1975 was a unique year for the Blue Stars and, without a doubt, one of my most memorable years with the corps. That year that drum corps gurus Bobby Hoffman and Don Porter Jr. invaded the city of La Crosse, Wis. With them they brought a brand of drum corps previously unknown to the faithful of God's country.
Fundamentals were the key strategy throughout the winter, rolls (five whole minutes) and learning how to mark time all over again. Everything had to be reprogammed, but what a winter we had! There were actually enough members in town to have rehearsals every weekend.
The members during that winter were the determined, unrealistic, and overachieving type. Many seemed to be suffering from one too many "Tiger Rag" jokes from the summer before. A defense of Blue Star honor was called for as drumline rehearsals began only weeks after the 1974 DCI championships. It was predestined that the Blue Stars would be back in a big way in 1975.
As the spring and early summer months rolled around, we began envisioning ourselves as a transformed 1974 Kingsmentype more distinctively Blue Star. It was a relatively small corps in those early months, but collectively we were very tough, confient, and extremely proud. "Hype '75" was one of our slogans as we geared up for a long summer. One factor that may help explain why the corps was so aggressive is the fact that there were a large number of twentyone year olds in the corps that year. This may have triggered what the staff diagnosed as a severe case of the "last year syndrome".
Then, of course, there was our contingent from Montreal. God only knew the true ages of Serge and Guy. These two French speaking characters were another unusual element that added flavor to the summer of '75. Montreal itself proved to be an experience that none of us would soon forget.
At Verdun Municipal Stadium, outside of Montreal, the corps put on a show that has to be one of the very best in Blue Stars history. The French speaking crowd screamed its approval as "les Etolies Bleu" laid it down in Blue Stars fashion and defied the judges to even enter the field. That marked the first night that any drumline had ever received a perfect 5.0 in percussion analysis.
Some other particulars of that summer were the dawn of the long roll (around the track), our gusty 38 person hornline, and new, long sleeved uniforms (Blue Stars formal wear). WHAT A YEAR!
Author: Steve Guns
In 1975 everyone involved with the Blue Stars organization was determined to make a collective effort to return the corps to the level of success that had been achieved in the early seventies.
This began with a renewed commitment to a strong winter program. We were very competitive early in the season, performing a difficult show comprised of "Canzona", a "Chicago" mealy, a "Billy the Kid" that featured the highest scoring drumline in Blue Star history and the toughest book in all of drum corps that year, a marching program that came within a few tenths of winning that capton at finals and the strongest forty~man hornline ever heard.
The year was also a test of the Blue Star family spirit as never before had so many people traveled such great distances, from California to Montreal, to come together and learn, perform, and interact to uphold and maintain the Blue Star traditions and reputation for excellence on and off the field.
There are many instances one could reflect on but certainly one of our greatest performances of the season was in Montreal where we had our staff, the fans, and ourselves turned on as never before. That show was the catalyst to dig down and find new strenth within each of us to be the best we could be.
As it came to a close, we place fifth with and 87.5, a mere point from being in the top three again. More importantly, everyone, including management, staff, members, and boosters had contributed and we achieved our goal. We all experienced the truth of "Finis Coronat Opus."
Author: Steve Smith
1975 DCI Finals-Philadelphia
1. Madison Scouts
2. Santa Clara Vanguard
3. Blue Devils
4. 27th Lancers
5. Blue Stars
6. Oakland Crusaders
9. Royal Crusaders
10. Phantom Regiment
11. Garfield Cadets
"The Ballad of Billy the Kid"