Organized tailgating chaos


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Taylor Gould doesn’t have a hot dog and a Coke in her hand at Hawkeye football tailgating events. But she does have a mellophone.

The 18-year-old University of Iowa freshman is a member of her father’s tailgating band, which frequents each home game and features Greg Young on trumpet, Mike Gould on trombone, and Dave Griggs and Ben Leu on sousaphone.

Occasionally, the wives and children of the band members join in the festivities by playing percussion — cow bells. The group has played everything from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to “Happy Birthday” to the “Iowa Fight Song,” as well as many other fan requests.

“You know, most people wouldn’t be caught dead with their parents, especially in a band, but I love being able to play with my dad,” Taylor Gould said. “It’s a lot of fun, and it really gives [us] a chance to bond over something we both love: music.”

The one thing that makes their tailgating band different than the other performers is that they aren’t focused on the press or fame they receive.

“One of the best things about playing at these events are the little kids that come up all wide-eyed and excited asking what we’re playing; it’s really great to see the kids interested,” Taylor Gould said.
She said one of the best things about performing at the football games is the spirited atmosphere.

“Seeing everyone get together with the common love of Hawkeye football really makes playing in this band worth it,” she said. “Everyone really gets excited for both the games and the tailgating before, and our band playing for them just pumps them up even more.”

Father Mike Gould said he admires his daughter’s enthusiasm.

“I really appreciate all of Taylor’s hard work and great attitude,” he said. “She and I can support the Hawkeyes together as both fans and family.”

Not only is Gould’s father proud to have her and her mellophone in the band, her other bandmates have taken the new addition well.

“Having Taylor in the band has been great,” Young said, “ it’s been a real treat to watch her grow up and now see her attending the University of Iowa as we all did.”

Because the Tailgating Band plays at every game, Taylor Gould said, they are welcomed with open arms. She said the fans often offer the band members food and drink as a thank-you for entertaining them.

“I would describe the band in three words: exciting, organized chaos,” Taylor Gould said, smiling.

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