This is a start of a series of threads that I will post concerning my time with the University of Texas and the Longhorn Band.
In the Fall of 1990, I began my journey at the University of Texas at Austin. An integral part of my experience was when I joined the Longhorn Band. In 1990, I was just a little “fish”, but made friends that I will have for the rest of my life. I consider many of my fellow LHB mates almost family. These were the people who helped me adjust to life in a big city, get over my first experience with alcohol, and not be afraid of being on the center stage.
The first show was the 1990 UT versus Colorado show that included Flight of the Bumblebee and Back to the Future Part 3. We actually performed this show a few weeks earlier for the Austin Marching Jamboree, but the UT/Colorado game was my first game. Marching through the tunnel for the first time was exhilarating and scary at the same time.
The second show of the year was the annual Red River Shootout on October 13, 1990. This game was electric and was the second year in a row that we beat OU with quarterback Peter Gardere. As a freshman, the OU experience was a bit scary. The old men made all of the freshman lineup and we had to march in by ourselves before the game. Through the tunnel which is lined with OU fans. Who loved to throw things at us and yell insults. Then the OU band marched in, followed by the old men of LHB (I got to experience this twice as I marched in with the fish my last year). The show comprised of Grieg Medley. I think we also played Power (think American Gladiators), but Dave’s recording doesn’t include it.
The third show of the year was the infamous parody show. We first did this show at Rice Stadium in Houston, but not to the effect of what we got at the UT vs Arkansas game. 1990 was when Arkansas announced that they were going to move to the SEC after the 1991 season. Normally, the Rice spoof show is a student written show - I think in 1990, it was done primarily by Kent Kostka, but I may be leaving out people. So this show used theme music from Looney Toons to describe the state of the Southwest Conference and the “money-loving non-Texans”. The part that made it infamous was the dig at the Texas Legislature with a scatter drill and “Looney Toons”. One of my brethren in Prather said it was the best show we had ever done. I think we did end up having to apologize to Arkansas and the Legislature, but I was a lowly fish at the time.
The last show of the year was for the UT vs A&M game. As you may remember, 1990 was the start of Gulf War 1 and tensions were high across the country as well as the University of Texas. There were many protests for and against the war. This was my first major introduction to politics because I was from a very “insulated” hometown that was pretty homogeneous politically. So naturally, I became somewhat politically active (same politics that I am today) and got involved. For this “Saturday-after-Thanksgiving” football game, we decided to play a Sandy Patty arrangement (not on the video) and Carmen Dragon’s arrangement of America the Beautiful.
The other interesting story about this show is that we ended up repeating it for the Cotton Bowl in 1991. We were supposed to learn a new show, but then it started snowing when we had our first practice and most of us did not have the appropriate clothing for winter weather. So we abandoned learning a new show, and had lots of free time and I spent more nights at a Bennagins for dinner than I’ve been since. Thanks Mack and Eric for the memories. (We didn’t have a car or means of transportation, so we were stuck in the Galleria area after rehearsals).
Finally, Louis Sierra posted a video from the Pregame Show at the UT vs SMU game in 1990. I dont’ remember what we did for halftime on that day (I seem to remember Pearls Jump, but I need to pull out my DVD collection).
One of these days I will get my video collection out and add the missing shows. I
especially liked the Austin Band Jamboree video because it shows what a normal LHB rehearsal is like (line up, calistethics, round the ladder, etc ).
(h/t to my fellow TUBA! member David Binford and KKY brother Louis Sierra for the Youtube Videos)