From a Savas Beatie publishing press release:

Can the Van Halen. Rack your Kid Rock. Stow your Styx. For this musical journey, we're leaving the amplifiers with the long-haired pretty boys in spandex and taking a flying leap from the concert stage: to a football field, baking in the heat of a late June afternoon. Sixty guys spread out in a loose parabola near the 50-yard-line, lean back with horns in their hands and manufacture loud the old-fashioned way – with their lungs.

With these words, author Colt Foutz opens Building the Green Machine: Don Warren and Sixty Years with the World Champion Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, which tells how a ragtag bunch of Boy Scouts from Chicago's Logan Square grew into one of the most popular marching groups in the world, winners of 20 national and world championships.

The story of the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps is also the biography of their charismatic leader, Don Warren. With no musical talent, Warren founded the Cavaliers as a teenager in 1948 and has led them ever since. His gift for working with people—instructors, parents, volunteers, the kids—built the Cavaliers into a musical juggernaut, "The Green Machine." His eye for innovation helped lead to the creation of Drum Corps International, which helped the nationwide youth activity evolve from its military roots into a new artistic era.

Building the Green Machine is packed with insights and the insider stories that capture the spirit of the drum corps movement throughout history. Get to know the kids of the 1940s and '50s, when drum corps spawned like summer mosquitoes in the years after World War II, and if your plumes didn't sit the same way, you could be docked points. Eavesdrop on the rivalries and repertoires in the golden 1960s, when corps from the East, Midwest and West jostled for bragging rights. Get the scoop on the creation of DCI in the early 1970s from the men who made it happen. Follow the changes sweeping the activity in the 1980s and '90s as a new generation experiences the thrill of drum corps competition. Hop along on the tour bus for a behind-the-scenes look at corps life today through the eyes of the people living it – and loving it.

From more than 200 interviews with Cavaliers alumni, and officials, musicians and fans throughout drum corps, Foutz crafts a comprehensive look at the camaraderie, guts, politics, pranks and tradition that have shaped marching music over the last seven decades. Whether you're a drum corps nut, or a newcomer, you'll laugh, cry and cheer for Building the Green Machine

The 480 page hardcover book is now available. Signed first editions are available exclusively through

Learn more about the book and author Colt Foutz at