8.30.2010

GUEST POST: DRUMMER KJ KNIGHT'S BOOK EXCERPT


As most of my readers already know, I am a good friend of Dennis "Machinegun" Thompson's of the MC5, The New Order, and more.. I work with MGT on his blog and other promotions. This past weekend I received an email from KJ Knight the first drummer of The New Order! Yet another piece of the puzzle! I have heard MGT, Jimmy Recca, Dee Gilbert (Dave's widow) and now we get to hear from KJ! Below is an excerpt from KJ's up coming book he generously sent to me to share with my readers. THANKS SO MUCH KJ


Written by KJ Knight:

I found out that one-of-a-kind front man Iggy Pop, guitarist Ron Asheton, and bassist Jimmy Recca, of The Stooges, were living in West Hollywood at the Coronet Apartments on the Sunset Strip. When I played with Ted Nugent, our paths had crossed a few times, but I never really got to know them personally. One afternoon, I just went up to their fourth-story apartment, knocked on their door and reintroduced myself. They recognized me and remembered and invited me in.

We hit it off well, and before I left, they informed me that Doors manager, Danny Sugarman, was searching for someone to take the place of the late and great Jim Morrison, and he felt that Iggy could be Mr. Mojo Risin’s heir apparent. They added that they were going to jam with Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, at Sugarman’s residence later in the week, and asked me if I wanted to come and rock out with them. Naturally, I said yes.



A few days after that, we met at Sugarman’s house, which was located on the later infamous Wonderland Avenue in Laurel Canyon . (In 1981, the gruesome murders involving pornstar John Holmes, better known as Johnny Wadd, took place at a house on this notorious street.) Iggy, who at the time was hooked on heroin and extremely undependable, never turned up, but we went ahead and jammed without him.

It was a unique honor to play with the likes of Manzarek and Asheton. These two legendary rockers each had his own recognizable and distinctive style. Ray, with his endless array of improvised melodic lines, crossed with Ron’s raw simplified driving riffs, took the music through some wondrous twists and turns.

We didn’t finish playing until after midnight and I was pretty beat, so I left my drums overnight at Sugarman’s house. The next day when I came to pick up my set, I found that someone had been playing on them, and had placed a large and heavy dirt-covered boulder inside the bass drum, evidently to prevent it from sliding.

This could have easily damaged the drum, and was a disrespectful and stupid thing to do. I demanded that Sugarman tell me who had done this, and he sheepishly admitted that it was Hunt Sales (one of Soupy Sales’ kids). I’ve never forgotten what that dumb ass did and if I ever catch up with the bastard, I’m gonna smash a shaving cream pie in his fuckin’ face!

Asheton was in the process of forming a new band, a hybrid version of The Stooges called The New Order, and he already had someone in place to manage the group. He invited me to join and I was thrilled. The band consisted of Ron, Iggy, Jimmy Recca and me. To Asheton and his manager (I can’t recall his name) this was serious business, and they had me go with them to a bank and sign a personal management agreement witnessed by a notary public.

The band rehearsed on a regular basis, but we never knew when or if Iggy was going to show up, which was extremely frustrating. We worked on three or four original numbers that Asheton had written, and I remember thinking to myself that these songs, musically speaking, were very basic and hardly a challenge to play, but I also thought that there was a genius to the simplicity of his material. One of Asheton’s songs was entitled “The Mombasa Flip.”

One day, following an early afternoon band practice that Iggy actually attended, I persuaded him to come with me to Hollywood Park . In order to do this, I promised that if I won anything I’d split it with him. Iggy had on a pair of jeans that were ripped wide open from his crotch to his knees and he wasn’t wearing any underwear. When he leaned forward you could clearly see his package.

Inside the racetrack, while I made my selections, Iggy wandered around the clubhouse drawing curious stares from those members of the betting public he encountered. We were only there for maybe three races before I lost all my money.


Ron Asheton in his New Order Shirt

On the way back to Iggy’s we stopped at my dad’s apartment to get something to eat, and I told him he could help himself. Right when Iggy was in the kitchen holding the refrigerator door open, my old man happened to walk into the room and saw him standing there, raiding the fridge with his dick hanging out. In shock, my dad blurted out, “Who the fuck are you?” Then he grabbed me and took me aside and said, “Get this fuckin’ weirdo outta here!”

Ron and Iggy

I was more than conscious of Iggy’s potential and star power, but due to his ever-present drug addiction, and erratic and unreliable behavior, I opted to bow out of the band after only a couple of short months. Asheton was fed up with Iggy as well, and made it known to me that he wanted to find a replacement. So I recommended vocalist, Dave Gilbert, with whom I had previously played in The Amboy Dukes.



I didn’t learn until many years later that Gilbert, in fact, joined The New Order and that in 1977 the band released an album on the Fun Records/Isadora Label (distributed by RCA Records) entitled Declaration of War. As for Iggy Pop, he eventually beat his heroin habit and went on to have an amazing career.





PS: This is a fantastic band I played with in 1968 based out of Cleveland. We performed at the Grande with Buddy Guy in November of '68. After I left the group Dale Peters went on to play with Joe Walsh in the James Gang. THANK YOU RICHARD FOR THE VIDEOS! 

8.29.2010

The Adventures Of Duane & BrandO FINAL SHOW!


So how does Retro: Kimmer end up at Duane and BrandO's final show held at the very cool resale shop Replay Entertainment Exchange in East Lansing? My daughter (really wanted to go) is how I ended up at this show. I decided that if I had to drive all the way up there I might as well work! I didn't think it would have much to do with Retro... but how wrong I was! Everywhere I looked was Retro fab stuff!


This duo rap fun lyrics over retro video game music. Being an old time video gamer I knew most of the songs. The kids just love these guys! Sadly the duo have parted ways and will no longer collaborate together. I met them both and have no doubt they will both be using their talents to create more fun music in the future. They were both absolutely charming and I loved meeting them.

BrandO and my daughter Lesley Photo: Alex Sing

Lesley's friend Alex came for the Adventure and luckily she is a very talented photographer. She grabbed some shots I missed. Thank you so much Alex!

