April 28, 2010

HEATHER HARRIS AT THE STOOGES RAW POWER PREMIERE!

James Williamson and Heather Harris photo: Evita

I was totally thrilled to finally see my far away in LA friend Heather Harris step out from behind her fantastic camera! She looks beautifully blonde next to James Williamson. Heather took some gorgeous photographs of James that were just fantastic. See the Heather Harris gallery on James Williamson's website HERE

Heather really is a huge fan of The Stooges so I know she was in her element at the invitation only premiere on Monday April 26. Read Heather's story on her evening on her blog HERE


Richard Meade, Dire McCain James Williamson Evita

April 27, 2010

RETRO: KIMMER LOVES CHER!


In a daring lavender gown designed by Bob Mackie, Cher doll achieves incredible likeness to her namesake. True-to-life details include authentic face sculpting, dramatic face paint, and a gorgeous mane of black hair. And the dress - a stunning lavender ensemble fit for this legendary entertainer. Criss-cross halter, floor-length skirt, and a fabulous feather boa make a bold statement. Silvery swirled detailing accents the gown, adding just the right amount of sparkle to this already breathtaking doll.


Today I thought I'd post something fun about one of my favorite stars of all time and the gorgeous doll I own of CHER! The Timeless lavender dress by Bob Mackie is a fantastic doll.
The first time I saw this doll was on an episode of Will and Grace. Jack bought this doll for Will's birthday knowing that Will wouldn't want it so he would keep it!

I loved the doll instantly and began my long search to find one. Mattel had just released the doll but there was not one available on a store shelf anywhere. I finally found one from Singapore and sent away for it. I paid 49.99 plus shipping for the doll. She is worth much more now. I have seen it as high as 500.00 mint in box which mine is too. My favorite Cher film is Moonstruck! Cher fought the producers to have Nic Cage play Ronny and what a brilliant piece of casting! Everyone was fantastic in this film. Olivia Dukakis as Loretta's mother was so funny! PUT SOME MAKEUP ON THAT THING!
The early Cher was the best! No one looked or sang like her. The eyeliner, the long black hair, those huge bell bottoms and fur vests! What a 1960's icon! The TV show and Bob Mackie dresses really made the Sonny and Cher show sparkle. We tuned in every week just to see her clothes. Like watching the Oscars every week. Several actresses wore this almost nude Bob Mackie dress below but no one pulled it off (on?) like CHER!
Some very cool sketches of Cher's dresses by the fabulous Bob Mackie (nice name) he was really having a great time with her as his muse. More on Bob's website HERE

April 25, 2010

COACHVILLE TRAILER PARK 2010


 
A lot of my readers are big Stooges and Iggy fans I decided to shoot a few photos to show them was it looks like around here (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Michigan)


At the suggestion of my friend Heather Harris, I just finished reading Open Up and Bleed the biography of James Newell Osterberg Jr. (Iggy Pop) by Paul Trynka. This book was fantastic and so well done for an author from the UK (any author for that matter). It was the best book! Just loved it and Heather does too.

It brought up a lot of memories for me although I am a bit younger than Jim and the Stooges I did see them around Second Chance. It made me want to get my cameras out and go shoot landmarks as they appear now. I started with Coachville.

Scott Morgan and I plan to shoot more this summer around where the Rationals, Sonic's Rendezvous and all his other bands played and lived. The landmarks and the history of Ann Arbor rock n roll is best told by the Master himself and Scott remembers it all!


\
Mark Sisto (The Visitors Radio Birdman) was in town and we took a little tour around the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area. I drove Mark through the Coachville Park as I had never been through it myself! After spending my entire life living here I must have driven by this tiny park thousands of times and never noticed it. My friend Doug Davis is one of the owners of Miles of Golf where Jim played golf with his dad.


In the old days of the 1960s the park had such small old time trailers like the Long Long Trailer Lucy and Ricky took to Hollywood and some of the larger ones were actual trailers. From what I have read, the trailer Jim lived in was so small it would be more of an RV than a trailer. Not sure maybe it was a full trailer but I heard something about it being like 30 feet long. With three people that was an awfully tiny place to live.


This area of Carpenter Rd is and (was) considered Ann Arbor or more specifically Pittsfield township, not Ypsilanti. The real cross road from Ypsilanti into Ann Arbor is Golfside just west of the Washtenaw Country Club. I grew up in Country Club Park a subdivision built between Packard Rd and Hewitt Rd. This was definitely the West Side of Ypsilanti.

Washtenaw County is a strange place to grow up for all of us natives. Lately I have had several conversations with people, (some famous rockers) some normal fans, about whether or not Jim (Iggy) grew up with his parents in Ypsilanti. Michigan. He did not.

