Long (OSUMB drum major 1969-70) remembered playing trombonium his first year in the band in an alternate slot. Recalling some of the happenings, Long said, "Try as I might I was never able to crack the starting rank. However, the experience of being alternate was far more beneficial to me than spending a season making props and handing out towels as a manager."
Very few alternates existed in the band before the mid '30's and work had to be spread equally. The duties of the drum majors up to the '40's required the practice time on the field to be for lining up and pacing formations. This left him little time for his own practicing.
The formation charts, produced on paper and carried on the practice field, were developed over the years. This accurate method of placing a bandsman in his exact position eliminated to a greater degree the drum major's responsibility of pacing formations and checking alignments, which left more time for his own show rehearsing. Also, more attention was given to the assistant drum major and close scrutiny of his training was encouraged. Speaking highly of his predecessor, Long said, "Our working relationship and personal friendship was of the highest caliber. I respected the position and needed time to improve my routines. Jack respected me and gave me full opportunity to develop my own image. I am thankful to Jack for those enjoyable years we worked together and the many good times after practice."
Long spanned two directors and two Rose Bowl trips and said the following: "During my junior and senior year while functioning as drum major, my most memorable event was when Dr. Spohn told me of his decision to leave OSU. I has grown quite fond of Charlie and hated to see him leave. I did my best to help Paul (Droste) and the band adjust to the transition. I suppose my most enjoyable events were the two trips to the Rose Bowl (1969, 1971). The first as assistant drum major, I led the band in the Rose Parade while in 1971 I performed during halftime at the game. Although different in nature, both jobs were equally taxing and yet satisfying."
"Probably the most amusing incident for me was watching Tom Johnson, in his most stately and forceful manner, trying to persuade the waiters at the Westwood (UCLA) Pizza Hut to serve us under aged band members beer with our pizza," said Long. "No matter how much resistance they put up Tom seemed to have a stronger desire for us to enjoy a beer with him than the employee's desire to comply with the state regulations."