Updated Dec 5, 2023
The Crawdad Wranglers at the
by Ryan Thomson
The Astrazeneca company is a huge outfit involved in pharmaceuticals and medical products. My cajun band, the Crawdad Wranglers, was hired to entertain at a large outdoor employee party at the company's Massachusetts headquarters. We were told to "look for the pyramid," on the way to the site. Sure enough, we could see a huge, blue, pyramid shaped building from several miles away.
When we arrived, we discovered that we were only one small part of an elaborate presentation involving entertainment of many varieties. We had brought our sound system, amps for the guitar and bass, and our microphones. When we began to unpack we were told that our equipment wouldn't be needed since we were to "lead the parade." "What parade?" we asked.
The organizers had come up with the idea that the Crawdad Wranglers would lead a group of actresses in colorful costumes in a grand parade from the parking lot to an open field behind the pyramid building where there were tents and booths in sort of a carnival setting. But since the employees were due to arrive in busses, in shifts, our continuing mission was to go out to the parking lot and lead groups of them to the party area. Well, so much for the electric guitar and bass since they aren't particularly portable. Luckily I had my trusty accordion and a few percussion instruments to pass out to the bass and guitar player.
We never got to actually perform as a band, but then, we served our time effectively, providing a party ambience, and I suppose that the employees had a great time. On our breaks I wandered over to the area where a group of hired stunt bicycle riders did flips and and other aerial maneuvers. When the Astrazenaca company throws a party, they don't hold back!
Written by Ryan Thomson, 1997