FanPost

Cal at Ohio State [PHOTOS & VIDEOS]: Cal Band-Ohio State Marching Band Historic Reunion, Cal Athletics Party, Cal Rugby

487475_10101560168431763_1855080736_n_medium

It's been a couple weeks since Cal visited Ohio State, so you might be wondering why I'm still posting all these photos and videos. Plenty has been said about the team's play that weekend. Plenty has been said about the team's play since. But I'm not here to focus on the team's play. I'm here to share the rest of my Cal (Band) experience that weekend. Though a couple thousand Cal fans made it to Columbus for the game, there were hundreds of thousands that didn't. And maybe they're curious what it looked like and felt like. Maybe they're Cal Band fan(atic)s like me (especially when the teams aren't giving us much to be happy about). Maybe they want to see what made me love the trip though it had little to do with football.

Before I was a Cal Football fan, I was a Cal fan. And before I was a Cal fan, I was a Cal Band fan. During my time in the band, I often heard about how much we were influenced by the Ohio State Marching Band (also known as "The Best Damn Band In The Land," or TBDBITL). I heard that the Cal Band was embarrassed at the 1950 Rose Bowl when meeting the Ohio State Marching Band (who outperformed them). I heard that the Cal Band resolved never to be outperformed again. We patterned our marching after them. We patterned our uniforms after them. We even patterned our North Tunnel Yell after theirs and "stole" their drum cadence. We kind of became a tOSU Marching Band clone, so to speak. (For more facts, check out the Cal Band History Book, Chapter 8).

It's been over 62 years since that Rose Bowl. Decades since the two bands have met (logical since we're in two different conferences, separated by thousands of miles). So when I heard Cal would play at Ohio State, I knew I had to go. I was curious to see if TBDBITL would still closely resemble the Cal Band. In a way, it was like putting specimens of Homo Sapiens on different continents, letting 15 band-generations pass, and seeing if they were still similar. In the Pac-12, no other band looks that similar. The UC Davis Aggie Band-Uh would probably be our closest relative otherwise. Seeing Ohio State's band was to be a very special treat.

In the photos and videos below, you'll see what I saw. Highlights include:

1) Cal Men's Rugby vs. Notre Dame.
2) Cal Athletics party at Gordon Biersch Columbus.
3) TBDBITL "Skull Session"--their very well-attended pregame concert/show that the football team attends.
4) The Cal Band marching toward the stadium.
5) TBDBITL Pregame Show, including their performance of "Fight for California" and a SCRIPT CAL. They also do a Script Ohio, too.
6) Their football team rallying with their students and sticking around when their band plays their alma mater.
7) TBDBITL Halftime Show
8) Cal Band Basses strutting at Ohio Stadium
9) A close look at TBDBITL's state-of-the-art Band Center. Perhaps the nicest marching band facilities in the world.

All photos and videos Copyright 2012 Duc Bieu Pham, www.ducphoto.com

I don't claim to be a historian, so please feel free to comment and fill in the facts where I've missed them.

527300_10101555912096493_193859750_n_medium

First stop on the Cal Athletics tour was Cal Men's Rugby. They took on Notre Dame. Great to see so many Cal fans out to support the team!

481061_10101555913703273_371236459_n_medium

36300_10101555914092493_727249291_n_medium

527412_10101555914416843_1586738371_n_medium

206294_10101555914920833_1287551655_n_medium

148844_10101555915569533_351329104_n_medium

229310_10101555916308053_1080242813_n_medium

After Cal Rugby, we headed over to Columbus' Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (yes, the chain co-founded by Cal alumnus Dan Gordon '82). Cal Athletics had taken over the bar area with decorations and was giving out free Cal Football #GoBears t-shirts to the first few hundred fans.

75122_10101555917370923_502840828_n_medium

The smartest Bears staked out their tables far in advance of the masses...

534222_10101555917949763_1242975500_n_medium

218095_10101555918473713_1956489032_n_medium

This is what the free t-shirt looked like...with a #GoBears on the back.

155136_10101555920374903_28184307_n_medium

I was pleased to see Athletic Director Sandy Barbour so accessible and talking with Cal fans.

