Stanford Band

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Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band
Lsjumb scattering.jpg
LSJUMB scattering at Big Game 2010 at Cal (Each section of the LSJUMB wears a different costume at the Big Game)
School Stanford University
Location Stanford, California
Conference Pacific-12 Conference
Founded 1893 (1893)
Director Giancarlo Aquilanti
Members 20-400 (depending on the day)
Fight song "Come Join the Band and All Right Now"
Uniform White fishing hat with red trim and buttons, red LSJUMB blazer or vest, black pants.
Website lsjumb.stanford.edu/home/

The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) is the student marching band of Stanford University. Billing itself as "The World's Largest Rock and Roll Band", the Stanford Band performs at sporting events, student activities, and other functions.

History[edit]

LSJUMB rallying fans at Stanford Stadium

The LSJUMB was formed in 1893. However, its modern era began in 1963 with the hiring of Arthur P. Barnes as interim director (he got the full-time post two years later). Previous director Julius Shuchat had been very popular, and his ouster caused several members to go on strike. However, according to band lore, Barnes immediately won the band's loyalty by ceding any meaningful control over it.[1] To this day, the band is almost entirely student-run.

The band and its new director also clicked over his arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner", which featured the striking effect of a single trumpet playing the first half of the song, joined later by soft woodwinds and tuba, and finally bringing the full power of the brass only in the final verse. When it was played at the "Big Game" against Cal, just eight days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Barnes said, "I've never heard such a loud silence."

Empowered, the student-led band threw away the traditional marching music and military-style uniforms, eventually settling for a mostly rock and roll repertoire and a simplified uniform consisting of a white fishing hat with red trim (and as many buttons as will fit), red blazer, black pants, and "the ugliest tie you can get your hands on."[2] In the springtime and at non-athletic events, band members appear at performances (and sometimes even at rehearsals) wearing "rally" attire, which can range from swim suits to Halloween costumes to furniture and pets, always displaying their freedom from the usual rules of fashion. The Badonkadonk Land Cruiser is used as a band support vehicle.[3]

Songs and shows[edit]

LSJUMB pre-game show at Stanford Stadium

The band's repertoire is heavy on classic rock of the 1970s, particularly songs by Tower of Power, Santana, and The Who. In the 1990s, more modern music was introduced, including songs by Green Day and The Offspring. For many years, it has billed itself as "The World's Largest Rock 'n Roll Band."

The de facto fight song is "All Right Now," originally performed by Free. The band prides itself on its vast song selection, never playing the same song twice in one day (except for All Right Now), and has a library of over one thousand songs at its disposal, nearly one hundred of which are in active rotation. One of the first collegiate marching bands to record and release their music, the band has produced thirteen albums since 1967. Arrangements focus on the loudest brass instruments—trumpets, mellophones, and trombones—and percussion—one bass drum (called the Axis o' Rhythm), snare drums, and single tenor drums. This led a Rolling Stone writer to note in 1987, "It's hard for anyone raised on rock to imagine that a band could sound this loud without thousands of watts of amplification."[4] Many traditional band instruments like bells and glockenspiels are altogether absent.

Traditional "marching" is also missing, as the band "scatters" from one formation to the next. The halftime field shows feature formations that are silly or suggestive shapes, as well as words (sometimes of the obscene variety). A team of Stanford students writes a script for the halftime show explaining to some degree what the band is doing in any given formation. The announcer reads this script over the public address system.

The band is one of a few American college "marching" bands with a song on iTunes with the Phish cover, "Golgi Apparatus".

Controversial actions by the band[edit]

Irreverence has been a mainstay of the band through its near half-century as a scatter band. In the 1970s, one halftime show lampooned Cal student Patty Hearst's kidnapping with a formation called the "Hearst Burger": two buns and no patty. In 1999, when UCLA football players were caught in an ADA-accessible parking scandal, the Band formed a disability-accessible symbol on the field, and wheeled the Stanford Tree in on a wheelchair. The band did recognize some limits, however, and although they regularly discussed a "Death and Medicine" show, including formations and song arrangements relating to Jayne Mansfield's death - "Saturday Night and I Ain't Got No Body" - and other current events, including Richard Nixon's phlebitis, they never did - and never intended to - in fact stage this halftime show.

The LSJUMB (background) doing the Roman salute, some holding dollar bills, as USC's fight song is played by the Spirit of Troy in the (foreground).

The band also spelled out the initials SMUT (Stanford Marching Unit Thinkers - an official acronym for the group of bandies who conceive the show) on the field before the 1972 Rose Bowl.

