[Dixielandjazz] Norfolk VA DJ band at the ballpark

Charlie Hooks charliehooks at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 2 09:53:36 PST 2003

on 4/1/03 11:29 PM, Don Gumpert at dongumpert at cox.net wrote:

> Charlie, you have no idea how much we have always enjoyed the band at the
> Cubs games!  At one time, Atlanta had a great jazz band - last time I was
> there and had a chance to talk to one of the band members, found out he was
> actually with the Atlanta Symphony and just picking up a few extra
> dollars...and knew very little about dixieland jazz.  Sad.
> Regards,
> Sandy Gumpert

Ah, Sandy!

    Would that CSO players here in Chicago could make extra bucks in the
dixieland field--i.e., that the bucks were there to be made!

    Our principal clarinet, Larry Coombs, could play it-- but then, Larry
can play anything--literally anything: all kinds of jazz.

    Our French horn player, Dale Clevinger, arguably the best in the world
at present, tries to play jazz and fails miserably.  But he won't give up,
and we all admire him for being willing to make a fool of himself if that's
what happens.  Dale is such a monster player that he doesn't have to prove
one damn thing musically, so he just has fun--which is the point of playing
jazz, right?


>> 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.
>> Charlie
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