8.27.2010

THE DETROIT TV GUY HAS THE COOLEST WEBSITE!

Detroitkidshow.com

L-R Poop Deck Paul, Milky The Clown, Toby "Captain Jolly" David, Jingles, Johnny Ginger and Art "Bozo The Clown" Cervi.

A facebook friend sent me this site and I went absolutely crazy! EVERYTHING I loved as a child growing up in Ypsilanti near Detroit MI is on this site. I emailed Ed the site designer for permission to use his site for Retro: Kimmer and happily Ed said, "Be my guest!" YES! Thank you Ed!

So here are but a few of my very favorites....


Pookie and Soupy

I loved White Fang and Pookie in the picture above. The show was non stop action and pie in the face antics. We never knew what was going to happen. Soupy played to kids and adults alike. Some of his more "adult" stuff went over our heads but many parents sure laughed. One of my first stories I wrote for RK was for Soupy you can read it HERE

I also did a post when he passed away and that story Bye Bye Soupy is HERE

 
Pookie and Soupy High Heeled Sneakers  



 
Here is a live video watch how fun these ads were. Who would know that years later I would have three chimps staying in my condo! These chimps were fantastic! 

 


I belonged to the Milky fan club I watched the Milky show constantly wishing I could jam my little hand in that jar and grab the pennies! We thought we'd be rich! Also I was so jealous of the kids that got to pick a toy of the big rack that Milky had on set. Captain Jolly

 

Toby David as Captain Jolly. David, who died at age 80 in 1994, started in New York radio in the 1930s. He had parts in several NBC radio shows including Bob Hope, Garry Moore, Jackie Gleason and the children's show "Let's Pretend." He came to Detroit in 1940s, where his radio work included reading Detroit Times comics on the air. But David is most remembered for hosting the "Popeye and His Pals" cartoon show during the 1950s and 1960s, which was among the top rated kid shows in the nation. 


Poop Deck Paul In 1957 CKLW purchased from Associated Artists Productions the Detroit TV broadcast rights to 234 Max Fleischer and Famous Studios Popeye cartoons. To showcase their new film package, two cartoon hosts were created. CKLW-AM radio veteran Toby David portrayed Captain Jolly, while CKLW-TV’s weatherman Paul Allen Schultz was enlisted as his First Mate, Poopdeck Paul.

 

Notice how Hercules points his arm to the sky...he is wearing the moonstone ring! 


Johnny Ginger

Johnny Ginger closed his show by saying, "bye Mom Dad Patty and all..." (My sister was Patty)so I thought he was talking to me. 

  
 
I really enjoyed Ed's fabulous website and he has a ton of Detroit priceless memories and I thank him so much for sharing them with my readers Thank you Ed xxoo Retro Kimmer!

31ST ANNUAL DETROIT JAZZ FEST!



The Detroit International Jazz Festival is in its 31st year, and where better to celebrate the art form that is Jazz than in downtown Detroit? In 2010, the free event will have five stages of continuous entertainment, Saturday-night fireworks, late-night jam sessions, poetry slams, a kid bop area, artist collaborations and giant puppets. Featured artists includes Mulgrew Miller, Branford Marsalis, Maria Schneider, Roy Haynes and Terence Blanchard -- just to name a few.

Detroit Jazz Fest 2010 Website

The coolest show in Detroit is coming up and my friend Mark Loeb is in charge of operations. I am hoping to stop in to Hart Plaza after I see Mitch Ryder in Hamtramck at their big festival.

OFFICIAL LINE UP

Friday, September 3
Memorial Park Middle School "Big Noise"
Detroit School of Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Renaissance High School Jazz Ensemble
Take 6 with Mulgrew Miller Trio
Tower of Power

Saturday, September 4
Allen Park Middle School Jazz Ensemble
Berklee College of Music Jazz Ensemble
Carl Cafagna & North Star Jazz
Danilo Pérez Quartet
Detroit Tribute to Betty Carter
Ellen Rowe Quartet
Grand Rapids Northview High School Jazz Ensemble
Hot Club of Detroit
“Hot Pepper” with Barry Harris & Gary Smulyan
Kirk Whalum: Tribute to Donny Hathaway with special guest Lalah Hathaway
Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra with Mulgrew Miller and Gary Smulyan
Mike LeDonne Quartet
Mt. Pleasant High School Jazz Band
Mulgrew Miller & Wingspan
Muruga Booker and the Rainforest Band featuring Perry Robinson and Badal Roy
Pat Bianchi Trio
Poogie Bell Band
Salim Washington & The Harlem Arts Ensemble
Scott Kinsey Group
Terence Blanchard Quintet
Tia Fuller Quartet
The Brad Felt NuQuartet Plus
The Chris Canas Band
The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Troy High School Jazz Ensemble
William Patterson University Jazz Septet with Mulgrew Miller
Yellowjackets

Sunday, September 5
Brownie Speaks: The Music of Clifford Brown featuring Dominick Farinacci and Jonathan Batiste
Cousino High School Jazz Ensemble
Dave McMurray
Dennis Tini Trio
Detroit Symphony Civic Jazz Orchestra with special guest Matt Wilson
Freddy Cole Quartet
Grosse Pte. South HS Jazz Band
Jason D. Williams Show
Johnny O’Neal
Juilliard Jazz Quartet
Kenny Barron & Mulgrew Miller
Ledisi
LL7
Mambo Legends Orchestra
Maria Schneider Orchestra
MF Productions Defenders of the Groove with Ernie Andrews, Louis Hayes, Donald Harrison,
Melvin Sparks, Steve Turre, Eddie Henderson, Chembo Corneil & Luke O'Reilly
Northville High School Jazz Ensemble I
Robert Hurst Quartet
Ron Kischuk & the Masters of Music Trombones
Stevenson High School Jazz Band
Tierney Sutton Band
Tribute to Ray Brown with Christian McBride, Benny Green and Karriem Riggins
Trio M: Myra Melford, Mark Dresser and Matt Wilson
Warren Mott Marauder Big Band
Wayne State University Big Band with Terence Blanchard
Western Michigan University Jazz Orchestra with Bobby Watson

Monday, September 6
Allen Toussaint
Branford Marsalis
Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet
Dave Bennett Quartet
Detroit Jazz Fest High School All-Stars
Detroit School of Arts Jazz Ensemble with George Bohanon
Finger Poppin’: A Tribute to Horace Silver with the Michael Weiss Quintet featuring Randy Brecker
HORIZON: Featuring Bobby Watson, Victor Lewis, Terell Stafford, Edward Simon and Essiet Essiet
Ionia High School Jazz Ensemble
James Fortune & FIYA
Kurt Elling Quintet with special guest Ernie Watts
Manhattan Transfer/Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra and special guest Gerald Wilson
Nadir
Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band
Second Ebenezer Majestic Voices
Triumph Church Mass Choir

JOHNNY BEE STICKS N SKINS INTERVIEW WXYZ!

