Birch Run Expo Center
11600 S Beyer Rd
Birch Run, MI 48415

Friday September 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM
Sunday October 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Mid-Michigan Motorcycle Show
Detroit Bike Week
Indoor / Outdoor Event
Ride in Bike Show
Stunt Bike Riders
Crapper Races
Burnout Pit
Live Bands ALL Weekend
Hot Body Contest
Poker Run
Bike Blessing



Today's guest post come from my Rock Star Attorney friend Scott Batey... I have to tell you... Scott is an encyclopedia of the Law for sure but OMG what he knows about rock music is immense. Scott has a whole different take on rock than I do. I want to share his love for music with you all... Scott called today and told me that R.E.M. was folding so he wrote this story to go with today's call. Thanks Scott!! RK


From Scott:

For me Pretty Persuasion is the quintessential REM song:

These Days was the first saw I saw them do this live at the Fox in 1986.

Half a World Away is particularly special to me, in 1993 I spent the summer in London studying at the University of Notre Dame Law School’s London campus while my girlfriend (and future wife) stayed in Michigan.

I stayed in a dorm at the London School of Economics (where Mick Jagger and JFK also studied) and would go into the pub in the basement of the dorm (yes they had a pub in the basement of the dorm which I must say was very convenient) and play this song over and over thinking about my future wife. I think I drove the bartender Clive crazy, but it helped get me through the summer. Half a World Away

I think New Adventures in HI-FI was one of R.E.M.’s masterpieces and E-bow the Letter with Patti Smith is a beautiful and haunting song:

E-Bow the Letter

The concert in Rome was truly amazing and one of the great things about the internet is we get to relive some special moments:

Concert in Rome

In 2007 REM played 5 nights at the Olympic Theatre in Dublin what they called as a rehearsal. They released a live DVD, but what I found particularly refreshing was that unlike many of the contemporary bands of their time they didn’t forget their roots and actually played obscure songs that were not particularly radio friendly:





Which brings us to the release of their glorious album Collapse into Now which is absolutely brilliant. One particular interesting issue with this album was the appearance that Michael Stipe may have actually found faith.

Stipe who was a well known agnostic has several lyrics leading the listener (me) to conclude he has found God. I have not been able to confirm this, but in any event the CD offers the most optimistic and positive lyrics of their entire career. My two favorites are Oh My Heart and Uberlin:

Everyday is Yours to Win is the most inspiring REM song of all time with my favorite lyric “every day is new again, every day is yours to win and that’s how heroes are made.” As someone who believes this country desperately needs more heroes I think we should all focus more on winning our day, every day:


And they can still Rock:


Finally, last week after hearing of their break-up, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam who sings on “It Happened Today” , shares with the crowd his thoughts on the break-up and does a nice version of the song:


Thank you REM for all of the beauty you shared with world.





Next week I will be interviewing with the Ann Arbor Library about my experiences growing up around Ann Arbor in the late 1960's and early 70's. Here is a little bit of a snap shot...

December 10, 1971 was the date of the Free John Now Rally at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We were at that rally with friends until about 1 am. John Lennon didn't come on until 3 am.. or so I heard later. The arena was packed and I remember having a great time in that crowd. Being 15 years old gave me a different perspective. We didn't take the concert that seriously. Years later it's importance became more apparent.

The cause for this documentary is that, in 1970 or 71, John Sinclair was sentenced to a ten year prison term for possession of two marijuana cigarettes; hence the documentary's title, Ten for Two. This was no ordinary drug bust, as Sinclair was the head of the White Panther's/Rainbow People's Party and the sentence he received was, in everyone's minds, political punishment not commensurate with his crime.

In protest, a large number of performers and counter-culture protestors gathered for a concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The concert featured Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Alan Ginsberg and many others. Political figures included Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, Rennie Davis and Jerry Rubin, to name just a few.

The arena was filled with patchouli oil and pot smoke. There were tons of speakers and lots of bands as well. You can see the historic lineup HERE

Oddly two very renown bands didn't play that night. The MC5 and SRC were not on the lineup. My age group weren't radical at this time. The folks who were the most radical were about 5-8 years older than I were mostly college students and hippies around Ann Arbor. My group was pretty apathetic and just wanted to have fun.

On Sundays there were regular free concerts at Gallup Park in the summers. We loved those concerts. Dick Wagner and Frost, MC5, SRC, Teegarden and Van Winkle were some of the fabulous bands we got to hear for free.

A series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, December 10, 1971

The Ann Arbor District Library is working on this series in collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Bentley Historical Library, and Cousins Vinyl in Ypsilanti

As part of the celebration, the Ann Arbor District Library will be launching a website that includes the full run of the Ann Arbor Sun, which will be available for full-text searching and browsing online. It will also include a collection of interviews and other image and audio collections.