In 1972, the Band went from an all-male band to co-ed. The band's popularity during this time period is best reflected by an alumnus who sent a million dollar donation to the University with the stipulation that the Band be criticized. The President ripped up the check and returned it stating "We love the Band". This letter was proudly hung in the shak for many years.[citation needed]

The LSJUMB has been disciplined for controversial performances on several occasions:

The LSJUMB is still banned from Disneyland due to antics, such as taking over the mic on the Storyland Canal boats, they did while visiting in Anaheim for the 1972 Rose Bowl. Disneyland officials were upset with the "true story" behind the ride. Additionally the Rose Bowl committee still requires advance review if the band marches in the parade due to their plan to ride golf carts instead of marching in 1971 and their having kegs of beer on a red wagon and passing out drinks to the crowd,

  • In 1986, the University suspended the band from traveling to the UCLA football game scheduled on November 8, 1986 after incidents in previous games that season. First, on October 11, 1986, an infamous incident of public urination happened following the home football game against the University of Washington. Second, during the halftime show of the home USC game on October 19, 1986, the band spelled out "NO BALLZ". Finally, for the next game they performed an anagram show and spelled out an anagrammed four-letter word ("NCUT"). After the UCLA game suspension was served, the band appeared at the Cal game wearing angel halos in an attempt to apologize and get invited to travel with the football team to a bowl game. The band attended the Gator Bowl that year, amid very close scrutiny.[5]
  • In 1990, Stanford suspended the band for a single game after their halftime show at the University of Oregon criticized the logging of the spotted owl's habitats in the northwest United States. The band used formations in the shape of a chainsaw and in the shape of the word OWL changing to AWOL.[6] Governor Neil Goldschmidt (D-OR) issued a decree that the band not return to Oregon for several years; the band did not return until 2001. [4] After the spotted owl incident, all halftime shows were reviewed and approved by Stanford's Athletic Department.
  • In 1991, the University of Notre Dame banned the LSJUMB from visiting its campus after a halftime show at Stanford in which drum major Eric Selvik dressed as a nun and conducted the band using a wooden cross as a baton. (During the pregame show and first half of the game, the drum major had been dressed as an Orthodox Jew, where the wooden cross was part of a menorah-like baton.) After the halftime show, a female Notre Dame fan ran onto the field, approached from behind the unsuspecting Selvik, and forcibly ripped the nun habit off of his head. Selvik pursued and regained his habit from the attacker, who in the scuffle for the habit told the drum major he was "going to hell for this."[5]
  • In 1992, the Athletic Department pressured the LSJUMB to fire its announcers after one used the phrase "No chuppah, no schtuppa" at a San Jose State University game halftime show.
  • In 1994, the Band was disciplined after nineteen members skipped a field rehearsal in Los Angeles to play outside the L.A. County Courthouse during jury selection for the O. J. Simpson trial. The band's song selection included an arrangement of The Zombies' "She's Not There." Defense lawyer Robert Shapiro described the incident to the media as "a new low in tasteless behavior."[6] Later that year, during the halftime show of the football game against USC (where Simpson had played football and won the 1968 Heisman Trophy), band members drove a white Ford Bronco with bloody handprints around the Stanford Stadium track,[7] an obvious allusion to the low-speed chase in which police followed a white Bronco carrying Simpson around the Los Angeles area.
  • In 1997, the Band was again disciplined for shows lampooning Catholicism and the Irish at a game against Notre Dame. The Band put on a show entitled "These Irish, Why Must they Fight?" Besides the mocking supposedly stereotypical Irish-Catholic behavior, there was a Riverdance formation, and a Potato Famine joke, drawing criticism[7] for its "tasteless" portrayal of Catholics. Both the band and the Stanford President Gerhard Casper subsequently apologized for the band's behavior.[8]
  • In 2002 and 2006, the Band was sanctioned for off-the-field behavior, including violations of the University alcohol policy.
  • In 2004, the Band drew national attention and Mormon ire for joking about polygamy during a game against Brigham Young University. The Dollies appeared in wedding veils with the Band Manager of the time kneeling and "proposing" to each in turn as the announcer referred to marriage as "the sacred bond that exists between a man and a woman... and a woman... and a woman... and a woman... and a woman." [8]
  • The band's hijinks were given a wider audience when they became the subject of Alan Alda's appearance on the "Not My Job" segment on National Public Radio's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! on September 9, 2006.(listen here)
  • In 2006, the band was suspended by Stanford administrators when their former "Band Shak" was vandalized. After moving into a new $2.8 million facility, the previous Shak, a trailer that served as a temporary home for the band, was found with broken windows and profanities spray painted on the walls. Administrators believed members of the Band were responsible for the damage, as the band had believed the trailer was to be demolished the next day. The Band was placed on a provisional status for several months, and had many privileges taken away for the duration of the suspension, including the right to be freely student-run.[9] The band was also barred from performing at halftime of the 2006 Big Game as a result. In March 2007, the University exonerated the individual Band members involved in the incident. It also charged the Band $8,000 for damages (though it initially estimated damages of $50,000).[10] In July 2007, the Band was fully reinstated, and then in September 2007, the band's alcohol probation was also lifted.
  • In 2009, the Band performed a field show at USC that openly criticized USC alum & Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, drawing ire from fans with lines like, "USC can't take all of the credit for the successes of its students. After all, it takes a special kind of man to be wanted for sexual harassment, drug trafficking, tax evasion, prostitution, child abuse and disruptive flatulence. But that's just the kind of captain of industry Joe Francis is."[11][12]

