Sunday, February 26, 2012

USS Blue Ridge & 7th Fleet Band - Shanghai, 1989

Here's the USS Blue Ridge pulling into Shanghai, China for a goodwill visit in May of 1989.

The event is a big deal; the crew is manning the rails, the color guard is in action and, of course, the ceremonial unit of the 7th Fleet Band is performing on deck. In a short scene on the superstructure, you can overhear the brass trying to spot the waiting dignitaries.

The band starts playing at 3:20 and continues throughout the video, reappearing at 4:00, 5:00, and for "Anchors Aweigh" at approx. 7:30.

And it's striking to me how important the band is. The whole thing wouldn't feel right without the backdrop of a ceremonial band. Don't believe me? Turn off the sound.

Of course, I can't be objective; naturally, a Navy band was playing at every ship arrival or departure I ever attended.

But that band on deck is not a frill. It's an intergral part of this important function.

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