401509_10101555921143363_629075638_n_medium

263938_10101555922151343_439931271_n_medium

The atmosphere was GREAT and FULL of Cal spirit!

This particular Cal Football roadtrip (and this Cal Athletics party) really seemed to gather many of Cal's biggest fans and legends. I got to hear the Phoenix Five's story told to me by one of its original members. I believe he goes by "Mr. Orange."

393647_10101555922495653_632374858_n_medium

I also got to meet Steve Bartkowski, famous Cal, Falcons, and Rams quarterback.

388953_10101555925439753_804968692_n_medium

Cal fans were also inclusive of other fans...though we did sing "Lady in Red" to her...

308237_10101555923897843_594634454_n_medium

Touring the campus at night, we headed to their main library's 11th floor and saw these fields in the distance. Apparently, the Ohio State University Marching Band rehearses on the far field, where they have a permanent tower and PA system.

3713_10101555848274393_1760911800_n_medium

We also saw this music on the floor of their library. We were told it is "Carmen Ohio," the school's alma mater. Question: Are the notes to any Cal songs displayed prominently anywhere on the Berkeley campus?

307947_10101555846747453_390966065_n_medium

Toto, we're not in Berkeley any more...

538747_10101555948119303_697105225_n_medium

The Cal Band usually performs its pre-game concert 90 minutes before kickoff on Sproul Plaza. TBDBITL's "Skull Session" takes place in St. John Arena, just a few minutes' walk north of Ohio Stadium.

644713_10101555948738063_816678508_n_medium

558570_10101555951986553_910391048_n_medium

307965_10101555951098333_285375509_n_medium

532235_10101555950354823_840856663_n_medium

408367_10101555949371793_2112840910_n_medium

I understand it's quite the honor to be the high school band chosen to warm the crowd up for TBDBITL. This one wasn't bad at all.

418391_10101555952745033_1843275157_n_medium

479898_10101555954217083_55600864_n_medium

10238_10101555953568383_1715278966_n_medium

The crowd anticipates the arrival and entry of TBDBITL. Here's a video I shot of them entering. As soon as they entered, I couldn't help but notice the snappiness of their marching...the precision of their ranks and files. Sure, it wasn't high step as the Cal Band performs it or "military step," but it was uniform and clean.

While the band settles into their seats and concert formation, different sections play quick "cheers."

424728_10101555955150213_321003264_n_medium

533752_10101555955768973_715041362_n_medium

282002_10101555956382743_1077079261_n_medium

598718_10101555957260983_934667441_n_medium

30756_10101555957769963_1359067859_n_medium

538859_10101555958258983_304198338_n_medium

These guys march fourteen snare drums...and they sound good. Have a listen...notice that there are no woodwinds...only brass and percussion.

They sure do love their "Hang On Sloopy" around here...

Their acapella choir was the type that gave me "Hunt for Red October" chills...

Listen to TBDBITL's rendition of "Fight for California," starting at 1:10. Classy...

I was told the "Script Ohio" (and yes, that's almost certainly where we got our "Script Cal" from) is one of the most cherished traditions of TBDBITL (if not the most cherished one). The honor of "dotting the i" belongs to senior sousaphone players. Here, we see part of that ritual where the dotter bows to "both sides of the stadium." Also notice the hat salute, eerily similar to the Cal Band's hat salute.

An excerpt from their "To Boldly Go" halftime show: The Planets: Mars: Holst, arranged by Swearingen.

Recognizing special guests, including arranger Jim Swearingen (whose arrangements most American high school students have played).

424595_10101555959137223_1253109607_n_medium

561749_10101555958618263_1546316866_n_medium

546218_10101555959686123_146212805_n_medium

546332_10101555960294903_1595206716_n_medium

541137_10101555960873743_529062323_n_medium

388945_10101555961727033_1773878154_n_medium

307974_10101555962430623_136056530_n_medium

Though the Skull Session was quite entertaining and impressive, we had to leave halfway through it to catch the end of the Cal Alumni Association tailgate. Fortunately, we came in time to catch a little bit of the California Straw Hat Band and Spirit Groups.

