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mfrontz

The 1986 Thread

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2 hours ago, mfrontz said:

I saw one show early season (in Ohio) and then got to see Finals in Madison.

My favorite show was Santa Clara. The creativity in this show, in my opinion, really is the beginning for props, staging, even costume design. It's nothing like today obviously, but you could see the development beginning in 86 and continuing with a different version of their Russian show in 87, then Phantom of the Opera in 88 and 89. They were a joy to watch in 86.

Blue Devils were crazy good and CLEAN as all get out, and the jazz was toe-tapping. They really were a machine. My joy of watching BD at that time was probably more due to just how consistently excellent, clean, and professional they were with every element of their show. Yes, they have talent; but it takes a ton of effort to perform like they did that year. Definitely one of their cleaner shows along with 94 and 97. I'd say 1980 and 1982 were as clean, but visual programs were quite different even by 1986. Now my favorite BD shows of the 80s are 1982 and 1984. For some reason those just speak to me. But I was floored by the polish of the 86 corps.

Another show I loved that year was Troopers, who did a very stately version of Battle Hymn and made finals. Fantastic!

You had Sky Ryders doing the best Wizard of Oz show I've seen. Fantastic arrangements! Along with SCV, here is another corps that began to give us props, staging, acting, characterizations, etc. They would continue this with their West Side Story show in 87.

Suncoast Sound’s “Adventures in Time” show was incredibly good and based on Stan Kenton Orchestra’s 1962 suite. Many today may not remember Suncoast Sound, but check out their brass line from those years, including 1986. They were incredibly good. Certainly one of the 4 or 5 best brass lines in the activity for a while in those years. 

Star of Indiana was awesome! Their E.T., Close Encounters, Star Wars show was a fan favorite for sure.

Despite Phantom Regiment's lower placement, due to many factors, I loved the music and did enjoy the show. Carnival Overture was really well done and a nice arrangement. The closer needed work and never quite got the lift you would expect from Mahler 2. 

Garfield Cadets definitely went out on a limb with 86 brass, small guard, and some interesting ideas...BUT the music was fantastic! On The Waterfront is great music for field and the arrangements were well done. Some great drill writing as usual. 

Cavaliers continued to show everyone that they were making a run for a title. They were 5th in 1985 with their Planets show, and in 86 brought Wind Ensemble music to the field. The big tune was Variations on a Korean Folk Song. I had never thought about how that tune could work on the field, but they made it work in the most amazing way for that time. 

Spirit of Atlanta went back to a southern-style Dixie/Gospel show with a nice arrangement of "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" along with some other great tunes. I liked the show but probably enjoyed them better in 85.

Madison was still entertaining as all heck, but the show was a step back, IMO, from 85. 

Seeing the Bluecoats in 15th got me excited that an Ohio corps was on the doorstep of making Finals, which they would achieve just one year later in 1987. 

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All in all, 1986 was a solid year for DCI. I didn't see enough shows during the season to really comment on the race to Finals week, but what I did see at Finals was flat-out exciting. Seeing 27th Lancers not make Finals again was difficult. I had seen them in 1980, 81, 82. In those days they were part of the top 5 or 6 crowd. Just 3 years later they could not make Finals and it seemed the end was near for the corps. Seeing Troopers make Finals was good for the soul. After all, we just don'e get to see Troopers make Finals too often. 

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86....for some reason no DCI corps at Hershey, so i saw nothing til DCE...and Spirit beat the Cadets! in fact 27 was only 2 points behind the Cadets. Crossmen with a legendary drum solo, but the corps was hurting....Dutch Boy, Boston and Les Eclipse beat them.

 

fast forward a few weeks and DCI East prelims...no finals since a huge storm blew through after prelims and made finals a standstill. but both times we witnessed a legend...the 1986 Blue Devils. Channel One...Spanish Fantasy.....OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i still ( well pre wrist break) can't get that backsticking right. that brass line. North Drums.it had everything. Star with the cool space show, cadets improving but still way out of 1st.27 fighting for what became their last stand. Boston well above Colts and Crossmen.

 

then semis...BD still gods. SCV very cool, in fact adding Pictures made 85 go next level.Cavies wow, and Cadets holy jump in 2 weeks Spirit right there and Suncoast holy cow! Adventure in time was amazing! madison, star...Sky Ryders and the wizard of Oz II, phantom fun, but now what they had been...VK and Bond, Troop just edging 27. and holy Bluecoats, where'd they come from?

 

finals. all BD. Suncoast and Spirit flipped.Troop jumped VK. 27 not on finals night, and now gone. so many great shows.

Edited by Jeff Ream
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12 hours ago, 84BDsop said:

Back to DCI....86 was the year Regiment got a bad case of food poisoning after Stillwater...tainted water used in their spaghetti, IIRC.

I read about it in Stars & Stripes, the US military newspaper.

