Tag Archives: Detroit

Hurry Back, Wizard

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mom

You can see where I get my glam thing

So my Mom would’ve been 80 yesterday (I think, if my math is correct…as she well knew, I suck at math) and I miss her like crazy. She had Alz which started about a couple of years or more before she passed, so the grieving process of “losing” her really started long before she died. It was brutal for my family to see her go from a sassy, quick-witted, life-of-the party “everyone’s Mom” to a person we just didn’t know; one fearful of her house and unaware of her surroundings. She would sort of go in and out of the dementia at times though – we had her in assisted living and, during one of my visits to Detroit to see her we were taking her back to her room. She didn’t want to go back in and we were trying to convince her it was ok. She looks at me and goes, “that woman in there (pointing to her room which she occupied alone) – she’s very, very ill…she needs to MACK THAT OUT with her doctor….” I’m like, “Mom did you turn into a pimp all of a sudden? Mack that out???” She goes, “You know, mack that out…” My sister’s boyfriend was standing behind her and I thought he was gonna bust out laughing.

Her personality would just pop in sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere. One of my brothers and sisters had taken her to the emergency room one day because she had fallen and hit her head. They had to wait a really long time to get in to have her examined and I guess she was just out of it and really acting ornery and squirrelly. My brother gets up at one point and says, “I’m going for coffee,” and she says, “oh, hurry back, wizard,” a term she used to always tease him with when he had fucked something up. Then they all just started laughing their asses off, including her. Demented levity.

My Sunday afternoons used to include a 2-hour conversation with Mom – every week we’d have a gab fest and she’d keep me up-to-date with the latest family doings. She’s been gone for 3 years now. It gets a little easier with time I guess, but we mark these dates like birthdays, dates of deaths and other occasions with a little bit of bittersweet melancholy.

And I’m mackin it out.

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Sit Down!

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I can’t remember what year this was — maybe 73 or 74 — Sly and the Family Stone were doing two nights at the Royal Oak Theater. My friends and I had tickets for the Saturday night performance. Well, Sly, um, had some problems or something on Friday night, and didn’t make it to that night’s show. Being it was the mid-70’s I guess it wasn’t a problem to let all the Friday night ticket-holders into the Saturday night show (both shows were sold out, of course.) So it was completely, fire-hazardly, packed in the theater, and when they were doing “Stand,” people were all standing up on the seats, some standing two to one chair. Sly singing “STAND!”, and the security guards screaming at everyone, “SIT DOWN!!!” One of the greatest shows, ever.

P.S. You try dancing on an upholstered chair with 5 inch platform shoes and live to tell the tale.

Memories 1, 2, 3

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My dad’s favorite joke: At a dance a guy with a wooden eye goes up to a gal with a hairlip and he asks her to dance. She goes, “oh, would I, would I,” and he goes, “hairlip, hairlip!” He’d tell that joke after a couple of scotch and sodas and just laugh and laugh. Oh, dad.

My youngest brother and sister, who were born eight months apart (Irish twins) had their own language that no one understood. They’d sometimes say the same word at the same time, and they’d go “jinx,” and then “you ate it.” And then laugh hysterically.

One time as a teenager I came home stoned and almost late for supper. This used to infuriate my father – he wouldn’t really know that I was stoned, just that I was late for dinner. So this time I was late and he goes, “You’re DOCKED!” And I go, “I AM NOT!” thinking he was saying that I was stoned. I didn’t realize that he was saying that I was grounded. The initial grounding went from two to three weeks, which I thought was extra punitive.

 

Happy Birthday Wayne Kramer.

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I’ve had two job interviews this week, and at the end of each of them, they asked me about music. I LOVED THAT! One question was what album would you take to a deserted island (that would be Funhouse by The Stooges) – they liked my answer. And at today’s interview, the question was what type of music do you like, and I went into my, “Well, MC5 and The Stooges and stuff from early 70’s Detroit,” and she knew what I was talking about, and said, “Oh, cool!” I LOVED THAT, TOO! I will like working at either of these places – I mean for other reasons, of course, but asking these questions at the end just put the cherry on the sundae for me.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Brother Wayne Kramer, your existence on this planet changed things in strange and inexplicable ways. I can’t imagine how it would’ve gone down without you…I mean we would’ve had Sonic, of course, but – I don’t know – the MC5 might not have gotten started. Who knows? And that would’ve been BAD.

Ooops, my mistake.

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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

LivePizza

Live Pizza, by Snake Out – This Came in an actual pizza box.

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.

Ford’s

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momdad

Mike & Peggy, a Ford couple

My Mom used to razz my Dad mercilessly, “Farty Farty Ford!!!” And my Dad would go, “Ford Motor Company puts bread & butter on this table, and don’t you forget it, Peggy.” My Dad worked at Ford (or “Ford’s,” as they say in Detroit) his entire career – they don’t churn out company men like him anymore. 

ford tough

A product of the Ford family

I miss them madly now that they have both left this mortal coil, and, yeah, I was built Ford tough.

I am here to tell you…

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…that Bob Seger was cool at one point in time, coolness being relative, of course. I saw him before he “broke out” with “Night Moves,” at the Lincoln Park Theater (here’s a link to a Detroit Free Press interview about “those days”) http://www.freep.com/article/20070312/ENT04/103120103/A-definitive-oral-history-Seger-s-early-years – and by a lot of accounts, including John Sinclair, Bob was a pretty nice guy. So his pop music got pretty cheesy with his commercial success, and I’m sure a lot of people resented that, but whaddya gonna do? Um, he didn’t turn into Ted, did he?

So my (now) hubby and I were interfiling our record collection many moons ago (that’s how I knew we’d be married some day.) He gave me so much grief when he came across my Bob Seger Sound System “Mongrel” album – at the time I was trying hard to be a cool dj or something. I felt awfully embarrassed about owning that lp, and actually sold it to our roommate from Detroit. I was such Bob_Seger_-_Mongrela fool to succumb to such hipster bullying and pressure – I have made his life miserable for over twenty one years now, so there’s that. And now I need to replace that album, cuz I want it back!

 

 

 

Promo Promo Promo!

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The Wave Project – Pledge Drive Edition

WAVE PROJECT - SUPERIOR SONIC ROCK ACTION PLEDGE DRIVE
Date:
Sunday, April 6, 2014 – 10:00am to 11:00am

Patti and Leila team up and come at you with music Detroit Rock City style, enabling you to shake loose your ATM and credit cards from your chain wallets and pledge heartily to the radio station you love – FRESH AIR – KFAI. Patti taps into her Motor City roots and dedicates this show to the late Scott Asheton, drummer for The Stooges, with the noise that made Detroit RAWK. You’ll hear the MC5, the Frost, the Rationals, Frijid Pink, and, of course, Iggy and the Stooges, the greatest band that ever was. Get ready to rama lama fa fa fa.