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  • Lily Meline

Hawkeye Marching Band Pays Tribute to The Living Tombstone

hawkeye marching band living tombstone

Mister Rogers, Bob Ross, Bella Thorne, and The Living Tombstone. What do all of these historical figures have in common? The answer is clear: if you were born after 9/11, these were the most influential figures of your childhood. Don’t try to deny it, if you’ve been on the internet long enough, you’re going to have a reaction to the phrase, “I’m not a fan of puppeteers,” whether or not you know why.

That’s right! Only real gen-z kids will remember Yoav Landau, better known by his internet persona, The Living Tombstone. For the past thirteen years, this mysterious man has been producing remixes and original songs alike, all with a deeply infectious digital sound. Although he’s made some songs that are purely his––including that “My Ordinary Life” song that I totally liked way before it became popular on TikTok 🙄––most of his songs are based on some kind of video game or cartoon. Remember the “I’m already Tracer” trend? That was from his song about Overwatch. Have you found any particularly edgy animations of Splatoon characters? They were more likely than not inspired by one of his songs. Were you into My Little Pony at any point between 2010 and 2014? Firstly, my condolences, and secondly, you’ve definitely heard one of his songs.

The fanbase that he’s undeniably had the biggest impact on, however, would have to be the fans of the Five Nights at Freddy’s video game series. Without The Living Tombstone, those evil animatronic enthusiasts would not be what they are today. For Afton’s sake, his first released FNAF song has over 300 million views! It’s just like Amadeus Mozart said, “There’s truly no better music than that of a basement dweller’s loud-ass dubstep set to people yelling about a robot bear.”

So, with a heavy heart, I must inform this beloved community that The Living Tombstone was pronounced dead last Tuesday night after partying a bit too hard. Yes, you heard it here first, The Living Tombstone has become, well, The Tombstone. I would say that he died too young, but apparently he was 32, so he basically had one foot in the grave anyway.

Upon hearing this devastating news, the Hawkeye Marching Band knew that they had to honor this national hero in any way that they could. Learning one of his songs wouldn’t be enough for such a legend, they’d have to go above and beyond. They could hold a tribute concert, but even if they held it in Hancher’s biggest auditorium, there’s no way it would reach enough people. No, they’d have to perform it where absolutely everyone would see them, all across the state. They’d have to perform their tribute concert at the big football game.

Within the span of three days, the Hawkeye Marching Band had scrounged together a musical arrangement for The Living Tombstone’s twenty-five most popular songs in preparation for the big game. When the day arrived, the 275 members of the band walked solemnly onto the field, gripping their instruments tightly. The band’s director, Eric Bush, pulled a microphone from his pocket to address the audience with.

“Good afternoon, Hawkeyes. I’m sure most of you have heard the tragic news of The Living Tombstone’s passing. We’d be remiss if we didn’t commemorate such a musical icon, especially after all he’s done for me as a Mangle kinnie. So, without further ado, a tribute to a once-in-a-lifetime talent,” he announced, his voice cracking in the last few words.

Behind him, the band raised their instruments and began to play. The first few notes of “It’s Been So Long” rang out across the stadium, and immediately everyone there was in tears. By the end of the song, all the people in the stadium were singing along.

“Since you've been gone /

I've been singing this stupid song so I could ponder /

The sanity of your mother.”

A roaring round of applause burst through the crowd as the final notes sounded. Then, after giving the band five seconds to catch their breath, the next song began to play, “Die in a Fire.” The cheers grew even louder, the sound level the greatest Kinnick Stadium had ever witnessed. Beer-drunk dads pulled out their lighters and waved them high in the air. The cool fall air was made warm as thousands of people made themselves heard, desperately hoping their song would reach The Living Tombstone in the heavens above.

The reverberations from the instruments and everyone’s singing was proving to be too much for the bleachers. One of the stadium’s technicians tried desperately to cease the commotion by cutting the band’s speaker, but at that point, the band had already been going so hard that they could be heard by everyone even without the speakers.

Well, the technician thought to himself, as long as the band doesn’t play any fan favorites, we should be good.

At that moment, a familiar intro was heard emanating from the midst of the stadium. Then, with a blast––


And just like that, Kinnick Stadium sank into the ground. At least we can live in the solace that everyone in the stadium has now joined The Living Tombstone up in the stars.


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