Starting Salary: $22,275.00
Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band
Starting Salary: $22,275.00 LP (Embo, 1980)
I hold in my hands a record that is so 1979 college campus, I'm getting a contact high. The cover shows a sloppily dressed marching band. People are shirtless, wearing a variety of hats, and giant neck ties. They also stand with their instruments. In the front line are the drummers. In front of them are empty beer kegs. In the back are sousaphones, their bells painted with messages, swirls, and a giant eyeball. Inside the gatefold, the band members pose how they please. There are people dressed as devils and pharoahs, a lot of guys are missing pants, some one is grabbing a woman's tit, more kegs are present as well as copies of porno mags - the picture is certainly inthe spirit of the movie Animal House. The back cover has a partially beer stained photo from the 1930s or so of the Stanford University Military Band. The inner sleeve contains a gonzo style story about breaking into another university's trophy case by smashing the glass and then taking a trophy home as a souvenir. The special thanks list contains the recently deceased Keith Moon, the recently disgraced Hamilton Jordon, Jack Daniels, and Hunter S. Thompson. The first side of the record are mostly marching band songs, though modified to suit the band. The second side contains covers of songs by The Who, The Kinks, The Zombies, Edgar Winter Group, David Bowie, and the Tubes.
The LSJUMB started in 1963 after the bands members went on strike. They got a new director who pledged to let them do whatever they wanted to, got rid of traditional marching band costumes and songs, and dressed however they wanted and played a lot of rock and roll songs. They also became a scatter band and started getting into trouble.
A scatter band is different from a marching band in that it spells out words or makes shapes, instead of marching in formation. In the Stanford Band's case, that meant doing a tribute to the recently kidnapped, Cal student Patty Hearst at the Big Game against Cal (UC Berkeley) by making a formation of a hamburger bun which was missing a patty. During the 1971 Rose Bowl game half time show, the band first spelled out OHIO STATE and than quickly rearranged themselves to spell OH SHIT. This was broadcast on NBC to a national audience. They were banned from the next year's bowl game. In another spelling fiasco, the band first formed HI FOLKS and then shifted the top of the O to the top of the L to spell HI FUCKS. This, too, made it on TV and got them banned.
Here, the band performs after a 1979 game with UCLA in Stanford Stadium. I've picked two songs for you because, well, when was the last time you heard a marching band do Suffragette City or White Punks on Dope? While you are listening to this, imagine a stadium full of excited students and puzzled alumni hearing the band chant WHITE PUNKS ON DOPE!
The liner notes end with "It frightens me even more to think that the Stanford Band album of 1979 may be an artifact someday: uncovered, perhaps with other mementos of the Class of 1980...If those who find it want to play it, they will probably have to borrow a fragile antique turntable from a local museum of ancient technology...I hope that when they hear the music play, they will realize that the spirit it was first performed was part of a great tradition." Here! Here! Bottoms up!