It was a blustery day: October 2002, some argue the 5th, others swear by the 22nd. No matter the numeric designation, something was on the verge of happening. The spirit of Jumbo knew it; his ashes tingled with excitement. Listening closely, one could just make out the cry of a freshman, piercing through the crisp autumn air, thick with active citizenship. It was on this day that B.E.A.T S., ?bangin? on everything at Tufts,? was founded. There, in depths of the bunker known as the basement of Aidekman arts building, a handful of the best and the banginest of the class of 2006 came together to create what is now a Tufts recognized student percussion group. The sonic energy emanating from this first B.E.A.T.S gathering was enormous — powerful enough, in fact, to be detected from the international space station.
The group steadily began to convene every Wednesday evening to put together a set of jams. It didn’t take long for the group to get it together. Legend has it, the first B.E.A.T S. show went down the next year, January 31, 2003, an AIDS outreach concert held in Dewich MacPhie dining hall, a suitable venue considering B.E.A.T S. appropriation of the space as the haven for 4/20 celebrators for years to come. From here on, B.E.A.T S. has been appreciatively performing with groups and organizations on Tufts campus, grateful for any and all invitation to play.
Nicknames were quickly developed for the founders, which unfolded into a tradition that occurred for all members at initiation and has carried through today. The confidential process of naming is not open for discussion, but it is said that a strange combination of free association, drawing, sing and dance, and meditation is involved. Founding member Vijay Nathan acquired the name Tuna can because of his so-shaped genitalia, so they say.
Fall of 2004 the Mukanda nation was discovered and with the discovery of a supportive motherland, B.E.A.T S. was able to come together more fully. This led to three important events:
1. The International Orientation and Gantcher show catapult B.E.A.T S. to fame (But does it go to the members? heads? No. They keep their cool amidst the glory).
2. The creation of 50 Rupee, invention of Dr. Vodka in the fall of 2005 and a BBQ at South after elections at Arch’s house, ushering directly to?
3. The first ever 4/20 show (2005). Not yet a Dewick tradition, the show was played in Hotung. Needless to say, it was monumental, and set about what would become an important cultural institution on Tufts campus. Since then, B E.A.T S. continues to play on campus and off, ever-eager to bang on anything, and hopes to continue doing so throughout time and space.
There have been more recent developments, as well. For instance, B.E.A.T.S-year 2006-2007 was a pivotal year. Under the leadership of President Fresh Bread supported by her chief of staff, Shoehorn, an annual B.E.A.T.S retreat tradition was born weighing 10 lbs and green and yellow eyes —really cute. Also, in the fall, B.E.A.T.S found a Closet, in a very central location. The Closet functioned as a home, a drum silo, and a strategic control center. It took pressure of the backs of B.E.A.T.S members and the Shoevan; see, up until that point, heavy buckets and machinery had to be schleped across campus to every B.E.A.T.S practice and performance. No longer. No longer. Now, schelping only for performances…
As great as it was, the closet proved not to be smooth sailing. It was temporarily out-of-order later that year due to the Great Flood of Aidekman in 2007. Robinki immediately stepped up to the plate and generously offered the Crafts center basement as a makeshift closet. In 2009, the B.E.A.T.S Closet again faced a new challenge: Paternity tests revealed that the Closet was the child of The Drama Department. After a strong protest, B.E.A.T.S chose to retire its beloved Closet and move to a secret location.
Finally the history was written, January 27th 2010, a determined attempt to alter the BEATS website – an ongoing hypothetical project – from theory to practice