304461_10101555963772933_793050460_n_medium

377679_10101555964371733_699491348_n_medium

Glad to see the Cal Drink Squad represent in Columbus!

542129_10101555965230013_165881728_n_medium

Old Ohio Stadium surrounded by the new addition.

539426_10101555966901663_634826645_n_medium

Walking up the stairs to the heavens the Cal seating section, we noticed that we saw TBDBITL members. Could it be? Band facilities built into the stadium? Just like the rumored Cal Band facilities that we had heard would be part of our New Memorial Stadium? More on this a little later...

68755_10101555967535393_1844082230_n_medium

389842_10101555968119223_1339483083_n_medium

300993_10101555969007443_2114342858_n_medium

Hello down below! We see you, Cal Band & Spirit Groups!

550706_10101559899949803_720872240_n_medium

Computer-animated pennants. A nice touch I hadn't seen before. Perhaps our neighbors at Pixar in Emeryville could help us with some...

408520_10101559901516663_1910511903_n_medium

TBDBITL takes the field for their pregame show. Their flow is apparently intense for the marchers though it does not appear as intense to the audience as the Cal Band's tunnel flow. It's so impressive to see a polished band perform moves in unison while also maintaining straight lines and diagonals! Forget the football team...this band is ready for the Rose Bowl now! Still, to keep it real, I'll say I prefer our tunnel flow and Flying Wedge. Check out TBDBITL marching to "Fight for California" at 3:25 and the Script Cal at 4:04. Has any other band done that for us...ever?

Notice the similar "Concentric Rectangles" formation that TBDBITL forms at 0:22 before going into their Script Ohio. The Drum Major leads the formation...notice the double pass-through...the first one at 1:38 and the second one at 2:08. Gutsy! The Drum Major leads the strutting sousaphone to dot the I at about 3:13. Hat salute at about 3:57. At about 5:27, you see the band playing their alma mater, "Carmen Ohio," and you hear the stadium singing along. They brilliantly display the words to the song for all to see. I wish this were the case at Cal games. A seemingly simple action that could greatly increase knowledge and practice of Cal traditions for all.

Their football team rallied in front of its student section before taking the field. I wish our team showed more unity with our students like this.

264311_10101559902719253_1301270171_n_medium

68734_10101559903891903_1157190807_n_medium

532168_10101559906222233_1343606024_n_medium

57895_10101559907275123_1155764670_n_medium

251793_10101559909615433_2003839413_n_medium

391574_10101559912125403_98754148_n_medium

A strip of blue in a sea of red...

561861_10101559913632383_903553275_n_medium

404043_10101559915124393_1365511150_n_medium

60707_10101559916471693_64560300_n_medium

The victorious Cal Men's Rugby team seemed to be enjoying the game.

391611_10101559917479673_25569635_n_medium

Coach Bobby Knight was recognized for lifetime achievement.

404077_10101559921092433_429200474_n_medium

Halftime show "To Boldly Go." Space shuttle blasts off at 1:25!

Okeydoke, band nerds and trekkers, how much do you love the USS Enterprise?

230593_10101559922210193_932213122_n_medium

John Herschel Glenn, Jr., the first American to orbit the Earth, but more importantly, one of a select few non-TBDBITL ever selected to dot the I in the Script Ohio (September 5th, 2009). Pictured here with his wife.

542251_10101559923492623_1843306367_n_medium

58350_10101559924460683_1514740768_n_medium

250011_10101559926137323_1829226590_n_medium

Script America.

199489_10101559927030533_1013858164_n_medium

250191_10101559928123343_1902480629_n_medium

TBDBITL is selling CDs and Script Ohio license plates. Hopefully their athletic department did not charge them for this ad. I look forward to the day I can purchase and use a Cal Band license plate with a Script Cal. Does the Cal Band have similar fundraisers that could be advertised at Cal games?

199329_10101559930269043_7198875_n_medium

How kind of TBDBITL to swing by and perform for us during the 3rd quarter.

