[Dixielandjazz] Norfolk VA DJ band at the ballpark

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 1 23:10:05 PST 2003

on 4/1/03 5:12 PM, Bill Biffle at bbiffle at swcp.com wrote:

> Can anyone involved in that help me with the logistics of this?  Anyone else
> have any experience along these lines?

Yeah, I've had a great deal of experience.  I was part of the Chicago Cubs
band for several years.  Here's what you do:

Get a tuba player with leather lips.
The others are trumpet, trombone, clarinet.
No drummer.  Maybe a washboard, if you need the rhythm.

Plan to play (down at the gate) the people into the park for at least a half
hour, more like an hour, well before game time. [There's where you can
really show off your band; inside during game time, your band is a far away
second attraction to the game itself; so be content: entertain the crowd
BEFORE the game and between innings.]

NEVER PLAY A NOTE while the game is in play in any way.  No one wants to
hear you then, and if you cover something they need to hear, they'll hate
you!  (And management will fire you.)

Scout out, before you ever do this, 18 different positions within the stands
(go down there and look at them) where the band can play, rotating around
the park, between innings.  Plan to BE THERE in those positions, ready to
play instantly on the third out!

Play!  From that third out until just before the pitcher throws the first
pitch on the next inning.  Then be instantly silent and MOVE to next
location.  Get into position. Play again on THAT third out, then move again.

Plan at some point to have the ballpark announcer spotlight you and let you
play a tune through the PA system (like at a midpoint in the game) so people
will pick up your name--or, at least, your presence--at this event!  The
bottom of the 5th inning works well...the top of the 6th.   Play a tune over
the mike and make sure they talk about you.

The seventh inning stretch in Wrigley Field was always given over to singing
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Harry Carey leaning out of the press box
and waving his arms!  [Some good memories there!].

Anyway, the point is that by the ninth inning you:
    1. Have been all around the field in every possible position; and
    2. Are ready to get the hell out of the stadium and out of the parking
lot ahead of the crowd.

Which reminds me: get good parking spaces reserved for your guys: because
they are going to have gigs AFTER the game and they will need to get to
their cars and get the hell out of the area.

Your job should stop at the end of the 8th inning.  Your contract should
state that clearly.  Most games, the traffic will be heavy even before that;
take care of your guys all you can!  Get the hell out of there and get to
your other jobs. 

Have fun: make money!  Anything I've left out, yell at me off list!

And for all his I owe Ted Butterman, long time Cubs band leader, who
invented even the NEED for a Cubs band, sold it to management, and has kept
it going for a double decade!  Ted doesn't just deserve a lot of credit: he
deserves ALL the credit.






More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list