Saturday, December 18, 2010
For a City Boy, headin' out to Sea was the last Great Adventure. I'd gone as far as I could go. I learned right off from the Big Boys... got invited to bring my camera and go Offshore on the "ROCKIN' REBEL", a 31' Sport Fishin' Boat, with Capt. Doug... so I went...
ROCKIN REBEL 2
ROCKIN REBEL 3
ROCKIN REBEL 4
I had Fished a few times on Lake Michigan, but nothing compared to 60 or 70 miles out on the Gulf of Mexico. Sun Up to Sun Down... those guys are HARD CORE Fishermen. Over the years I've gone on many a trip with the Rebel Crew, hit 30 knots for an hour or two, Rock n' Roll just BLASTIN" from the speakers, and fish IN THE BOX... that's what WE talkin' about!
Up North, down South.... fresh water or salt. The story is the same. Go where they LIVE, offer 'em something they EAT, and HOLD ON!
A lot goin' on out there in the Gulf of Mexico.... 1,000 Miles wide and 12,000 feet deep. Knowing the spots, the Wrecks, the Reefs, the Rocks... that's the secret to catchin' 'em. Oh yeah.. and LUCK.
There are NO fences, it's said... and after a couple hundred trips, VERY little would surprise me. 7 foot Tiger Shark? OH yeah... It's the same Planet... but a whole 'nother World. There's an awful lot of water, some big waves and Hellacious TEETH out there!
Trust your Captain, is my best advice... and Be Prepared. 'cause " FORTUNE FAVORS the BRAVE"... and the well armed...
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Haylee Pin Up
Tattoo experience, Number One, down in the basement, 1966... gave my self a lucky "13" with a sewing needle and India ink, my Brother Ray was next, gonna put a swatsticker on his arm... one poke for him and it was over... he's still got that one dot on his arm...
Little Rich with Big Rich before Sicko
Not too much Tattoo goin' on around 1975. My Pal from Hell Creek Ranch had a nice one, Scott Asheton had that famous ROCK ACTION Tattoo by Lyle Tuttle... so I went to see Mel the Head, (RIP) to get some Ink, over on 9 Mile. Little bell rang when I walked in the place, no one home... then a voice hollered from somewhere "Be right with 'ya... HOLD STILL DAMMIT!" So I split... what the Heck. Another time.
My Brother Tony, we call 'em Nail, is full of good ideas and said if I got tattooed he'd pay HALF... or somethin' like that, 1988. So I did... little Puff the Magic Dragon kind a thing, I thought it was cool for awhile.
Well, SICKO showed up one rainy day... at the GHETTO RAGS booth, and said "I can FIX that for ya'"... the rest is history. If I woulda' sat still long enuff, I'd be lookin' like the Sunday Funnies... I swear.
Sicko, aka "Dirty" Kirt Hennings... ran an "Underground" Tattoo Studio in Detroit, early 90's... basement apartment over on 7 1/2 Mile & Wyoming, couple miles from where I grew up. HOME BOYS.
Nail and Sicko
I'd go there, Video, and late at night, get mine done... home 'bout 4, punch that factory clock at 7AM. BIG FUN... in fact, SICKO named his studio FUN HOUSE TATTOO'S, after I played the Stooges for 'em.
Sicko in Action
FIRST Motor City Tattoo Convention, 1996... was a BLAST! Old School, Super VHS, crowd surfin' BIG Video style. Original soundtrack recorded by Detroit's own, Bobby East. They say a picture is worth a thousand words... so I'll let them tell the tale. Dig it.
Haylee Detroit Dewar
That's my story, and I'm stickin' too it. Like Mom said... "Tony, you better put some Cream on your Clown"...
I Came across a Lady on-line lately, HAYLEE DETROIT. The name grabbed me right off, and this Sister has got STYLE! A Tattooed Model, Mother, Actress, Tattoo Magazine Cover Girl and Bartender at the HARD ROCK CAFE Downtown Detroit... ALL that! She REALLY has it goin'.
I dropped a line, to see if I could put her on my site, she said OK...just spell my name right... so here it is! Haylee Detroit Dewar. Find her on Face Book, I did, and Go to www.tattoo-girlz.com, you will be AMAZED!
Watch these at your own risk.....
Motorcity Tattoo Convention Part 2
MotorCity Tattoo Convention Part 3
MotorCity Tattoo Convention Part 4
MotorCity Tattoo Convention Part 5
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Ray Sr. my Dad, Most Cool Cat
"COOL" by OUR standards, is a mental state, a way of being... controlled emotion, always "Cool"... always "Showin' Class". It's a natural thing.