The events in December are:

Friday, December 2, 2011
ROCK & REVOLUTION exhibit opening and reception
FEATURING Michael Erlewine, WITH SPECIAL GUESTS Leni Sinclair and Gary Grimshaw
7:00 pm, Downtown Library, Ann Arbor (Exhibit runs through January 15, 2012) NO CHARGE

Friday, December 9, 2011
FREEING JOHN SINCLAIR website premiere event FEATURING Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, WITH SPECIAL GUESTS John Sinclair
8:00 pm, The Ark, Ann Arbor NO CHARGE

Saturday, December 10, 2011
CULTURE JAMMING: A LONG VIEW BACK panel discussion FEATURING John Sinclair, Leni Sinclair, Pun Plamondon, David Fenton, and Genie Parker. HOST Bruce Conforth 1:00 pm, Pendleton Room, Michigan Union, Ann Arbor

John Sinclair Facebook

John Sinclair in Cyberspace

Jarrod Dicker's Interview with John Sinclair


Fleetwood Mac with Danny Kirwan and Peter Green on guitars, playing the hit "Oh Well" in 1969, written by Green. This was from a time (before their commercial pop period of the late 70's) when Fleetwood Mac was a great blues band. Peter Green, an extraordinarily fine guitarist and singer, descended into madness and deprivation while a new lineup in the 70's became zillionaires.

The MC5 playing Kick Out The Jams at Wayne State University, summer of 1971 on independent Detroit station WABX-TV Tubeworks. The mindblowing energy of this band at peak power needs no further explanation.

Bo Diddley on the Big TNT SHOW (1966) playing "Hey Bo Diddley" while the kids in the crowd go nuts."The Duchess" features on guitar. Once when Bo was playing in Australia, a teenaged Angie Pepper filled in for Bo's main backing singer at the show when she became suddenly indisposed.




Photo of Al Capone, his son and his attorney Roland Libonati speaking to Gabby Hartnett at Wrigley Field. The exact date was September 9, 1931, which at that time was the very end of the baseball season, like it is now.

We are so excited to have Arthur Nash (above with Frank Cammarata's .38 Colt) contribute this story today! Artie is perhaps the US expert on the Mafia. Artie works with the Mob Museum in Las Vegas and owns The Mob Scene Gallery in NYC. We met via the internet last year when we did a piece on Crazy Joey Gallo. Arthur emailed me about his fab Gallery and I loved it...

Today we are running an article Artie wrote about Al Capone getting an autographed baseball which caused a huge outrage back in the day...

Observing a proud Chicagoland tradition, the National League Cubs and their cross-town rival White Sox – the latter still dogged by discredit for having rigged the Fall Classic on behalf of New York City gamblers more than a decade earlier—suited up to participate in an exhibition game before the impending finish of their nineteen thirty-one season.

As players from both ball clubs mingled, glad-handing local dignitaries and one another or penning autographs for fanatically bulb-eyed schoolboys, a cluster of photographers stood near the third base bag. Their press credentials and camera rigs at the ready, they awaited the inaugural slap of leather and crack of the bat in a time-honored competition that to the winner, at least, conveyed year-long, citywide bragging rights.

While the same reporters idled or chatted, straining to hear their own voices over the stadium‘s mounting dissonance—some of it, at least, fueled by the wares of Prohibition booze barons— a rookie among the flock permitted his gaze to pass casually over the buoyant faces of the main grandstand, then back and forth, sweeping down through each dugout until his eyes fixed on one face in particular that stopped him cold.

Scott Brick volunteered his time to make the recording/video and is a hugely sought-after guy in the publishing world.

My God”, Frank Zak shuddered, faintly gesturing toward the first base side. “That’s Al Capone over there!” Immediately, though, Zak‘s band of colleagues responded with skepticisms. The notorious bootlegger was the last person they‘d expect to spot within the confines of Comiskey Park in the middle of the afternoon.

You’re nuts, Frank!‖ said one of them, a little too sharply, perhaps, while allowing the tools of his trade, locked and loaded, to fall limply by his side for effect. Capone wouldn‘t be here. I mean, the cops are looking for him. He‘s Wanted!‖ To Zak‘s ear, their comments were needlessly rebuffing.

Well, if you don’t believe me that’s alright,‖ he replied, confident his God-given gift of eyesight hadn‘t failed him. ―But I’m going to find out.Zak worked his way around the newly-clipped sea of infield green until he reached the on-deck area, a few yards from his intended target, and confirmed again that it was, in point of fact, Capone — perched along the front row with his son and several watchful bodyguards sporting dark, obligatory pinstriped suits, each crowned by an off-white fedora. Zak recognized a similarly clad and especially attentive gentleman in the front row as Capone‘s private attorney.

