I was posting garage rawkus clips on Facebook (my friend Rock N. GarageBands got me started this a.m.,) and I came across one of my favorites, the 3D Invisibles. I thought about the time I saw them in Hamtramck, Michigan, a town that sits in the middle of the City of Detroit – it is surrounded and enveloped by Detroit, in other words. http://www.hamtramck.us/about/index.php
This was back in 1985 or so, and I hadn’t started going out with Machinist Man yet. I was in Minneapolis and had just started doing my radio show “So What?” and a guy named Lenny Puch from Detroit had started sending me records from his label, Wanghead Records. He was singer/guitarist in his own group, Snake Out. We corresponded back and forth — he was pretty hilarious. He sent me 45s and lps from Elvis Hitler, 9-Pound Hammer, The 3D Invisibles, and Snake-Out.
So right around Thanksgiving I went and visited my family in Detroit and got in touch with Lenny. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to have dinner and see the 3D-Invisibles at Paychecks in Hamtramck. I said, “Yeah, that’d be great.” My mom sorta flipped out – “You don’t even know this guy…he could be a rapist or murderer!!!” “Oh mom, he runs a record label – he’s fine.” So I’m thinking this is like a date, maybe. I was sort of nervous and had butterflies and stuff. He came to pick me up in an old, beat up black Lincoln Continental, and came to the door. My mom and one of my brothers met him, and he was very pleasant. We go out to his car, and he introduces me to his girlfriend, who was waiting for us in the passenger seat. I hope I didn’t gasp or say “Oh!” out loud or anything – I think I handled it ok. She was really super cool – we went to a Coney Island for dogs and chili and talked and talked. Ok, well I skipped the chili, knowing what it does to me and not wanting to embarrass myself in polite company….
Back up a little bit – after I was introduced to Lisa, Lenny’s girlfriend, Lenny handed me Wanghead’s latest freshly-pressed LP, the first Gories’ record. I cherish it to this day and it’s one of my favorite things, ever.
We got to Paychecks in Hamtramck (a town which seems to have a bar on every corner) and were too late for the opening band, but got there on time for the 3D Invisibles. They were doing the creepy horror thing without being over the top campy – like just doing it tongue-in-cheek, but then you just didn’t know how much was an act…. So fucking Detroit. Very talented and tight musically, and they delighted their fans, of which there were many.
We hung out after the show. I met the nice fellows from Elvis Hitler (who mentioned that they had just been banned in Germany), and the 3D Invisibles. Lenny was treating me like I was radio royalty and made me feel special – it made me realize how awful it was that Detroit had no good radio stations anymore.
It was a cool night all the way around – even if I thought it was supposed to be a date!!! I had just become a sober person and was uncertain about being around people drinking, but no one was drunk and I had nothing to worry about.
I’ve lost touch with Lenny; the last conversation I had with him was when he said he’d had enough of the record biz and he was quitting Wanghead. I’ve tried to “find” him on Facebook and haven’t been able to connect with him.
It struck me as strange when I viewed the documentary “It Came From Detroit,” a film about all the garage bands from this period of time, that Lenny, Snake Out, and Wanghead Records were not included in the movie. Yeah, just strange.