College marching band plays "Terrapin Station" (Share your strange musical dreams, thoughts...)

Maybe it was an acid flashback. Or maybe it was something I ate that night. It was a dream, or possibly one of those strange visions that cross the stage of your mind as you fade into sleep.

I imagined or dreamed a marching band performing “Terrapin Station”. I find this interesting because this Grateful Dead song does seem like it could plausibly be arranged for a marching band. As Deadheads know, the song, and the album of the same title on which it takes up the entire second side, has often been criticized for over-production, and the heavy use of very un-Dead-like strings and horns. The band themselves were mostly disappointed with the result. I don’t know if Jerry Garcia’s overall reaction was thumbs-up or thumbs-down, but he did like some of the orchestral passages, saying, “That’s the orchestral version of me!”

In the light of day I can imagine this. A marching band in full cry playing the opening section, “Lady With A Fan” The snares start off with the woodwinds supplying the fills, just as they do on the record. French horns come in and play the melody which is sung on the recording…

Let my inspiration flow in token rhyme, suggesting rhythm,
That will not forsake you, till my tale is told and done.
While the firelights aglow, strange shadows from the flames will grow,
Till things weve never seen will seem familiar.

(I swear, I didn’t do that many drugs in college!)

Am I crazy or what?

And on a more serious note, has any marching band ever actually attempted this song? Like from one of the colleges that use the Terrapin as a mascot?

If any band tried, it would be the Stanford Marching Band. I’ve heard their arrangement of Steely Dan’s “Boddhisatva.” Not what you would expect.

One night I dreamed I was going to go see an all female AC/DC cover band called A-Double D-C. I woke up wishing that was a real group.

As the Grateful Dead played shows on Stanfords’ campus many, many times over the years, this would be a good guess…

Of course they also played many shows on the Cal-Berkeley campus as well, so its another possibility.

True story – my middle school chorus performed “In The Mood” (Glenn Miller) at the spring concert. I wasn’t in the chorus, I was in the band, but they went on before us.

It’s a cool tune, fun to perform, catchy, and they did it well. It is also a song about, well… being in the mood for “love”. And by “love” I mean sex.

Parents were, understandably or not, shocked to see their 7th graders singing about being “in the mood”. I suspect most of the kids didn’t get the reference, or thought it was about just kissing (this was almost 30 years ago).

The chorus teacher had rehearsed it all semester apparently without any other staff or administration member noticing or commenting. And the kids, since they probably didn’t think it was a “dirty” song, never brought it up to their parents (or at least to a parent who noticed). I don’t think the chorus teacher picked this tune maliciously, I think she just didn’t think it through well enough.

I remember that after the concert we (the students) all knew that ‘something was wrong’ and there were some upset parents and the chorus teacher was nowhere to be found. The next day at school we found out what the fuss was all about.

The chorus teacher didn’t lose her job over it, but word was she got big-time yelled at by the principal.

I would have gone with the University of Maryland, actually.

I once heard a recording of “Roundabout” by Yes performed by a marching band. Strange.

A few weeks ago there was a trad jazz band about 100 yards away outside playing Tainted Love!

Well, here’s a show choir performing it.