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Cavaliers 1981 DeKalb DCM Show - Drumline low camera

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Published on Sep 21, 2011

Enjoy the 1981 Cavaliers recorded in competition by the family of a drummer (so the camera rarely strays from the battery). Crisp audio.

I was the snare one from center, marching next to drum sergeant Mark Baker (he's black - can't miss him). At age 16, Mark was the youngest drum section leader in Cavies history.

We had just gotten these drums and carriers half way through the season. The quint tenors had a "high collar" design, with heads 1.5" bigger than the shells, so the 6" drum was actually 6.5" and its head and hoop were 8" diameter. The point was to make the sound ring out more like a timp. They do sound very full.

The snares were the first drums I had ever seen with plastic coated cable instead of gut strands. We tried Canasonic kevlar batter heads late in the season but they were not ready for prime time back then. They had resin flesh hoops that would crack and pull between the rim and shell. The hoops were not the modern cast hoops used with today's bulletproof Kevlar heads.

The snare carriers were hand-made by a muffler shop in the home town of our Oskaloosa Iowan snare drummer Terry DeJong.

The bass drum heads were an early version of Remo Fiberskyn II. The first Fiberskyn head had a rectilinear grid mesh fused to the head and the fusing process left the Mylar brittle and easily cracked. These Fiberskyn II heads had a spun material glued to the head to give it the mass of hide heads without adding much stiffness. The material peeled off much easier than with the product sold today.

All the drums had a floating plastic finish that was not glued to the shell.

As much as I recall about the equipment, I only recall the song titles Sing Sing Sing and Softly As I Leave You. I think I never knew the name of the opener medley or the concert piece.

At this show we had not yet added the dramatic 2-count pause at the step-over in the closer. At one show we tossed Frisbies to the crowd at that moment. None of the Frisbies made it into the stands and that stunt was dropped.

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