Johnny BEE Badanjek Sticks n Skins Interview

I love BEE and hope you like this fun interview!


Pictured with the cake is Jules Follett,author/photographer of "Sticks 'n' Skins." Also at the Roma Café from left, top row: Alisa Zee, Steve Badalament, Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, Kenneth (Spider Webb) Rice, Marquis Johnson, Scott Williams, LaDell Abrams, Brian Pastoria. Front row: Follett with Julian Pavone, 6.(Alisa Zee photo)

Society Confidential: Rhythm masters confab at the Roma Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett Backstage at the J. Geils Band show at DTE/Pine Knob last Saturday, at the center of the action was irrepressible drummer Johnny Bee Badanjek , who as part of the Rockets , opened the show. Bee was dispensing truisms: "Buy the music! How else am I supposed to buy my bologna sandwiches!" The drummer was part of an elite gathering of Detroit drummers at the Roma Café on Tuesday, as author/photographer Jules Follett gathered LaDell Abrams , Steve Badalament , Marquis Johnson , Brian Pastoria , Julian Pavone and Spider Webb to thank them for participating in her new 560-page photo book, "Sticks 'n' Skins."


Webb, the veteran of many later Motown sessions, didn't think he knew Badanjek, until the two started chatting and Webb recognized Bee as the teenager who used to hang out with Mitch Ryder to hear music at blind pigs and clubs back in the early '60s, when an under aged Webb was playing those joints.

8.26.2010

2010 HAMTRAMCK LABOR DAY FESTIVAL HAS MITCH RYDER!


The Howling Diablos and Mitch Ryder
will be playing for the Ham fest!
RK will be there filming with the Hatter

Schedule of Events
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH:

SATURDAY:
12 – 10PM: Arts & Antiques Fair
12 – 10PM: Carnival Midway
12 – 10PM: Cooking Demonstrations
9:30PM – 2:30AM: Pub Crawl

SOUTH STAGE AT CANIFF:
12PM: Opening Ceremonies
1PM: Tap Dancers
2:30PM: Tony Roney Comedy Show
4PM: Rocket Ray
5:30PM: Polka Floyd
7PM: The Luddites
8:30PM: HUSH

NORTH STAGE AT CASMERE:
12:30PM: Cloud Magic
2PM: Mike Hurtt & His Hound Hearts
3:30PM: Meadower
5PM: Six Shooter
7PM: Tim Mahe
9PM: Blank Canvas Detroit Fashion Show

SUNDAY:
12 – 10PM: Arts & Antiques Fair
12 – 10PM: Carnival Midway
12 – 10PM: Cooking Demonstrations
2PM: Dudek’s Pierogi Eating Contest
9:30PM – 2:30AM: Pub Crawl

SOUTH STAGE AT CANIFF:
11AM: Polka Mass Big Daddy
12PM: Big Daddy & the La Dee Das
2PM: Pierogi Eating Contest
3:30PM: Kielbasa Kings
6:30PM: Howling Diablos7PM: Polish Muslims

NORTH STAGE AT CASMERE:
12PM: Travelin’ Blues
1:30PM: Phantom Shakers
3PM: Battle Of The Bands

MONDAY:
8:30AM: Golab-K Fun Run 5K / 1 Mile
11:30AM: Hamt. Yacht Club Canoe Races
12PM: Polish Day Parade
12 – 10PM: Arts & Antiques Fair
12 – 10PM: Carnival Midway
12 – 10PM: Cooking Demonstrations

SOUTH STAGE AT CANIFF:
3PM: Misty Blues
6PM: Danny D
8PM: Mitch Ryder
NORTH STAGE AT CASMERE:
3:30PM: Swinging Chopin
5PM: Night Mirror
6:30PM: The Harry Perry Band
8PM: The Fresh Tones

DIRECTIONS
See you there!

8.25.2010

TISH'S STORY BY DENIZ TEK



WRITTEN BY DENIZ TEK:

Tish is a unit coordinator in the Emergency Department where I work. All of us who work there were shocked a couple of months ago to hear the news that Tish had been diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer ... a disaster, as she's a young single mom.

Tish's Story (in her own words)

"My name is Latisha Madrid. I was born and raised in Billings, Montana. I met my husband, Junior, we married and had a son Jesus, now 13. We moved to Phoenix in 2000. Had two more kids Alex, 8; and Emma, 6.


In March of 2005 we moved back to Billings. A week after we arrived we found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, Junior, now 4. One week later my husband passed away in a car accident. I felt like a huge rock fell on me. No home, no job, pregnant, with 3 kids. I knew I had to stay strong for my kids.After I had the baby I got a job at St Vincent Hospital. I worked hard and eventually, I was buying my house and we were doing well. I couldn't have done any of this without my family.

At the end of May 2010 I got a call from my doctor about my test results. I have gastric cancer. That was the worst news I could hear at this point in my life. Not just for me, but for my kids.

They already lost their dad. I am not going to let them grow up without a mom. I've gone through chemo and radiation already. That was a tough road. A lot worse than I expected. The kids adapted well to my being sick and in bed a lot. Today as I write this I feel wonderful. Trying to catch up with doing things with the kids and being a normal family before surgery on August 30th.


