The Men of the Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra (EAO) think big. Really big. An all-male kazoo and bucket-drum band formed in 2009 to entertain at the State of Illinois' third largest St. Patrick's Day parade, the EAO drew its inspiration from a character in the movie 'Stripes', played by popular actor and all-around funny man, Bill Murray. His character, John Winger, leads a rag-tag bunch of Army recruits in parade exercises in hilarious fashion that only Murray could pull-off.
The EAO wants Bill Murray to lead them in the 17th Annual Elmhurst St. Patrick's Day Parade, in Elmhurst, Illinois on Saturday, March 9, 2013. They have one problem - they don't know Murray and have no idea how to contact him. That's where the idea to build something really big came into play. Members of the EAO have spent the last five months designing and building 'The World's Largest Drum'. A Purdue University drum currently claims that distinction, at 8 feet in diameter. The EAO has built a drum that is 9 feet in diameter and weighs more than 500 pounds. They have adorned the drum with Murray's picture and hope this monument to the actor will entice him to appear at this year's parade. EAO Co-founder Scott Sutherland states, "We plan to send press releases all over the country in an attempt to get Mr. Murray's attention. Even if we are unable to get him to lead us, we have enjoyed building 'The World's Largest Drum'." The drum, nicknamed Mary, took more than 200 man-hours to construct. "'Mary' is definitely not a precision instrument, but she actually sounds pretty good", according to Sutherland.
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"Our group was inspired by Bill Murray and it would be our honor to have him lead us in this year's parade", notes Scott LaMorte, the group's founding drum major. "I would be glad to pass the baton to Mr. Murray." The baton LaMorte refers to is actually a decorated, two-ended toilet plunger borrowed each year from a local funeral home. The EAO is anything but conventional. The group consists of typical suburban males whose vocations include funeral director, lawyer, handyman, investment professional, auto repair shop owner, banker, pastor and many more. Members dress in crazy outfits that include unconventional hats, sleeveless t-shirts, shorts and tall dark socks. In addition to kazoos and bucket-drums, their repertoire includes washboards, vuvuzelas, pot lids and the ever-popular cowbell. This year, in addition to the 'World's Largest Drum', they are introducing the Stumpf Fiddle. Their sheet music is written on rolls of toilet paper hung around their necks. Most members have no formal music or marching experience, but share the desire to make people laugh and smile.
Mr. Murray, if you choose to honor the EAO with your presence, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630)359-6565 . More information is available at the parade website, www.elmhurststpatsparade.com.