Drum Squad History

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Drum Squad History

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:17 pm

Among the lost posts yesterday was a bit of a discussion about the Drum Squad and how/when/why it got started up. I've actually been meaning to put something together for a while now about the history of the drum squad, so any memories/anecdotes/facts would be helpful.

Just to get the conversation going again... as far as I know, the drum squad began as "Rhytmo Piloto" in the early 90's ('93 maybe?) and featured some really good drummers that played mainly samba beats... the last remnant of it is the "Pilots Score a Goal" song, which I'm pretty sure started off as "Go, Go-Bah" or something like that and used to have a killer little cow-bell type thing that went along with it that looked like this:




I miss that bell... it was pretty swell. Ha! And yes, I did just spend the last several minutes looking on-line to see if "Go Go-Bah" was a real samba song and I came up empty. I'll have to consult with my sources and get it right... or maybe it was an original beat they came up with. I don't know.

Anyway, Pat Ell (former Villa Hall Director) was in on the founding of the Rhymo Piloto, and I think he's the one that brought it over to Villa. When the toga-wearing began and where the samba beats went, I don't know.

I guess the reason I bring up this history is because someone mentioned the drum squad yesterday and it sparked a memory of a Beacon article from a few years ago where some guys claimed to have founded the drum squad and I remember being really mad because they didn't know the history of it.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:02 pm

Yeah, I said something about it just starting up when I first came (fall 99), and didn't know it was that old. I think they started the transition from t-shirts spelling out PILOTS to the kilts while I was going to school. I don't recall actually seeing any kilts until after I graduated, though.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:19 pm

...jeez, should have just paged me and I'd have answers for you...

Those would be agogo bells. Sweet samba bells...I wonder if I have a set buried in all my gear...being a drummer you accumulate lots of random stuff! "Pilots Score a Goal" is based off the Santana song "Jingo". "Hey Goal, Hey Pilot Goal" has changed, too - there aren't any "La"s any more.

Pat and others (with whom I've played) are definitely the original guys. I think it re-emerged with the Capra brothers around when PPT was at UP - they were in full swing around 2002, which was my first experience playing with them. I'd been playing samba with the "original" drum squad guys for a while at that.

The kilts gave way to togas around 2004-2005. Bedsheets are cheap, tartan isn't(?).

I'm trying to get a few of the guys to play one (or more) of the games during fall break. Just, you know, so there's a change of pace. I will say this...playing samba for a non-drummer isn't the easiest thing out there. Villa prides itself (and this is something I've heard from former and current Villans) on NOT being organized/coordinated. They don't practice. They just show up and do their thing.

I miss the samba.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:31 pm

Stonehouse wrote:
Just to get the conversation going again... as far as I know, the drum squad began as "Rhytmo Piloto" in the early 90's ('93 maybe?) and featured some really good drummers that played mainly samba beats... the last remnant of it is the "Pilots Score a Goal" song, which I'm pretty sure started off as "Go, Go-Bah" or something like that ......

I'm pretty sure it comes from the old cuban standard "oye como va" (hear how it goes) by Tito Puente.
At least it's got a pretty similar rhythm. To the american ear, the "va" sounds a bit like "Ba"
Before Castro, lots of our latin beats came from closer than Brasil.




Santana went with it and made it a standard for him a well

the words mean , roughly
" oye como va, mi ritmo, bueno "pa" ( para) gosar , mulata. "
in english its something like "Hear my rythm that's good to enjoy, mulatta."

Carlos Santana had a big hit with it, too.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:34 pm



Jingo. Skip to about 4:40.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:41 pm

Geez, thanks for the video of Tito, I've got a lot of his music, but never bothered to do any YouTube searches. Good stuff!

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:49 pm

OK, battling Santana Very Happy

Play them both at the same time




The rhytms aren't that different

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:55 pm

That's my personal favorite Santana version of Oye Como Va.

The rhythms are always different - never the same thing twice when I'm playing. Razz Duck!