550795_10101559932294983_412495297_n_medium

396438_10101559933392783_204313523_n_medium

I'm so glad Cal Athletics kept the Cal Student Section on the 50-yard line and the Cal Band nearby at the New Memorial Stadium.

483002_10101559935593373_684409470_n_medium

We later got to meet Jonathan Waters, Interim Director of Marching & Athletic Bands at tOSU. Seems like a class act through and through.

156105_10101559937055443_445993003_n_medium

225860_10101559938263023_1670510259_n_medium

546182_10101559939335873_665071429_n_medium

Subtracting Brendan Bigelow's 81-yard run, that would give 55 yards in 30 carries...averaging less than 2 yards per carry...

533797_10101559940548443_1643219652_n_medium

426319_10101559942489553_1339474922_n_medium

The score was tied, but it looked like we were winning by far on paper...moral victory #47. ;)

401485_10101559944949623_1554570156_n_medium

Dear Cal Athletics, please never have puppets on display like this at Memorial Stadium. K, thx, bye. :)

224428_10101559946451613_29676152_n_medium

Their football team joins their band and student section for the alma mater after the game. Classy. Cohesive. I wish I saw this at Cal.

264227_10101559948248013_808492124_n_medium

Cal Band Basses strut at Ohio Stadium. Historic.

The lone tenor drummer, waiting for the rest of the block to march out of the stadium.

424700_10101559949365773_769651701_n_medium

548625_10101559951047403_218243142_n_medium

"Fight for California" begins at about 0:30.

"Hang On Sloopy" postgame marching.

TBDBITL Ohio State University Marching Band marches out of Ohio Stadium, picking up their lone tenor drummer. They play the "Ohio" cadence, (as it's called by Cal Percussion, but apparently called "Zero" by tOSU). Listen for its start around 1:42.

Nope, no AMAZING view of the San Francisco Bay or Golden Gate Bridge from this stadium...

307951_10101559954964553_973415048_n_medium

After the game, we were fortunate to meet some kind TBDBITL members that obliged us for photos. I love the similarities that have endured with the Cal Band uniform over the last 60 years.

376377_10101559960189083_1174852541_n_medium

562000_10101559961376703_1925768770_n_medium

Stick around to the end. You just might see this again (hint, hint).

267429_10101559962838773_824701954_n_medium

The Joan Zieg Steinbrenner Band Center (a.k.a. Marching Band Heaven): the most impressive marching band facilities I have ever seen. The Assistant Drum Major was kind enough to show us all around. Suffice it to say, the Cal Band's facilities come nowhere even close.

579643_10101560075193613_1661081900_n_medium

388854_10101560075488023_458917732_n_medium

TBDBITL paintings adorn the walls of the stairs into the Band Center. This is a temple of marching band greatness.

429175_10101560075707583_520999264_n_medium

403368_10101560076001993_618746843_n_medium

527279_10101560076226543_97120325_n_medium

Enter the foyer, or, a shrine to TBDBITL history and traditions. I sure wish the Cal Band had this when I was in it. Seeing such historic artifacts, displayed neatly and orderly, would have been a powerful daily reminder of the proud and long tradition we were entrusted with carrying on.

562059_10101560076416163_1051530707_n_medium

293012_10101560076770453_1493490051_n_medium

298452_10101560080957063_625706359_n_medium

545310_10101560081316343_1318162591_n_medium

Their band rehearsal room, which fits the entire TBDBITL at one time. Notice the recording microphones hanging from the ceiling. They have full audio-visual capabilities in this room, including the ability to watch video of their own marching to improve individually.

532224_10101560077359273_138555782_n_medium

Hey Cal Bandsmen, does this look familiar? ;)

303157_10101560077938113_2074491953_n_medium

This is the Director's podium and control booth.

579617_10101560078182623_703607538_n_medium

Notice the photo studio in the back corner for portraits of all band members.

487631_10101560078501983_1304451885_n_medium

Notice the rack of drums and cymbals that they bring out for halftime shows (like drum corps).

523746_10101560078966053_962548930_n_medium

395272_10101560079300383_1057308989_n_medium

Donors can "buy a spot" in the commemorative band block to show their support for the band. I've never seen anything like this at the Cal Band.