Jim went to Carpenter Elementary School, Tappan Junior High and Pioneer High School all ann Arbor Schools. My point being.. Jim was never from Ypsilanti he was was Pittsfield Township Ann Arbor . I can see why he rather claim Ypsilanti though! We were much more rebellious, blue collar, and down to earth people. Ypsi had it's own code of behavior and I am proud to be born and raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan.



One thing that made no sense to me from Paul's book was why did Jim's parents the Osterbergs (both gainfully employed) choose to raise their one child in this tiny trailer park? The stigma from living in trailer parks continues to this day. Even though they call them a nicer term (Manufactured Home Communities). I live in one with one teen age daughter because I am a single mom and need the cheap rent to afford the money it takes to care of a teenage girl (!!!!$$$$)

But Jim's parents had a lot more money with the two incomes so WHY did they not move to a better home so their son would not have to grow up in snobby Ann Arbor with that trailer park Stigma?? Jim had to go to the richest kid Jr. High School, Tappan and that had to be really brutal on him.

This environment must have taught him his skills in performing along with his anger and rebellion. Just my opinion.


Nice cozy little park where Jim grew up across from the old Carpenter elementary school which was moved to Central Street in a newer subdivision.

I highly recommend you buy this book! Click on the link below and you can get a new or used copy. Just don't lend it to ANYONE! You'll never get it back!


April 22, 2010

PAYCHECKS BENEFIT FOR BOOTSEY X



Enjoy this very rare video of Bootsey by Big Rich Dorris

You can't miss this line up! OMG Margaret Doll Rod! I have been waiting over a year to see her witH Circusboy, It sounds like a really wild tribute for Bootsey and I am sure there will be a ton of frenzy everywhere!

Skid and Margaret Doll Rod

Check out Margaret Doll Rod with Circus Boy!


A Benefit For Bootsey X
featuring
The 3-D Invisible s
Margaret Doll Rod
Circus Boy
Cinecyde
Brother Crimewave
Foxy Fearless
Cover 5.00

April 21, 2010

THE FANTASTIC ART OF PHIL LEWIS


I first saw the Art of Phil Lewis on Myspace years ago. He uses a similar technique that my duaghter Lesley uses. They combine drawing with sharpies, prisma markers and then use photoshop on the images too. This makes the colors just POP off the canvas or board.


Phil's detail reminds me a bit of one of my favorite artists of all time Peter Max. Phil's imagination knows no boundaries. You can look at his images for hours and still find something new in the picture. The actual work and a different work on the computer at the same time. Interesting ways to use multi-media to create such bright beautiful art.


About Phil: His Website is HERE
Throughout my life I have felt a special connection with nature, and being outdoors inspires me to create. The amazing scenery in Colorado has certainly fueled this inspiration, and the surrounding landscapes appear frequently in my work. In addition to drawing the things I see around me, I also like to draw the things I come up with on my own. To imagine is the most fun.

Lately I have been developing a style of artwork that combines pen drawings and digital design. I have always appreciated the raw nature of pens on paper, but I am also intrigued with the endless possibilities that the digital canvas provides. By combining the two I feel it is possible to create images that feel both organic, and state-of-the-art at the same time.

I am truly grateful for the ability to create this art, and through it, I hope to bring as much positive energy into the world as I can.

HELLDRIVERS GREAT DETROIT ROCK BAND PERIOD


Helldrivers Rockets Tribute photo: Dan Sultana


The only problem with the article from the beginning was Brett using the term "bar band" Here is a of definition of that term:

1. bar band
A band that plays primarily in bars and always sounds better when the audience (and most of the time) the band is drunk. They are usually extremely entertaining and have a lot of novelty songs, written to get a laugh. They are not always that talented, but it doesn't really matter.


This is why the band members and fans took exception to Brett's use of the term Bar Band in reference to the Helldrivers who are all seasoned and well traveled musicians.

Brett writes beautifully and the article was a positive one to be sure. I think it was a knee jerk reaction to that Bar Band term. End of Story.


From the Current Metro Times:

Best Bar Band
The Hell Drivers

OK, before their fans grab their weapons of choice and storm the MT offices like the final scene out of Frankenstein, we're not trying to be cute or deliberately mean ... but just attempting to prove a point, MT was flooded with letters when Brett Callwood described this group of mostly Detroit all-stars as perhaps the city's "best bar band."

You'd have thought we said they sucked. But we want to emphasize that this was not an insult or intended as such. We were, after all, big fans of the Detroit Wheels, Mitch Ryder & Detroit, Cactus and the Rockets and full of respect. But we also consider a bar band — especially "best" bar band — to be a compliment.

Springsteen & the E Street Band called themselves a "bar band" for years, even after they were selling out arenas. The Smithereens still call themselves a bar band. And George Harrison once said the Beatles were never better than when they were a "bar band," playing clubs in Liverpool and Germany. We'd hate to see what would have happened if we'd really have been intent on insulting these killer Detroit musicians (though we still do think they should drop the Iggy cover ...). (We think it's a Ron Asheton cover....)


April 20, 2010

JIM MCCARTY & tHE MYSTERY TRAIN MAY 1!



Looks like I will be hanging out at Guy Hollerins two weeks in a row! If you are in the Ann Arbor area and have never seen this man play, you GOTTA come out! The legendary Jimmy McCarty famous lead guitarist for the Detroit Wheels, The Rockets, and of late the Helldrivers one of my favorite bands! Jim will be in Ann Arbor with The Mystery Train. I have not seen this band but I can't wait to see them!

The Rockets were just awarded a lifetime achievement award and you can read my post on the ceremony HERE

SATURDAY NIGHT MAY 1
LOCAL BLUES AND LOCAL BREWS

Music and dancing will be starting at 8:00pm,
Cover Charge will be $5.00 starting at 7:00pm-12am

Guy Hollerins
3600 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2660
(734) 769-4323
Directions

April 18, 2010

LAURA GRIMSHAW AND GARY'S BENEFIT 2


Stanley T. Madhatter and Laura Grimshaw

I wasn't supposed to attend the second Gary Grimshaw benefit last night as I was spending Record Day with Scott Morgan autographing his new EP Rationalism at Street Records in Oak Park.

At about 6pm I was almost home and my cell went off and Stanley T. Madhatter asked me to attend the event with him. I tried to beg off as I was already tired from driving back from Oak Park but you all know Stan! Stan plus my friends of the Howling Diablos were going to appear as well.

So I grabbed a new memory stick for the camera and went to Ypsi to pick up the Emcee himself. Stan drives so I just ride along and relax. He knows every landmark and business in Detroit so there is no getting lost with Stan at the wheel.

Saw a lot of Detroiters there and some RK readers were there too. My happiest moment was when Laura Grimshaw found me in the darkest part of the room and came up to thank me for promoting Gary's work online with Big Rich Dorris.

Laura was handing out carnations and started to give me one and then smiled at me and gave me the whole bouquet! How sweet! She said I deserved them all. She was very excited that Gary maybe coming home in June and had a lot of positive news about Gary's health. Making the trip to Detroit twice in one day was totally worthwhile. xxoo Laura!


Laura Grimshaw

Saw my good friend Mark Childress the fantastic singer from the Dead City Prophets and his beautiful musician/artist daughter Chasey. It was so good to see them together!

It was great to see Laura smiling and mingling with her guests. Here she is with Tino Gross and Johnny Bee. I think this is Jim McCarty's wife...Sorry I forget names too easy these days. Somebody write me and tell me her name plz...

My first stop at the event was to chat with Pun Plamondon and buy his book! I have wanted to buy it for a long time and he donated half of his revenue to Gary's fund. I used to see Pun at Gallup Park every Sunday at the free concerts. We talked about how much hard work he did to produce those shows. I produced convention shows for a long time and then realized just how much went into the productions of those free concerts!

RECORD DAY WITH SCOTT MORGAN PART 2



Remember vinyl 45rpm and 33rpm records?

Those round things that you would spin on a turntable? Needles had to be the best quality and the turntables too. When I was in my early teens 45rpm records were our passion. I had stacks of Beatles, Stones, and one hit wonder 45s with an A side and a B side.

You’d think all that would have vanished years ago into the compact disc and then download digital age. Well guess what has made a HUGE resurrection? VINYL is back!



In honor of RECORD DAY The Rationals were honored by STREET CORNER MUSIC in Oak Park Michigan. I drove with Scott out to do autographs and meet his fans. The store were featuring the EP The Rationals Rationalism:

SIDE A

I GOTTA GO NOW (OUT ON THE FLOOR) 2.55
POOR DOG (WHO CAN'T WAG HIS OWN TAIL) 2.52

SIDE B
WANG DANG DOODLE (Previously unissued A-Square recording)

We had a blast meeting the folks like Mike the store owner and the gang behind the counter. Even met one of my facebook fans Ira which was really fun!

If you'd like to order your copy give Mike a call or visit their fun record shop on Greenfield!

Street Corner Music
26020 Greenfield Rd
Oak Park, Mi 4837
248-644-4777

SCOTT MORGAN NEWS!

COMING IN MAY 2010 is the new SCOTT MORGAN CD



We got to listen to the entire collection yesterday and it is really GREAT! My particular favorites are Lucy May and Do I Move You. I am sure all of Scott's fans will enjoy their own favorites due to the wide selection of musical styles that Scott possesses.



His newest band are really hot too! Combine their talent with Scott's and you will be totaly entertained for a long time and end up playing it over and over! Don't Forget Coming Out in May!

Special Thanks to the photography of Doug Coombe

April 17, 2010

STAR BILLING ON MOTOR CITY MUSIC ARCHIVES!



What a way to wake up this morning! The front page of the Motor City Archives features my blog Retro: Kimmer. Two weeks ago I went to Motor City Rah Rah Susie's birthday party hosted by Albert Freud at Mario's in Troy. The Helldrivers, All the Rah Rahs, Circusboy, Len Beste, Gary Quakenbush, Gary Adams, Tino Gross, and Al King were some of my pals that attended.

Len, Mike, Gary Q and me (Al must have shot this photo)

Later on were sitting at a a round table and there was a a man sitting with us and a friend leaned over to me and suggested I meet him. Turns out that this was Mike the longtime web designer (owner) and researcher of the Motor City Archive Website.


I was thrilled to meet him as his site was where I began when I was researching Dennis "Machinegun" Thompson's blog. I needed background information on some of Dennis' other bands besides the MC5. The Secrets, Sirius Trixon and the Motor City Bad Boys, The New Order and more.

More bands I needed were Mark Farner The Dogs, Gang War, ? and the Mysterians and the list goes on... MCMA is my Detroit band encyclopedia. It is important when writing a story that you get the player's names correct. I hear from them quickly if I get it wrong...




KIMMER

April 16, 2010

RECORD DAY! SCOTT MORGAN




Saturday is “Record Store Day”. Which is a day that the industry has put together to celebrate the independent record store. Record labels are putting out tons of limited edition releases just for the day along with special in-store performances and autograph signings

Ace Records is releasing a special limited edition Rationals EP called ‘Rationalism” to coincide. Scott Morgan lead singer and founder of The Rationals will be at the store to meet and sign autographs on copies of his EP Rationalism

Come out and meet Scott! Street Corner will have copies of the EP as well as the Rationals CD for sale (with Scott signing).

Street Corner Music
26020 Greenfield Rd
Oak Park, Mi 4837
248-644-4777
http://streetcornermusic.com

MOTORCITY SPECIAL ANNOUNCES LABEL LAUNCH CONCERT



Detroit's newest record label Motorcity Special announces Label Launch Concert at Jazz Cafe Music Hall of the Performing Arts on Saturday May 8th 2010

A Joint Promotional Production by Product of Detroit and MOTORCITYBLOG features unique Detroit musical acts recorded live for pressing to limited edition vinyl.

MCS MISSION:

There are a lot of Detroit record labels, new and old but none are booking diverse Detroit lineups and recording them live at rotating Metro Detroit venues for release on limited edition vinyl records - manufactured at Archer record pressing, Detroit, Michigan.

Motorcity Special is not signing artists or retaining rights to any of the original music.

The Motorcity Special Label Launch Concert will kick off a series of events produced by MCS to continue what the founders of the label have been doing in their previous respective efforts: Promotion of the diverse local Detroit musical talent and highlight the vast array of music venues in the motorcity.



Motorcity Special Label Launch Concert
Saturday May 8th 2010 7pm - 2am

Jazz Cafe at Music Hall of the Performing Arts
350 Madison St Detroit MI 48226
(313) 887 8501 www.musichall.org

Confirmed Musical Lineup
The Wrong Numbers
DUENDE!
Electric Fire Babies
Canja Rave
MR SHZ
DJ Savage Matt

Sponsors:
Product of Detroit
MOTORCITYBLOG
Bastone Brewery

There are a lot of Detroit record labels, new and old but none are booking diverse Detroit lineups and recording them live at rotating Metro Detroit venues for release on limited edition vinyl records - manufactured at Archer record pressing, Detroit, Michigan.

Motorcity Special is not signing artists or retaining rights to any of the original music.

The Motorcity Special Label Launch Concert kicks off a series of events produced by MCS to continue what the founders of the label have been doing in their previous respective efforts:

Promotion of the diverse local Detroit musical talent and highlight the vast array of music venues in the motorcity.

Kevin Pachla founded Product of Detroit in 2008 owner/operator of Label Network producing promotional materials for local and national clients.

MOTORCITYBLOG just recently celebrated 5 years of documenting Detroit by their 30 contributors and nearly 6000 blog posts of Detroit music and culture

Joining forces to form Motorcity Special, the founders would like local musical acts and venues to consider this joint venture as a premium marketing tool.

