Marching Bands Make Me Cry
Hearing Drumbeats and Choosing Your Tribe

Have you ever met people whose chosen careers did not sit well on them, to whom you wanted to say, “It seems from over here you’re not really well suited for this kind of work”? Well, I was one of those people, and I was doing the best I could. Eventually (and fortunately for the people around me), the influences of certain people I knew in my early years rose out of the past to help me put myself on a more appropriate track, and I wrote a little book to honor them for what they did. It’s called “Marching Bands Make Me Cry: Hearing Drumbeats and Choosing Your Tribe.” It’s about being raised Victorian during the McCarthy era. It’s about people who challenged me to a different world view. But mostly it’s about those other people who helped me to become the guy I was in the first place.

-Bob Brodsky

Readers' comments

"... a courageous coming to grips with the post-Christian perplexity."

- Lew Austin, teacher

"...about a left-wing, liberal, trouble-making nice guy who has the nerve to be civil to black people. ."

- Richard Pendleton, writer and librarian

"The split pants incident was rich, the photo even funnier."

- Andrew Mungo, theater owner

"How much different the world might be if we could all open our lives to others as you have done. "

- Elizabeth H., retired teacher

"It is not like most autobiographies; it is much more than that. "

- Carol A., musician

"I couldn’t resume my normal activities until I finished your handiwork."

- Jim Muir, retired church administrator

"Your reflection on faith was most moving, particularly in this time when there is a great deal of blathering about faith and little or no caring or compassion (a word our leaders are fond of using frequently but clearly don’t understand)."

- Eileen

"The visual self comes through even in your prose! "

- M-J, psychologist

"It’s a wonderfully honest and moving piece, full of wisdom and gentle indignation. May it travel far and wide."

- Peter M., documentary producer


The book is divided into five sections corresponding to five different modes of drumming or rudiments:

  • "Flams" ---drum beats one can’t ignore
  • "Ruffs" ---Mom and Dad’s predictable rudiments
  • "Paradiddles" ---even beats, yet different
  • "Syncopations" ---disruptions that affect your breathing
  • "Hand Drumming" ---drumming to embrace the terror.

Go here for text excerpts.

Go here for sample photo pages.


please send a check for US $20.00 and your mailing address to

Brodsky & Treadway
PO Box 335
Rowley MA 01969 USA

Discounts are available to booksellers, teachers, and book clubs. A discussion guide is available. We prefer telephone if you have complicated questions: please call 978 948 7985, hours 9-6 EST. Or contact us electronically by inserting the standard symbols into this address: Brodsky at LittleFilm dot ORG Please reference the book in the subject line as MBMMC. Thank you!

All right reserved, copyright 2005, Robert P. Brodsky.