533708_10101560079629723_1038768172_n_medium

Each band member's portrait is displayed proudly on the wall.

402580_10101560079934113_2097789204_n_medium

The winners of the band's awards are displayed prominently on the walls for all to see. I appreciate the Cal Band's awards (even though many would agree that they have been primarily popularity/political contests) and wish that we recognized and displayed our winners as publicly/prominently.

251009_10101560080208563_881415174_n_medium

Being Drum Major of TBDBITL is a huge deal.

581577_10101560080483013_5608095_n_medium

I'd love to see similar state-of-the-art Cal Band facilities endowed/funded by donors.

282202_10101560080652673_1562299220_n_medium

Climbing the stairs to the *second* floor of their facilities...

223055_10101560081590793_929771459_n_medium

This band has a TRAINER'S ROOM for all the band's physical medicine and rehabilitation needs. Yes, college marching bands are athletic teams comprising student-musician-athletes. It is a physically demanding sport that incurs athletic injuries. Again, the Cal Band deserves this.

183528_10101560081965043_59205373_n_medium

Here is the band's dedicated audio/visual editing room. It looks like they've got at least two editing bays, manned by two staff members. Though I commend the student and alumni volunteers that try to serve this purpose for the Cal Band, I understand our resources come nowhere even close.

60231_10101560082144683_904605813_n_medium

Wouldn't it be great if the Cal Band Alumni Association had its own office/lounge like the TBDBITL Alumni Club?

308065_10101560082523923_1508604644_n_medium

TBDBITL's fraternity and sorority each get their own lounge/office.

644027_10101560082788393_937221153_n_medium

This locker room was extremely nicer than what I remember we had to deal with in the Cal Band (which was dimly lit and dirty).

548237_10101560082978013_1420528375_n_medium

385641_10101560083581803_1011461922_n_medium

We were told the band stores about $4 million worth of instruments here. How much are the Cal Band's instruments worth? Even $1 million?

390461_10101560083142683_1949587913_n_medium

Each member must pass inspection on gameday. They are not allowed to march without looking up to snuff. Their attention to detail and uniformity shows. I have never heard of such high standards being consistently maintained at the Cal Band, especially if you look at pant lengths and spats.

396418_10101560083367233_309717117_n_medium

230583_10101560083816333_980002877_n_medium

156591_10101560084020923_1896574989_n_medium

269132_10101560084305353_1495423319_n_medium

557021_10101560084529903_1367755349_n_medium

408484_10101560084744473_935881632_n_medium

The Ohio State University Marching Band looked so dang sharp. They sounded so dang crisp. Their facilities are so dang impressive. Why haven't we had that at Cal? Why can't we have that at Cal?

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not faulting/blaming the Cal Band. I've loved the Cal Band for what it has been. But I would have loved to see it better supported and equipped. I would have loved to see a higher standard of performance consistently maintained. TBDBITL is ready to march the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl right now and look fantastic in front of TV cameras and the entire nation. Are we (if our sports teams earned us that opportunity for exposure)?

We all know Cal Athletics just spent in the neighborhood of $500 million on a new stadium and High Performance Center. I had originally heard that the Cal Band was to be included in all those plans, to be a tenant of the new facilities. I haven't heard much since, and it doesn't look like the Cal Band's moving in anytime soon. I only heard that that plan would have cost $8 million that were not available. But the Cal Band has lots of friends, and given a few years, we could raise $8 million, couldn't we? What's $8 million? 1.6% of what Cal Athletics just spent? 2.7 years of Tedford's salary? The Cal Band deserves better. Let's make it happen.

Duc Bieu Pham
@DucBieuPham

P.S. In case you wondered where you could donate to the Cal Band right now, you can click HERE.

66154_10101560099764373_1679240050_n_medium

See...I told you you might see it again...at the airport. :)

61466_10101560168930763_826114164_n_medium

The opinions expressed in a FanPost are, in every way, reflective of the opinions of every California Golden Blogs Marshawnthusiast. Moreover, they are reflective of every employee of SBNation, including Tyler "Blez" Bleszinski.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker