My Saved By The Bell Moment

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**This is a repost from a year or so ago. My daughter is having some dental work today, please think good thoughts for her!**

I’ve been getting really into facebook lately, and I recently friended someone from high school that was on the drumline with me.

That’s right, I was a bona-fide band geek.

I lived for marching season, and it was straight up the most fun ever. Plus, I was pretty cute in that little green bucket hat.

Okay, now that we all know I was a complete dork. Let me tell you about my Saved By the Bell Bell Moment…

We had this drumline instructor that thought he was one cool cat. He had the long hair, he was always carrying drumsticks around in his back pocket. He’d played drums at a cool college, and now taught drums for Azle’s marching band. At the time, I didn’t realize that was probably NOT what he’d had in mind when he embarked on a career in music, and I thought he was just a hard ass. More realistically, he was probably just pissed his band never took off, and he was stuck doing the one thing he’d feared most–teaching high school band.

One rainy August morning, during band two-a-days (That’s right uber jocks, you weren’t the only ones beat down with two-a-days. We spent the first month before school started out in the blazing heat as well. I actually did it with a freaking bass drum strapped to me, so I don’t want to hear about your stupid pads and how hot they were. It sometimes got so hot in the sun that the metal actually burned me. Okay?) he had us bring our drums inside to practice, and we set up on the stage in the auditorium. He let us put our drums on stands, and that made for a pretty easy day as far as band practice was concerned.

We’d spent most of the morning goofing around and getting in trouble for it, because hey… this was band practice in the middle of our summer vacation, and that’s the sort of thing we did. Apparently we weren’t staying on tempo at all, and since that was basically our only job as a drumline, (okay there were other jobs, but you get the point.) he got the metronome. When we STILL weren’t staying on tempo… he went and got this ridiculous loud speaker and hooked it up to the metronome. It was mind piercingly annoying, and basically just a stupid form of torture, because he was so pissed about his less than rock star life.*

Anyway, after we finished our Taco Bell, and were hanging out on the stage waiting for him to get back from lunch, a few of us (read seniors and a couple of the cooler underclassmen) decided to hide the metronome and super loud speaker thing.

When Mr. Rock-Star-Wanna-Be-But-Never-Made-It came back and discovered his metronome was gone, his reaction was quite simply–priceless.

When I look back on this story. I can actually see the steam shooting out his ears.

He yelled for a while that we better give the stuff, and when we didn’t– he did what any pissed off teacher would do. He decided to torture it out of us. He made us put on our drums and forced us to play until we told him. Well, no one was saying a word. The rest of the drumline had watched us hide it, but they kept their mouth shut. Hiearchy was alive and well in the band hall, and they knew better than to piss us off.

After a good fifteen or so minutes of jamming away while the steam shot out of his ears he yelled for us to stop playing. He then informed us that he was going on a smoke break and when he returned, the metronome better be sitting back in its place.

We totally put the metronome back in its place. He was pissed, and we didn’t really want to see just how far he would go.

Well, that wasn’t good enough for him. He came back, yelled some more, and told us he wanted to know exactly WHO stole his precious metronome. What an ass. He’d promised to be cool if he got his metronome back, but apparently he’d lied.

So he made us put our drums back on and we started up again with his excruciating torture. What he didn’t realize was we were damming the man, and those drums had never felt lighter. He left the room again, this time with instructions that, when he came back, he’d be asking the perp to step up and admit to their actions, or his torture would continue.

Those of us that had actually hid the metronome convinced the rest of the drumline to go along with us, and we’d decided that we would all admit to stealing the metronome. I mean, he couldn’t kick us all off the line, right? It’s not like we were the flute section,** they needed us…

So, we scared the freshmen into siding with us decided as a group that when he asked for the metronome stealer to come forward, we’d all do it.

He came back in the room, still spitting mad, and asked one more time. “Who took the metronome?

And we started raising our hands. One by one, the entire drumline raised their hands, confessing to our crime. I don’t know if it was the fact that the five or so of us that had actually stolen the metronome weren’t going to have to call our parents or the fact that we stood strong against an asshole teacher, but it was awesome.

