1.19.2013

JOHNNY BEE BADANJEK'S THE EARLY ROCKETS & THE TORPEDOS' JOHNNY ANGELOS

The Rockets

The seventies rock & roll in the Motor-city... An amazing time to be playing in the bar scene. Between Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Toledo there where only a handful of clubs and they would be packed every night.



I started a new band called The Rockets featuring Jim McCarty on guitar who was also a band mate from our first band Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels. And on bass was John Fraga, and Marc Marcano on keyboards. We had no vocalist at the time and so I sang from behind the drums.

 

There were many musician friends who would always stop by and wanna sit in, we only allowed the musicians we knew who could play to sit in. There was a young lad that would always be hanging out and asking us to let him sit in, he had a cropped haircut like the English musicians ala The Faces and he always had on a Burgundy Velvet suit.



He was like the Mick Jagger of Detroit. Before he would sit in he'd walk into the restroom and wrap wads of toilet paper around his neck and as we started to play he would grab the mike and start singing while ripping piece's of the paper off from around his neck and he'd be throwing piece's of it at the girls on the dance floor.


 Johnny Angelos (photo) Sue Rynski

And believe me I'm talking about a lot of toilet paper. The dance floor would be covered. He had it all, a rock star in the making. At the time The Rockets were managed by John Sinclair and Pete Andrews who lived in Ann Arbor.


Johnny Angelos and Robert Gillespie
(photo courtesy of Robert Gillespie)

After playing the Red Carpet one night and Johnny sitting in with us, the next day I had to go to a band meeting in Ann Arbor. It was early afternoon and I was in heavy traffic, as I was flying down I-94 just passing Metro Airport I did a double take because out of the corner of my eye....

I saw Johnny Angelos hitch-hiking on the side of the freeway with his Burgundy Velvet suit on and messed up hair in the hot sun, and I'm thinking damn that's one crazy mf. He never even went home yet and the man is heading out to sing on another gamble with love in his eyes. Johnny was a bad-ass singer who never reaped the awards he was due.

RIP my brother. Much love, Johnny Bee Badanjek



From Ricky Ratt's Article: Fallen Angelos


Detroit Guitarist Robert Gillespie and Johnny Angelos formed the Torpedos in October 1978, fusing their love of classic Motown soul and blues with elements of Heartbreakers and Sex Pistols punk. Gillespie says the Torpedos stood out from an emerging pack of new bands because “we had killer songs and a excellent front man in Johnny, who was like Rod Stewart, but more deviant.”

They developed a following, label interest and landed choice shows with the Romantics at venues such as Cleveland’s Agora ballroom and Detroit’s Masonic Temple. They got some radio support from Doug Podell and Steve Kostan. Yet it was not enough.

The Torpedos broke up shortly after Angelos split in 1981. He went on to form the Reputations with guitar slinger Bobby East. The Torpedos tried to continue with Thomas Anonymous, a singer from New York.


Thanks Bee and Robert!! xxKim

Stay tuned for more...

6 comments:

  1. cynthia miska goss4/22/2013 1:09 PM

    Glad to see Johnny Angelos getting some recognition. I've periodically checked the Internet for years for mention of him. I'm from Southfield, but moved to Hollywood in 1973 where I met all the Detroit expats. Can't remember the exact year I met John, Gloria and Cynthia, but what a crew. They were wild even for LA. I dated Greg Denning who played in Flack with Marc Falconberry. Also met The Rockets in LA when I worked at BMI, that must have been in the eighties, nice guys. I've now been in California twice as long as I lived in Detroit area. Lordy! Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your recognition of these great musicians. I tried to comment on Retrokimmer, but I couldn't get it to work. Maybe you could paraphrase this letter and put it on your comments, I'm not so computer savvy, but I would like people to know we remember and appreciate their great music.
    Sincerely, Cynthia Miska Goss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I found this "comment" area for John.
      Yes the mid-"Hollywood Years" of John Angelos. This was the time (1973-76) for me in working with John, Bob Slap (guitar),and Mike Pestrito )1st of many other drummers) in the band Mighty Quick. We also had a sax player (Crazy) "Buffalo" Bob Roberts...for a while.
      I was a transplant from Metro Detroit that moved to Hollywood. There I met John and Bob in the Hollywood Hills trying to form a band and needed a bassist. Things worked out with us and we then found "Mini-Mike" Pestrito. This was the original LA Mighty Quick.
      We did out debut job at Rodney Bingenheimer's club on Sunset. John bought drinks for everyone...so we had a big tab. We continued to do shows everywhere within 200 miles of LA..Hollywood, concerts in Griffth Park, Fontana, Topanga Canyon's "Corral", San Luis Obispo ( at a prison auditorium...John was "sick" in the car from the travel from LA)....well many places. We did shows with the emerging Van Halen.
      We rehearsed in a studio rented by our "benefactor" Mernia Shepiero...here we had soooo many guys jam....Iggy Pop (We also let him sit-in with us at one of our Rodney Bingenheimer's shows), New York Dolls,...hell there were CRAZY times.
      I never see anything ever written about these years of the LA Mighty Quick Band. John penned and we played/recorded almost all the song he later did with The Torpedoes/Reputations...etc. These later groups were copying what we did from 1973-76.
      These were indeed crazy times that I can't fit into this space..but every time I see anything about John in these formative "raunch music" years. People always seem to leave the LA Mighty Quick out....yes "Cynthia" was "around" ( also with Willie Twork...Greg's best friend.. as well)..yes Marc had Flack (and a good friend of John and me)..but they were not part of the music/band and did not know what we did.
      John was a true "raw" and underrated talent...unfortunately all his efforts fell a little short. The LA Mighty Quick was a full effort by John, Bob and myself for years that began Johns "raunch" music (Teenage Confidential.we recorded in 1974-75..with others). The LA Mighty Quick also fell short..all these unfulfilled efforts truly led to Johns untimely death.
      G. Rick Rinz

