The One, the Only, the Truly Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior (Pause) University Marching Band!

The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB; Stanford Band; The World's Largest Rock 'n Roll Band TM) was formed in the early years of Stanford University and for more than 70 years was a traditional college military-style marching band. However, in 1963, the popular director of the band, Jules Shuchat, was fired. In retaliation, the LSJUMB went on strike for 2 football games. After a bit of searching, doctorate student and California State University, Fresno music teacher, Arthur P. Barnes, agreed to be the part-time band director, and 2 years later committed full-time.

It was under Barnes' direction that the LSJUMB became the wild and crazy band that's loved and hated all over. Unable to find any real managment for the band, he simply gave the control to the students. Barnes' arrival as band director also marked another monumental change in the LSJUMB. Women. Despite resistance as late as 1971 (Band voted 108-22 against women), Barnes was able to convice band members to allow women, something that was reluctantly agreed to in 1972. Today, the band without women seems impossible.

If the change in the band's attitude and even gender were drastic, so was the music change. In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and the fight against racial discrimination, Stanford had trashed all its old Indian related songs, forcing the LSJUMB to come up with new songs to play at the games. The biggest change that came of this was the choice of the new fight song, "All Right Now", by Free. Although it recieved a lukewarm reception when then drum major Geordie Lawry played it to the band. However, Barnes' loved it and immediately rewrote it for the band. Over the years certain things have been added to All Right Now, most notably the Bone Lick, it is the 8-bar countermelody played during the 2nd and subsequent repeats of the chorus. It was originally "Mary Had a Little Lamb," but has since used everything one could imagine, including the Brazilian soccer cheer. There is also the "Jump" which was a parody of the Dollies (See Below) dance during "All Right Now" that spawned its own little routine.

After more than 30 years of leading the LSJUMB, Barnes' retired in 1997. Leaving a legacy of utter sillyness and great rock arrangement courtesy of the World's Largest Rock 'n Roll BandTM.

Among other things LSJUMB has its own mascot too, the Stanford Tree! As well as their own "secret clubhouse," the Band Shak. The cheerleaders are also called Dollies (Don't ask me why.). They are also the only scatter band west of the Mississippi, other than Rice University. This is one of the reasons they stand out (Or maybe its the Stanford Axe formation...). All Ivy League bands except Cornell are scatter...oops "scramble" bands and poke fun at each other. Stanford does this and its not reciprocated, thus the band rivalry between USC (They once formed "940" during a USC game, mocking their SAT I average at the time) whom they constantly call a "High School Band," because they seem to only play 3 songs (They have a formula of what to play depending on the game situation!), their tendency to play over other bands, and apparently they seem to be snobbish to Stanford.

The LSJUMB's hijinks have also gotten them in some hot water. In 1990 they were banned from the state of Oregon after spoofing a highly political state issue regarding the endangered spotted owl and logging. It was so bad that they were booed off the field while preforming the infamously named "Spotted Owl Half-Time Show." They're also banned from the University of Notre Dame after spoofing the Irish and Catholisism in general. Interestingly, Notre Dame has no problem using a Jesus Christ lookalike to celebrate touchdowns (i.e. Touchdown Jesus).

On a lighter note, they did leave all their Blockbuster cards on the field after they were rudely forced off before finishing their final half-time formation because of the bureaucracy of the Blockbuster Bowl.


  • The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (1970)
  • The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (1972)
  • The Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (1974)
  • The Incomparables (1977)
  • Starting Salary: $22,275.00 (1979)
  • Stanford (1982)
  • LSJUMB: Contraband (1987)
  • The Band is Not Helping (1991)
  • Mirth Control (1995)
  • The Stanford Band: Greatest Hits 1972-1998
  • LSJUMB: Ultrasound (1999)

I wish I could say I was there, but I stayed away from the Big Game November 20, 1982.

With less than 30 seconds of play remaining in the 85th annual rite of rivalry between Stanford and Cal Berkeley, Stanford set up for an easy field goal to pull ahead, 20-19. A 15-yard penalty against Stanford gave Berkeley a long shot chance, kicking off from the 25 yard line. Spirits ran high as the ball got loose, then was picked up and passed from player to player as Berkeley ran the ball down the field.

Victory for the Cardinal looked inevitable, as members of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band surged onto the field. Berkeley tight end Kevin Moen got the pigskin and wove through the band, bowling over trombonist Gary Tyrrell to carry the ball into the end zone and score a win for Berkeley, 20-26.

Yup, the Band is responsible for one of Stanford's more embarassing losses to Berkeley and essentially ruining John Elway's senior season as Stanford's star quarterback.

Other Band exploits include:

  • Mooning TV cameras, resulting in a permanent ban from network television.
  • Rushing to one side of an airplane in flight, resulting in a ban from a certain airline.
  • Stealing signage and using it to decorate the Band Shack.
  • Stealing wheelchairs from airports.

Sources for details: The Play: Joe Starkey's Call of the 1982 Cal/Stanford Big Game (
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