It's that time of year again Blues fans. While most NHL teams are focused on building team chemistry and engaging their fans, the Blues are again taking their fans for granted while distracting themselves from the bigger problems that plague the team. The St. Louis Blues are a team with a great history. They began this history with a play-to-win mindset and found themselves playing deep into the playoffs, something that they have not been able to do in many years.
Over the years many traditions have been adopted and cherished by the Blues and their fans, but one in particular dates all the way back to the inaugural season. The Blues hit the ice greeted by a full house of fans full of anticipation that was created in part by the Blues original organist, Norm Kramer. The Blues goal song was "When The Blues Go Marching In" and the crowd would sing along with excitement as the team celebrated on the ice.
There have been different organists over the years, and there was even stretch of time where the organ music was recorded/programmed music. All along the goal horn remained "When The Blues Go Marching In" though the lack of personality behind the music and nobody to play just that right song at the right moment took a toll on the atmosphere. It was the one time where fans struggled to embrace the organ and seemed to set up several attempts by the Blues management to put some energy back in the building following a Blues goal.
In the early 2000's, management tried at least twice, to use a locally recorded rock instrumental version of WTBGMI, but both times were met with strong opposition by the fans. A few years later they even tried to replace the goal song again through a fan poll. To the team's credit, it was the one time they actually seemed to respect the fact that the fan's should have a say in the team's traditions. This attempt ultimately failed too and the organ version returned. All the while, the in game organ music was scarce and lacked emotion.
2007 marked the return of live organ music to Blues games with the hiring of Southeast Missouri State Alumni Jeremy Boyer. Soon Blues games had a new excitement with a traditional sound that featured an array of old and new elements. Boyer played new songs and crowd prompts to bring noise and enthusiasm to the building, while continuing to play traditional hockey songs and long time St. Louis Blues fan favorites as well. He may have put his own spin on the goal song among many other songs but if you really listen you can also hear some inspiration from previous organ greats like Norm Kramer and Ernie Hays. Since Boyer took over the organ has taken on a new life and has been making fans cheer ever since.
Last season, the Blues once again decided to replace the goal song and they did so by using "Tick Tick Boom" in one of the pre-season games, likely as a test to see how fans would react. It is truely a shame that the management felt the need to test this on the fans as by now you would have to think they would know their fans well enough. They did not though and the reaction on social media was not at all favorable to say the least. The Blues quickly changed back to our traditional organ version and issued a statement which, among other things, promised that "our signature organ music will remain a key feature of our game experience." Can view the full statement here.
That was not the end of the drama for last season though. A couple months later fans noticed someone else was playing the organ. The goal song sounded terrible and the energy created by the new music was not up to the high standards we had become familiar with which lead to the #SaveTheOrganist campaign. To be honest the conclusion to that drama only came over time as Boyer resumed playing the organ several games in a row and no further attempts to replace him were made.
That brings us to this season. I would never have expected this to happen again just one year later. I thought last year should have proved how much the fans value our organ and our organist. Here we are again though. It has come to several people's attention that their had been a lot less organ music at the games the last week or two. I dont know what the motivation was behind this but if they were hoping to change something quietly, they failed miserably last night when an empty net goal was scored and the goal song was replaced with a Black Eyed Peas song. That moment led to a large number of tweets ranging from anger to disbelieve and a feeling of betrayal by a team who has once again taken it's fans for granted.
So it comes to this again. It is time to remind the Blues management of how important our traditions are. It is time to understand that while you as an employee or owner of the team may prefer an endless supply of canned music, there are 19,000 fans filling your arena every game that are paying far to much to simply be entertained by what they already here on their radios. We want our organ music back, both for goals and throughout the game to pump up the crowd and we want our organist. If there is any part of you that wishes to keep your fans happy, the answer is as simple as that.
I believe @forestlivemuz sums it up best here...
Below are some examples of the support the organ has received in the past, from Blues fans and believe it or not, even other teams fans.@FrozenFaceoff @StLouisBlues @jprutherford at the very least, a loyal fanbase should be rewarded with loyalty to highly-valued traditions— Forest Life (@forestlifemuz) November 29, 2015
i have a hard time truly hating the blues because i love their organist so damn much— steph of ní (@SteveHouse11) November 2, 2014
The man, the myth, the LEGEND @JABsMusic rockin the Scott. Nobody does it better! #stlblues pic.twitter.com/opoGjQzdD4— Dan Reilly (@danreilly) November 17, 2015
So fans, please continue to tweet @StLouisBlues and include #STLBlues #NHL and #SaveTheOrgan in your tweets.I approve of "The Trooper" as between-plays music but would rather hear @JABsMusic actually play it.— Paperwork Ninja (@PaperworkNinja) October 18, 2015
Please also take a moment to sign this petition started by another die-hard Blues fan.
Also below is the Blues contact information page.