1.31.2014

DETROIT DOWN UNDER: DENIZ TEK'S STORY


** Deniz Tek has done SO much to promote Detroit Rock n Roll 
around this planet! Dr. Tek is our legend piece today......***

Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian rock group Radio Birdman. He has played in many of the underground rock bands of the 1970s including Australian bands The Visitors, and New Race but is most known for exerting his burning Detroit style guitar influence over the punk rock genre in Australia.

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Tek was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. He spent 1967 in Sydney, Australia with his family and was greatly attracted to the Australian landscape, moving there permanently in 1972 to begin his medical studies at University of New South Wales in Sydney.


Dr. Deniz Tek is a trained ER doctor and ex-navy flight surgeon who currently splits his time working in emergency departments in hospitals in NSW, Australia and Hawaii, USA while still taking time to record and tour.
 

In the late '60s Ann Arbor became somewhat of a nexus for rock music, hosting festivals which drew performers from all around the world such as Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Captain Beefheart, and a personal favorite of Tek's, The Rolling Stones.


Tek was heavily influenced by the underground scene of Ann Arbor, which included bands such as The MC5, The Stooges, The Rationals, Frost, Mitch Ryder, Carnal Kitchen with Steve Mackay, The Up, SRC plus jazz greats Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef.


IN 1972 when Deniz moved to Australia he took his love of Detroit Rock n roll with him introducing thousands of young Aussies to our favorite music and taught them about our corridor to the City I 94...


1974-78 Tek proceeded to form a new band with long time friend Rob Younger, with the addition of Chris "Klondike" Masuak, Warwick Gilbert, Pip Hoyle and Ron Keeley, and called themselves Radio Birdman, after a misheard Stooges lyric.

 
The Radio Birdman sound was unconventional and raw... it echoed the Motor City influences of Tek's youth. 
 

Birdman are often attributed with the initiation of the Australian indie rock scene, as after being repeatedly rejected from various clubs and bars in the Sydney area, Birdman took it upon themselves to record and release their first recording Burn My Eye, and distribute it out the back of the band members' station wagons.

 
Radio Birdman began a world tour in 1977 traveling to England and playing a few shows around London as well as recording their second album Living Eyes, until in 1978 the band broke up mid-tour.


READ MORE ON WIKI

Retro Kimmer

1.30.2014

THE TORPEDOS!


Torpedos circa 1981 (from l): Jim Banner, Johnny Angelos, Robert Gillespie, Ralph Serafino, Tom Curry 

Was just sitting in my office the other day and I was thinking about which band from Detroit that was never mainstream, is still relevant today...What band would I share with our overseas readers? A band that is still very cool. They had a punkish attitude and had great singles, like NO PILLS, and CHECKIN OUT



Guitarist Robert Gillespie kicks back and pours another vodka, playing the charming host in his sprawling Pleasant Ridge home. It’s a spacious rock ’n’ roll mansion of sorts — guitars, books and records are scattered amid leopard-print rugs and throw pillows. The basement is jammed with musical gear, ready for impromptu drunken jams.Gillespie has a casual star quality. He plays in the super-group Power Train as well as with Mitch Ryder (since 1983).


Today, however, he’s talking about his “favorite band.” They were called the Torpedos, they were full-on Motown rock ’n’ roll punks, and they debuted in October 1978 at the infamous Bookies 870 club in Detroit.


“Nobody liked us at first,” says Gillespie as he pops in a 1981 video of a Torpedos performance at Harpo’s. He apologizes in advance, saying the tape had no sound. But once it begins playing, it’s obvious that the sound has been mysteriously restored.


Perhaps it’s the work of the spirit of vocalist Johnny Angelos, who is front and center on the video. Angelos, the gangster R&B punk, doesn’t just look out from the screen, he jumps and screams out at you. He sounds cocky and cool and he looks fantastic.He would be dead in three years.


Even though the Torpedos released just one single and an EP, both on Brian Williams’ Four Winds Records, which both sold more than 1,000 copies, they left an indelible mark. Thanks to Mike Leshkevich and his homegrown Motor City Music label, the Torpedos can be experienced fresh and new with the release of the band’s first-ever CD, No Refills.


Gillespie and Angelos formed the Torpedos in October 1978, fusing their love of classic Motown soul and blues with elements of Heartbreakers and Sex Pistols punk. Gillespie says the Torpedos stood out from an emerging pack of new bands because “we had killer songs and a excellent front man in Johnny, who was like Rod Stewart, but more deviant.” He recalls meeting Angelos “in 1969 down on Plum Street at the Red Roach coffee house when I was 14 years old.”











1.29.2014

JAMES JAMERSON: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DETROIT'S REVOLUTIONARY BASSIST!


James Lee Jamerson was an American bass player. He was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records hits in the 1960s and early 1970s and he is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history.

 
Born: January 29, 1936, Charleston, SC Died: August 2, 1983, Los Angeles, CA Record label: Motown Records Music group: The Funk Brothers (1959 – 1972) Albums: Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson  Wiki


Legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson single-handedly revolutionized bass playing. Throughout the entire classic Motown catalog (and some non-Motown sides), Jamerson shaped a new inventive style of bass playing and brought what had been regarded by some as a "minor" instrument to the forefront through the use of the electric Fender bass, powered by his musical genius and amazing dexterity.
 

Jamerson  was the first Motown bassist to incorporate a fresh perspective and intuitiveness along with his own jazz/blues-oriented background to Motown founder Berry Gordy's R&B/pop leanings. The innovative bassist moved R&B/pop bass playing from the standard two-beat root fifth (dum-de de de-dum dum) to an approach that was more dynamic: using zipping passing tones, Ray Brown-like walking bass lines, double stops, and syncopation. Jamerson's playing was nothing short of revolutionary.

James Jamerson Biography by Ed Hogan

1.25.2014

DETROIT ROCK ARTIST: CARL LUNDGREN!

 

Carl Lundgren is one of the most innovative American artists in modern time. Carl's love of underground movies, science fiction, comic book super heroes, fueled his mind with amazing color and vision. He creates more than just one genre, he creates art that represents his dreams.

Being quite famous as one of the top rock poster artists of the rock n roll era wasn't enough, fine art has always been his love. Carl brings fantasy to his art and humor as well.

His newest painting is "CONGRESS"


From Carl...

1965 "When I was 18 years old I was co-chairman of the first multimedia convention ever held, The Detroit Triple Fan Fair, (comics, movies, and science fiction). I played folk guitar semi-professionally, but I really wanted to learn to be an illustrator like my idol, Frank Frazetta."


1967 Lundgren began creating posters for such bands as The Who, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane as well as for such Detroit legends as the MC5, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, The Frost and more. Little thought was given to the fact these Rock 'n' Roll posters would become highly collectible.


  

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"Gary gave me a job and I was able to create posters for such bands as The Who, Pink Floyd, and Jefferson Airplane and more. Little did I know that these Rock and Roll Posters would become highly collectible today. I also published some Underground Comix."

 Carl Lundgren and Gary Grimshaw

1974 I became a science fiction and fantasy illustrator, painting almost 300 book covers in NYC. I also was a founder of ASFA and was nominated for a Hugo Award, the highest honor in science fiction.

 
Carl Lundgren is the most easy going and beloved artists in Detroit. Always so humble and helpful to new musicians as much as the legends. What would the Detroit music scene be without Lundgren's Art? Pretty dull...

Some of our favorites of Carl Lundgren's fine art collection:




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