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:05 pm

PilotDrummer wrote:
The rhythms are always different - never the same thing twice when I'm playing. Razz Duck!
Amen to that! Razz

(I kid)

He's still nice to have around--we don't have to worry about what he might say next like the guy before him. Wink

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:10 pm

PurplePrideTrumpet wrote:
PilotDrummer wrote:
The rhythms are always different - never the same thing twice when I'm playing. Razz Duck!
Amen to that! Razz

(I kid)

He's still nice to have around--we don't have to worry about what he might say next like the guy before him. Wink

Dude, that's a separate pep band stories thread. Go start that one...Razz

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Trenchcoat Wally on Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:25 pm

Hey, what a great topic!

I am one of the founding members of "Ritmo Piloto" --"Rhythm Pilot" I looked younger than I do in my picture.

Pat Ell, at that time a Villa RA and myself pulled it together. We recruited, Chris Mclean, Andy Kuffner, Dan ?, Jen ?... (I just called Pat to remember a few others) There were about 7 or 8 of us.

We mainly used all of my drums, congas, Djembe and various percussion devices. After the first year of playing, Pat went to athletics and secured some money for "Samba Style" drums. We knew little about samba ('batucada' style.) After we got the real type of samba drums I arranged a clinic by California Master drummer Kim Atkinson to show us how samba worked. That got us going on somewhat of a basic samba style beat. About 6 months after we got the drums, Pat, Chris and myself became original members of, "The Lions of Batucada" samba band in Portland. That is where we really figured out how to play samba. That helped us get it really rocking for the Pilot games.

The original group name, "Ritmo Piloto" stayed until Pat Ell moved to Chicago for 3 years (He has back in N PDX now). Then the group became 'The Villa Drum Squad"

The rhythm "Jin Go Lo Ba" was brought to the US by one of my drum influences, the late Baba Olatunji Link

Here is a link to the album and song from the album I first heard "Jingo"

Amazon


Olatunji was in the New York music scene and transfered the music to Carlos Santana; who made it a hit. We played it as the original version and then changed the lyrics to "Pilots, score a goal".

A couple of years ago, Pat and I approached athletics about donating our time to assist the drum squad in making it rhythmically hip again but there was not much interest on athletics end. Heck, they need the budget money for all the little soccer balls I guess. It is pretty rare these days that we hear something that is rhythmically hip. Mainly it is just some sort of Pow Wow beat. I'm just glad the tradition lives on! Lots of other schools only dream of this type of thing for a soccer program.

I will see about arranging an 'Alumni Drummer game' for this year.

Tim B
Jin Go Lo BA full version





Last edited by Trenchcoat Wally on Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:34 pm

Figured that you'd show yourself around here sooner or later to set the record straight, TB. Alumni drummer game for sure. You know I'll be there.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:39 pm

Olatunji!

pretty difinitive. A flash from the 50's

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:30 pm

Ah yes... thanks for the memory refresher, Trenchcoat! And sorry I missed the tamale feast last night... this work thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'll have to buy you a birthday bag of kettle corn as a make-up! Smile

I could definitely talk to some people at the athletics department about helping out with the drum squad if you guys are still interested, though honestly athletics doesn't have much to do with those guys... it's all organized and operated by Villa dudes.

I'm just sad that Graham Hays at ESPN never decided to talk to you guys about the history. He did sit with the Drum Squad guys and wrote about his experiences with that, but I was hoping he would look into the history as well. Oh well.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:08 pm

Thanks for all links. Samba beats would be good to get back but anything sounds better that the UCLA band playing Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" every 10 minutes like I hear now.
Yes and could somebody really cool tell USC's band that the sunglasses thing was hip for about two years in the eighties.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:36 pm

Here ya go boys

[/url]

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Trenchcoat Wally on Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:42 pm

Hey Auto- You just made me think of something.

Time for the halftime music to be re-evaluated!

A- It's loud
B- It's Lame
C- How many time do I need to hear "Crazy Train" by Ozzy?

I understand it's a college kids game and all.. but most of the fans who pay to get in are out of college and have an ear for possibly something else.

What do I need to do to have a chance to program the halftime music?

A- I'll turn it down from #11 to # 7 on the volume dial. That way I can talk to my brother and not yell at him.
B- I'll play something other than "Crazy Train"!

