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I used to have 77 Bridgemen. What a hornline! I remember hearing them play "Harlem Norturne" a few years later and thinking, "that sucks compared to 77". If I could only have back a few of the things from the 70's.....my Bridgemen tape, my 67 Chevelle SS, my 16 year old girlfriend.

Bridgemens sop soloists were literally in a class by themselves in 77 and 78.

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  • 5 weeks later...
I have the audio recording of Madisons early season show at their first contest, so unless you have the same one, you dont know the meaning of putrid.

But was chatting with a Kiltie buddy of mine who also marched Madison starting 3 years before me, that "bad" show actually did get into the 80s scorewise before they chucked it.

Someone who was there should tell the Madison 76 story. We toured with them early in the season, and all I remember is they played "Theme from Shaft" OTL. We beat them pretty regularly, but they came back and beat us by end of first tour (with the old show). Hard to believe the staff that came up with 1975 came up with such a clunker to start '76.

Anybody??

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Someone who was there should tell the Madison 76 story. We toured with them early in the season, and all I remember is they played "Theme from Shaft" OTL. We beat them pretty regularly, but they came back and beat us by end of first tour (with the old show). Hard to believe the staff that came up with 1975 came up with such a clunker to start '76.

Anybody??

Jimmy,

Yes, we started the '76 season with the so-called "Disco" show, which included the "Theme from Shaft" as the opener, a Ray Baumgardt original for concert, a sluggish marching version of "MacPark" for out-of concert, and a horrific drum solo of "Pick Up the Pieces." We concluded the fiasco with "Mahagony."

By mid-June, it was painfully evident to everyone that we had a real lemon on our hands that needed to be discarded ASAP. For whatever reason, we couldn't back out of our 3-week western tour, which began around June 21. Unfortunately, we had to take the disco lemon on the road. While we were in California (around June 30), the corps was offically told that the "Disco" show was to be scrapped. For the remainder of the western tour, we learned the music to "1975 Redux" by day on the bus or during daytime practices, while performing the lemon disco show at night. We got back to Madison around July 10 and pulled out of all our mid-season shows. We went into about a 3-week marathon camp in which we learned the new drill and new music to "Stars and Stripes" and "Ease on Down the Road" drum solo. If I recall, we came out with the new show at Stillwater, MN around July 31/August 1. Luckily, we were able to salvage second place at DCI. Yet, we paid a high price in that many vets didn't return in 1977.

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Someone who was there should tell the Madison 76 story. We toured with them early in the season, and all I remember is they played "Theme from Shaft" OTL. We beat them pretty regularly, but they came back and beat us by end of first tour (with the old show). Hard to believe the staff that came up with 1975 came up with such a clunker to start '76.

Anybody??

Hey, Dan beat me to the punch - I'll include my ramblings anyway. It's amazing how differently we remember some things.

I believe Guerno was working on a greater number of brain cells back in the day so his version is probably more accurate.

Hey Guerno!! How's sunny Florida?? I'll be at Scouts camp this weekend to check out the boys.

The staff and design team had changed a bit after 1975. Fred Sanford was hired to be the program coordinator (I believe that was his title) as well as taking over as percussion arranger and "caption head" as they'd say today. Jim Elvord was still the head of brass and Ray Baumgardt was still the brass arranger. I can't remember if Dave St. Angel was still the M&M man or not. How they came up with the "first show" I can 't say but I do know we were booed at our first show in Milwaukee and after our drum solo (with horn accompaniment) there was absolute silence until someone stood up and screamed "what the he!! was that".

The show was OTL Shaft, an original concert piece by Baumgardt (I remember bird chirps in it from one of the lead sopranos), Pick up the Pieces (drum solo) and Mahogony for a closer. I think there was one other tune but I don't recall what it was. After the first show the judges basically told the staff we could never win with that show and after a week or two they told us we were going to do a new show consisting of some tunes from 1975. We started learning the new music

almost right away. Bruce Lageus (sp??) was brought back to arrange the drum parts and the parts started coming in a bit at a time. We went on the western tour, as you mentioned, rehearsing the new show all day. We'd run through the "old show" once at the end of the day and perform it at night. There was absolutely no cleaning of the "old show" at all musically or marching. We cancelled a few local shows in late June and had a two or 3 week camp. I believe Stillwater Mn. was the first we performed the "new show" in early to mid July. I do remember having to perform the "old show" at our own show (Drums on Parade) in Madison in late June and how bummed out everyone was about it. On Eastern Tour we rehearsed sun up to sun down and ended up in second place at DCI 2 points below the Blue Devils and .8 ahead of SCV. I guess we all still wonder if we had just had 2 more weeks............But then again The Blue Devils were incredible that year.

Edited by bass5
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Dan and Mike,

Thanks for the info! The "Disco" show!!! b**bs

I remember we were amazed that you guys changed your ENTIRE show and came in second. Shows what talent can do. And, yes, BD WAS AMAZING that year. I don't think anyone could have caught them with even two more months of polishing...

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Hey, Dan beat me to the punch - I'll include my ramblings anyway. It's amazing how differently we remember some things.

I believe Guerno was working on a greater number of brain cells back in the day so his version is probably more accurate.

Hey Guerno!! How's sunny Florida?? I'll be at Scouts camp this weekend to check out the boys.

Hey Mike,

I'm doing great! Miami has been cold lately. . . . Heck, are you kidding, I'm trying to recover the brain cells I lost "back in the day" b**bs . . . . We left on the western tour early in the season. In looking at the recaps on Fromthepressbox, we were in Denver on June 25--that was more than likely "Drums Along the Rockies," or Glenwood Springs, CO. We were in Boise, ID on June 30 and Thousand Oaks, CA on July 3. I remember we had the free day in Disneyland on July 4. If I recall, we were on the road when the staff told us the show would be scrapped (sometime after "Drums Along the Rockies"?). Stillwater was at the very end of July, or very early August.

I'll send you an audio copy of the disco show, if you want to own that little gem b**bs

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Dan,

That'd be great if you could send me an audio file of that dreaded show.

I'll probably need a couple cold ones before I listen to it. :doh:

I still remember working on that bad boy all winter and spring and then the dead silence after our first show.

And as your dad will probably mention, up in Madison we don't need to hear how cold it is in Miami!

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Dan and Mike,

Thanks for the info! The "Disco" show!!! b**bs

I remember we were amazed that you guys changed your ENTIRE show and came in second. Shows what talent can do. And, yes, BD WAS AMAZING that year. I don't think anyone could have caught them with even two more months of polishing...

Yeah, we had the talent, but not the product to repeat. For whatever reason, we were in a creative lull in '76. Its similar to NFL teams who fail to make the playoffs after having won the Super Bowl the previous year (e.g., '05-'06 Steelers). As for BD, I doubt us having 2 more weeks would have changed the outcome. IMO, our "Stars and Stripes" sounded pedestrian compared to BD's "Channel One."

As for 2-7, you guys were great! "Crown Imperial" and "Danny Boy" :doh:

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