People have it in all different ways... a "built in knowledge of what's right... and wrong. It's what keeps US separated from THEM. Always. Dig?
Back in the day, like '66, my Sister Kitty took me to a "basement party", over on the West Side of Detroit, me only 15. It was my first look, guy with big gold earring, black beret... playin' bongo's with Motown 45's on the record machine. I wore my leather, drank a beer, dug all these "Cats & Big Hair Chicks". I was impressed. On the way out I said, "Let's do it again"... she replied, " Long as your not UNCOOL"... so I spent the next 44 years, trying to be COOL. Not an easy task. And I have Lost it, on more than one occasion.
Me Scott Rev. Ray 2010
Next gig was an eviction party, over by Livernois and 5 Mile... We got there as someone rode their NORTON up the front porch steps, right into the living room... didn't much matter, as the drywall had been kicked in by then, anyhow. Went for a "thrill ride" thru the neighborhood, on the back of that Norton 750 Commando... my first motorcycle ride. Cops never came... I couldn't believe it. After that, there was no turnin' back.
One night, way out by Tepoe Lake State Park, some guy had a brand new car, GTO I think... payments and all. He let this Cat they called Edgar take it. I remember standing there, drinkin' Bali Hai wine, in the dark distance we could all hear Edgar, JAMMIN' thru his gears... the guy was havin' a fit.
Lost his Cool, for sure. He got in Ed's face when he finally brought the car back... for his trouble he got a sermon on life, something like, "When it's all over, and your DEAD, you DID it, you LIVED! You don't want NOTHIN' left but smoke..." and so on. We never saw that Cat again.
Bro. Tony (built the devil cycle!)
My shop class buddy, Marty came by one Friday Night on a bad-ass BSA Chopper with welded-chain-sissy bar, I put on my cut-off levi jacket and hopped on... into the night we went. He pulled up in front of a house party on 7 Mile & Hoover... the place was ROCKIN'.
Mike D. Navy (one of my twins)
''Go on in Man'', he said, "I gotta take this bike back, I stole it"... so I did. One step into the front door, someone socks me right back out onto the grass, then a swift kick in the ''nards''. They thought I was somebody, or another... anyway, no harm done. Kid handed me my Buddy Holly glasses... Cool, I said, and walked back home.
Scott my other twin
Marty Lubic... blond, short hair, crazy...cool. An Original. His Dad was a Detroit Cop too. He died in a motorcycle crash on Gratiot near 6 Mile in 1969. One of his Pals came to the house and told my Mom. He was the first of many.
Carolyn Striho Playin with Fire:
Big Rich FLA
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I Split the Detroit Scene in the Summer of 1968, left town with my girlfriend in a ''63 Ford Sedan, AM Radio. Toronto was a Hippie Mecca back then, so we went. Hangin' out on Yonge Street, sleepin' in the car... nuthin' cookin' for us there.
Met some kids from The States and headed back to Chicago and the "FESTIVAL of LIGHT", as it was called. In Detroit is was being promoted as the place to be, MC-5, joint rolling contests... I planned on winning that one. When we got there it was a different story... ooooooh yeah. Somehow we fell in at a place right across the road from Lincoln Park, it was a Theatre of sorts with high red brick walls and a big gate they closed at night... that was a GOOD thing... Gimme Shelter, for sure.
It wasn't so bad at first, hung at the Park in the day, we walked all over... saw Allen Ginsberg doin' the OMM chant, tryin' to STOP THE WAR! The heat was on, so the weed scene was zero. Never saw a joint, much less a contest. Radical types were holding seminars on anti-cop moves, roll up a magazine for a weapon, Yeah... sure. One night we were over on Clark Street, the Bar/Club Hip Street. The Cops were everywhere, they had started gettin' heavy... "Up against the wall" they used to say. The "Boys" collared me that night too... when they saw I was only 17, they let me go... once again. Just lucky. I guess.
We showed up in Lincoln Park a little late one day... just in time to see the Cops pullin' the plug on the MC-5, and kick'n everyone's ass that didn't flee. Truly, I saw it happen. We were behind the Cops and all the action, so we just walked on over to the Childrens Zoo, where my Ford was parked. It was the ONLY one left... Cops were hangin' out, laughin' and all.
A couple of 'em were sittin' on the hood as we came up. I could hear the hissing of the air as all 4 tires went flat, they thought it was pretty funny, I guess... we split. I fixed the flats, $2 bucks apiece...and headed for the Shelter. I didn't go out at night after that.