We are hoping and praying that we are able to get all the cancer out and I will be done with everything after surgery. With everything I've been through so far all I can say is have faith and live for today because you never know what tomorrow will bring you.----

Some of the nurses and Deniz Tek are organizing a benefit for Tish ... on 10 Sept we will have a fundraiser at The Rockpile, Billings, Montana, 6p - 1130p with live music from Tek and a local version of the Soul Movers; Nina Frost's new lineup Hypocrite Like Me; and the SOB's ("Sons of Billings") fresh from their gig at the Magic City Blues Festival. The Parker boys acoustic duo "Eyes On Skies" will also be there.

If you have ever been to one of their ER parties, you know how wild and over the top they can be ... this one promises to go nuclear. Anyone wishing to donate to Tish's fund can send money via Paypal to hiwatt01@gmail.com or send a check to Latisha Madrid direct, care of Emergency Department, Saint Vincent Hospital, Billings, MT 59101.

YAY WE HAVE RETRO: KIMMER BUTTONS NOW!



My daughter made these buttons today aren't they fun? I will have my buttons for all my blogs and fun characters! Thank you Lesley!

8.24.2010

THE RUINERS CONQUER FRANCE!


THE RUINERS

The band just received a rave review from France and I just have to post it! You go snarky ones!

I Got the new Ruiners Lp. Thanks ! It's a really really good garage punk stuff. With a song like "Happy Birthday Bitch" the Ruiners will kick the a** from "Happy Birthday To You" from Stevie Wonder.

The entire album is really exciting: you can be sure that Happy Birthday Bitch will be on the top of my Radio Playlist (during the Baroque Bordello Radio Show every Monday from 8pm to 10pm on Radio Scarpe Sensée 94.10 FM)

You can find with this message some links (direct link to hear the radio show-myspace and facebook page).

I will eat a piece of Ruiners Cake tonight during the Radio Show and make a wish: a new rock'n'roll tattoo.


Thanks again.
Stay Tuned and Roll
seb aka Dj Flup

Radio Scarpe Sensee 94.1 FM


BUY THE RUINERS CD HERE

BABY BABY BABY BY THE SEATBELTS!


Skid Marx

My pal Skid just sent me this video of the Seatbelts reunion show doing my favorite song of the set, "Baby Baby Baby" It was such a gas and the packed house were all blown away by the band and dancing their buns off!

Nice clip of Stanley T. Madhatter at the end of the video too!

As Teegarden and Vanwinkle once said.... "God love Rock n Roll!"


Greg Upshur


Great video by the Wizard of Livonia Dan Boyd

JOHNNY BEE BADANJEK: THE ROCKETS OPEN FOR J GEILS




HERE IS BEE'S STORY:

We pulled in around 3:30 in the afternoon for sound check. And Danny Klein the bass player for J.Geils was on our side of the stage and also the background singers where there as well. The dressing room was just down the hall. J.Geils were waiting to do their check. Everybody was waiting for the High School Marching band to pull up.


J Geils Band

Once they arrived. Peter and the rest of the band took to the stage and started warming up. They added the up town horns and the background singers for this show and an extra guitar player. Peter put everybody through a let's go and get ready sound check and then the Rockets hit the stage for our sound check.

Bee in Action...

We started sound checking backstage while J.Geils was out front sound checking, and so most of our stuff was done and it cut down on time. Once the sound crew rolled the drum riser out. We where ready to go. Smashed out a few tunes and went and had dinner with both bands telling jokes & stories about the old days.

We've been touring so long our first tour bus was a Covered Wagon. Ha,ha,ha. Then the fans started coming in, the place was fillin' up and it was time to take the stage. The Rockets played a hit filled short set of Michigan favorite's. And we went over time so we had to get our butts off the stage and the crowd was now waitin' for J.Geils.

The band took the folks on a hit filled set of Geils favorites and then a bunch of their rendition's of soul classic's. Who-yeah, Peter's famous shout and the crowd would holler back. Who-yeah. After the show Peter was walking around heading my way, and I called out his name because I wanted to thank him and the band for letting The Rockets open, and he stopped over and we took a bunch of pictures together.

Ben Edmonds (famous writer) came by and he jumped in on a few shots. It was a fantastic night. I talked with Marty their drummer and Magic Dick and everybody in their band are just terrific. Then I made my way up to the VIP bar and all the people went crazy telling me how good the show was and that they loved both bands. I took a bunch of pictures with the fans and danced the night away. Whammer-jammer!

8.23.2010

ROCKETS AND J GEILS KICK IT AT DTE!

THE ROCKETS! Photo by Marty Rickard

"The audience clearly enjoyed seeing McCarty and Badanjek on the big DTE stage, where such iconic players belong, and Edwards sings their Detroit songs ("Rock and Roll") as well as the Rockets' own catalog with ease."


J. Geils Band loves Detroit

Susan Whitall / Detroit News Music Writer


Sometimes a place is best understood through the eyes of an outlier. That's true of southeastern Michigan, which becomes "Detroit City" in the inimitable patois of J. Geils Band front man Peter Wolf.
In "Detroit City" everything is possible: the music is legendary, all men are handsome, the women unutterably gorgeous,and everybody is dancing.The J. Geils Band loves Detroit and as all lovers should, the band reminds us of our charms, even if we've forgotten.

The Geils band brought its floating house party to DTE Energy Theatre (pointedly referred to as "Pine Knob" throughout the evening by Wolf) Saturday night. The only other show it did this year was last week at Fenway Park in Boston (opening for Aerosmith, who were vanquished, by all accounts, by their crosstown rivals).
"I am reliving my youth," said one smiling middle-aged fan as he vaulted over seats -- politely, without hurting anybody -- to get to the front of the stage. Everybody seemed to be either reliving their youth, or enjoying it for the first time.
PETER WOLF AND J GEILS BAND

The J Geils band's genius has always been in understanding pace and dynamics, setting up a concert like an old-fashioned soul revue,with everything -- audio, visual, visceral -- planned for maximum entertainment value. It's the old school Apollo Theatre ethos:let up for a minute, and tomatoes will be hurled at you from the second balcony.
The element of surprise was invoked at the beginning of the show, when the Chippewa High School marching band in white uniforms, complete with high, feathered helmets, came out onstage and played "Centerfold."