C- I might even play this! But only once!


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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:05 pm

Is that Ringo in the background?Smile

At the risk of inducing nightmares:


Smile

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:08 pm

The Lions of Batucada--I remember they would come and play at halftime for a few games each year. I have to say the old drum squad used to play more intricate stuff when I was in school, and it was pretty cool.

It would be really awesome if the drummers learned to play some samba, and sang the Pilot songs they've come up with (not at the same time).

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:12 pm

Auto Pilot wrote:Thanks for all links. Samba beats would be good to get back but anything sounds better that the UCLA band playing Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" every 10 minutes like I hear now.
Yes and could somebody really cool tell USC's band that the sunglasses thing was hip for about two years in the eighties.
USC is so good at football because their band drives the other team nuts by playing nothing but "Conquest" and "Fight On" the entire game. Really--I heard this for myself about 8 years ago at OSU.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by Auto Pilot on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:19 pm

sang the Pilot songs they've come up with

Here is one of my faves If I heard it correctly:

Gonna build a bonfire
put the (curent opponent) on top
throw the Irish in the middle
and burn the bloody lot.

Sets my heart dancing it does.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:26 pm

Auto Pilot wrote:
sang the Pilot songs they've come up with

Here is one of my faves If I heard it correctly:

Gonna build a bonfire
put the (curent opponent) on top
throw the Irish in the middle
and burn the bloody lot.

Sets my heart dancing it does.
Build a bonfire,
Build a bonfire,
Put the ____________ on the top,
Put the (next opponent) in the middle,
And we'll burn the bloody lot.

It's always fun to hear that one. I like the "This is murder/Call the sheriff" one, too. I always yelled "Welcome to the University of Portland School of Soccer...class is now in session!" to the keeper once the Pilots had 2 or 3 goals.

Hopefully we'll establish a date for "alumni drummers" soon. You won't want to miss it. Very Happy I wasn't one of the original guys, but I'm happy to know most of 'em.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by VillaGorilla on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:28 pm

What I posted yesterday got deleted, but here's most of what I can remember.

PilotDrummer is right on the money to credit the Capra bothers. My frosh year was the first national championship season, and James was the driving force behind the Squad that year. We made makeshift kilts at the beginning of the season (nothing as elaborate as they have now). The men also made the tourney that year and we had good support behind both teams (this was a few years before the lights were put in). Our support must have been well received by the teams. Clive wrote James a personal letter thanking him and the Squad for all the loud and zany support we gave. That just goes to show the spirit with which Clive lived and approached our community. We framed the letter and put it up in Villa's entryway right next to where people check in, where it remained for some years thereafter. Does anyone know if it is still there?

Per istas aulas Villae viri superbi perambulant.

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:34 pm

My favorite:

Glory, glory, hallelujah
Portland Pilots gonna school ya,
So bow your heads in shame
'Cuz you'll never, never win,
The Pilots are marching on!

The Timbers Army has some good ones too, but we're trying to set a record, and deleted posts will not help. Wink ("You're going home in a Portland ambulance" does not seem in keeping with the atmosphere we want at Pilot games)....

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Re: Drum Squad History

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:44 pm

VillaGorilla wrote:What I posted yesterday got deleted, but here's most of what I can remember.

PilotDrummer is right on the money to credit the Capra bothers. My frosh year was the first national championship season, and James was the driving force behind the Squad that year. We made makeshift kilts at the beginning of the season (nothing as elaborate as they have now). The men also made the tourney that year and we had good support behind both teams (this was a few years before the lights were put in). Our support must have been well received by the teams. Clive wrote James a personal letter thanking him and the Squad for all the loud and zany support we gave. That just goes to show the spirit with which Clive lived and approached our community. We framed the letter and put it up in Villa's entryway right next to where people check in, where it remained for some years thereafter. Does anyone know if it is still there?

Per istas aulas Villae viri superbi perambulant.
Yes, it's still there. That was my freshman year too...Feel free to let me know you you are, Villa Gorilla...I think I know who you are, but would rather you tell me!

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