The solicitor‘s baleful eyes remained firmly on Zak and his cumbersome gear as they made their final approach but, as an eighteen year old stringer in the heart of the Great Depression, Zak couldn‘t afford to be intimidated. And not after he‘d been spurned by veteran newshounds who still stood dawdling around the third base line. Now it was more than mere business. Capturing Capone‘s portrait was a matter of professional satisfaction and come-uppance. He continued his beeline toward the luxury box.

―Al, my name is Frank,” Zak addressed Capone as unassumingly as he could manage while fumbling with his camera‘s stubborn manifold. “I’m with the Chicago Daily Times and I’d like to get a picture of you with your son.‖ There was no immediate response, but in the millisecond it took Zak‘s shutter to snap closed he sensed a bristle go through Capone‘s lieutenants as they trained themselves on the spot where he stood.

It was then the solution came to him all at once, as if by divine intervention: When Al Capone rooted, he rooted for Wrigley Field.
I could get Hartnett over here,‖ Zak shrewdly volunteered, referring to his unassuming new friend Gabby, the Cubs‘ heavy-hitting catcher. ―Maybe he could autograph a ball for your son.

Capone‘s plumped features lit up, and he swiveled to cast a look down the handsome youngster seated beside him. ―Oh boy,‖ Capone beamed as he turned to face Zak. ―Could you fix it?

Sure I can, Zak countered, just as the bigger man leaned forward, reaching a smoothly manicured hand in his direction. Zak felt frozen in place. Wait a minute,‖ Capone said, slipping something neatly between Zak‘s anxious fingers which he soon enough discovered was a crisply-minted twenty dollar bill, amounting to appreciably more than the eleven bucks a week Zak was paid by the Daily Times.

Not wasting breath, Zak rushed to find the batting hero who‘d been warming up near the visitor‘s clubhouse and, as he‘d hoped, Hartnett was eager to make the gang boss‘s acquaintance. The slugger smiled broadly as he sauntered toward the junior Capone, known as ‗Sonny‘, who wore a light colored double-breasted that closely resembled his father‘s, his hair neatly greased and sharply parted on one side. Hartnett leaned in toward the Capone party and produced a brilliant white baseball, then a fountain pen – the prearranged signal.

Zak took note of a peanut vendor brushing precariously close to Capone as he sized up his shot, and bodyguards reaching abruptly inside their coats. It was at about this time, naturally, that the swarm of shutterbugs Zak left stranded at third began to get wise and within seconds every last one of them was jockeying for best position. Not, though, before Frank Zak had staked his rightful claim.

Zak couldn‘t say precisely when, but at a point in all the confusion he handed Capone a caption sheet bearing the logo of the Daily Times – and Capone handed it back with his signature. Then, pleased with himself and the fruit of his labors, Zak backed slowly away and reloaded for the melee about to begin. At the end of nine innings he‘d be ready to celebrate, but now he had more work to do. Even still, by the end of seven he‘d caught himself improvising on a familiar old jingle:

Take me out to the ball-game
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some Sloe Gin and crack mark-smen
If you can’t bribe those Cop-pers we’ll do five-to-ten
STOP! Don't shoot, shoot, shoot! We ain’t Gaaang-sters…

But Zak‘s elation was short-lived, and when his handiwork appeared in print next morning, shortly before its syndication in papers throughout the country, it carried with it some unexpected consequences. Through the sportswriters‘ grapevine, Zak learned the fiercely omnipotent Commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis— the same man who‘d banished eight players for life in the wake of the Black Sox scandal— blew his stack upon seeing Zak‘s portrait of Capone smiling and receiving favors from one of the game‘s premier talents.

Judging by Landis‘s reaction one might have believed Frank Zak was the scofflaw, not Al Capone – that he‘d committed grave felonies by introducing two of the Windy City‘s most ink-worthy citizens, playing a game of matchmaker all too familiar in a town where handshake deals were endemic and far greater offenses were consummated before breakfast. Had Landis known the portrait was as staged as the 1919 World Series had been, things might have been worse.

But he didn‘t, and went on to ensure Zak‘s proudest accomplishment would never be replicated. It was yet another bruise on our national pastime, Landis persisted in private meetings with club owners – one they didn‘t need in a period when both the game and nation were struggling for economic, if not spiritual survival.

From now on we don’t do that,‖ Landis commanded, laying down the law in that blissfully ignorant age before the corked bat, the treachery of pine tar, or the human grown hormone.

No ballplayer is to mingle with a spectator – and especially that kind!”

Arthur Nash
The Mob Scene Gallery NYC

Read More on The Mob on Retro: Kimmer


Altamont Free Concert 1969

Foreword from Deniz Tek:

The late 60's saw the advent of the big outdoor rock festival. Monterey Pop was probably the zenith of the phenomenon. The most famous of them, Woodstock, gets generally good revisionist press. It was heralded as a shining example of peace and love, and a "functional spontaneously organized community". (Despite being planned, far from spontaneous, and regarding functionality, the Army had to bring in food and water by helicopters).

