I now live in San Francisco and work for Martin Lawrence Galleries, indulging my love for fine art. This is after a 25-year career in technology. I'll never forget the Demons and will post here as often as I can recall events and names. Here are a few to add: Craig Benzenberg, Ron Justice, Gene Justice, Dave Mogan, Larry Downing.
Didn't know this website existed til last week when Bill Adkins called me and told me all our old equipment had been given away. Good cause, to be sure -- and I wasn't even sure the equipment still existed -- but I was always in favor of selling it (I'd have loved to buy my snare drum) and donating the money, on the assumption that the stuff was too old to be of real use to kids today. (Drumming has changed pretty dramatically since we played, and the technology has had a lot to do with that.) But no one asked me, so, whatever.
I joined the Corps in the summer of 1964, after 7th grade. Bob McNelly and I had planned to join earlier, but since he was a year older he'd gotten (parental) permission first and beat me by 6 months or so. By that time I'd already memorized all the tenor charts, and so I got to march a few times that same summer (when the "first string" couldn't make it). I marched beside Mike Clendenon a fair amount that year, and (with all due respect to many of our bass drummers) I've never seen anyone hit a drum with more violence than he did -- he not only went thru drumheads, but he routinely bent or broke the metal mallets we used, too. In '64 we were still using the makeshift tenor drums you see in the picture on the home page; they had black-painted wooden rims and a silver sparkle covering over the old maple shells (we couldn't afford the tenors that matched the Ludwig J. Burns Moore model snares until '65).
Incidentally, the uniforms being worn in that picture originally belonged to "The Gladiators" Drum & Bugle Corps of Circleville -- they were an American Legion corps that existed from 1949 til the mid-50s or so. I know those uniforms well because my father, who was a snare drummer in the Corps for 5 years, still has his! (I think we stopped wearing those uniforms in 1963.) That Corps also used Ludwig J. Burns Moore drums, by the way.
1964 was the last year we played the "original" Cool 2/4, as John rewrote it for the 1965 season (I remember because I liked the original better). That was also the last year we wore shakos -- we went to berets in '65 because there was a big influx of new members that year and we didn't have enough shakos to go around (and the ones we had were falling apart, anyway).
Lots of memories. I marched from '64 to '69 (the Corps folded the next year). In '83 five of us (Davis, Hawkes, Benzenberg, Adkins and me) decided to do a reunion concert at Pumpkin Show, which turned into a temporary re-formation of the Corps. Over the next year or two, as that core group moved away or lost interest, Davis and I began a running debate over the right time to stop it. For me, it was right then. For John, it was never. And it was, after all, his name on the bass drum.
I'm glad you found the DDDC blog Mike. I still remember your composition "The Burly Toad" which if I recall, was written by you as a companion piece to John's "The Hairy Bear".
Mike! Glad you made it up here. First we did try to contact all past members, but no one seemed to know where you where at. Sorry. Second NOT all the equipment was donated as there are some who think they are above reproach and will not give up the snares they have in their possession. I had talked to Bill several times about where other members might be as far back as September of this year. I will be honest with you, Your name was given to me by Gary Kenworthy as a holder of one of the snares. In fact they where Kenworthy, Betts, Ayers and Adkins. We are still missing those four snares a set of triple tenors and a set of cymbles. The middle school was very happy to get the old drums I just wish it could have been ALL the old drums. Yes drumming tech. as come along way with the triple hoop and High Tenson drums, but this was a start and kept the DDDC in O vill memory..
Frankly, Kevin, I'd just as soon the name was forgotten (not that "Hairy Bear" was the world's greatest title, but sure I hope I didn't burn a lot of brain cells coming up with "Burly Toad"). Compared to the "Bear" it was a very basic piece, but some of the licks in it were pretty good. At least in 1968 we could play it!
Bob, as we discussed, I have never had any of the snare drums in my possession. I think anyone who has any of the equipment at this point should give it up -- a good representation of the Corps has determined that all of it should be donated, and that's where the issue ends. We should have done it years ago -- but I'm glad it's been done now, and thrilled that Everts M.S. not only has a use for it but appreciates where it came from!
To all you guys who took the initiative & made the decision -- good job!
good one info bro
How I missed this I do not know.. Mr. Kerns will be missed.
CLIFFORD KERNS Updated: August 11, 2014 - 9:18 pm
Clifford Kerns, 90, passed away on Aug. 9, 2014, at his home.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.