DETROIT ROCKS PROJECT!




The world knows about the rich musical history of Detroit, Michigan, and the legendary artists it has produced, but what is it that makes The Motor City unique when it comes to Rock & Roll? Everyone knows the names The MC5, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, , The Stooges, SRC, The Romantics, Kid Rock, etc., but what made these acts so different, so special, so quintessentially “Detroit”?


The Detroit music scene is a vibrant stew of musical influences, and when an act rises up from the trenches here to become known worldwide, they are taking those influences with them. The Detroit experience is unique because the bands here inspire and influence each other as much or more than they are influenced by the Rock & Roll standard-bearers of the world.


For every kid in Detroit who was inspired by Led Zeppelin or Guns & Roses, there were dozens more whose heroes included bands like Mugsy, Seduce, The Almighty Strut, Halloween, and more recently, The Shram Band, Overloaded, Pistol Day Parade, and so many others who are little-known outside of southeastern lower Michigan.


Detroit Rocks is a documentary which will focus not on history, but on the influences that live and grow in the here and now, as they are passed from generation to generation of young up-and-coming musicians. This is not the story of this band or that band, it is the story of how players in Detroit were affected by the bands that they saw in their own hometown, and how these influences can be heard in the music being made today in Detroit and internationally. It is the story of Detroit rock & roll told in the voices of the players who have made Detroit "Rock City".


Detroit Rocks features interviews with prominent Detroit rockers from the sixties to today, and live concert footage of currently active artists covering songs from their Detroit influences.

Teegarden and Vanwinkle

In addition, the producers have recorded a "Band Aid" style theme song featuring dozens of well-known Motor City musicians, and are organizing a concert starring the available participants, to benefit charitable organizations aiding those in the Detroit area who are struggling due to the economic downturn, and recent changes in the struggling auto industry. (See the "All-Star Theme Song & Benefit Concert" page for more info).

Producer/Musician/Director Ron Perry will be in Detroit this August to conduct a third round of interviews with the musicians who make Detroit “Rock City”, and asks that anyone who knows or can put us in touch with any of the musicians or bands on our “wish list” below, please call us at 888-988-6334 or e-mail ron@americanmediasound.com

Ron will be in Detroit the first week of August for more interviews, email him with your ideas or anyone you readers feek should be included!

THE WISH LIST

If there are any Detroit artists that you feel were influential, who do not appear on the participants list or the "wish list", please feel free to let us know! Call Toll Free: 888.988.MEDIA

Some of the Participants (so far)

Scott Morgan The Rationals
Jim McCarty
Johnny BEE Badanjek
Gary Quackenbush SRC
Arthur Penhallow
Brian Pastoria
Doug Podell WRIF/WCSX
Dave Edwards THE LOOK
Brian Shram (Shram)
Michael Luce Brownsville Station
Henry Weck Brownsville Station
Seduce (Mark Andrews, Chuck Burns, Dave Black)
Rachel May (Broadzilla)
Scott Campbell Sillies/Bookies
Suzy Cole (WRIF)
Gunner Ross (The Almighty Strut, Ted Nugent Band, Send More Cops)
Joey Gaydos (Mugsy, Cub Koda & The Points, Weapons, AZUR, Send More Cops)
Steve Firneno (The Nasties, Romeo Rock, Face, Seduce, Shram)
Tino Gross (Howling Diablos)
Mike Adkins (Uncle Kracker)
Tom Morwats (The Mutants)
Tommy Furbacher (Soul Circus, Panic Trigger)
Arlen Viecelli (Salem Witchcraft)
Pistol Pete (Twistin' Tarantulas)
John Avedisian (Romeo Rock, The Almighty Strut)
Dave Colt (Gotham City)
RETRO KIMMER
Rick Ruiner & Nina Friday (The Ruiners)
Tim Pop (podcster)
Randy Peavler (Teezer, Fugitive)
Lixx (Bob Dancer, Art McAuley, Tom Holiday, Tony Marocco)
Tom Ingham (Ezra, Weapons, Romeo Rock, Racer X, Send More Cops)
Dave Goldsworthy (The Blues Airmen, Mudflap, Blues Airmen Guitars)
Ron Perry (The Nasties, AZUR)
Nick Marocco (Dangerous Pursuit)
Ruzvelt (Blondies)
Pistol Day Parade (Fuller, Rob Banks, Jason Lollio, Randy Watson)
Brian Thomas (Halloween)
Chris Gillen (Overloaded, Tokyo Blade)
Pete Bankert (Rock City Studios, Mugsy, Weapons, Dark Carnival, Cult Heroes)
For more information on “Detroit Rocks Project 2010” please call Ron Perry at 888-988-6334

April 15, 2010

RETRO: KIMMER'S FIRST BLOGS




Peggy Moffitt

The beginning of this blog began with my love of the 1960's. Twiggy, Peggy Moffitt were my two favorite models and I dreamed of being like them. I wrote about my favorite models. cosmetics, crime stories, toys, and music. Along the way I met so many people from all over the world.