Mick Jagger

Still, the sound there was good, and nobody got murdered. Goose Lake, our big festival in Michigan, was more like the scene described below. Altamont, outside the bay area, was the nail in the coffin .... the "dark side" of the Woodstock nation, and a disturbingly negative representation of the Stones, (perhaps unfairly) and of humanity in general.

The documentary film "Gimme Shelter" is an amazingly cogent picture of that unique and strange time ... I have seen it several times and never lose interest in it.

Last November I was visiting my friend Ron Sanchez. It was the 40th anniversary of Altamont. Ron had been there. Having drinks and talking about it late that night, deep in the Montana winter, I asked Ron to write down his memories of that fascinating piece of cultural history ... a story that hasn't really been covered recently from the audience perspective.

Here now is :

Memories of Altamont
by Ron Sanchez
6 December, 1969
Altamont Raceway, Livermore CA

At the end of the first Rolling Stones tour of the USA since 1966, talk of a "free gig in the park" began to circulate. This was quickly nixed by the city fathers. An alternate plan was to hold the show at the Sears Point Raceway, in Sonoma, north of San Francisco. Just two days before the December 6th date, the event was moved to the Altamont Raceway, between Livermore and Tracy, east of Oakland. This last minute change was probably a warning sign that all would not go well, but we and 300,000 others chose to ignore it.

The night before the show, my brother and his friends would be going to see the Dead and Humble Pie (making their SF debut) at the Fillmore West. The plan was for them to drive back to San Jose to pick my girlfriend and myself up with all the necessary supplies and head back up the other side of the Bay to the gig. Visions of Woodstock were still dancing in our heads, and we all expected a day of peace, love and the Rolling Stones.

Altamont is not a place you'd want to go unless you were really into stock car racing. The dry rolling hills of the interior of Central California didn't offer much except wide open spaces. The last minute relocation of the concert meant there was no chance of preparation for 300,000 attendees. The stage and PA were hardly up to the standards one had come to expect. The low stage compounded the problems that were to erupt later in the day.

I remember driving out to this desolate location well before the sun had come up. It wasn't hard to find our destination. Seems like once we got off US 580, we drove as far as we could, then got out and walked. It was pretty surreal. The first hint that all was not well came as we neared the race track. People were headed the other way saying 'things are pretty weird". As if on cue, a couple of longhairs attacked a hapless program vendor screaming that he was a "rip off". Yikes.

The early December weather was warm once the sun was high in the sky. With already more than 100,000 people there, we weren't going to be getting a spot anywhere near the front of the stage. We ended up setting up a little behind the stage, on the left side. On the side of a hill, we did have an ok view.

It's just what we were seeing wasn't your standard rock gig behavior. A lot of people seemed to have decided this was going to be a good time to take a lot of drugs and get really wasted. A guy near us seemed to be going into violent convulsions. His friends pinned him down, shoved some reds down his gullet followed by a large dose of jug wine. This was not an isolated incident.

I'm pretty sure Santana was the first band to play. I managed to doze off, only to be woken by the commotion on stage. Marty Balin, from Jefferson Airplane had waded into a crowd of Hell's Angels in an attempt to stop some sort of violence being committed on a member of the audience. Marty got knocked out for his trouble, and the rest of the band was pretty unhappy. I'm surprised we didn't pack up and leave at this point. My brother and his friends decided to wander off to see what they could see. I don't know what they might have been thinking. A dose of acid probably didn't help their judgement.

I do have a vivid memory of the Flying Burrito Brothers playing Six Days On The Road, but that's all. Gram Parsons was there. I cant prove that, and I didn't have any sense of time either. At some point I thought I'd walk down to the outhouses for a pee, but one look at the overflowing honey buckets dashed any urgency. A friend from high school who was also there had similar memories:

".....my clearest recollection was going down to the hollow where they'd set up porta-potties. guys (i must presume it was at least mostly guys) had been urinating on the ground rather than wait in line, so it was all muddy with pee. There was a guy wearing nothing but a pair of jeans who was having a very bad trip, and was screaming and writhing around in the mud while people ignored him. I thought, "ugly...so not Woodstock."

At some point several Hell's Angels decided they needed to park their bikes right in front of the stage. The sight and sound of them forcing their way through the packed crowd down in front was plenty disturbing.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were the next band on stage. Again, there isn't anything I remember about this set, but I'm sure they were sorry they signed on. The Stones decided they wanted to wait until the sun went down before they would play. This meant a very long delay between CSN&Y and the Stones.

Not a good idea when the crowd was already in the early stages of Lord Of The Flies. Before long, bonfires were lit around the rim of the natural bowl we were situated in. This was very unsettling, and gave the proceedings an air of some strange pre-historic gathering.

