Bands have probably more fantastic rivalries than the football teams that are between the band shows. Having played on both—I played football and was in a band at one time and another, I can appreciate both sides. Of course the football players think that the band is a bunch of nothings out there that fill up the time while they’re in there getting rubbed down and getting yelled at by the coach. But actually the band, on the other hand, thinks that the football team really is the wrapping around the band.
I watched a band a couple of weeks ago out there rehearsing, one of the greatest bands I ever saw in my life. Once in a great while you’ll see a genuine, crack, absolutely top-flight marching band. And that’s a specialized art. And a really good sousaphone player is the backbone, generally, of a good marching band. That’s what makes it sound good. If you get a couple of good guys in the front, you get a good drum section, and a good sousaphone section, man, you’ve got yourself a marching band.
Actually, you work so hard to be in a top marching band. It’s really long, hard, dragging work. In the hot sun. Maybe you don’t know about this whole problem of rehearsing in a marching band. But one of the worst things that ever happened in my whole academic life happened as a result of a rehearsal of a marching band.
Ours was an elite unit that was taken out of the school’s concert band that used to play all these selected medleys from Broadway shows. Out of that band, which had about a hundred-and-twenty-five pieces, they had selected the sixty-six-member, crack, ace, military marching band.
When you made the marching band after having been in the concert band and the orchestra, it was suddenly like getting tapped on the shoulder—you’re really the big time. Because you had to be able to play and march. There are those two elements to the marching band. One part is playing—what good is a band if it could march like Billy-be-damned, but plays poorly? On the other hand there are a lot of bands that can play great but can’t march well. What you want is that total, rhythmic, fast, concrete, maniacal, military-clip, crisp-precision-beat for tremendously intricate and involved drill formations—all the while playing at maybe a hundred-and-twenty beats to the minute.
More Table of Contents
ACCOLADES What—You never heard of Jean Parker Shepherd? Well look who has and thinks he’s great!
TRAVELS OF SHEP–A really, really abridged report on Jean Shepherd’s delight in travel: a bit of 1. March on Wash; 2. Being a Beatle on the Road; 3. 500 Pounds of Luden’s to Headhunter Country. (Blog-readers will remember that my entire book-manuscript of Shepherd’s travel adventures was published eons ago.)
CROSSWORD PUZZLE ol’ Shep up and down and across! It’s a word-filled “accolade” by the New York Times!)
A CHRISTMAS STORY FOR CHRISTMAS What better way to contemplate getting a BB gun? The movie created by Jean Shepherd, narrated by him also (with a cameo role, too)!
EXCELSIOR –with parodies of the Longfellow poem written and illustrated by people we all know. 9/217/2016
DEE SNIDER post and DEE & TWISTED blog 5/17/16 He pulled up in his black Hummer and talked in my Shep-Shrine for three hours.
RADIO MENTOR essay=bad artists=Picasso/Mailer/Hem/Shep-reconcile?
SHEP CREATIVITY from 2/4/2016 blog post
WORDS TO LIVE BY 1 (CD artists’ book in 4 parts) Sept 4, 2016
WORDS TO LIVE BY 2 used Sept 10, 2016
WORDS TO LIVE BY 3 used Sept 16, 2016
WORDS TO LIVE BY 4 Sept 22, 2016
BUGATTI Shepherd’s tribute and experience, plus my explorations and experiences regarding one of the greatest cars ever.
SHEP WORKS Button, Brass Figlagee Bookmark. SHEP CUBE Rubik, put this on your cube and twirl it. SHEP SHRINE.
EXCELSIOR! A 3-part graphic novel about Harvey Pekar &Joyce Brabner in our search for the “holy grail.”
PROMOTING A SHEP BOOK Twain, Fields, Kafka: guys who could have, would have, should have provided accolades for Jean Parker Shepherd. it’s posted 4/7/16partofblog-NOTartsy
BOBBLEHEAD Not really a celebrity until one has one’s personal bobblehead. Queen Elizabeth has her own. Shepherd has one too. (It’s posted in regular shepquest part of blog (not ARTSY)