Tuesday, March 16, 2010


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.

Big Rich

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.


Kevin Curran said...

I lived in the front room of the Hill house in 86 (it's a co-op house now)... The room with the French doors, unaware of the house's history, (though my brother told me the MC5 used to live and practice on Hill st.)...We did a lot of partying on the porch that summer, and one day a guy walked up to me during the artfair & told me this was the White...

Gail Davey Wilson said...

Love the commentary!

Douglas Davison said...

Killer Shirt!

Jeff Alder said...

Elsie's other son was probably Dave Sinclair, who was very down to earth, took care of biz. Cool stuff Rich.

BIG RICH said...

It was Dave's "woman" that Bert tried to put the moves on, think of it, un-be-lievable!

Jeff Alder said...

I wouldn't want to get in between that!!

BIG RICH said...

Truth is, Dave Sinclair was a good dude, took care of business when John went to Prison, they opened the Rainbow Room a few years later in detroit. Cool.

David Earl Stark said...

Not to get too far off subject...does anyone remember a car Volkswagen? buried in front yard of house in A2 RPP House?

BIG RICH said...

They dug a "Bomb Crater" on the front lawn to protest the bombing in Viet-Nam, never heard of any VW thing.