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.


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.

Hiawatha Bailey

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big Richard had a dog named Norton who was a better singer than the guy from the Ramrods and the 27. Dig that face the 80's t-shirt