Monday, March 9, 2015

2013, DETROIT rock city by Steve Miller, Pt 3

Here's the final section I chose from the book "Detroit Rock City"
I was up in the air on the last text by Insane Clown Posse but figure might
show all the warts good or bad. 
I do remember when this ICP controversy happened and heard some of the
flak they gave Alice. I just hated to leave it on a negative statement.

photo of Dick Wagner's band Frost

2013, "DETROIT rock city" 
by Steve Miller

excerpts from following chapters...

Pg 77 - 79, “What Happens in Detroit Stays in Detroit”

Bobby Rigg: It was not just the music scene they were ignoring. They ignored
Detroit. Which is the strangest thing because, all of these acts that were coming
Imn Europe and wherever they were coming from, Detroit was their favorite place
to play.

Toby Mamis (manager, Alice Cooper, journalist, Creem magazine): I don’t think
being from Detroit was a handicap at all. The scene there was great, and it was
healthy circuit of places to play. I think the hands all got their fair shot, just with
varying degree of success.

Donny Hartman: The Frost opened for B. B. King for three nights at the Fillmore
in San Francisco. We got three standing ovations. We’re all excited, and we go into
Bill Graham’s big office at the end of the night. Graham looks at us and he goes,
“Well, boys. You know I hate Michigan bands. I hate ‘em. I don’t like you guys,
either. I don’t like the music you play.”

Dennis Dunaway: We followed the Stooges a couple of times at the Fillmore
West. We took Detroit to the land of the hippies, and Bill Graham hated us. He
thought we had mined everything. We finally got big enough that he had to hire us.

Dick Wagner (The Frost, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, guitarist): The Frost never
made it really big and we should have. We got to tour quite a bit, but our label was
just trying to put records in the Detroit stores, and we sold fifty thousand in the
first month the first album came out. We could have sold it all over the US. We .
were making it happen, but never got the right support. Even the covers to our 
albums were terrible.

Bobby Rigg: The reason the Frost never became huge was because we signed with
the wrong record company. Vanguard had no idea what to do with a rock-and-roll

Donny Hartman: We were touring out west, and we found our first album in a
wastebasket at one radio station in California. The DJ said, “I didn’t think you guys
were coming in. Nobody ever called and told us.”

Pg 86, “In Detroit, Woodstock Was the Weak Shit”

Neal Smith: I was under the blanket on “Black Juju,” and the TV camera’s right on
my face—I’m blowing kisses to it. Stations in the Midwest turned the station off.
They went to black because they said, “This is too outrageous.” It was immediately
censored once they saw me winking and blowing kisses for the camera with my
makeup on and everything. They freaked out. There were a bunch of stations in
the Bible Belt that just, boom, pulled the plug on it.

Pg 90, “In Detroit, Woodstock Was the Weak Shit”

Dick Wagner: I met Steve Hunter for the first time at Goose Lake. He was playing
with Mitch Ryder.

Ray Goodman: He may have met Steve there, but I played with Mitch Ryder
Detroit that day. Great show, and we left early for some reason, just as James Gang
were going on, which pissed me off.

Dick Wagner: Steve and I met later on in Florida, when I was in Ursa Major and
he was on the bill playing with a later version of the Chambers Brothers. So we
had both of us there with that heavy Detroit guitar attitude, and we jammed for
two hours together. It was incredible. Through Ursa, I worked with Bob Ezrin.

Bob Ezrin: Lou Reed knew who Steve was because of Detroit’s cover of “Rock
‘n’ Roll.” When I did that album, we got both Dick and Steve in there, and I kept
using them.

Dick Wagner: We did the Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal tour with Lou Reed. He was sullen
and unhappy, but he liked the way I played. I think he thought I was a quaint
Midwesterner and wasn’t hip, but it didn’t matter to me. He was a mess at the time,
but he wasn’t difficult to work with at all.
He eventually got jealous of the attention Steve and I were getting. We played
Detroit, and people were shouting out our names more than they were his. Detroit
supports its own, you know.

Pg 94 - 95, “We Weren’t Musicians‚ We Were Like an Outlaw Bike Club”

Bob Ezrin: The Mitch Ryder band played in Decatur, Illinois, and Steve Hunter
was part of the opening act. They invited him up on stage to jam, fell in love with
him, and as those guys would do, they would just collect people along the way,
throw them into the hearse along with the rest of the band. So they threw him into
the hearse with the rest of the band, and he just kept going until they got back to
Detroit. One day I showed up for rehearsal and there was a new guy. He looked .
a little like a drowned rat—was just standing in the corner with stringy hair and
coke-bottle glasses and a nice-looking little SG and a small Crate amp, quietly
playing away, but doing some really quite remarkable stuff. But it was so quiet and
polite. He was just trying not to get in anybody’s way; he didn’t want to be too
loud. He was very, very shy—painfully shy. So we took a break on the first day.
I took every amplifier in the room and strapped them all together, and I plugged it
into that and told him to play Hendrix. It was louder than most of the music we
had been hearing for the morning rehearsal. It was so loud—oh my God, it was
so loud. So he strapped into this thing and started playing. He felt like God. He
felt like Thor—you know, the God of Thunder—and just started to wail, showing
off. Everybody in the building. from all three floors, came running upstairs to the
rehearsal area to see who this was, and he was just amazingly good. I think that
was a pivotal moment for him. Something exploded in his brain; then he went
from being apologetic to believing that he could be a rock star. That really brought
him out of his shell and into the place he belonged, which was on a stage, showing
off. playing amazing guitar.

