Tuesday, March 16, 2010
BIG RICH: IT SCREAMED DETROIT!
Rich and Sister Ellie
Me and Mitch Ryder went to the same high school at different times together. As an alternative to gettin' shipped off to Viet Nam, in fall of '68, I decided to go back and finish my senior year. The family had relocated out to 15 mile and Ryan, a cornfield infested wilderness to me. The Principal was worried if I had picked up any bad habits on the road... "Nah", I told 'em... "I don't even smoke... cigarettes." Just a little Lysergic Acid (LSD). So I proceeded to plunge back into reality.
Warren High was a mite backwards, you could say... although a fair amount of bell bottomed chicks and Art class made it seem worthwhile. Football players on the other hand, had a serious hippie hate'n thing going on. This was still the time of GRANDE' and the EAST TOWN was commin' on, we were lookin' pretty weird... hair gettin' long, beads, round glasses, occasional dog collar... "far-out" we used to say.
Had left my leather, somewhere, so we bought some of them suede fringed jackets at the Plum Pit, over on Gratiot and 11 Mile... we were lookin' cool... my buddy, Donnie Jones and me. His was red, mine was brown... Some bikers at a burger joint on the west side said, "Look at them queer cowboys"... but they let us go, again. It was always somethin'.
Lots of "shit" goes down in "Boys Rooms", ya' know. I was lurkin' and havin' a toke one day when a big foot baller named Moe walked in... me smilin' about an unrelated issue pissed him off, so he socked me into the sink. "Any time... anytime you wanna' fight!" Oh well, No harm done, I met him later at a party in Birmingham... all stoned out and smilin', just sittin' on the steps. I won.
It seemed like they left me alone after a while... turns out there was this guy... big, long haired, karate guy... he told 'em to leave me be, so they did. We got tight, I called him Bert. He dosed me once and took me out on the I-75 Freeway during rush hour... at a high rate of speed.
He thought that shit was funny. The car was a '68 Chevelle Super Sport, Black with mags and a peace sign in the rear window... it screamed DETROIT!
I took Bert to the Hill House in Ann Arbor, once... a hot bed of radical types. They were smokin' Hash and playin' John Coltrane, usual radical stuff. Bert invited the best lookin', blond, most radical feminist in the place to... "
Blow this pop-stand and go some place hip"... she smiled and said... "Where would you like to go?" We split, she stayed. I am still amazed.
We ran off to Toronto, to see some Hippies I knew... the Open City Commune, saw Howlin' Wolf at The Colonial Club... what a bad-ass. We turned around and drove right back, he didn't dig the scene. I told him to ditch the joints that night, commin' over the Bridge... "Nah, were cool", he said. The US Border Guards did a personal-flashlight-inspection, found the pot, seized the car... and let us go.
His old man had to go get it... title was in his name.
Carl Lobert (BERT) didn't make it, the Qualude-747's took him, in 1976, at the tender age of 25.