Checkpoint Alpha

I kept pictures from the early days with the corps because Lee told me one day they’d be funny to look at, but I had no idea how soon “one day” would be. If your exposure to the Renegades began circa DCA 2002, you will probably be surprised to see how small and…uh…”un-evil” the corps looked in the beginning.

When I look back at photos like this, taken in 1998, it seems like just yesterday, but also a lifetime ago. Nobody outside the organization thought senior corps stood much of a chance of catching on in California, but we didn’t care. We didn’t know what we were doing, but we knew if we kept it up one day this drum corps might really be something. Something worth all the hours of practice we put into it, and something that deserved its place on the same field with the junior corps we marched in a few years earlier (OK, a lot of years earlier for some of us).

Early in the corps development, I worked with the Board to put together a plan with some pretty lofty goals. Goal #1 was to join DCI and put a full show – including drill – on the field within five years. We beat that goal by two years when our show, unofficially titled “The Music of Every Drum Corps Ever Disqualified by DCI”, hit the field the summer of 2000. By the end of the five-year plan, the corps was taking the field in Scranton, PA for the 2002 DCA Championships…something I don’t think the original Board would have dreamed up in our craziest moment.

It’s unbelievable to think how far the Renegades have come in such a short time. From seven musicians practicing in an indoor rifle range, to these crazy loud rock stars taking their place on senior corps’ biggest stage. Drum corps, they grow up so fast….