Mitch Ryder: He practiced and practiced and practiced. and avoided the gun fights.
avoided the fist fights, avoided everything that the band was involved in—the drugs
and everything else—and just play and play and play and play. He made it through.

Ron Cooke: Steve wasn’t a party animal. The rest of us were just wild dogs. You
had to be tough to be in that band. That band was a rolling circus, man.

Dave Marsh: Bob Ezrin had made hit records at the time; he was a real profes-
sional, and he was a guy who knew how to make records and clearly how to make
hit records because he had made one with Alice Cooper, “I’m Eighteen.” It was an
important record. That’s why he was there and he was also not coming from the
street, he was not very blue collar. He was the first professional record producer I
ever knew. Mitch and I were playing games, Barry and Mitch were playing games,
and everyone was gaming everyone. It was a boisterous boys club, and then Bob
walks in as a professional.

Mitch Ryder: Creem had some sway, and Barry was a good businessman and was
able to sell it to Ezrin. He hadn’t had any deep belief in the group Detroit, because
Ezrin had been doing Alice Cooper. He was used to that kind of thing, but he
wasn’t used to the power that we had. He was not hands on because he was too
intimidated. He was still a kid.

Bob Ezrin: To do the Berlin album with Lou Reed, Lou’s manager called me and
asked if I would be interested in working with Lou. The reason was because they’d
heard the Detroit version of “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which they thought was the best cover
of that song ever. He surely knew who Steve Hunter was because he knew the
cover of Detroit doing “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and he loved it.

pg 164, “The Voice and First in Line”

Scott Campbell: I met Vince Bannon at a party. He said he was rhythm guitarist
for Bowie on the Diamond Dogs tour, who turned out to be Stacey Hayden. He
said he had a band and didn’t. He basically lied about everything, but I liked him
anyway. He was the one who had scoured out Bookie’s when people like Alice
Cooper hung out there. They had an after-party for Alice in ‘75 for the Welcome to
My Nightmare tour at Bookie’s. Everyone knew it as Frank Gagen’s. You go down
to Frank Gagen’s da da da, you don’t want to pay to get in, da da da da, beautiful
cruiser, at Frank Gagens. Even though it was a gay bar, it already had people from
the rock world hanging out at it.

pg 292 - 293, “It Was Raining Faggots on Me”
(Evenspot note: Insane Clown Posse the making of Great Milenko)

Violent J: We got signed to Disney down the road. That’s when Great Milenko
came out. Slash played on it and he was totally cool. That’s the one thing we argued
with the label about at that point. You know we wanted Slash in the video, and
Slash volunteered. He’s like, “I want to be in the video. I want to do all that.” And
the label’s like, “I don’t think that’s the right image for you guys.” You know they
were saying, he’s yesterday’s news. You guys are something new. And I’m like, that’s
fucking Slash, man. What’re you talking about, “How you gonna tell Slash no?”

Shaggy 2 Dope: And he didn’t even charge. He wanted a fifth of Wild Irish Rose.

Violent J: A fifth of Wild Irish Rose. Killed it right there. And then he wanted
us to come to the titty bar with him and we couldn’t even do that. We were like,
“Oh we’re going to stay and work the song.” I wish I’d have went now, more than
anything. He called the next morning and was like, “Turn the radio on. I’m about
to do this interview.” He told me what station to go to. We tuned it in, and he’s
sitting there talking all kinds of fresh shit about us on the radio, you know, giving
us love, saying, “This group ICP is awesome.” Then he called us to the concert
that night, or the next night, and he wore a Riddle Box shirt when he was playing
with Alice Cooper. Alice did a vocal part on Milenko, too. We flew to Phoenix to
record it. He came right from the golf course, you know. He actually had on a golf
outfit with the fucking spike shoes. All he talked about was getting back to the golf
course. He was sitting on a bench, and I sat down next to him. and I said, “I just
want to explain to you what this is that you’re talking about here.” And I gave him
the quick one minute version of what the Dark Carnival is. And what the Great
Milenko was because he did the spoken word intro. If I could have translated the
look on his face it’d have been, “l could give a fuck less.”

Mike E. Clark: We finished all the post-production on Milenko and the label,
Hollywood, came to town. I was in Royal Oak in a bungalow. I had it all cleared
out and I just had everything, like I had like cinder block shelves, cinder block
boards. They wanted to see the studio that we recorded Milenko. They thought
we were fucking with them because, we’re in a basement. They’re like, “You did not
make this record here.” They got an amazing record. It’s almost double platinum
right now.

Violent J: When everyone started freaking about Milenko and it got pulled from
stores because of all the folks getting pissed about the lyrics and Disney and all
that, they went to Alice Cooper and said, “How do you feel about that record?”
And Alice Cooper said, “If I’d have known what the content of the record was, I
wouldn’t have done it.” This is Alice fucking Cooper, okay? And we said, “Fuck
him.” We dissed him. We were younger, too and we said, “Fuck him.” You know
what I’m sayin’? We got a call from his camp or something. I don’t remember ex-
actly how it worked, but they were like, “Please stop burying Alice.” And we told
them, “Tell him to grow some, grow a set and have our back.”

evenspot note:
So this is the final part of the book I picked to blog on but if you are interested in 
the Detroit bands there is plenty of quotes by Iggy Pop and the Stooges,
Mitch Ryder, MC5 Wayne Kramer and many more people with interesting stories.

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