Drum Corps International
Brasso continuo -- Rawmeat

Brasso continuo -- Rawmeat

by Drum Corps International

In Brasso continuo we'll explore the traditions, rituals and folklore surrounding the drum corps activity. If you know of a ritual, bit of folklore or tradition associated with a corps, e-mail the details to dave@dci.org. If you have a picture of that particular ritual or tradition, e-mail that as well. Thanks!

Steve Rondinaro
Steve Rondinaro, host of the annual Drum Corps International PBS broadcast (you can read a "Fanfare" column about Rondinaro HERE) wrote in with this classic "Brasso Continuo" story: "The Squires of Watkins Glen, N.Y., had a strange pre-game ritual and battle cry back in the mid-'70s that found its roots in a bizarre exhibition wrestling match. "In the summer of 1973, after my freshman year at college, I was filling in at WENY radio in Elmira, N.Y. as the morning jock. I got in lively daily exchanges across shows and dayparts with the nut who was doing afternoons named Ron Bisson. (I would remark on his apparent lack of hygiene in the morning, he would call my new girlfriend "Queen Kong" in the afternoon. You know, that mature kind of radio stuff we did back then.) "Our co-owned TV station was sponsoring a professional wrestling match at the local stadium that month and the station's general manager thought it would be a hoot to have the two of us "settle it in the ring" in an exhibition wrestling match before the big card."Bisson was easily cast as the "bad guy" and our listeners christened him with the wrestling moniker of "Rawmeat." (I was, of course, the requisite "good guy.") The wrestling match was a goofy affair that ended with the two of us fleeing the stadium in fear of some very large wrestlers who didn't much like the idea of us making fun of their chosen profession. "But the cry of "Rawmeat" continued to resonate in recesses of my warped mind until it became our pre-show battle cry with the Squires when I moved into corps management in 1975. Why? I have no earthly idea except that it made a rhythmically friendly chant in our pre-show leg lift exercises. We thought it also sounded fearsome. "Prior to one New York State Championship tilt we even brandished some raw steaks in the parking lot in mid-chant. (In hindsight we should have saved that stunt for tour and immediately cooked them.)"Somewhere there may even still exist a "Rawmeat" Squires T-shirt. A true collectible! They were rather popular once upon a time, bearing the corps name and a caricature of a juicy, red steak. A ribeye perhaps." Thanks Steve!