It was an affectionate hello from the band, a nod to a show opener they used to employ back in the day. The marching band's innocent (but competent) rendering of the tune set the perfect, heart felt tone for the rest of the evening.
The band hit the stage running with their Motown cover, the Contours' "First I Look at the Purse," with Wolf entering at maximum velocity from stage right, executing his familiar jittery steps. There are innumerable things to look at when J. Geils Band is on stage; the dance stylings of Wolf;

Magic Dick moving rhythmically about the stage as he plays; Seth Justman attacking his keyboards or J. Geils peeling off a particularly bluesy guitar lick... On Saturday a pleasant addition were a male backup singer and two female singers, the latter dubbed the "Geilettes" by Wolf (he made much of the fact that one, Nichelle Tillman, was a Detroiter and made her state her high school -- Northwestern, class of '88).
The Uptown Horns (including onetime Detroiter Crispin Cioe) added a fierce, funky roar of horns to the mix, at one point tearing off the "Peter Gunn" theme when Wolf ordered them to solo.

Wolf went crowd-walking during "Musta Got Lost," creating mania as he hurtled up Aisle 4, then vaulted over laps and legs in Row M, and ambledback down Aisle 3 to the stage, singing while a roadie hovered protectively behind him.
A J. Geils Band show has to encompass a lot of stylistic ground, starting with their funky cover band days (they revived a cover of "Land of 1,000 Dances," done Wilson Pickett style), their blues band roots (they scorched through John Lee Hooker's "Serves You Right to Suffer") through their Cinderella Ballroom show band era ("Detroit Breakdown" and many more).

A sizable segment of the audience waits impatiently for the '80s hits, shrieking when they hear Justman's inimitable keyboard intro to "Freeze Frame."
There was a brief technical glitch when Magic Dick's amp failed just as he was gaining speed on his star turn, "Whammer Jammer," but Wolf ran over to offer him his mic, and the show went on. It's amazing how tight the band is, with so few gigs played in the last few years. From all accounts, a lot of rehearsing went on this summer to ensure that the band's two hometowns were not disappointed.

It's a generosity of spirit that not all veteran bands can muster, but ensures that the emotional bond between band and adopted city endures.
Pine Knob -- er, DTE -- has a strict 11 p.m. curfew, and it was clear after several encores that Wolf and the band were not anxious to leave.

At the end, the singer hung back and kept up his breakneck chatter to the crowd, rattling off the names of his favorite Detroit bands and concert halls, then he reminded all "Remember, if it's in you, it's got to come out!"He called out"Deee-troit city" and waved fondly, wishing all safe journeys.
The newly reconstituted Rockets, with singer Jim Edwards joining veterans Jimmy McCarty (guitar) and Johnny Bee Badanjak (drums) from the original outfit, was the perfect opening band, each song a hit, executed perfectly and without an ounce of excess.

8.21.2010

THE POWER: NEW BOOK BY RHONDA BYRNE


The Secret revealed the law of attraction. Now Rhonda Byrne reveals the greatest power in the universe – The Power to have anything you want. In this book you will come to understand that all it takes is just one thing to change your relationships, money, health, happiness, career, and your entire life. Every discovery, invention, and human creation comes from The Power. Perfect health, incredible relationships, a career you love, a life filled with happiness, and the money you need to be, do, and have everything you want, all come from The Power. The life of your dreams has always been closer to you than you realized, because The Power – to have everything good in your life – is inside you. To create anything, to change anything, all it takes is just one thing… THE POWER

If you loved the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne she has a new book and I am buying it!

8.20.2010

MOBSTER MICKEY COHEN: LA CONFIDENTIAL


Meyer Harris "Mickey" Cohen was part of the second generation of gangsters that came after the likes of Al Capone and the old Mustache Petes. He is unlikely to get star billing when it comes to popular lists of the world’s most notorious mobsters. This is mainly due to the fact that by the time Cohen reached his prime as a mobster, the gangster world had already been sewn up by major figures whose names and reputations have gone down in history.


But Cohen, despite lacking charm and sophistication, was a ruthless, adroit and successful racketeer who appeared to have more lives than a cat going by the amount of times he escaped assassination. However, it is his association with Hollywood’s glamorous set, such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and powerful newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, that has helped shape the view that the world of show business is never too far away from the shady tentacles of the underworld.


Cohen’s main claim to fame within gangster history is that he was Ben “Bugsy” Siegel's shadow, a darker alter-ego of the more glamorous racketeer. What Cohen lacked in refinement he made up in brawn and aggression.


Where Bugsy was the kind of handsome and suave bad boy who was invited to parties and to socialize among Hollywood’s elite, Cohen was content playing the hard-man bruiser, who wouldn’t think twice about breaking someone’s bones. His personality and part in American racketeering history is even immortalized in James Ellroy’s gangster novels and movies such as Bugsy and LA Confidential.


Mickster's grave is HERE

LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS: HURTS SO BAD


Kenny Seymour, Clarence Collins, Tracy Lord, Nat Rogers, Sam Strain,
Ernest Wright, Jr., Little Anthony

Little Anthony & the Imperials enjoyed one of the longest career runs of any doo wop group, adapting their honey-smooth style to fit the sweet uptown soul sound of the mid-'60s. Right from the beginning,

Little Anthony's aching way with a ballad was the group's calling card, but their repertoire was balanced by more R&B-inflected dance tunes. Little Anthony was born Jerome Anthony Gourdine in 1940, and grew up in Brooklyn's Fort Greene projects. While in high school, he sang in a doo wop group called the Duponts, who recorded a single called "Prove It Now" in 1957.

They disbanded after graduation, however, and Gourdine joined another group called the Chesters, which had been formed by his friend Clarence Collins (baritone) and also featured longtime friend Ernest Wright, Jr. (tenor); the other members were Tracy Lord (tenor) and Nat Rogers (bass). After a one-off single for Apollo, they landed a record deal with the End label in 1958, at which point their name was changed to the Imperials. ("Little Anthony" was later tagged onto the beginning by DJ Alan Freed.)

