South Bend, Ind. – Pertu’s famous giant bass drum got into a heated argument before the road game at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday.
After being told that the world’s largest drum will not be allowed into the playground through the home entrance of Notre Dame Stadium, Purdue’s All-American Band 1 will play its half-time performance without drums for the first time since 1979. Purdue spokesman Aaron Yoder said Friday that the band still planned to bring in grand drums and keep them outside the stadium “for fans to enjoy before the game.”
But a Notre Dame official told ESPN on Friday that Purdue had not been contacted by the university requesting permission to bring the drums to campus and was confident he would not be there.
The differences between the institute schools are the result of the renovation of Notre Dame’s stadium in 2017, which added a visitor tunnel for the opposition team and the marching band. Prior to that, the Irish fighters and their opponents had just entered through a tunnel, creating a logistical nightmare.
The largest drum in the world is too high to pass through a small visitors tunnel.
“We’ve been told that visiting teams and bands will have to use a separate tunnel that’s too small,” said Yoder, a spokesman for the university’s band and orchestra. “Our drum is about 10 feet high on his car and weighs 565 pounds so he doesn’t come very close to fitting into this other tunnel.”
A Notre Dame official said the Irish had provided more than 400 tickets for Purdue’s marching band, more than double the number given for the Toledo band last week. Boiler makers last played in 2012 in the South Bend.
The world’s largest drum, first built in 1921, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The band’s last appearance was in 1979, when it disappeared from storage the night before Purdue Northwestern. It was later found behind the air conditioner in an area accessible only by a ladder, suggesting that it had been stolen and moved.
According to Purdue, on the day of the train journey, drum-bound band director Paul Spots Americk worked with the New York Central Railway to find trains. It now usually travels behind a pickup truck.