He laughed, smiled, and shook his head. We were off the hook. Which was good, because Mr. Belding  surely would have given us some sort of hilariously inappropriate punishment along with months and months of after school detention. But, if Zach Morris happened to be waiting outside the principal’s office, it might have been worth it.

*Sorry, there buddy. When you chose this life, you knew there was only like a .02% chance you’d actually turn out to be a rock star. So get over it.
**Look, flutes are awesome, but they aren’t really a marching band instrument, ya know?

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  1. Jamie – dude I remember that guy. He was a freak! But didn’t he marry what’s-her-name? The flute teacher? She was sweet.

    Do you remember the day Prather was up on the makeshift press box in front of the band hall and he made us do an about-face so he could zip up his pants?

    I miss band. =)

  2. This is going to sound really lame: but only the drumline could have pulled this sort of heist off. I mean, FYI, the bass clarinet section didn’t really ‘stand together’ if you know what I mean. I wanted to be on drumline so bad…for exactly this kind of hilarity!
    .-= Chantal Kirkland´s last blog ..Sex in YA – Those Crazy Kids =-.

  3. Beautiful…band geeks forever! I played oboe and marched clarinet. You best bet this post is getting shared with all my wonderful band geek friends.

    Only one thing missing–picture?!?! I’ll show you mine if you show me yours 😉

  4. Band geeks unite! I played flute in Jr. High (HATED it) and joined flags in High School. Twirled half-way through college too before I got fed up with the politics. Marching band stories are the best 🙂

    Damn, I’m all nostalgic now.

    1. @Julie K, haha only a fellow band geek would get that there were politics!!

      1. @Jamie, Oh gods, yes. I put up with it for three years before I had enough. The color guard director knew it was coming when I told her I quit. I can still see the expression on her face, she wasn’t any happier with the way things had fallen than I was. Darn band director and his control issues.
        .-= Julie K´s last blog ..Straight Lines Suck =-.

  5. LOL!

    I had a band director that threw a music stand at us (nowadays, I think that would get a teacher “adminstrative leave!”). He also made us stand at attention in the August heat at band camp, telling us not to lock our knees, until someone passed out from heat exhaustion. I guess that was his idea of an object lesson.

    Ah, the good old days.

    1. @Kendra, yes! It was SO FREAKIN’ HOT! And we had to stand out there not wanting to pass out!!

  6. I was a band geek too! I played clarinet for symphony season, and the cymbals for marching season. You are right, it was awesome and I loved every minute of it. Though I hated it half way thorugh my senior year, but that is a differnt story…and I loved Saved by the Bell!

    Loved your post and hope all went well today at the dentist.
    .-= stacy´s last blog ..Book Review: Ruined by Paula Morris =-.

    1. @stacy, yeah, I played bari sax during concert season, and then bass drum for marching!

  7. BAND GEEK!!! YES!!!!

    I played XYLOPHONE, pitted next to the drum major, because another school’s band director stole our glockenspiel harness and we couldn’t afford a new one. I kid you not.

    In college, they had no use for xylo, and had me play the littlest bass drum, but by November I had to quit from the back pain. (Dude. I am LESS THAN FIVE FEET TALL. The littlest bass drum took me out.)

    But, oh, band practice horsing around on the stage. Yes. Good times. Though my hated noisemaker wasn’t the metronome. At city orchestra (because I also played the viola), they had this droning A that buzzzzzzed until practice started to make sure everyone was tuned to the same A. I understand its value, but I still have nightmares.

    My best band memory is not music-related. We volunteered to paint the entire back-stage area – music class was taught ON the stage, so the band director considered it her classroom. So we painted, and I climbed up into the loft to hang over the side of the wall and paint the top, which in and of itself was pretty awesome. I wanted to go paint the other side, so instead of climbing down, I scaled the mountain of broken desks piled in the corner of the loft and walked across the beams holding up the curtain. That was SO cool, looking down and seeing the stage on one side and the basketball court on the other.

    I may have gotten chewed out just an eensy bit for that one.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Contest Roundup! =-.

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