Here is my personal favorite and I think we have all been in the same situation.




COME OUT TO THE RUINERS CD RELEASE PARTY!


I LOVE THIS SONG
"FIX THAT BROKEN HALO"
OFF THE RUINER'S NEW CD!



OCTOBER 1 at 9:00pm 2:30am
BIG PARTY TO CELEBRATE
THE SIGNING OF THE RUINERS
TO PRAVADA RECORDS
AND THE RELEASE OF THEIR BIG HIT CD




BUY THE CD!

BART SARIC'S SMELL THE CRETE AND MORE

My own copy from Bart....

Early home made skateboard

Skateboarding was first started in the 1950s, when all across California surfers got the idea of trying to surf the streets. No one really knows who made the first board -- instead, it seems that several people came up with similar ideas at the same time. Several people have claimed to have invented the skateboard first, but nothing can be proved, and skateboarding remains a strange spontaneous creation.

These first skateboarders started with wooden boxes or boards with roller skate wheels slapped on the bottom. Like you might imagine, a lot of people got hurt in skateboarding's early years!
A radiologist's dream to quote Johnny Morgan LOL

It was a sport just being born and discovered, so anything went. The boxes turned into planks, and eventually companies were producing decks of pressed layers of wood -- similar to the skateboard decks of today. During this time, skateboarding was seen as something to do for fun after surfing.

Skate guys back then looked like surfers

In 1963, skateboarding was at a peak of popularity, and companies like Jack's, Hobie and Makaha started holding skateboarding competitions.


At this time, skateboarding was mostly either downhill slalom or freestyle. Torger Johnson, Woody Woodward and Danny Berer were some well known skateboarders at this time, but what they did looked almost completely different from what skateboarding looks like today!


Then Skateboarding meshed with tattooing and punk rock.. The best documentaries of this very interesting twist in sport history are the films of Bart Saric. His two films SMELL THE CRETE and SKINNED ALIVE are both fascinating invitations to the general public into this world of SK8


Here is the official trailer of Skinned Alive which features my friends Steve and Art Godoy fabulous Pro skateboard legends, fantastic tattoo artists and punk rockers.


If you'd like to own your own copy of these fascinating films email Bart directly. I have them both and when I watch them I am transfixed and unable to leave my chair. Bart is really a great film maker and I know talent when I see it!

Email: acacia1014@aol.com

Mailing address:
Skater Made
P.O. Box 3564
Santa Monica, CA 90403 USA

8.19.2010

HARVEY OVSHINSKY: HELPING YOU FIND YOUR BACKYARD STORY

Harvey Ovshinsky
Photo:
Marvin Shaouni

Poet James Stevenson once wrote that "Front yards are boring. Backyards tell stories." Harvey Ovshinsky is both an educator and a popular motivational speaker with a life-long passion for helping others find their own 'backyard' story.

Have you ever gone to the movies and said you could write a better script than that? The next round of Harvey’s monthly screenwriters support group, HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST MOVIE SCRIPT IN SIX MONTHS, begins in September.

The Detroit News describes Harvey as "one of the country's finest storytellers." His Movie-of-the-Week script, PJ and the Dragon, was represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and optioned by Longbow Productions (A League of Their Own). The New York International Independent Film & Video Festival honored his latest screenplay, The Keyman.

Harvey Ovshinsky Presents Handouts include a script of The Keyman, a complete bibliography of screenwriting books, publications, and contests, plus information about helpful computer formatting software and the latest version of Harvey’s Ten Most Important First Rules of Storytelling.

Each group starts at 7:00 pm and ends at 10 pm. The cost for the six group sessions is $325. Enrollment is limited. Click here for more details

Harvey Ovshinsky Presents three groups that meet at three different venues:

THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF GREATER ANN ARBOR meets on the first Monday of every month except for the first session on Tuesday, September 7 and the fifth session on Tuesday, January 4, 2011.

THE GROSSE POINTE WAR MEMORIAL
meets on the third Monday of every month starting on September 20.

THE COMMUNITY HOUSE OF BIRMINGHAM meets on the last Monday of every month starting on September 27 and ends on February 28, 2011. The December group meets on January 3.

Contact each of the venues to register. For more information or to book or attend any of Harvey’s speeches, workshops, or presentations, call (734) 996-8011.

Meanwhile, enjoy Harvey’s 6 PART LETTERS TO A YOUNG FILMMAKER

8.18.2010

EASTOWN GUTTED BY FIRE AUG 9


Eastown Theater recent photo IS NOW GONE
                                                          

Sadly one of my favorite concert venues is now burned to the ground. I have many memories of sneaking in here under age (knew the bouncers). I found some great sites to share with my readers around the world.


SEE FIRE SHOTS HERE

SEE AFTER FIRE PHOTOS HERE


Note: In light of the Aug. 9 fire that destroyed half the Eastown Theatre complex - and the demolition order that has been issued for the building, BuildingsofDetroit.com is posting this chapter from our book, "Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins," which is due out Aug. 30. The auditorium of the Eastown is featured on the cover of the book. We'll try to update galleries as fast as we can.



Patrons of the Eastown Theatre went from downing popcorn to downing tabs of LSD. The theater is the last survivor of Detroit’s four major neighborhood movie palaces, but its legacy was made as one of the city’s most notorious drug-infused rock venues.

With the rise of movies and the city’s fortunes in the 1920s, Detroit got a number of palatial movie palaces. And as Detroit continued to sprawl and grow, enterprising theater owners decided to bring the movie palaces to the neighborhoods. The west side got the Grand Riviera. The southwest got the Hollywood. The north got the Uptown. And the east side got the Eastown.

The Eastown opened in a largely residential area on Harper Avenue near Van Dyke at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1, 1931, with the movie "Sporting Blood," starring Clark Gable. Advertisements in newspapers at the time declared the theater’s opening as the “dawn of a new entertainment era” and invited Detroiters to “thrill to the glory of Detroit’s newest, finest Palace of Happiness.’” The ads also proclaimed the theater’s opening as “the most glorious event in the history of east Detroit.” Business owners and merchants in the neighborhood pitched in by decorating the surrounding streets for the grand opening.