It got much worse. Downtown one day... at the Convention Center. THOUSANDS of people... everywhere.The National Guard had jeeps lined up, far as I could see... each one had a 6' x 6' section of chain link fence on the front, with a .50 cal machine gun mounted in the back...made a WALL. It was a HEAVY scene. I understood. THEY didn't like US. My feet never stopped movin' while I was awake. I gave my YIPPIE! button to someone, he asked for it. Ya' know... Youth International Party, what the hell was that? All I knew was I wanted to have a good time... and didn't wanna go to Viet Nam.
Everyone said go to Grant Park... so we did. It was wild. People were climbing up on this big statue thing, carryin' Viet Cong flags and all... Cops came right up after 'em... Down they came... The hard way. The grand finale came at the Band Shell, HUGE crowd... Thousands of people.
Lots of speeches, Dick Gregory, Comedian/Activist, was up... they wanted a March down Michigan Ave. but didn't have a permit... Soooo, Dick invited everyone over to his place, somewhere... just about this time, we being pretty far back, on the edge of the crowd, I see Hundreds of Cops gathering. They formed a Flying V, like a football game, and charged into the crowd, swingin' these 3 foot long clubs, un-believable. They were maybe 20 or 30 feet away, people were goin' down... blood was flyin' and I started movin' FAST... Escaped without a scratch.
We had enough... went back home to Detroit. I think we won.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Big Rich at the SRB show
Back around '78 or ''79, I was hangin' out quite a bit with the SONIC'S RENDEZVOUS BAND.
I was pal'in' around with Scott Asheton, drinkin' lots of STROHS and runnin' around... all over town. We had a HELL of a lot of fun. ROCK ACTION! Sorta like the cheer leader.
Didn't really get in too much real trouble. The usual scene was, go to the show, hang around, party all night after... sometimes catch the sun rise, somewhere. We hit the Local Clubs, Detroit.. Ann Arbor... all over South East Michigan. Nuthin' like hangin' with the Baddest Band around!
One night the Sonic's played a show in Warren, The Round House on Van Dyke, it was round and it was a Bar/Motel... Cool place. We showed up early, they had a couple joining rooms off the stage area for the Bands. The opening act was some new guys, I heard 'em intro-in' themselves to Fred Smith, "We do harmonies and stuff, like the Beatles"...
It was the ROMANTIC'S, cool guys, sharp dressers... what's not to like? They rocked hard, we were dancin' and carryin' on as usual, but for some reason, or another, we ended up in their room, tryin' on sport coats and hair sprayin' and all, havin' a FINE time!
In comes the Romantics after their set, all sweaty... and were like "whoops, sorry Bros... they say, "Hey, just let us get our stuff out of here and you guys can HAVE this room". "Shit Howdy"! we say and off they go!
Well... after the SONIC'S blew the roof off, again, we were makin' good use of this opportunity. Everything was going well, there were Ladies from "Sin City" present, so we had the door shut between the rooms, tryin' to be cool.
Gary Rasmussen Fred Smith Scott Morgan Scott Asheton SRB
Someone on Fred's side was bouncin' beer bottles off the door, the sound of breaking glass caused the chicks to split and left us with nuthin' to do. The details are sketchy now, but as the hour grew late... "someone" suggested I clear the room. My Doberman was sleepin' outside in an early model Chevy Suburban, so I brought him in.
ARF! Screams... Pan-de-monium. It was ugly. Witness' reports have a fast exodus to the bathroom, with "Max" the Dobie in hot pursuit. Stanley T. Madhatter got the Fan Club and everybody inside and quick locked the door... a dark moment, not sure why. I swear.
Stanley told Kimmer they were all locked in that bathroom for a very long time freekin out and hoping someone would save them from the dog outside the door.
Stanley T. Madhatter and Niagara (she wasn't in the bathroom :))
Woke up next day, no covers... cold... there was Fred crashed out out on the other bed. No one else. Can't remember how I got home, and Max (Red, long earred) the Dobbie lived on the lower east side to a ripe old age w/ my ex-bro-in-law. His Bark was worse than his bite. Some people shouldn't drink!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Somewhere between the GRANDE and BOOKIES was a place called "The OZONE"... I'm talkin' '71-'78... All that "High" Livin' had opened up a few "other" possibilities. People had moved out of Wayne State's "Downtown" Hippie-ville...
Gallup Park Free Concert Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor was the Golden West to us City Slickers. Detroit was Freeways and Factories and Heavy Rock N' Roll vibes... A2 was another world, for sure.... Laid back Health Food Freaks, Radical Hippies, Concerts in the Parks, Earth Shoes and a $5 Pot Law... Trans-Love was already there, what's not to like?
