3.18.2010

HELLDRIVERS NOT JUST A BAR BAND!



THE HELLDRIVERS!

This Friday Come on out!


The Helldrivers are a group of unbelievable musicians and when they play... the crowd is transfixed as they are watching history come to life! If you ever get a chance to see Jimmy McCarty and Johnny BEE play together consider yourself ultra lucky! Jeez these guys blew out Alvin's on Cass last Christmas and I have never had a better time watching live rock and roll.

I love the Howling Diablos and Tino too but when I stood just feet away from Bee and Jimmy and I could hardly hold the camera still. Go see these guys! Sorry Brett even though you say they are the "greatestes" bar band,The Helldrivers are no bar band. These are the MASTERS of Rock n Roll and not just in Detroit.

I am an Army kid from the Detroit area and heard these guys all over the US and I still get chills hearing them play. The very first 45 I bought in 1966 was The Detroit Wheels and well the rest is HISTORY. KIMMER

Listen to them playing live HERE feel free to grab their widget for your pages and blogs too!


16 comments:

David Earl Stark said...

"damn I need to visit Detroit.......again and again!!!!!!"

Lori said...

Calling The Hell Drivers just another great bar band is like calling a Shelby Mustang just another car made in Detroit.

These guys are awesome!! I've seen bands half their age that can't begin to rock it out like the HDs. Don't even THINK bar band. Come out and see them for yourself and you'll know.

The Hell Drivers are playing, tonight, Friday March 19, at Callahans.

Brett Callwood said...

Since when has 'bar band' been an insult?
Callahans, by the way, is a bar.

Brett Callwood said...

Hey Kim,
hope you're well.

I was just reading your blog and it got me thinking,

do you really think that the Hell Drivers are the masters of rock 'n' roll?

Remember, I'm not talking about Johnny Bee and Jimmy McCarty as individuals, I'm not talking about the Rockets or the Detroit Wheels or Cactus, I'm talking about this new band called the Hell Drivers. The masters?

When I said "Detroit bar band", to me that's a compliment. The Hell Drivers as yet haven't released any original material, so I don't see how that band can be masters. Maybe that's where we differ, but to me original material is the key.

When the Hell Drivers release a cd of new songs, I will totally reevaluate, but surely a band playing songs by the members' old bands in Detroit bars is the very definition of a Detroit bar band? I mean that in a good way. I think that they're awesome and I love hearing those old Rockets and Mitch Ryder tunes. I just think that, for a band to be considered masters, they have to be doing something fresh.

I'm just curious. I respect your opinion though.

Brett
x

RetroKimmer said...

Well it wasn't meant as a personal affront to you in anyway, but that band is not the Helldrivers to me. They are the Detroit Wheels. Too many have died and half are gone in both bands. But I do believe McCarty, Bee Marvin are Masters. Jim is good but the new guy. It was a knee jerk reaction when I read your story last night. Those guys are my heroes along with Ron Cooke since I was 9 years old. The Rockets were not masters but the Detroit Wheels are.... Cheers mate!

Brett Callwood said...

I don't think Ron Cooke was ever in the Detroit Wheels. He was in the spin-off band, just called Detroit.
Earl Elliot and Jim McCallister were the two bass players in the Detroit Wheels.

Mitch, Bee and Cooke played as Mitch Ryder's Detroit. McCarty wasn't in that band.

But you see, I had to look at the Hell Drivers as a new band.

RetroKimmer said...

I forgot a bar band to us is not a compliment it implies a band that plays covers of other peoples music almost like karaoke. This guys play only one cover Money. Very well I might add. The MC5 covered everybody under the sun yet have a legendary status. I think they Helldrivers have a hard time trying to decide what name to use? New Rockets? New Wheels? Combination Rocket Wheels? sigh... So I am defending my heroes which are Jimmy and BEE mostly. Sorry if I flamed out. I will apologize and post your explanation too if that's ok.

Brett Callwood said...

Really the only difference is Ron Cooke on bass and Mitch Ryder who has a FAKE Detroit wheels cover band and don't even get me started on that one!

Brett Callwood said...

Oh hey, I didn't take it personally.

I love debating this stuff. It keeps my blood pumping.

I agree that McCarty and Bee are masters. Legends. Close to genius, actually.

I disagree strongly that the Hell Drivers are the Detroit Wheels.

You know what they say though - opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.

;)

RetroKimmer said...

The Rollings Stones played in bars and a lot of famous bands still do the small clubs. I mistook the term "bar band" and mediocre amateurish band. the Helldrivers are really tight and fantastic to watch.

brett callwood said...

Oh hey, I didn't take it personally.

I love debating this stuff. It keeps my blood pumping.

I agree that McCarty and Bee are masters. Legends. Close to genius, actually.

I disagree strongly that the Hell Drivers are the Detroit Wheels.

You know what they say though - opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.

;)

AL KING said...

Jim Mcarty isnt really that underrated, hes one best guitarist in Detroit at least 7 times. Ask anyone from around here that plays guitar and they will tell you hes influenced them. As for Bee.....check out his discography, speaks for itself. Do your self a favor and see these guys play live, there great!

Brett Callwood said...

I know they're a great band Al.
How good they are as musicians isn't and has never been in question, brother.
My point is that you can't judge the Hell Drivers based on the Detroit Wheels or the Rockets. You have to judge them purely on the original material of the Hell Drivers. If Powertrane were only playing Rationals songs, I'd say the same thing, but Powertrane's original songs are awesome.
See what I'm saying?
They're billing themselves as a new band, so they have to be judged as a new band.

Like I say, I think the Hell Drivers are amazing. Great guys, great players. But until the original songs in the set outnumber the oldies, they'll be a bar band to me. I don't mean that as an insult either. It's just a fact.

Brett Callwood said...

Even in Detroit, I have found that 'bar band' has varying definitions.

People I have spoken to from '60s and '70s Detroit rock n roll bands think that 'bar band' has no negative implications. Other people do.

It seems I have uncovered a grey area.

Jim McCarty called me a "fucking Lester Bangs wannabe" on the phone. I thanked him for the compliment. Of course any music writer worth a shit is a Bangs wannabe. That's like me calling McCarty a Buddy Guy or BB King wannabe. Of course he is. We learn from the masters.

End of the day, bottom line, I don't write features to polish egos or even to make friends. Lester Bangs said "a good music journalist builds his reputation by being merciless and honest". I live by that mantra.
Bangs also said "don't make friends with the bands". That's harder to stick to, but he had a point. People only end up getting upset when they don't like what you say.

I write to convey my considered, acclaimed and educated opinion. If I get side-tracked by the idea that somebody with a reputation won't like it, I'm not doing my readers or the bands justice.

(I'm having so much fun with this)

BC

RetroKimmer said...

Since it's my blog and I get the final word, I'll say this... the Helldrivers band that consists of legendary Detroit rockers will be releasing new music soon and then will escape the term "bar band" Detroit fans were defensive over the members being referred to that term as it has amateurish connotations. But after many emails and phone conversation with Mr. Callwood, I understand his view.

Pats Upina said...

Are doing Mitch and Rockets songs really covers? And so what if they do several covers? They rock out! They are an entertaining as hell live band. They draw big crowds. To keep calling them a bar band is a cheap shot. They are unique even if they do a lot of covers. At this point, Jim McCarty and Johnny B don't have to explain themselves and the kind of songs they enjoy playing.

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