Some lovely and some not so lovely. Most beautiful, generous in spirit and extremely kind in sharing their opinions and stories. Many sent gifts and shared their cds, dvds, art work and writings.

In my blogging beginning.... I made a website which is much different than a blog. It is flat and displays data and images. Tedious and hours and hours of work. Especially if you are self taught as I was. This is one of several versions of Mackyplanet the website. I made a Halloween version, thanksgiving version, and Christmas version but couldn't figure out what to do with the page. The badges on the picture represent my blogs I was also making at the time.


First Website

Lucky for me I enlisted my talented artist daughter Lesley to draw the characters for most of the blogs. Some I did myself. I began approaching other bloggers that I thought could use a make over so I emailed them and offered my services for free as I didn't feel my newbie blogger skills were worth much money.

My first blogs were:


Ms Macky's Journey

The first Snarky View was a cross between The View tv show and South Park

This was my first RK logo I found somewhere and tweaked it. Lesley took the photo a few notches higher and redder too. So I ended up with the final blogs.....


Mackyplanet.com



Retrokimmer.com

Then other blogs came in by the week, more posting to come stay tuned!

THE ROCKETS' LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD!



The Rockets to get lifetime achievement award! The Rockets were one of my favorite bands that played around the Metro Detroit area. Dave Gilbert was the very cute lead singer and he really let loose on those Rocket's songs mostly written by Johnny Bee. Unfortunately Dave had substance issues and died very young. He played briefly with Ron Asheton and Dennis Machinegun Thompson's band THE NEW ORDER before he joined the Rockets

I have been extremely fortunate to be able to film the Helldrivers recently and they are so great to hear live. I bought their cd and I think a lot of the Rocket songs on the cd are even BETTER than the originals thanks to the fantastic voice of Jim Edwards. They are a great bunch of master musicians as Brett Call wood will testify I really believe this newest band that Jimmy and Bee have put together are a tribute to their massive musical talent. They are DETROIT ROCK N ROLL to me.... oh don't forget.....TURN UP THE RADIO!


By BRIAN McCOLLUM
FREE PRESS MUSIC CRITIC

It just might be the longest-running current partnership in Detroit music.

For nearly half a century, Jim McCarty has been playing his guitar against the beat of Johnny (Bee) Badanjek's drums: with Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels in the '60s, with its descendant band Detroit in the early '70s, with the high-wattage Rockets later that decade.


And now they're crashing through the local scene with the Hell Drivers, a group that taps their lifetime bodies of work and serves as a kind of loud, living Detroit rock documentary.

On Friday, the pair will be feted at the Detroit Music Awards, where the Rockets will receive a lifetime achievement honor, 27 years after the band's demise amid front man Dave Gilbert's drug descent. (The leonine singer died in 2001.)


For McCarty and Badanjek, it's a time for stepping back to take stock of the past, while looking forward to a future that may find the Hell Drivers morphing into a full-on Rockets revival.


"Promoters, agents, DJs keep telling us, 'We'd love to help, but you've got to change the name to the Rockets,' " says Badanjek. "So that's where we're at. We're waiting to see. We could do it if we get the help we need with a recording, a brand-name producer, all the pieces that make an act viable today in this market."



This is an autographed self portrait done by BEE

Badanjek and McCarty were 15-year-olds when they met in 1962 via the east-side tool-and-die shop where their fathers worked. The time-tested collaborative instincts still click, says Badanjek, who remains in awe of McCarty's internationally heralded guitar talent: "For his age, he still emulsifies people, including me. His playing kicks my ass."

Like an old couple, the two can argue fiercely, Badanjek says, reassured by the safety net of friendship underneath. Best buds as teens, creative partners as adults, the two have lived side-by-side for years -- in adjoining apartments in Sterling Heights.

"It's like he's my wife," cracks Badanjek.

A familiar figure around town in his black beret and sunglasses, Badanjek helped the Hell Drivers form by happenstance. Showing up to watch McCarty's band Mystery Train play at a Troy bar, he was soon encouraged to hop on drums for jam sessions, and a band was born.

"The word got out and this place started packing up," he says. "Most people our age don't play with the energy we do. The thing that blows people away with the Hell Drivers is it feels like we're 20 years old. I'm amazed at the energy that comes off that stage."