The SUN Newspaper had a Win a Pound of Columbian Weed promo. Those were different times.
The Front Man for this phase was Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. A Band, named after a 50's TV Show,with a joyous mix of All American-High-Energy, Good Time, Country, Rock N' Roll, Rhythm and Blues! "Lost in the Ozone, again"!
Ozone Homecoming parade art by Chris Frayne
They had a crazy lead singer, Billy C. Farlow... look on the old Posters for BILLY C and the SUNSHINE. Lance Dickerson, their Drummer was from Clawson, Michigan. Electric guitars, fiddle, sax... They put on a HELL of a show! George Frayne (see video) became the lead singer and they named George Frayne Commander Cody. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
My Pal Kenny did a show and I did the poster to put on the gig at the GRANDE BALLROOM. Commander Cody... 1971. I drew a little poster, it never got printed, too bad... SHIT HOWDY! I would'a hadda Grande Card!
The Commander played, They put me at the front door, takin' tickets, short crowd... everybody got in FREE. Billy C said, "That's OK, I had a good time once and there wasn't but TWO of us." They Rocked Out anyway! That's the way they were.
Sittin' upstairs at Grimshaw's place, over the Blind Pig, one day, 'bout '73... as usual staring out the window. I saw an old white Volvo pull up. It's hood was painted with a huge blue-face-cowboy smokin' a joint. I recognized this icon instantly as Commander Cody's Logo.
Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen
Downstairs, to my joy, I discovered it was Chris Frayne, the Commander's Brother and creator of much Art. On top of the car was a bunch of long poles with a Teepee, an Indian style tent, folded up on top and ropes all over holding it down. We talked a minute, then he split... Headin' for the OZONE, no doubt. RIP Chris.
Stayed tuned all the time......BR
Monday, April 26, 2010
Big Rich shooting a show
An OBSESSION, that's what it was! I remember how it started... Spring of '87... We went on a Run with a couple hundred Harleys, way out in the country... People were throwin' beer cans at the guys in the 'Vette shootin' video.... I can do that... (shoot video), I figured... so I did.
Big Rich and BIG camcorder!
The next Run, my Brother Tony packed me and the Video Cam on the back of his Hog and off we rode. The Bikers LOVED it, all kinda scoots and chicks and fun and games.... They didn't throw cans, I'm here to say. Tony had a bumper sticker from Daytona Bike Week on the back of his helmet, it said, "SHIT HAPPENS"... Yes, it does.
Big and brother Tony
I just started shootin' every thing goin' on... It truly became an Obsession.The power to grab these crazy events and KEEP them was mind-blowing! No one I knew really took pictures, earlier it was Leni Sinclair... and then Sue Rynski, in the Sonics days.
It was like Art, but completely REAL, if you can dig that... At first I was usin' Mom's VHS camcorder, early on, tapin' my Rock N' Roll Babies and all, but I upgraded pretty quick. My strategy was simple, weakness=strength, no crew, just me and the box. I could go almost anywhere.
So... we were makin' these biker videos and needed soundtracks... the first one had a boombox off camera playin' STOOGES "Down on the Street"... most primitive. A BAD-ASS Guitarist named Bobby East, was playin' at a Club House Party in Roseville.
That was the first Show... shot a bunch of the band and bikers dancin' all day. Scott Morgan was good with the idea too, so they let me use their song "DETROIT"... it became our theme song. People would ask me to tape Gig's and everything just popped. Unbelievable to me now, looking back.
Ron Asheton was a "SHIT HAPPENS" Fan, he called it GUERILLA VIDEO, I liked that.
My partner, "Dangerous" Dan Hehr worked at a Big Time Video Production Company and we would go in after shows and hook-up the final tapes, stay up all night, then go right to work in the factory... Bands, Tattoo Conventions... anything. The Grimshaw Tapes were made there too. We used motion cameras to record the posters and stuff... I call that High Cotton...
Real Cool Time.
People were so Damn Cool. Like I said, I could go almost anywhere and tape, talkin' my way thru...I was like an embedded journalist or something... backstage, ON stage. Bands told me, " DO WHAT EVER YOU WANT"! So I did. Man... I shot a LOT of tape... all OVER Town... down in the pit at KID ROCK!
