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