Talk about a strange and wonderful experience. Today at Mt Whitney High School I got to see and hear the Marine Corps Band. Now, when I heard that they would be there (invited by our band director) I naturally assumed it was THE Marine Corps Band (the big one, with all the instruments, you know, John Phillip Sousa marches and the whole bit). What a surprise it was to walk into the Gym where they were set up only to see sound equipment, drums, keyboard, electric guitars and mics. Standing there in and around all the equipment were about 6 impeccably dressed Marines in their dress blue uniforms. This was the Marine Corps Band alright... the Marine Corps rock band from San Diego.
We chatted for a few minutes with one of the musicians (very friendly, and - boy was his uniform neat, clean and had really shiny buttons and medals!!) before they played. These are real musicians, not a "garage band" at all. What I found a bit incongruous was - once they started to play (and sing), I could close my eyes and "picture" a rock band, but then actually looking at them in their dress blues, short and very neatly trimmed hair, well... it was just the oddest sight ever! These guys were good but totally messed up my mind's picture of a rock band!!
It did make me think, though, that, yeah - join the Marines and you, too could be in a rock band. I don't mean that disrespectfully. These guys are soldiers first, musicians second. They go through basic training and all the rest. I was really very impressed but just left feeling a little like I was in an alternate universe.