 

Hmmmmm... that doesn’t make sense to me. Wouldn’t the water for the pasta have been boiled and the sauce brought up to a high temp? Maybe a competitor snuck in some raw chicken juice. Lol

Edited by Brian Tuma

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6 hours ago, Brian Tuma said:

Hmmmmm... that doesn’t make sense to me. Wouldn’t the water fir the pasta have been boiled and the sauce brought up to a high temp? Maybe a competitor snuck in some raw chicken juice. Lol

Actually it does make sense. I just finished a book about clean water projects in Africa. A common belief is that because boiling water kills germs, it is safe to use, but that doesn’t mean the water will not make you sick. To illustrate this, the author pointed out an example that happened in the United States at a Boy Scout camp. The water used for cooking and cleaning was questionable but to be on the safe side it was boiled first, but many got sick. It is one of those things that is rare but it can happen.

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8 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

*respectfully snipped*

fast forward a few weeks and DCI East prelims...no finals since a huge storm blew through after prelims and made finals a standstill. but both times we witnessed a legend...the 1986 Blue Devils. Channel One...Spanish Fantasy.....OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i still ( well pre wrist break) can't get that backsticking right. that brass line. North Drums.it had everything. Star with the cool space show, cadets improving but still way out of 1st.27 fighting for what became their last stand. Boston well above Colts and Crossmen.

*respectfully snipped*

My Dad and I were at DCI East that year (summer between undergrad and grad) and remember that storm and the standstill.  One thing that will always stand out to me was Boston's performance, especially at the end with the DM essentially running up and down in front of the corps getting them revved up as they headed into the bugle call for "Conquest".  Being an East show, you KNOW the crowd ate it up.  And yes, BD was that good that year.

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I used to think '83 and '84 had some of the worst camera work done with DCI finals.

Some of '86 is just as bad.  Did they call the crew from the prior years and tell them "We miss you - come back!"

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14 hours ago, 84BDsop said:

Back to DCI....86 was the year Regiment got a bad case of food poisoning after Stillwater...tainted water used in their spaghetti, IIRC.

I read about it in Stars & Stripes, the US military newspaper.

I have ti think it affected the performance at finals, since people lost a good chunk of rehearsal time in the latter part of the season.

The 06 corps redeemed the closer, tho.

I remember this.  It was at the Drum Beauty show that was held at the old high school stadium (as opposed to the second Drum Beauty show held at fancy new stadium).  There was a Drum Beauty Queen that was crowned there.  Kind of fun stuff.

We pulled up to the stadium and were told that PR was only doing a standstill due to food poisoning problems.  After we had performed and were checking out the concessions,, PR came on in an arc to perform.  I'd guess there were about 2/3 of their horn line, and 1/2 of their guard.  And then a couple of kids just dropped in place, which was the end of the performance.

In '89 I asked a couple of people from that corps about it.  They said the sauce hadn't been stored properly.

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2 minutes ago, Continental said:

I used to think '83 and '84 had some of the worst camera work done with DCI finals.

Some of '86 is just as bad.  Did they call the crew from the prior years and tell them "We miss you - come back!"

Agree. I was unclear, and still am, as to who did the camera work and production. Was it PBS or was it DCI with PBS airing the broadcast? Either way, I used to get so mad at the camera work. They seemed more intent on creating a TV show instead of covering the unique qualities that make drum corps amazing. 

I love when a corps, like Blue Devils, do their encore runs and film on the field with the Go Pro camera and put together a unique package that looks at all angles and vantage points of a show. BD does this so well and they are fun to watch. But I don't want to see that view during the actual broadcast of the competitive event. I also don't want to see high cams that are so high that you feel distanced from the overall effect the program is achieving. I get that it is really difficult to project the true power of drum corps through a video feed, but the camera shots in those years were just bad at times. You ended up missing so much. It was no way to market the activity.

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Cadets got new uniforms, but only after performing in corps jackets and jeans for a few weeks.  Had to have been hot, but most corps still had wool uniforms in those days so maybe it wasn't so much worse.  I loved the Bernstein music, and their take on it.  The backwards company front made me smile every time.

Suncoast was a tremendous corps in 1986.  Their music was so good.  They had the super cool Circle K equipment truck, and their members were really good folks.

I tried to be mad at Sky for taking Troopers' 1985 mojo, but how could you not love that show?  Over the Rainbow was the classic 1980's "arena anthem" style of drum corps chart.  Plus:  "I'm melting!"

Malden was a super interesting time of my rookie year.  We stayed in an old VFW or Legion hall downtown.  Hotter than heck, until my buddy found us an empty office upstairs, where we overslept and missed breakfast.  We had to shower across the street at the Y.  Our equipment truck got stuck trying to turn the corner in front of the Y and made a lot of the locals really freakin' mad. Actually, the entire mood was pretty hostile in the area, maybe because it was a nasty heat wave.  'Saders mixed it up with the Malden parade crowd, which made the parade last what seemed like 15 years.  A priest chewed out our DM because we told him to not break our ranks in the staging area.  Some lady with a baby tried to break our ranks during the parade where the silly string was flying.   27th got a do-over at the Malden show, and were booed by their home crowd.   You can't write this stuff, it just has to happen.

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Cadet's '86.

The demi-guard, the boxer rings and the plastic clarinets. 

The music was good although I really have to wonder how that closer got mixed with On the Waterfront. 

It's nice to see that Tony Hall did well with the drill.

Phantom placed 9th in guard that year - why?  Because Garfield placed 12th.  It's easy to beat a guard which is kind of half there. 

Edited by Continental

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