Time To Be Counted On Aye Zigga Zoomba

From time to time the subject has come up whether Aye Zigga Zoomba should be played by the UNC Band at football games. Several contacts have been made by various individuals with Band Director Fuchs but no satisfactory solution has been reached on this subject. A band member that I talked with after the Duke game last year told me the band did play the song three times but the people I have talked with say they did not hear the song played and I didn't hear it. It's possible the song was played in an arrangement and at a speed that prevented it from being recognized by most, if not all, Tar Heel faithful outside the band.

At the recently held Bash, I had an opportunity to talk with BobLeeSwagger for the first time and it is a close race to determine which of us has more passion about this issue. The perfect solution to the competition is to join forces and channel our energies to accomplish the goal rather than trying to out "Tar Heel" each other and that's exactly what we have decided to do.

If anything is going to be accomplished regarding AZZ, it is going to take planning dedication, perseverance and patience. It may even take money but let's hope not.

Let's try to summarize the situation to date. Several requests have been made to Band Director Fuchs to have the song played. He responded to my emails by saying that AZZ was a part of the band's repertoire and would be played from time to time at UNC athletic events. As stated before, apparently the band played the song at the Duke game but it was unrecognizable. There is a confirmed story about $1,000 being offered to the band by one Tar Heel if the song would be played but the Band Director refused. Without listing all the activities that have taken place, let's just say there appears to be a reluctance on the part of the Band Director to play the song. Dick Baddour is quoted as saying that he likes the song and would like to hear it played and Coach Bunting led the group at the recent bash in singing AZZ. There is substantial and widespread support to have the song played but still it is not being played properly and no agreement has been reached on what will happen in the future.

There are two ways the matter can be approached. One is to continue to try and talk with University officials to see if some arrangement can be reached that will satisfy all parties involved. This could be pursued all the way to the Chancellor and part of me says this is the way to go. We need to know if supporters of the University and its athletic programs have no influence in determining matters relating to these programs. AZZ has become symbolic for a much larger question. The downside of taking this course is that someone may be forced to play the song and I think we need to wonder if playing the song against one's wishes will result in a satisfactory rendition. A related part of this approach would be to raise the question at every opportunity to create pressure, if you will, to have the song played. To this end, if you think this is the way to go, I would encourage all you viewers who will be attending the upcoming Educational Foundation regional meetings to ask Coach Bunting why the song isn't being played. I know he likes the song and I think he is on our side. If the answer is given that the song has been played, I would suggest that you indicate that it was not satisfactory. If it was played, it was played too fast. You might even ask for input from others at the meeting as to whether the rendition played at the Duke game was satisfactory or not. Lastly, I would suggest that you ask Coach Bunting if he can and will help us in our efforts to have the song played. Band Director Fuchs is a friend of his according to his Coach Bunting's statements at the Bash and he might agree to try and personally influence Fuchs to play the song.

The second approach would be to try and achieve our objective without the involvement of the band. We are led to believe that the jumbotron will be ready before or sometime during the upcoming season and what better way to introduce the new member of the Carolina family than to have someone like the clef hangers give a rendition of AZZ on the jumbotron to celebrate its introduction. The words could be flashed on the screen for those who don't remember or have never known them. As BobLee said at the Bash. This could become our signature song. Sort of like Tiger Rag, Boomer Sooner, the Old Song and my favorite, Boola Boola.

I am dealing with Norwood Teague in the Athletic Department on another matter and he will be in charge of the jumbotron. I plan to suggest this to him as a possibility. This effort should not interfere with the alternate method described above so we could pursue both simultaneously. The worst that could happen would be for the song to be performed on the jumbotron and played by the band also. Wouldn't that be terrible. :-)

A few closing words. This may be the last call on the AZZ question. Already we have numerous younger fans who say they don't even know what we are talking about and, in a few years, no one will remember. This means we have got to give this effort our best shot because there may very well be no next time. I know that I probably will be unwilling to participate in another effort to get this done. There is no reason why we can't accomplish this but its going to take involvement by all of us if we are going to succeed. It won't do any good to bemoan the fact that you didn't participate if we fail. Based on what I have heard and read about the affection many people have for this song, I think we can succeed.

I we fail in this effort, I am going to give serious consideration to having a plane with a streamer fly over Kenan Stadium on game day with the message "Play That Song." Now you don't want to see me make a fool out of myself, do you?

Feel free to contact me or BobLee if you have questions or comments.