With 2,500 seats, it was comparable in size and elegance to most of the downtown theaters. The Eastown was built solely for “talking pictures,” and when it opened, admission was 15 cents for afternoons, a quarter for evenings and 35 cents for Saturday and Sunday evenings. Children got in any time for a dime. Patrons would get dressed up for a night at the movies, and uniformed ushers would guide them to their seats.

The complex was built for the Wisper & Wetsman movie chain, one of the largest independent operators of movie theaters in metro Detroit at the time. It was designed by architect V.J. Waier, who used a blend of classical styles for an interior that was mostly Baroque.

It is his only known surviving work in the city. The building was constructed between 1926 and 1930 and featured a 6-foot-high lit dome in the auditorium with a gold-gilded ceiling. The lobby featured imported marble with a wide, elegant marble stairway flowing into the mezzanine. Like those theaters downtown, the Eastown featured office space and stores, but it also had 35 apartments.

In addition, it had the grand Eastown Ballroom, with large arched windows, a band shell and an oak dance floor. Up to 300 people could dine there on fine linen and elegant china or attend weddings and banquets.

From movie shows to rock shows

The Eastown spent nearly four decades thrilling Detroiters as a movie house until it closed in 1967. But it was far from dead. Around this time, many old movie houses and ballrooms, like the Grande Ballroom and the Michigan Theatre, were being converted into rock venues. The once opulent movie palace was largely stripped of adornment, and its seats were ripped out in order to cram more humanity onto the cement floor. It was in this incarnation that the Eastown became one of the foremost places to see rock ’n’ roll in town — and one of its most notorious concert halls.

On May 29, 1969, the theater reopened with its first rock show, with SRC as the headliner. Among those who would play for $3 to $5 a ticket were the Who, the Kinks, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, the Faces, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Captain Beefheart, Steppenwolf, King Crimson, James Gang, Rush, J. Geils Band and Joe Walsh.

Among the locals, the MC5, the Stooges, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and Bob Seger all took its stage. Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes recorded their live album "Survival of the Fittest" at the Eastown, and Joe Cocker began his “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour there.


The Detroit Free Press quoted rocker Alice Cooper in August 1997 as saying that the Eastown was "the best audience in the world. And I’m not saying that just because you’re writing it down. Any other city, people went home from work to put on their Levis and black leather jackets for a concert. In Detroit they came from work like that. The Eastown — those were pure rock ’n’ roll times."

While the Grande had a hippie vibe, the Eastown was all blue-collar — and it was rough. “I remember stepping over a body that had overdosed in front of the backstage door on my way in to talk to Alice [Cooper],” Bill Gray recalled in the Free Press in 1976. “Decadence was treated casually at the Eastown. I also recall coming back to my car after the show, reaching for an eight-track tape and finding air where the tape deck had been two hours before. That was the Eastown.”

That was the Eastown, “a veritable drug supermarket” and major nuisance for then mayor Roman Gribbs.

A musical dope den
Despite two deaths associated with the Eastown in four months, several drug arrests, twenty violations issued by the Detroit Fire Department and operating without city business licenses for nearly a year, the Eastown kept putting on rock shows. Its capacity was legally 1,727, but some nights it drew crowds of 3,000. In December 1970, Gribbs ordered the Eastown’s licenses pulled, but the theater received court injunctions that kept it alive pending city hearings.

Those hearings weren’t helped by the venue’s track record. Between Sept. 19, 1969, and Dec. 17, 1971, the theater received six violations for overcrowding. It also was no secret that the Eastown was a haven for drugs. Detroit police and city officials knew about it, “but fear that any move to stop the drug traffic will provoke a riot” allowed the thriving, unchecked drug dealing to continue, the Free Press wrote in December 1971.

The final straw came after the Free Press launched a month-long investigation in November 1971 into the Eastown. “More than a dozen dope dealers” operated every weekend “with almost no fear of the management, the theater’s security force or the Detroit police,” the paper wrote that December.

Bob Bageris, then 24 years old, told the Free Press that “the Eastown is not a place for dope. I try to keep dope out.” But the Free Press investigation found that he didn’t do a good job of it. “On three successive nights …

Free Press reporters mingled with the young people patronizing the dealers … watched dozens of sales, and found it a simple matter to buy pills and powder hawked as mescaline, amphetamines, barbiturates, LSD, cocaine and heroin.” The newspaper did lab tests and found that some were the real deal and others were phony: “One batch of purported heroin turned out to be an insoluble substance that could kill anyone who injected it.”


Angry residents and parents insisted that the city step in, and Mayor Roman Gribbs yanked the licenses that month, citing violations of city health and safety codes. A week later, a federal judge declined to overturn Gribbs’s order, and the Eastown stayed closed.

The concert hall would briefly reopen under new management for a handful of shows spread out over a couple of months in 1973. Gribbs approved of its reopening at the time but withdrew his support that June following a flurry of protests from neighborhood groups and a survey of residents showing that 80 percent opposed the venue reopening its doors. Lizz Haskell, president of a neighborhood improvement association, told the Detroit News in May 1973 that Eastown patrons would park in their driveways or on their lawns and “sometimes ran through the streets without any clothes on.”

“This community is no place to be staging a rock concert,” Haskell told the News that July. “This theater is bringing nothing but crime and drugs into our community.”

Eastown Productions Inc. carried on without a license but under the belief that it would get one, citing a letter from Gribbs saying that its license was approved. Joe Walsh and REO Speedwagon did the reopening honors on July 19, 1973, before nearly 3,000 fans. About 50 protesters picketed as “the sweet, pungent smell of marijuana and popcorn and sweat mixed with the blaring rock music and shouts,” the Free Press reported at the time. There were several minor shoving incidents between concertgoers and demonstrators, and several people reported their tires slashed. Meanwhile, four youths suffering from drug overdoses were taken to a hospital. The city wound up denying the permits, and the battle returned to the courtroom, where a judge ruled that the Eastown could be closed.

