The guy's name was Mike Wade. He was the Roto Tom player (I hated that thing.) Almost everything that was said about the person is in fact correct. (The guy might be Wade himself) He was a few weeks overage based upon DCI rules of the time.
We had people in the corps who I don't think even knew who their parents were much less had birth certificates.
The real issue was this, as we left Franklin Field from prelims to go into the tunnel to return to the buses, the contra line was the end of the corps with the drumline, so I saw this. Don Warren, director of the Cavaliers, came directly up to Wade and pulled him out of formation. We didn't know what was happening at first so we kept marching out of the stadium. Wade, in his infinite wisdom kept his wallet in his cummerbund. Warren asked for his ID and Wade, stupidly gave it to him. Warren left the tunnel and headed towards Briske at the scorer’s table with Wade's ID. By the time we had been able to inform MAC (John MacAulffe, our director) what happened, he was already at the busses.
Over the years I have only had three questions;
1. When has there ever been the right of another corps director to approach a member of a corps, pull them from rank and interrogate them.
2. Wade was stupid, but suppose he was not. What if he didn't have his ID on him, what would have happened then? Would a warrant be required? I don't know what information he gave MAC as to his birth date. Would everything be different?
3. Why at prelims? The reason Warren knew that Wade was overage was because he was from Lodi which is right next to Garfield. He knew a guy named Romeo who marched in Garfield and went to Chicago to march with the Cavaliers. Romeo knew Wade was going to be overage at the beginning of the season.
On the field at prelims,Warren, Bonfiglio (Then head of the executive committee) and Pescione met and Pescione took the sheets from Briske if we understand it correctly prior to them ever being tabulated. We were told as a corps several hours later that we were disqualified.
All of the garbage that has come out over the years means nothing. This is what actually happened. I know many people who have come up to me over the years and said they were overage that year.
The problem is that it doesn't make any difference. If DCI was truly interested in cleaning up the overage issue in 1975, we would have been approached right when Wade went overage, and not by Warren, but by Pescione directly to MAC.
No…DCI did not want the Muchachos to have anything to do with the management of the organization. Why? Because we were not buying into the major financial commitment that was required to perform summer touring to the extent that DCI was proposing. Muchachos showed that you could have your cake and eat it too, which was exactly what DCI did not want. A winning program, without huge financial expenditures.
We were not allowed by local statute to have Bingo. We shared facilities with the Caballeros and with two corps in a small blue collar town it was very hard to raise capital to support a large financial commitment and MAC believed that the forced commitment of the dozens of Eastern corps to follow DCI's grandiose plans would put these corps under, which of course it did.
MAC was never part of the inner circle of the DCI management and had made quite a few enemies of those who basically ran their little show. This was payback, capricious and arbitrary. If DCI was truly concerned, there would have been a full investigation across all corps earlier in the season and it would have involved the paid management of DCI, not individual directors going after corps members from corps other than their own.
So yes there is no denying that Muchachos marched overage and if you look at the law is the law, then yes we were guilty. But think its 32 years later and people are still talking about it. Wouldn't you, had you been there, as a fan would have wanted to see the Muchachos and Madison head to head? The people who DCI should be most concerned about, with the exception of corps members are the fans.
By doing what DCI has done over the years is to dramatically increase the complexity of the shows and talent level of the participants, but something has been lost and I believe a lot of people agree.
I believe that "Old School" was shown as a viable entertainment choice by the Kingsmen last Friday night. When was the last time you spontaneously stood up in the middle of a show for a Div. 1 corps today and found yourself doing that on a regular basis? The last time for me was a section of SCV’s show a few years ago and a few times in the ‘90’s. I love the incredible talent that these kids show, but I think we have lost some of the entertainment value that makes Drum Corps what it had always been. I hope a few people saw in the Kingsmen something that may open their eyes to the possibilities of maybe going a little backwards to move forward.
Steve "Ironlung" Horne
Anaheim Kingsmen Alumni