Even as band members craft new material, cover tunes remain the stock in trade. And for Badanjek, the best compliment is a simple one: Wow, you guys sounded just like the record.

"In the end, it's still us -- it's straight-ahead rock 'n' roll," he says. "We're playing like we've always played. It's just something we've always been able to do."

Dave Gilbert Tribute

April 14, 2010

MARY J BLIGE: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN


Mary j Blige

Honestly I never was a big fan of the Zeppelin version as much as this one. Tonight mary j sang it live on Oprah and it was FABULOUS. There is no live version so I bought it on ITunes and it is a little smoother than the live version but I loved it just the same


She is not releasing it in the US just the UK version, but you can get it on Itunes

April 12, 2010

THE RUINERS! ROCK N ROLL VOODOO SHOW!


 
Stanley T. Madhatter!

Finally the Dead City Prophets show at Paychecks on April 10 arrives. We had a tough week with every kind of obstacle you can imagine. Broken hearts and lost friendships are painful but as Ethel Merman said (among others) "The Show Must go on"! Go on it did. As the Zen cats used to say "the marksman fundamentally aims at himself so we'll leave it at that.


Motor City Rahs Rahs, Stanley Ron having fun!

We came out to finally see the Dead City Prophets play with Mark singing lead. Also to celebrate Ron Cooke's birthday! He was having a great time despite his foot injury.

I had filmed them as a trio with Rob King on drums last fall (here is that video) but not in their new line up with Steve Williams on drums. He is really great! Couldn't get a decent shot of Steve behind all the band and equipment. Sorry Steve!

Mark sings so well and it so handsome to go with it! It was out first actual meeting after chatting via email and telephone for almost a year.
JB Sweet and Ron Cooke (Steve behind JB)
JB is really hot young lead guitarist and he has been tutored by some of the best guitarists in Michigan like Mike Katon who I have know since High School. JB and Ron really play tight together.

The Ruiners were fabulous too! Nina was also the birthday girl and she made the entire night so much fun for all of us! She sings really well too!!!


SPECIAL THANKS TO RON COOKE, MARK CHILDRESS RICK RUINER TRUDIE AND STANLEY T.

April 10, 2010

MALCOLM MCLAREN DIES AT 64



Music mourns another godfather of punk Malcolm McLaren, impresario who made the Sex Pistols infamous died in Switzerland yesterday at the age of 64 after a long battle with cancer

By Tom Peck (full story)

Friday, 9 April 2010

He died in hospital in Switzerland with his partner, 37-year-old Korean- American Young Kim by his bedside, along with his son Joe Corre. Ms Kim told The Independent: "We were there with him when he passed away. He was diagnosed with cancer in October. He was very active until the end of February when his tumor became very aggressive. He just went very quickly. He said he wanted to be buried at Highgate cemetery. We are now taking steps to try to make that happen."

McLaren had kept his illness quiet. In February he had traveled to New York in February for the launch of an art book before returning to Switzerland to be treated at a clinic.

Best-known as the manager of the punk band the Sex Pistols, he achieved the notoriety he sought – and which never left him – when the band's anti-establishment single "God Save The Queen", released during the Queen's Silver Jubilee, was banned from the airwaves by the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority.


He was raised by his grandmother in Newington Green, north London, after his war-deserter father left home when he was two. After having been expelled from several art colleges, he opened a clothes shop on the King's Road, with his then girlfriend Vivienne Westwood in 1971. The couple's son, Joe Corre, went on found the lingerie company Agent Provocateur.

Last night Miss Westwood said: "When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do. I thought he was a very charismatic, special and talented person. We hadn't been in touch for a long time. The thought of him dead is really something very sad."


Malcolm McLaren, who made a name for himself managing and creating the Sex Pistols persona, has died at the age of 64 and Rob Zombie and Johnny Rotten remember.


Ivan Kral recalls Malcolm McLaren:

“I remember going to his clothes store SEX on one of our first tours. Jay D and I heard rockers shopped there, so I was expecting Keith Richards’ kinda stuff like snakeskin and velvet scarves.



Wrong. Bondage pants, rubber clothes, dirty t-shirts with anarchy statements – with real stains. I got an eyeful of hard-core punkers….green mohawks, safety pinned faces, even a straitjacket walked in. Almost like Halloween.


Another time I met Malcolm at the Portobello Hotel in London. Johnny Thunders warned me he was a manipulator, but I just remember a pale arrogant guy rambling on and on about how he was gonna do this and that. You know, conquer-the-world type stuff. But, his Bow Wow Wow band were great -- the whole tribal thing was something new".


