By Mike Pound
I don’t mean to brag, but I’m pretty sure I could have been a heck of a drummer.
Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I can honestly say that I was the best desktop “Wipe Out” drummer in the entire St. Xavier’s Catholic School sixth-grade class in Junction City, Kan.
I will pause for a minute to let that impressive news sink in.
For those of you not of a certain age (old), I should explain that “Wipe Out” was a great song recorded by a group called The Surfaris. Other than a guy saying “wipe out” at the beginning, it’s a great drum solo. Every male of a certain generation (old) was legally required to be able to play it on his school desktop with his own fingers.
I would place the drum solo in “Wipe Out” right up there with the drum solo in the classic Iron Butterfly song “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Again, for those of you not of a certain generation (old), “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was a long song that all bands that performed at high school dances had to know. The worst thing that could happen to you was to ask a girl to dance and then hear the band play “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” because you would then be stuck on the dance floor for 17 minutes.
Learning how to play “Wipe Out” on your school desk with your own fingers was not easy, but once you did learn it, you never forgot it. I haven’t played “Wipe Out” in years, but I know that if I stopped typing, I could easily tap out a fine rendition.
In fact, why don’t I do that right now?
OK, I’m back and proud to say I’ve still got it.
By the way, in case you’re wondering what the nuns at St. Xavier’s Catholic School thought about “Wipe Out,” I can tell you that they hated it.
I mean they REALLY hated it.
I started thinking about my desktop “Wipe Out” after chatting with Chase Neely. Chase is the director of the Joplin High School Winter Drumline. The drumline is made up of about 21 percussionists who perform at a number of high school indoor events. Basically, it is like a marching band, only with percussion instruments and perhaps a keyboard and very little marching. Chase said the drumline is a school-sponsored extracurricular activity. In addition to performing at school events, the kids in the drumline compete against other high school drumlines around the state.
Chase said that while many students in the drumline also are members of the marching band, not all of them are. Some are simply students who are interested in music and looking to be part of a fun group.
Like students in just about all extracurricular activities these days, drumline participants have to foot part of the bill to play, which is why a group of nice people is putting together a fundraiser.
“My goal is to make sure the students have to pay the minimum amount of money (to be in the drumline),” Chase said. “I don’t want the students’ families to feel an economic strain to be part of our group.”
On Saturday, March 9, members of the Joplin High School Band Boosters will put on a trivia tournament at Joplin Memorial Hall, 212 W. Eighth St. The evening will begin with a hot dog and chili dinner at 6 p.m., and the tournament will get under way at 7 p.m. The cost is $80 per team; a team will consist of eight people or fewer.
I love trivia tournaments because they require a wealth of useless information. If there is one thing I have, it’s useless information.
To sign up for the tournament or for more information, people may send an email to email@example.com.
DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.