's weight in gold.

Elphaba

WWW

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Puppet,

My post was not meant in any way to be disrespectful of the past. I marched from 1968 to 1978 and taught from 1979-1982. I was off the streets, given a bugle, and was taught to blow into it until a sound came out. I didn't read music, and learned to march the old fashioned way - in the church gym, up and down the basketball court being constantly reminded to not look at my feet. My original corps, the I.C. Reveries juniors, never went to a DCI competition. We stayed local and made one major trip a year (either Butler, PA or Marion, OH). Our dues were $1.00 a week, and we had to sell 10 raffle tickets every month for a 50/50. We also sold candy door to door. There was no cost involved for our annual trip, other than $5.00 per day spending money that was held onto by management and doled out to us each day. (Poker games on the bus were popular back then).

Had there been a "tuition" of $2,000 to $5,000 I would not have been able to march - heck, my college tuition was $1800 a year, and I could barely afford that.

I did march in a DCI corps for 3 years. We paid $200 for tour. We had few fundraising responsibilities. We did a LOT of parades and exhibitions. My audition? I was handed a soprano and asked to play from low c up as high as I could go.

So, could I march today if I was 18 again? Likely, not. Not talented enough, wasn't in good enough shape, could never afford it. I hear you, my friend! I wish I could go back to Manning Bowl one more Saturday in early August and watch 50 corps compete in prelims. I wish I could watch a World Open finals just ONE more time, and watch St. Rita's, the Kilties, CMCC, Boston and the many others who thrilled me night after night...

"I'll Buy That For a Dollar":

Well said. I know that "Times have changed" but for the bargain basement price of .25 a week we recieved an "Education" (From day one) that is worth it's weight in gold.

Elphaba

WWW

Thank you guys.

A picture says more than words sometimes. So here are two (I must have posted them somewhere before - the first was a typical rehearsal Friday night in the St. Rita Gym.

Fridayrehearsals.jpg

And there's the Thursday Night Bingo we ran to raise operating expenses.

bingonight.jpg

And I agree: the education from learning and from teaching and from the responsibilities the Corps management placed on us to care for our own financial health was daunting but well worth it.

And just another reason why I keep my teenage nickname of Puppet.

Edited by Puppet
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I was there literally in the middle of the circus of 1971 -- snare in Cavaliers.

Interesting memories of the "died T-shirts", cartoons, scathing responses from many during that year. We came out of the gate (annual Kenosha Memorial Day freezebox show) incredibly strong. We continued building and layering the pieces of the concept for another dozen shows undefeated and scoring quite high for the times. Deserved so I might add because beneath the show "concept" was a very clean and executing drumline, hornline, M&M in typical Cavie fashion.

As many noted the backlash regarding how to judge the show began mid summer as we moved East, and as the West coast corps began arriving. As Coult has documented in the Building Green Machine book, as well as my FMM brother Paul Milano has posted many times, the business and politics of the moment somehow got picked up in earnest and indeed influence the judging, and IMHO, feeding the various fan base reactions to not just us, but the other corps playing with a GE oriented label that year (Madison, Garfield, etc.).

But to the point, that was what was happening in front of the curtain. Behind the curtain, 1971 represented the realization that the business / touring model of drum corps finally became front and center. Troopers, SCV, Anaheim were benefiting from COUNTLESS MORE hours perfecting their shows while traveling 1000's of miles, and the discipline of both staffs and members really was obvious versus the corps whom were still operating from a local rehearsal and weekend travel model. Their shows were just that more structurally, technically and musically ahead than what was possibly perceived as more GE trickery.

I recall standing by the fence at several mid-season shows watching SCV in particular, and then later, Kingsmen, saying to my mates -- wow, we're witnessing something very different here guys! It was to me, a huge transformational moment of realization that Drum Corps was about to go a whole new way. Some didn't like what then happened the next couple years as the new model under DCI started to shape itself (most of those members "left corps life" and many corps started having problems), others embraced with huge success. And some took years to reinvent and adapt.

This was a great lesson for me for years to come -- I never doubted my business school profs and business instincts about keeping eye out for transformational change and the impact it could have.

So, IMO, Drum Corps didn't die, it just changed and rather quickly because the forces (market, membership, sponsorship, companies involved) embraced the direction or hope of what could be. Not a bad thing necessarily. I'm still here :) soaking up the genre 40 years later.

BTW, I'm most proud of our 1971 show and corps maturity. I had perhaps the most fun of my life that year.

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I was there literally in the middle of the circus of 1971 -- snare in Cavaliers.

... I recall standing by the fence at several mid-season shows watching SCV in particular, and then later, Kingsmen, saying to my mates -- wow, we're witnessing something very different here guys! It was to me, a huge transformational moment of realization that Drum Corps was about to go a whole new way. ...

So, IMO, Drum Corps didn't die, it just changed and rather quickly because the forces (market, membership, sponsorship, companies involved) embraced the direction or hope of what could be. Not a bad thing necessarily. I'm still here :) soaking up the genre 40 years later.

Excellent post! Thanks for taking us "behind the curtain". And for invoking the name of Paul Milano -- an excellent man and an alum who went on to do great things with other corps (such as his work with the great Tootie, Bob Hoehn, with then-Spirit of Atlanta) and is still en"snared" in the activity today.

I think one of the ways the Old Man casually refers to Paul Milano in the book is when I quote him talking about the hairstyles of the seventies... something about "Astor's pet horse" and how he worried Milano would pass out with his locks tucked under that shako! So thank Paul for the "Cavalier look" of the seventies -- but who settled on the naugahyde!

LOL and :cool:

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