Mark Childress

From Mark Childress Lead Singer of THE DEAD CITY PROPHETS

I worked with Malcolm, I assisted on his "Waltz Darling" album in 1988 at Pearl Sound. He was an odd little dude, he always wore a white button down shirt and never buttoned the cuffs or rolled up the sleeves.

Whenever I wear a button down for a performance I never button the cuffs or roll up the sleeves because of that. The studio was located in Canton Michigan near a Meijers store, Malcolm loved Meijer's for some reason. The day before I met him he was in town for the sessions and I spotted this odd little curly red headed man wandering down Ford road, white shirt sleeves flapping.


Mc Laren Sleeves

It turned out that he was walking to Meijer's, I often thought that no matter how hip anybody was to Malcolm and who he was, they would have never in a million years believed that the little red headed man browsing fruit of the looms up the aisle was the same one who helped start a musical revolution.

"Get us a tea boy" Earl Grey with just a splash of cream, he was one of a kind.

Mark Childress
Dead City Prophets

Rip Malcolm and thank you Ivan and Mark for the guest posts!

April 9, 2010

REQUIEM FOR DETROIT?

Detroit Woodward Avenue 1942

A friend sent me a video tonight and it opens with former Detroit mayor Jerry Cavanagh talking about his vision of the future of the model city of Detroit. Back in the day Detroit was a completely different city.

Detroit 1970's

Detroit was thriving with manufacturing and car plants. The term "Ghetto" didn't describe Detroit at all. It was "The Paris of the Midwest." Then Detroit had the 1967 riots and then "white flight" began because of fear of crime and looting.





Today when I saw the same opening as the original video I thought I was posting this video to facebook. Instead it was a different video that shows all the devastation of this once great city.

This video prompted a rush of comments ranging from creepy, sad, to makes me sick to view this. Now why is Jerry's view so different from what the future Detroit really turned into? One of my personal opinions concerns the politicians that did get federal funding to help rebuild the city after the riots. It was the choices they made with those funds that led to the creation of a fantastic downtown area with the surrounding residential areas so completely ignored to this day.

Comerica Park

The auto companies and unions knew decades ago that changes needed to be made to compete with the Japanese car makers. As I worked in 2 large auto plants in the 1970's I heard the managers and committee men talking about the "downfall" of the auto industry then. What changes were made? Very few... The auto industry continued on it's path to bankruptcy.

They sold a product that fell apart quickly where the foreign cars lasted longer with were more compact/sporty and had much better gas mileage. Basically the money went to rebuild downtown to impress visitors and entice them to do business and hold trade shows in Detroit. They spent a fortune in the 80's to increase the size of Cobo Hall.

Great idea except there were not enough sleeping rooms to accommodate big trade shows. Attendees were shipped out to the suburbs as far away as Ann arbor and Lansing the transported into Detroit to the shows. Do they do this in Atlanta, New York, or Chicago? No they don't. I have worked on shows in all those cities and many more.

Abandoned building in Detroit

But they all have "ghetto" areas to contend with economically challenged city residents. Visit Memphis, Nashville, St Louis, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Dayton and many more and you will find the same issues that Detroit endures. Very poor residential districts hidden from business visitors.

My point is that Detroit is not unique unfortunately. Politics in my opinion is what keeps these cities down and the lack of technology that can compete with Germany and Japan. American fiddled while Rome was burning.

St Louis, MO abandoned buildings

Our jobs and labor forces became so expensive and workers so cheap over seas that we lose hundreds of thousands of jobs annually. Rather than comment about how sickening Detroit is now or how sad it looks why not come up with ideas to build on what industry we still have? Here is a brilliant article I posted months ago about why Detroit can't cash in on it's music industry.

Read full story by Don Gonyea of NPR HERE I do have some ideas in this area and plan to build an event that focuses on the fantastic music that is booming in Detroit. More to come on that soon. in the meantime why not find ideas to promote this city versus talking about how it makes us sick to look at it. As the MC5 once sang..

THE FUTURE IS NOW Of course there are many more reasons why we have such decay in the USA compared to the way Europe had maintained the beauty of their big cities for hundreds of years but that is another story. What ideas CAN we imagine to rebuild the inner cities of America and not just New Orleans?

Death of Detroit:Harbinger of Collapse ofDeindustrialized Americaby Richard Freeman

Observing the death of Detroit, as it shrinks into oblivion and its citizens are ravaged, one is struck by a fundamental transformation: In the period 1940 through 1963, Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city in the world, unmatched in real physical productivity. But during the period 1964-2004, Detroit became synonymous with blight and decay beyond imagination...Read More


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