"The Play"[edit]

The Band's most infamous and controversial moment, however, had nothing to do with its irreverence. In the final four seconds of the 1982 Big Game against the University of California, Berkeley (Cal), band members (as well as players from Stanford) ran out onto the field, thinking the game was over after Stanford players appeared to have tackled ball-carrier Dwight Garner. Garner managed to lateral it to another player, and they continued to lateral back and forth, with Cal's Kevin Moen dodging through the band for a winning touchdown, which he ended by running over LSJUMB trombone player Gary Tyrrell in the end zone.[13] "The Play" is celebrated by Cal fans and inspires the ire of many Stanford fans. To this day, it remains one of the most famous and controversial plays in American football history.

In 2002, during the Big Game halftime show, the LSJUMB performed a humorous re-enactment of The Play. Special emphasis was placed on the allegation that Cal player Garner's knee touched the ground before his lateral; all band members performing the re-enactment froze in place at this stage, and a single member, carrying a large yellow arrow, ran out and repeatedly pointed at the "down" Garner. Officials at the time did not call Garner down and though no instant replay rule was in effect at the time, game tape appears inconclusive.

To this day the position of Band Manager is conferred from one generation to the next with 4 seconds left in the Big Game in commemoration of The Play.

The Dollies[edit]

The Dollies, a five-member female dance group, and the Stanford Tree, the University's de facto mascot (the de jure mascot is the color cardinal), operate under the band's aegis. The Dollies appear at all sporting events and school/community rallies with the Stanford Band and Tree.

The Dollies are a dance group, rather than cheerleaders in the typical sense. They are a separate entity than the Stanford Cheerleading team, who currently fall under the umbrella of Club Sports. Dollies are managed by their Dollie Daddy/Mama (the Band's assistant manager or "ass-man"), and they choreograph their own routines, hold their own practices, and design their own dresses and costumes. Traditional dress colors are white for the spring, red for the fall, and cardinal for the winter. The Dollies are numbered 1-5 in order of height (shortest to tallest).

Dollies serve one-year terms, and each year five new dancers are chosen by previous Dollies and the band. Try-outs are held in February and culminate in "Dollie Day," when prospective Dollies ("ProDos") demonstrate their ability in front of the entire assembled band. Each year's new Dollie cadre is revealed at the annual "Dollie Splash," where the Dollies give their debut performance in the spring for the public followed by a dunking in the Stanford Claw. More information can be found at the Stanford Dollies website.

The most recent Dollies have been:

  • 2014-2015 Dollies: Erika Nguyen, Aubriana Menendez, Martha Collins, Shelby Mynhier, Jordan Huelskamp
  • 2013-2014 Dollies: Lindsay Fiorentino, Heather Glenny, Leigh Kinney, Courtney Yang, Amelia Chen
  • 2012-2013 Dollies: Tayna Gonzalez, Emily Giglio, Dafna Szafer, Amber Quiñones, Christine Chung
  • 2011-2012 Dollies: Paula Obler, Jessica Jin, Clare Bailey, Jessica Savoie, Danna Seligman
  • 2010-2011 Dollies: Alina Pimentel, CC Chiu, Sarah Chang, Melissa Schwarz, Alex Nana-Sinkam
  • 2009-2010 Dollies: Shea Ritchie, Paula Markey, Nia Minor, Kim Souza, Elise Birkhofer
  • 2008-2009 Dollies: Jennifer Lee, Ali Romer, Taylor Phillips, Sydney Gulbronson, Taylor Thibodeaux

Albums of the LSJUMB[edit]

  • The One, The Only (2008)
  • This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things (2003)
  • Ultrasound (1999)
  • The Winds of Freedom Blow (Greatest Hits 1970-1998) (1998)
  • Mirth Control (1995)
  • The Band Is Not Helping (1991)
  • Contraband (1987)
  • Block S (1982)
  • Starting Salary: $22,275.00 (1979)
  • The Incomparables (1977)
  • The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (1974)
  • The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (1972)
  • The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (1970)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Meigs, op cit, p. 89
  2. ^ Meigs, op cit, p. 89, 152
  3. ^ methodshop.com Review of the Badonkadonk Land Cruiser
  4. ^ "Band on the Run", James B. Meigs, Rolling Stone 509, September 24, 1987, p. 153
  5. ^ Meigs, op cit, p. 89, 150, 152
  6. ^ noodleboy5 (Contributor) (2007-04-14). The Spotted Owl Show, Stanford Band at Oregon. Event occurs at 459 seconds. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  7. ^ Stanford News
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Again, Stanford Band must face the music / Orchestra known for wild antics suspended as university investigates vandalism of 'Shak'
  10. ^ University exonerates Stanford marching band in vandalism case, San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 2007
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ YouTube

External links[edit]