Somehow I never knew about this; I didn’t see them yesterday or the last time I came to Wrigley a few years ago, but the Cubs have a live Dixieland band that walks around the stadium during the game.

Fittingly enough, they’re called the Cubs Band. They feature a cornet, a clarinet, a tuba, a trombone, and a banjo, and they’re pretty sweet.

I have long, long held that the Mets — and most baseball teams — should have some sort of live musical act inside the stadium during games. The Hammond organ is obviously a nice start, but I’m open to all sorts of ideas.

I think it would be particularly badass, for example, if a dominant reliever kept a string quartet on hand to play his entrance song. I’ve written about this before: The Hannibal Lecter approach to closer music. I’ve priced that out with my friend Ben, an orchestra conductor, and he says the cost to keep four top-flight musicians on hand for that type of work for 81 home games a season would be peanuts compared to player salaries. A good reliever could easily get it written into his contract.

But I’m open to most things. A top-flight college basketball pep band would be fine if it played funky arrangements of decent songs. Not like a lame, b-rate pep band, I mean like one of the awesome ones that outshines the basketball team itself. Just filling up a whole section of Citi Field with joyful noise and all that. And absolutely no “25 or 6 to 4” or “Carry on My Wayward Sun.” It’s time to retire those to the rafters.

A funk band up on the bridge to the Pepsi Porch. Delta Blues in the Delta club. Metal in the Acela restaurant. Anything would be better than trying to get me to sing Sweet Caroline or Rickrolling the entire stadium.

One of the dudes from the Cubs Band told me they’ve been playing together since 1982 and they’re at every game. Cool.

Also, fun fact: I could almost entirely outfit a band like the Cubs band with instruments I have in my house (or at my parents’ house). The only one I don’t have is a tuba, which is ironic because it’s one of the few I can play capably. I really need to practice that banjo.

5 thoughts on “Cool

      • Well, both. The Kansas version is pretty good too.

        I’m perhaps biased because the Cornell pep band (where I went to school) played both of those songs as pretty core numbers in our repertoire. (As Keith would say, that’s French for “repertoire”.) If you’ve never listened to the lyrics, 25 or 6 to 4 is about being frustrated by having trouble writing a song, which is a bit ironic if you think about it I guess. Also a little self-aggrandizing in the same way as TV/movies about making TV/movies like Entourage or Studio 60.

        If you prefer more modern song selections, of the bands I’ve seen (largely northeastern hockey schools with a smattering of others mixed in), I’ve found that Yale’s pep band does a pretty good job of arranging new songs to keep their playlist fresh. Plus their rink was designed by Eero Saarinen, which is pretty cool.

      • Yeah my point was that it seems like every pep band does those two songs standard, no offense to the Big Red band.

        <3 the Saarinens.

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