Hardly ever had any trouble... to speak of. Only had the Cam seized once, we worked that out... but that pistol scene after STANDFAST'S Show at Finneys marked the end of BIG VIDEO in DETROIT. Hope you Enjoy.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
In the early '70's the Detroit Teen Club and Ballroom Scene fell apart. The Big Festivals were BANNED after Goose Lake, and everybody was coming down from the Trip's. Grande and Eastown were history... people were scattering... our world was changing.
But the Rock N' Roll Army was regrouping in every part of town, local boys, and girls!, were forming their own bands in true Detroit fashion, building a fan base and Kickin' out the JAMS at a neighborhood bar near YOU! For a couple bucks you could Rock it almost every night! The Big Guns were still around, playing in various band configurations and keepin' it ALIVE!
Big Rich and Phil "Greasy" Carlisi
On 6 Mile road, just West of Woodward Ave, was one of the coolest joints I EVER hung out at... a Thursday Night Hot-Spot... square brick building with a simple neon sign in the window, "AORTA BAR''. Around '74 -'75 they were lined up down the street to get inside, in ANY kinda' weather! NO Band, NO Cover! DJ spinnin' our kind of music, Motown, James Brown, GET DOWN! Stooges... everything! People from ALL over came to party and dance their ASS off... REAL friendly... It was the place-to-be. Skipped out on the Night Shift regular to make that scene!
Iggy Fan club Handbill
A couple years later, I heard about a New Music Bar from Janet... our MC5 days friend, called BOOKIES CLUB 870, a VERY cool place over on 6 and Woodward.It was right down the street from the AORTA, my old hang-out, so I went.
BOOKIES CLUB 870
Quite a scene goin' on there, no doubt... skinny tie and leather guys... girls bathroom down stairs was often times, the place to be. Fell right in with a band called 27, hung out with Mark Norton, their Iggied all to hell singer.
I had seen 'em before, wrapped up in black trash bags and duct tape... out in Ypsilanti, at some hall party gig, still the "Ramrods" then...with Bootsie X. There were cases of beer stacked up in the middle of the room, Destroy All Monsters was playin' that night too... they had me sittin' on the Stroh's, so it wouldn't walk away.
Iggy Grimshaw Bookies Poster
The hippie hate'n thing was on, these were the new kid's on the scene. We're PUNKS, they said, made me laugh, I was a little too old for that... they threw each other around, weird way to go, I thought. Bookies was a lot of fun tho', Detroit Punk's were not the meanest in the land... I've been in hotter fires. They asked me to be the Bouncer, but I didn't swing that way.
Ben Waugh of the Sillies
We did our thing, saw a ton of bands... Monsters, Sillies, 27, Boners, our very own Sonic's Rendezvous, John Cale... Mutants... Wayne Kramer and Johnny Thunders with Gang War... We were barred during Iggy's week long gig... some kinda fight or something... wasn't me, Man.
The Cult Heroes Hiawatha Bailey smuggled me in the back door when the Police played. Just for fun... Thanks Hi. The BIG deal was the GUEST LIST.... it wasn't about 3 Bucks to get in.... it was STATUS, Man! When all was said and done... Last stop, White Castle... on 8 Mile and Woodward.
Sirius Trixon and the Motor City Bad Boy and Machinegun
East Side, was The Red Carpet, right down the street from Sister Ellie's house, on Warren. I saw a shit-load of Bands there,Sirius Trixon and the Motor City Bad Boys with Dennis Machinegun Thompson...
Rob Tyner at the Red Carpet
The Sonic's, with about 10 people in the house. CRAZY LOUD! Rob Tyner's Band played there too. There was I-ROCK and TRAXX, off Gratiot and 6 Mile, Paychecks and Lili's over in Hamtramck, a city within the city... The West Siders had Siverbird, Token Lounge, Key West and a shit load I can't remember.
Ann Arbor had Star Bar, and Primo's, where the Rockets and Lightning played all the time... It was going on EVERYWHERE! Seemed so natural, Rock N' Roll, Rhythm and Blues!
Downtown, on Cass Ave. was The New Miami and Alvins, Dark Carnival played there one night...dig my videos from that era... STOOGE Brothers Ron and Scott Asheton TOGETHER, with Greasy Carlise and Bootsey X doing a KILLER version of the Stooges TV EYE... This video has NEVER seen daylight and I'm puttin' it out NOW!
Times had changed, but Detroit people made the best of it. The CUBES became Rough Cut... their first gig was at my wedding, Cops raided the Union Hall out on Van Dyke... Sorry Fred.
Like any scene... in the beginning it's the "new IN thing", Cool... word spreads, lots of people start commin' from all over, the vibe begins to change. Then it goes to Hell.
Time to start something new.