Don’t look at the trombones…

…it only encourages them.

Oh yes. Some of the raunchiest behavior, not to mention humor, in the band. I know. I rode on many a band bus back in the day. Exaggerated body function noises and crude language, etc. One particularly memorable, uh, memory:

[male] trombone player to cute [male] trombone player: I’d like to be a woman for a week with you.

This stuff didn’t really bother me. Actually in my youth I thought it was funny. I grew up with a couple older male cousins who could be just about as raunchy as any trombone player I knew. Also, growing up on the south side of Sault Ste. Siberia, my then BFF Ping and I were constantly fighting “wars” with the boyz in the neighborhood. There were the four W boyz who learned to throw rocks as soon as they learned to walk and the I dunno how many L kids who lived in what The Comm probably called “squalor” and (maybe?) once stole my brother’s bike? (Whoever stole it, The Comm got it back.) And others.

So my brother was a trombone player and he fit right in with all that stuff. Our older male cousins probably had an influence on him too. Trumpet players were usually too full of themselves to succumb to raunchy behavior. “Yeah, I play a little trumpet”, I once heard one say. Ugghhh. Tuba players were a whole ‘nother thing. There weren’t usually enough of them to, uh, “organize” but think donut down the horn kinda thing.

Hey, there are stereotypes about every instrument including mine (the flute). Mine might be almost an uber stereotype but I *own* it but we’ll go there some other day.

My brother was a good trombone player. He got into jazz in high school and continued it into college, playing in a highly acclaimed jazz ensemble at Michigan Tech, where he got an engineering degree. His jazz group traveled and Jamaica was a yearly destination. I only know the inside poop about trombone section behavior from his stories although I also witnessed it in my own groups. I’m sure I didn’t hear all his stories and those I did hear are not really blahggable although most o’ that stuff is legal nowadays.

My brother became a successful automotive engineer but he never stopped playing the trombone as long as he lived. And he was always *buying* trombones. I remember when Craig’s List was a new thing, he would go and meet people in parking lots to buy trombones. I was kinda freaked out about this at first and then my brain reality-checked me. He’s buying TROMBONES! These people are his TRIBE. They’re probably meeting in these parking lots making raunchy trombone guy jokes as they’re doing their transactions.

3 Responses to “Don’t look at the trombones…”

  1. Mark Axe Says:

    You unfortunately omit so much and so many from your family’s great trombone history.

  2. Margaret Says:

    Great post! I didn’t know that about trombone players. I saw the arrogance of trumpet players though. We first violinists were pretty stuck up too. 🙂

  3. Jay Says:

    I wonder where the female family members, old and new, fit into this stereotype.