There was a bit of hope when the Stones hit the stage. From our vantage point, we had a good view of Charlie Watts' head and we could see Mick when he'd jump up. You'd like to think music soothes the savage, but this wasn't going to happen today. By the third song, Sympathy For The Devil, things started to erupt.

The band stopped and Mick pleaded with everyone to cool down. If you've seen the Gimme Shelter movie, you can get a pretty good idea of the chaos ... a very out of control situation. A few songs later, just into Under My Thumb, I saw the most incredible thing I think I've ever seen in my life. In a blink of an eye, the whole crowd in front of the stage flew back 100 feet or more in a cloud of dust.

The crowd let out an audible gasp, wondering what just happened. Again, the band pleaded with the audience to calm down. If they had stopped now, I think things would have just exploded.

They tried to restart things with a debut performance of Brown Sugar. Due to the pathetic PA, I thought I was hearing "Crap Shooter". Amazingly, they continued on with this and another seven songs to complete the set with out any more interruptions. By this time I was sitting on the grass with my head in my hands. I was concerned that we hadn't seen the rest of our group for several hours. Everything going on around us was just not pleasant.

Sitting in the cold and dark with the possibility we might not find our ride home was not my idea of fun. I imagine everyone was happy when the music stopped and a few lights came on at the race track, which was behind the stage. There were no calls for an encore, just the realization it was over and time to go. The Dead were suppose to play, but it was clear that this wasn't going to happen.

Much to my relief, my brother and friends appeared out of the darkness and helped gather up our little camp. It was like a defeated army in retreat as we all made the long long trek to the car. We walked at least two hours each direction. I had no idea where we were, or where we parked. The familiar buzzing of the power transmission lines overhead were the only indication we were nearing our goal.

I don't think I went to many concerts in the next year and with few exceptions avoided the football stadium gigs that were the norm in the 70's. Watching the documentary of the tour and this gig, Gimme Shelter still brings back some very unpleasant memories and emotions. I never went to see the Stones again.

Rolling Stones Set, Altamont

1. "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
2. "Carol"
3. "Sympathy for the Devil" (stopped then restarted because of fights breaking out)
4. "The Sun Is Shining"
5. "Stray Cat Blues"
6. "Love in Vain"
7. "Under My Thumb" (stopped then restarted because of fights breaking out)
8. "Brown Sugar" (first live performance)
9. "Midnight Rambler"
10. "Live with Me"
11. "Gimme Shelter"
12. "Little Queenie"
13. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
14. "Honky Tonk Women"
15. "Street Fighting Man"

Thanks Ron and Deniz!!!..



Had a nice conversation this afternoon with Arthur Nash owner of The Mob Scene Gallery in Little Italy (NYC). Sadly Arthur told me about the dismantling of the landmark Chelsea Hotel. This is a world famous hotel with a vast history in rock n roll.. Also the Chelsea is known for it's many ghostly inhabitants....

Many a deceased famous figure has refused to check out of the Chelsea. Dylan Thomas, Eugene O'Neill and Thomas Wolfe have all been spotted in spirit form. Be particularly careful when you ride the elevator: the ghost of Sid Vicious (the Sex Pistols bassist who died of a heroin overdose) is reported to linger on the lift and randomly makes a stop on the 1st floor without anyone pushing a button.

The Hotel Chelsea, also known as the Chelsea Hotel, or simply the Chelsea, is a historic New York City hotel and landmark, known primarily for its history of notable residents. Located at 222 West 23rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, the 250-unit hotel has been the home of numerous writers, musicians, artists, and actors, including Bob Dylan, Virgil Thomson, Charles Bukowski, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Jobriath, and Larry Rivers.

Though the Hotel Chelsea no longer accepts new long-term residencies, the building is still home to many residents who lived there before the change of policy. As of August 1, 2011, the hotel has stopped accepting guests.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey while staying at the Chelsea, and poets Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso chose it as a place for philosophical and intellectual exchange. It is also known as the place where the writer Dylan Thomas was staying when he died of pneumonia on November 9, 1953, and where Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, was found stabbed to death on October 12, 1978. WIKI

The residents of the Hotel Chelsea and the Chelsea area are very unhappy with the changes planned for the famed hotel and nearby businesses...

To support the residents please "Like" the Save The Chelsea Facebook Page



Deniz Tek

I asked Deniz to pick some music to share with my readers and his legion of fans a while back. He finally got some time as he is back in Australia . He just sent me this email and these choices are great! Take a look and by all means read Deniz's take on these retro classics.. Thanks D xK

Roky Erickson, with short interview segment (45 seconds) and then Roky and the Blieb Aliens are captured on film playing "Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)" in 1980. This was one of my fave singles in 1977, along with Bermuda/The Interpreter.

Since the Thirteenth Floor Elevators kick started Texas psychedelic rock in 1966, Roky has had an exceedingly challenging life, in and out of some very bad mental hospitals. His work has had a lot of long gaps but is always brilliant, including his recent album with Okkervil River.

