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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Were you born and raised in the Midwest? I know I read somewhere that you moved to Lansing as a teenager because your dad got a job as superintendent of a high school or something…

Born and raised in Kalamazoo, original home of Gibson Guitars, and Checker Marathons and not much else..then moved to King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania when I was 14, then back to Lansing area when I was a senior in High School. People leave Michigan, but like a moth to the flame always return...

What was some of the first music that grabbed hold of your (uh...) mind? Did music immediately lead you down a path ofcollecting records and digging for obscure bands, etc.? Were you aware of the MC5 or Stooges when you were younger and living in Michigan?

When I was four, I can remember Chubby Checker's 'The Twist' was the 1st Rock &Roll record I had heard and I can still recall the feeling. Then it was The Beatles I suppose and then Cream and all the acid tripping stuff. I made my mom take me to the Miracle Mart when I was twelve and buy me the 'Disraeli Gears' album with that hot pink psychedelic freak out cover..if she only knew..I became aware of the MC5 in ‘67 as well when 'Kick Out The Jams' became a regional hit..I can remember thinking it was the coolest thing I'd ever raw and primal..weird that a live cut became their big hit..I wasn't old enough to go to any shows but I heard stories of them playing The Dells along Lake Lansing, an old dance hall as did The Stooges but that was early like around 1970-72 and I was still out east then… Collecting records was a natural obsession that followed the hero worship…I've always been a fan of hype..back pre-internet when info, ideas, and musical movements were allowed to percolate and concepts were allowed to evolve like Glam, Prog Rock, Punk...I followed it, collected it, still dig it!

Where you attending arena rock gigs while in high school? What were some that stick out in your head?

My first show was Brownsville Station/Cactus/Amboy Dukes at some Movie Theater in Battle Creek Michigan in 1972 when I was that I think back what a great bill to kick it off!...2 out of 3 bands were from Michigan and Cactus is still one of my faves with Jim McCarty (Detroit boy) ranking in my top 5 axe men of all time...I remember Nugent doing the cheesy thing where they brought a glass orb out and sat it on the amp and then he wails on some ear piercing note that supposedly breaks the orb, but actually some schlub is offstage with a pellet gun..we were young, stoned, and believed the 'Nuge' made it happen..I saw Blue Oyster Cult in '72 at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo on the 'Tyranny and Mutation' tour..they were in their prime...leather smoke, flames and weird evil lyrics...fuckin’ amazing show...

When you entered college, what kind of stuff were you listening to?

That was the early 70's so hard rock like Thin Lizzy, Foghat, Montrose, I discovered The Move and became a lifelong fan of Roy Wood, I used to hit the Imports hard at Record land in the Mall where a cat named Ian Burgess worked and was ordering the records..he went on to be an engineer of note in Chicago, and I was buying all this Progressive rock he would order like Guru Guru, P.F.M., Amon Duul 2, but the greatest Prog ever is the King Crimson 'Lizard' album!!! ...I smoked my first doobie to that record and to me it will always be the penultimate art rock album ever created, I also was way into Van Der Graaf Generator,as well as poppy stuff like T.Rex..bands back then put an album out every 6 could set your watch to it..I can remember thinking to myself..’I betcha theres a new Lizzy album out this week..’ I drive down to the Disc Shop in East lansing and there sits 'Jaibreak'!

When did you first venture out to the live music scene of Michigan (ie -- clubs not arenas) ? What kind of bands were playing at the time? Was anything remotely 'Punk' going on at the time? Was there even an inkling of the MC5/Stooges vibe still there?

Believe it or not, the national and international bands that came thru Lansing in the 70's were amazing..most played a place called The Brewery that changed names and just this week got torn down cuz the owner got into tax trouble, went out in the woods and blew his brains out.... I saw Kiss there. They played 2 nites in '74 when 'Hotter Than Hell' had just come out I went on nite one and was 10 feet from the stage, so close you could feel the heat of the flames and the girls were grabbing Gene's 'blood' and smearing it on their faces..I remember being really stoned and it kind of freaked me out, but in a good way…My wife Gerta went on nite 2 and didnt like it and left..that's OK she's still the coolest chick on the planet..married to me for 25 years you kiddin? The Tubes, Rory Gallagher, Status Quo, Robin Trower all played there..Iggy played there but not sure why but I missed it...MY BIGGEST REGRET was the f'n NY Dolls played at the Lansing Drive In in 1973 and I was at a party in a neighborhood behind the theater and I DIDN'T GO..Holy crap what a boob! I was with some lame chick that didn't wanna go..I had the chance to see the frickin Dolls in a 1 horse town like Lansing and I blew it! Then when punk exploded Club Doo Bee happened...a few little ol bands played there like...D.O.A. Black Flag, The Fast, Lydia Lunch...of course The Fix and The Necros were regular nite Andy Wendler did a leap in the air and crashed right thru the stage...the place was a shithole but what a glorious shithole it was! We used to drive to Detroit to see all the UK stuff in the late 70's like 999, Revillos, Gang Of Four, and I got to see Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers twice in their prime...just the best!

Was the UK Punk thing the 1st thing that turnedyour head around as far as finding out about more bands/records etc.?

Ya, the UK thing pre-dated all of that..I happened into a newstand and saw the Melody maker cover of the Bromley Contingent with Sioux, Idol, Rotten et al in their famous scrum wrestling pile shot..not sure if that was late '76 or '77 but that day changed everything..then shortly thereafter a little box showed up at a local record shop of import punk 45's...I flipped out and bought like half the box, Sex Pistols, Cortinas, Lurkers, Generation X, Chelsea, Johnny Moped , Metal Urbain they were all $3 a shot I dropped my load in more ways than one! I started taking huge stacks of Prog Rock and sold it at Flat Black and Circular and started goin’ whole hog on buying every punk record I could find..Of course now I wish I had all that Prog back!

1 comment:

  1. Damn, if he stayed in KOP everything could have been different for him, or more than likely me!