The then-Philadelphia Crossmen drum and bugle corps started the 1983 DCI season with thirteen crazy snare drummers ramming the most difficult, fastest, and craziest snare music in the history of Earth down people’s throats, with little to no regard for any known notions of musicality.
It was awesome, genius perhaps … a unique individual solo on the move, a snare drummer fighter pilot’s dream, with bizarre time signatures weaving in and out of the classical guitar music that allegedly had something to do with the crazy drum book, all of it invented by evil scientists with innocent sounding names like “Chris,” but who gave the music ominous designations, like “Letter X.”
It is a little known fact that the first six (6) DCI drum judges to adjudicate the 1983 Crossmen drum line all required psychiatric care after the show. DCI subsequently received formal complaints from lawyers representing Austria, the Berklee School of Music, and the Commodores (Stockton, not Lionel Richie), and at least one offer of surrender from a small country that shall remain nameless to avoid embarrassing a former head of state without cause.
It’s easy to look back at drum corps or other sports in years past, and know that we would do extremely well if we could beam back there, using today’s evolved skills.
The 1983 Crossmen snare book is the exception to that rule.