New name, same bad luck

In late 1975 or early 1976, the Eastown was renamed the Showcase Theatre and reopened as a play, music and jazz hall with 2,000 seats reinstalled. High school friends Chris Jaszczak, Gary MacDonald and Mike Jeanguenat — all under 30 at the time — were one-time Eastown regulars who loved the theater but were newcomers to the entertainment business. Jaszczak told the Free Press in 1976: “We are the children of white flight from Detroit. Now we are coming back and we all live in the Showcase neighborhood. We have more than a business interest — we live there.”

Ravi Shankar, Tom Waits and Pat Metheny played there during this era, as did the Godfather of Soul. James Brown brought his sweaty, high-octane stage show for fourteen gigs in six days at the Showcase in December 1976 during his “Body Heat” tour. When Brown allegedly wouldn’t pay the Showcase for rent, the venue refused to give him back his $50,000 worth of equipment, and a temporary court order was issued. Brown eventually paid up, Jaszczak noted. After about a year and a half, Jaszczak said he’d had enough, and he went to work at a different venue. “The gangs in the neighborhood were awful,” recalled Jaszczak, now 62 and living in downtown Detroit. “When we went out to change the marquee, we’d have to send two people out there or else they’d steal the letters and try to sell them back to us…We’d do a show and patrons would come out and all their tires would be gone.”

The owner of the theater, Forester Hill Management, took out classified ads looking for a theater company to become a tenant. Charles Reed answered the call, and the Detroit Center for the Performing Arts started staging professional theater, children’s plays, educational plays and free acting workshops. Despite the Eastown’s less-than-desirable location, Reed told the Free Press in 1985, “I think there’s room for good theater everywhere.”

At its high point, the DCPA entertained 30,000 people a year with its adult and youth theaters, according to the organization. “To work there was incredible,” said actor Daniel Jaroslaw, now 60 and living in Pepin, Wis. “At night, the theater would speak to you with creaks and groans. It was just so cavernous.”


While the building may have been sound, it still looked vacant and condemned and was filled with rubble and debris. In the mid-’90s, the DCPA planned to spend $2 million to $6 million restoring the plasterwork and updating the ballroom and backstage area and mechanical and electrical systems. But those plans were dependent solely on fund-raising, grants and contributions, and “Detroit was really taking a beating in the arts” at the time,

Jaroslaw said. The plan included conducting children’s theaters, plays, workshops and musicals for low-income youths and renting the theater out for shows. In return for their lessons, students were to contribute their time, helping out with ushering, selling concessions and cleaning up. But the project foundered, and the Eastown closed again.

The curtain closes

In the mid- to late 1990s, the Eastown became an infamous site of raves attended by hundreds of people. While in ragged shape, the theater still clung to much of its past grandeur. Its exotic chandeliers still dangled from the ceiling, and beautiful tapestries still framed the stage. Its electric blue seats were still there, albeit musty and moldy. Then it was taken over by a church group, which housed some of its members in the complex’s apartments. The church tried several times to sell the theater, starting about 2004, for $2 million. The price was cut in half in late 2009.

The building was abandoned and quickly took a turn for the worse. In recent years, a fire gutted the apartments in the complex. Decorative plaster lies in heaps everywhere, though there are still spots where the building’s original luster shines. The paint has worn from the proscenium arch in places. Likewise, busts of women on the walls, once beautiful coppers and gold, are now plain white, if still intact at all. The walls in the auditorium have been washed away from a faulty roof. The electric blue paint that had been slapped on the balcony is still there, even though big chunks of the balcony are not, having succumbed to water damage. The chandeliers and railings are gone, too, as are the moldy seats.

Yet despite the devastation, the dome of the auditorium almost looks brand-new, painted as vividly as the day it was applied — a bright spot that belies a fate that is anything but.

In the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 2010, a fire destroyed the apartments in the complex, reducing half the building to nothing but rubble. An emergency demolition notice was posted on the building the following day. It seems unlikely that the city will go to the lengths required to safely demolish the burned-out apartments and save the theater. The neighborhood is among the most dangerous in Detroit, and the money required to revive the Eastown Theatre means the grand movie palace on the East Side will almost certainly fall to the wreckers.

Did arsonists burn the Eastown Theatre?

8.17.2010

FOR ELVIS.....


What do you say about Elvis? He was my father figure for my whole life. I guess it was because my father looked so much like him. My father had a southern drawl and played boogie woogie on the piano. He was 6'4 and had that dark wavy hair. His hair was naturally dark though Elvis dyed his dark.   


 In the late 80's I produced a traveling convention show around the US and worked in Memphis right before Christmas every year. I dragged my young staff to visit Graceland every year. They groused about going because they were young and he wasn't "cool" to them then. But now years later when I see one of my old staff kids they always bring up how lucky they were to see Elvis's home and the surrounding landmarks like Sun Records I made them go there too! Little bitty place.
 

Here is a picture of Elvis's jumpsuits. As you can see they used to just hang there and were out in the open. You could touch them if you really wanted to. Now I hear they are behind glass and displayed better. The air would destroy them and they need to be protected.
 

This is just like the cool watch I got at the souvenir shop across the street along with my "Teddy" Bear sweat shirt and Elvis ash trays!
 

One of my favorite stories I tell about going to Graceland is about Ruby the tour tram driver. I stayed on the tram one time as I had seen the tour so many times. As I was chatting with the driver, Ruby. She asked me what Graceland really looked like inside. She had been driving this tour bus for 15 years and never once went inside... ah people! One time I was with the show in Chicago and had a security manager there who used to do security for Elvis. 

He had the cool gold TCB (taking care of business) necklace that Elvis gave to people he liked. I go to put it on and wear it for a day. sigh....
My favorite room at Graceland was the living room. I really liked the custom built white couch. It was like 15 feet long and extra deep. At 5'8 your feet would stick straight out if you sat with your back against the pillows. 
 

My second favorite room is the gold records giant hallway. Man he had a ton of gold and platinum records! Take a virtual tour of Graceland!
 
Hall of gold and platinum records
My personal favorites:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

addtoany