Roy Head in a rare live clip of Treat Her Right. The vocals are live. The dancing is great. Roy was kicked off the James Brown tour for being "too wild". He also once bit Elvis on the ankle, leaving a deep scar which the King took to his grave.

I had the unique opportunity of re-recording Treat Her Right with Roy and the original bass player, Gene Kurtz, for a commemorative Sugar Hill Recording Studios compilation CD pending release.

The Vibrators playing one of my favorite tracks, "Whips and Furs" live and raw at Bristol. When Radio Birdman moved to London in 1978, we were aligned with these guys.

Like us (Radio Birdman), they could play their instruments and did some ripping solos. They did not fit brit punk fashion of the day, and I believe they never fully got the recognition that they deserved. -D

Stay tuned for more unique video picks from Deniz!

Read More about Deniz on RK:

Deniz: Steel Beach

Deniz Tek's Art
Deniz Tek RK Stories



Michael Imperioli with Kimmer!!

OK OK OK everyone knows that Kimmer is a huge SOPRANOS fan and guess who was in Detroit last night?? Michael Imperioli the actor who played Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos!!!! Thanks so much to photographer and pal Larry H Leitner! Thanks for getting the tough shots for me!!

I even heard a fan tell Michael that Tony Soprano was wrong to kill him off in the SUV like he did!!! LOL How exciting to see Michael in person. He was so gracious and patient with his many fans...(myself included)

Rick Ruiner Michael Imperioli and Nina Friday

Rick Ruiner lead vocalist of The Ruiners.... invited Kimmer to the VIP party and we were so happy to come out to support Them! I tried for a week to obtain a photo pass.... Heard the Fillmore was a tough venue to crack but finally Wednesday morning I got a hold of Joe Gough and then Kimmer was dialed in!! Thank you Rick and Joe!

I had not been to the Fillmore in Detroit.... when it was the State Theater yes back in the day yes.... It is still a gorgeous theater.. It was so much fun to see my readers and friends there! It was a crazy room! I was trying to shoot photos of the attendees and Ovation members but it is was just too mobbed.

Read More on "Motor City Rising"

Here is a little clip of Motor City Rising's Director Bobby Sheehan... wait till the very end and see Michael Imperioli..... :)

Stay tuned to Retrokimmer for more news on the schedule for Motor City Rising..... You are going to love this!! xxooK



This is an autographed gift from Christian Lacroix and DKT/Dennis Thompson



Ran into Luke online last night and he looks fascinating... His first novel is out and the title is "Dark Path" His FB profile looked fun and I thought I would share a bit of his life and his new book with my readers... Check out Luke....RK

Luke Romyn spent many years, over seventeen in fact, working in the security industry. From door work in some of Australia's roughest pubs and clubs to protecting Mickey Mouse and the Disney crew from the overzealous jaws of tenacious toddlers, Luke has worked throughout Australia and internationally in a vast array of roles.

He's done close protection for UK celebrities in Fiji and chased feral pigs and snakes out of the jungle film sets on Steven Spielberg's and Tom Hank's epic: The Pacific. There are few things Luke hasn't seen.

With all this experience behind him, it would be tempting to write a set of memoirs. Instead, Luke utilized it to fuel his own expansive imagination and began writing fiction. Initially starting with short stories, Luke rapidly progressed onto novels.

His first book, THE DARK PATH, is now out and swiftly became a #1 best selling Horror and was also voted in the Top Ten Horror novels of 2009. His new novels, BLACKLISTED and BEYOND HADES, are almost set to go and will blow the roof off action thriller novels.

New York’s underworld quivers at the mention of his name. Evil courses through his veins like blood and his conscience has lain dormant for over a decade while he has slashed and burned his way to the top of the food chain. Vain.

The Dark Man, born of torment into an existence of death. In the underworld of killers he reigns supreme. And yet he is chosen for a task of supreme benevolence. Why would he be selected to save a young boy, the Avun-Riah, and then protect him against a horde of enemies, both mortal and demonic? Because he is the only one with any hope of success.


Deniz Tek Photo: Anne Laurent Montana Dec/2010

Here is a painting of Bells Beach in acrylic on canvas. I painted this in the snows of Montana, from a photo and memory, while longing for that elemental water and light.

Deniz Tek's painting of Bells Beach (SOLD)

On the south coast of Victoria, a couple of hours drive from Melbourne, is a beautiful string of beaches along the Great Ocean Road heading west. One of the first ones you get to is Bells Beach.

To get there you drive through Geelong, which is kind of like a mini-Detroit of Australia. They have car factories and heavy industry. It's economically depressed. It is the home of many great hard rock bands including Dave Thomas' Bored. I have played there many times with both Radio Birdman and solo, mostly at the Barwon Hotel, and it's always a riot. The crowds are drunk, stoned, dripping with sweat, wild.