      Delete
    2. Well I found this "comment" area for John.
      Yes the mid-"Hollywood Years" of John Angelos. This was the time (1973-76) for me in working with John, Bob Slap (guitar),and Mike Pestrito )1st of many other drummers) in the band Mighty Quick. We also had a sax player (Crazy) "Buffalo" Bob Roberts...for a while.
      I was a transplant from Metro Detroit that moved to Hollywood. There I met John and Bob in the Hollywood Hills trying to form a band and needed a bassist. Things worked out with us and we then found "Mini-Mike" Pestrito. This was the original LA Mighty Quick.
      We did out debut job at Rodney Bingenheimer's club on Sunset. John bought drinks for everyone...so we had a big tab. We continued to do shows everywhere within 200 miles of LA..Hollywood, concerts in Griffth Park, Fontana, Topanga Canyon's "Corral", San Luis Obispo ( at a prison auditorium...John was "sick" in the car from the travel from LA)....well many places. We did shows with the emerging Van Halen.
      We rehearsed in a studio rented by our "benefactor" Mernia Shepiero...here we had soooo many guys jam....Iggy Pop (We also let him sit-in with us at one of our Rodney Bingenheimer's shows), New York Dolls,...hell there were CRAZY times.
      I never see anything ever written about these years of the LA Mighty Quick Band. John penned and we played/recorded almost all the song he later did with The Torpedoes/Reputations...etc. These later groups were copying what we did from 1973-76.
      These were indeed crazy times that I can't fit into this space..but every time I see anything about John in these formative "raunch music" years. People always seem to leave the LA Mighty Quick out....yes "Cynthia" was "around" ( also with Willie Twork...Greg's best friend.. as well)..yes Marc had Flack (and a good friend of John and me)..but they were not part of the music/band and did not know what we did.
      John was a true "raw" and underrated talent...unfortunately all his efforts fell a little short. The LA Mighty Quick was a full effort by John, Bob and myself for years that began Johns "raunch" music (Teenage Confidential.we recorded in 1974-75..with others). The LA Mighty Quick also fell short..all these unfulfilled efforts truly led to Johns untimely death.
      G. Rick Rinz

      Delete
  2. Hey Rick plz email me at retrokimmer@gmail.com I would love to do a story on the band....Have any photos? xK Thanks for the history! xK

    ReplyDelete
  3. Johnny was my cousin, he lived in dearborn heights with my Uncle Harry & Aunt Cookie. Whenever we went to his house for parties, the band & him always played for us. I remember his graduation party, they played m,ost of the day in the backyard. He was a really nice guy who was always kind to all 7 of his star struck cousins.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was with John in the Amboy Dukes, he was a good guy, good front man and people mistook him for Rod Stewart. He could kick ass on a harmonica too. He was dedicated to the life. When I heard of his passing, it saddened me. I remember going to pick him up for a gig, the band was all packed and it was early, about 7:30 am, and we had a long drive ahead of us. John had just arrived home and was still sleeping in his stage clothes. We had to wake him up, carry him to the car and hit the road. By the time we got to the gig, he was awake and ready, never missed a step. RIP John, Rob Grange

    ReplyDelete

We love comments! What do you think?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...