Sunday, March 18, 2007

Detroit - Rock City

I love it here in Texas, but sometimes I get a little homesick for all the favorites I had as a kid. Anyone out there who grew up in the Detroit Area in the late '70s and '80s remember:
  • "WRIF, The home of rock and roll, BABY!"
    • The "Live at Hart Plaza" local music concert series
    • JJ and the Morning Crew
    • "It's me, Arthur P" Penhollow "The Grand Poobah of Rock and Roll"
    • The Dick the Bruiser Band
    • D.R.E.A.D - Detroit Rockers Engaged in the Abolition of Disco
  • WABX and the Steve Dahl show
  • WWWW - W4 changing from Album-Oriented Rock to Country and Western with no warning on a Monday morning
  • Marshall Crenshaw
  • Muggsy
  • The Romantics before they made it big
  • Bob Seger selling out 5 shows at Cobo in one day
  • The Numerous Ted Nugent Tours - except the one at the Acoustically Imperfect Pontiac Silverdome where The Cars were the opening band and they both sounded terrible in the nose-bleed seats
  • Ted Nugent's campaign to make "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" the Michigan state song? (I still have a letter from Gov. William Milliken's office outline why that would not be an appropriate song)
  • I could go on for a while on this list ...
My friend Ron, who still lives near where we grew up, sent me a link which caused me to remember those days. Motor City Rock 1980-1990 is a site dedicated to "Preserving Detroit's Local Music Scene." They've done a great job of cataloging information about the bands of the Detroit area of that era with pictures, discographies, club dates and even some MP3s. There are a lot of cities which claim to have the "greatest live music scene" but I doubt any city can compare to Detroit back in those days and this site gives a lot of proof to how vibrant the Detroit music scene was.

It seems to me that every club had live music at least once a week, and there were plenty of concert venues both large and small. The site boasts it has 860 bands cataloged, and I would not doubt that in the least. I am even a former member of a few long-haired rock and roll garage bands - which unfortunately never got past the garage stage of development.

Another site sent to me by an old Army friend who grew up in the Detroit Area is Detroit Memories. This site is a collection of lists of things Detroit from the '50s through the '70s. There is even a link to an on-line store where you can order goodies only available from Detroit (Faygo Rock and Rye, anyone?). I have to admit, I have to have a Vernor's fix everyone once in a while, so I hop down to my local HEB and get a 6-pack from time to time. HEB is the only store I know in Central Texas which sells Vernor's, a long-time Detroit favorite still only available on a limited basis outside Michigan.


  1. OpenTrackRacer12/02/2007 11:35 PM

    Ha! I still have my D.R.E.A.D. card! I was back in Detroit a few years ago (in December) and Arthur P. was playing "Santa Claus and His Old Lady" by Cheech and Chong. I swear if I closed my eyes it could have been 1979.

  2. "Hey - I played with that dude!"