They do whatever they want. There is always a lot of yelling and screaming ("when yaz f'in goin off mate f'in book em danno when ya gonna f'in play New Race?? Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!") This attitude can provoke the band into an over-the-top performance, and everyone goes home exhausted or passes out wherever.

Real photo of Bells Beach

For you Detroiters reading this, note that in Australia they still build Falcons! The black car in Mad Max was an early 70's XB Falcon. They built some fire breathers in the late 60's through early 70's, culminating in the ultimate 71 GTHO Phase III Falcon which had a Cleveland 351 V8.

There was going to be an even more awesome Phase IV, until the Australian government banned extreme high performance engines due to a growing number of road deaths. (this being typical of the "nanny state" public policy one often encounters there) Of course, the road deaths increased... it's not the car, or the gun for that matter; it's what you do with it.

 Pop 48x70

The Australian car industry also built a great version of the Charger. It was built on the smaller Barracuda pony car frame, the fastest version being a 265 6 cylinder hemi with a six pack: 3 Weber carbs. I am told that the fastest accelerating stock Aussie car of all time was the'72 E49
Charger R/T, 14.4 quarter mile, pretty amazing when you consider the little engine.

GM (Holden) made an Aussie muscle car called the Monaro, but I have not driven one and dont know much about them.

OK enough about cars.

So, driving out of Geelong, then you get to Torquay which is a little surf town, then there is Bells Beach. Further on is Lorne. The water is cold but totally clear and the light there is special.

*NEW* Bucket of Eels 11x14

Bush Fire

Chamomile Flowers
If you'd like more information or to purchase your favorite Deniz Tek painting feel free to email me retrokimmer@gmail.com and I will forward it to Deniz for you...


Scott Batey

Yesterday I had the immense pleasure of hanging out with Attorney Scott Batey. We met through a mutual friend and talked on the phone about some things for business. We found we had so much in common. We both are total music fans and love Detroit Rock n Roll.

I have to tell you that Scott is the sharpest lawyer I have ever talked with. On top of that he is so nice! Sure didn't expect that. I heard what a top notch litigator he is and I assumed he'd be kind of tough... Not at all. Scott mentioned to me many times that he became an attorney to help people... Never had an attorney ever tell me that! How refreshing!

Scott has some really nice Tom Petty autographed memorabilia hanging in his law office. We both love collecting rock posters and back stage passes... Maybe I should take all of my rock stuff out to his office! LOL Need a big truck to do it... Here is Scott in front of some of his coolest memorabilia. I brought Scott a little gift. Gave him a really old Fred "Sonic" Smith button that Stanley T. Madhatter had given me. Hang on to that button Scott! :)

Scott and I could have sat in that office talking music and sharing videos all week! It was so much fun to see what music Scott is into. I asked him to pick some songs that are symbolic of his life and they are great. I learned so much from his choices. It is fantastic for me to be turned on to new music.. His songs picks were all completely new to me. Scott is totally immersed in the music, lyrics, arrangements, and biographies of his favorite bands. Truly encyclopedic in terms of Scott's favorite musicians.

Nice backstage pass for the Police reunion in 2007...

Maybe we can talk Scott into guest writing for Retro: Kimmer in the near future. I had a really great time at Scott's office and look forward to working with him soon. Thank you so much Scott and many thanks to Ban! RK

Scott's favorite band is Bono and U2

Here are Scott's video picks to listen to the music and lyrics. Lyrics are very important to Scott and myself. Understanding what the songwriter is envisioning is crucial to learning about a song

U2 Unknown Caller

Radiohead Let Down

Everlast What It's Like

MGMT Flash Delirium

From Scott:


Thank you for the article, I was very happy with the result as were my parents. I didn’t know you were going to post those songs or if you listened to them, but the song “Unknown Caller” by U2 was blasted by critics who didn’t really understand the chanting. I thought you might find it interesting. At the beginning of the song Bono sings “3:33 and the numbers fell off the clock face”. Bono has said in many interviews that 3:33 is known as God’s telephone number, so this guy whose at the end of his ropes gets a phone call from God who sings/chants:

Go, shout it out, rise up
Oh, oh
Escape yourself and gravity
Hear me, cease to speak that I may speak
Shush now
Oh, oh
Force quit and move to trash

* * *
Restart and re-boot yourself
You're free to go
Oh, oh
Shout for joy if you get the chance
Password, you, enter here, right now

Oh, oh
You know your name so punch it in
Hear me, cease to speak that I may speak
Shush now
Oh, oh
Then don't move or say a thing

God essentially uses computer jargon to tell this guy to get rid of his demons and start over. Anyway, I think it’s an amazing song even without the lyrics.READ MORE ON RK


The Stooges

Finally there is an official release about the health scare surrounding Scott Asheton this summer. I knew it was very serious but we had a very difficult time finding any information on his condition. Scott Morgan was very upset as Rock Action is one of his oldest friends. Dennis Thompson played with the Stooges in July and he was greatly concerned as he and Scott A are long time pals...

We are happy though to hear that Scott A is doing much better, here is the full story.... RK


Iggy and The Stooges just wrapped up their annual summer tour of European festivals, but they did most of the dates without original Stooges drummer Scott Asheton – who is recovering from an undisclosed illness. "He was rushed to the hospital after our appearance at Hellfest in France," Iggy Pop tells Rolling Stone. "He was on a flight to England when all sorts of hell broke loose. Without proper medical attention right there he would have bought it. He got very, very good care from the British and all sorts of tests. He's now at home in Florida and I think he'll be fine with a lot of rest."

The Stooges are doing a four-date West Coast tour of the U.S. in September, but Asheton will miss those dates as well. "I want to get him up next year," says Iggy. "The fella that came in to do the job [Larry Mullins] is a worshipful acolyte of his drumming who has been studying every four bars of our musical output since he was a teenager. He knows the songs forwards and backwards."

Here's more from conversation with Iggy Pop.

As I am not a medical person... I can only describe what I heard happened with Scott. In a nutshell he has some form of abdominal/artery problem which was very grave indeed. Now he is at his home and recovering nicely as I was informed by mutual friends.



Detroit Disc Jockey Steve Kostan

Steve left WCAX and is still living his teenage dream.....here is a piece we did awhile back...

Just got off the phone with Detroit Disc Jockey Steve Kostan ... We talked about his career in Detroit rock n roll, and a bit of bio on how Steve began his "teenage" job in broadcasting. Steve gave me that quote, as it refers to his great fortune to have a job for so many years that he truly loves. Steve is the first DJ I have written about. He is my favorite DJ in Detroit, maybe everywhere for that matter ...

Steve was a DJ for all the major stations in Detroit... WABX, W4 , WABX, WRIF, WCSX

Dave Edwards of The Look and Steve Kostan

Steve started in radio at Western Michigan University's radio station WIDR... Specs Howard Broadcasting School was just getting started so the best way to break into radio was by joining a college station.

Rick Vuk from the EDDIE LEIGHTON Project and Steve from 2010, Rockin on the Riverfront, opening for the ROMANTICS Steve with his Les Paul/Goldtop 1969

In 1977 DJ Ken Calvert hired Steve for just 1 weekend at WABX. After that weekend Ken called him back in and offered Steve an ongoing weekend job. Kostan has been working in Detroit Radio ever since.... Steve really does know everything and everybody in Detroit Rock... We could run on forever about our mutual friends and our favorite bands.

Steve with our pals Jim McCarty and Johnny Bee Badanjek

Here is an interesting bit of history Steve told me this morning: Steve, DJ John O'Leary, DJ Chuck Santoni and actor George C Scott all attended Redford High School in Detroit.

Adds Steve: TED NUGENT also went to Redford High in Detroit, Eddie Leighton went to Redford HS too. Didn't know him then.

Steve with Motorcity Rah Rahs Susie Forkin and Wendy Mastal

Steve has an incredible history, we share a lot of the same friends and a passion for Detroit Rock. One of the stories he did tell me today was about MC5 lead singer Rob Tyner. During the 20th anniversary of their song "Kick Out the Jams" Steve got to play guitar with Rob on vocals... How cool is that? Of course he has thousands of stories like that one. We hope Steve writes a book!

Arthur P, Steve Kostan, Karen Savelly and Ken Calvert on the end.

The first person that can write in today and tell me the names of all these Detroit DJ's is going to win a very cool Ruiners Tee Shirt!! retrokimmer@gmail.com I'll give you one hint ..."BABY!" WE have a winner! Larry I'll bring your t shirt with me to Detroit on the 21st...


Just recently Steve was made honored by the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for his broadcasting work. How cool is that? Another of our mutual friends, Jack Ashton, called to tell me about that event which led to this me writing this story.

Steve and I are both Race Fans too.... check this video out:

Having been a huge fan of Steve's since he began in Detroit, it was so great to answer the phone today and hear that voice... Thanks so much Steve, for taking the time today and we are definitely going to catch one of your gigs in the D sometime soon... So cool! How lucky is Kimmer?

WCSX’s Steve Kostan Inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame

August 22, 2011
Detroit’s Legendary On-Air Personality Steve Kostan (Weekdays 7pm-Mid – 94.7 WCSX Sunday 6-7 Kostan's Classic Rendezvous) has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. FULL STORY HERE

Ken Calvert, 94.7 WCSX Morning Show Host, interviewed Howard Kramer, Curatorial Director at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and Steve Kostan. Kramer said, “There are a number of people we identified who we felt were really great exemplars of people who helped promote Rock and Roll, and Steve certainly falls in that category.

The Rollings Stone "Before They Make Me Run"

The Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter"

Read More About Steve

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