Showing posts with label In Memorium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label In Memorium. Show all posts

3.21.2017

JOHNNY BEE BADANJEK: THE DETROIT WHEELS BACK UP CHUCK BERRY!


The man who invented rock & roll passed away this evening. The great Chuck Berry. He changed the face of music forever. And so I have a little Chuck Berry Story I'd like to tell you.

We were (Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels). living in New York City, and we were booked to be on a show. The Detroit Wheels were also gonna be the house band and back up all the other acts that were on the show. Chuck Berry was the headliner. The show was in Virginia Beach at the arena. We were so excited.

So our manager borrows a car from a friend and we get one rent-a-car, and we set off from NYC at 6:00 in the morning. We were gonna drive down to Virginia Beach and rehearse with all the other groups we have to back up. The Orlons, Johnny Tillotson, The Angels, and a few others.

We were just getting into Maryland and it was real foggy. Mitch, Joe, and I were in the rent-a-car in back. McCarty, Earl, our manager and his friend were in the front car.


We were coming up to a T in the road with a yellow flashing light. The front car slowed down, and then they kept going straight. And we looked at each and said, "what the hell are these guys doing?"

And they drove straight into an aluminum office building. Right up to the tail lights! We were out of minds. We thought they were dead. The whole car was scratched up. We ran up the street to a donut shop and there was a Police Officer sitting inside. He came running out with us and down the street to the building.

Everybody in the car was alright. They were lucky. The car had be towed out of the building and taken to a dealership where we rented another car to get to the show.


We got there at noon, set up and started rehearsing all the songs on the spot. The Watusi by The Orlons, and many others. The show was sold out. We were playing and no Chuck Berry yet.

The Promoter was starting get nervous. We kept backing up all the other groups, and were waiting for Chuck. Finally the promoter yells, "he's here!" Chuck Berry walks in and he doesn't have a guitar. He says where's the band that's backing me up. The Promoter says over there, the Detroit Wheels.

So Chuck walks up to us and says....Who's the drummer. I said, I am. He says, "you see my right foot?" "When I bring it down and it hits the floor you stop."  OK!. OK! Chuck had a big foot it was a size 16 Brogan Shoe.


Then he asks if he can borrow a guitar. So McCarty says here use mine. At That time Jim was playing a Chet Atkins Country Gentleman guitar. Chuck picked it up, put it on and the crowd was going crazy.

Growing up we played a lot of Chuck Berry songs so we knew most of his stuff. So we started playing and rocking the joint. and every time we stopped, Chuck, would say something to the audience about McCarty's guitar, Chuck says.....(I never played a guitar with so many buttons on it).


The crowd was eatin' it up. So we keep playing and Chuck goes out into audience and is duck walking all around, and at the end of the song, he says, (Man playing this guitar is like flyin' a spaceship).

What a night! And we just kept on a rockin'....to us little kids we were havin' a ball. Playing with the man who invented rock & roll.

Thank you Mr. Chuck Berry for everything you taught us. RIP! God Bless!

Johnny Bee Badanjek
Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels.

1.18.2016

DETROITER GLENN FREY OF THE EAGLES HAS DIED

 11/06/48 - 01/18/16

Our most sincere condolences to the family & friends of Glenn Frey.

 Eagles founder Glenn Frey has died.The band posted a statement on its Facebook page, listing “complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia” as the causes of death.

Frey had disclosed the problems back in November, when the band were forced to pull out of attending the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony because he required major surgery.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.

Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.

Cindy Frey | Taylor Frey | Deacon Frey | Otis Frey
Don Henley | Joe Walsh | Timothy B. Schmit | Bernie Leadon | Irving Azoff

“It’s Your World Now”
Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin
From the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden album

A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low
As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow
The time we shared went by so fast
Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last
But I’d do it all again
If I could, somehow
But I must be leavin’ soon
It’s your world now

It’s your world now
My race is run
I’m moving on
Like the setting sun
No sad goodbyes
No tears allowed
You’ll be alright
It’s your world now

Even when we are apart
You’ll always be in my heart
When dark clouds appear in the sky
Remember true love never dies

But first a kiss, one glass of wine
Just one more dance while there’s still time
My one last wish: someday, you’ll see
How hard I tried and how much you meant to me

It’s your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now

11.11.2015

FLINT MUSIC PROMOTER DAVE WEST HAS DIED

 Dave West (RIP)

Sad news just in....Flint Sherwood Forest music promoter Dave West died at 6:29pm last night.

Dave West played a prominent role in supporting and promoting Flint area musicians during the early days of Michigan Rock & Roll and was particularly involved in our Sherwood Forest concerts.


Dave is best known as the inventor and developer of West Amplifiers, building and maintaining equipment for Grand Funk Railroad, which they used exclusively for many years, and supplying heavy duty sound systems for almost all of the major Michigan bands, including Bob Seger, Dick Wagner, Alice Cooper and the like, as well as dozens of local bands just getting it together. Services pending....

10.18.2015

MOTOR CITY BAD BOY RIKKI ST JAMES HAS DIED


Rikki in Detroit 2013 photo: (retrokimmer.com)

Rikki St James
February 20, 1954 - October 18, 2015
Son of Mary Santiago. Father of Ricardo A. Santiago and Brittany L. St. James. Brother of Andre Santiago, Lisa Bryson and Maria Santiago-Powell



Detroit Guitarist/Bass Player Rikki St James died today after suffering a brain aneurysm. Rikki was receiving chemotherapy for cancer as well..he was in good spirits until the end..we received several phone calls and lots of texts from him while he was at U of M hospital and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The funeral service will be a private family affair.

Rikki loved his family especially his two children Brittany and Ricky. Our prayers are with them at this time....


Rikki St James was an old school Detroiter. He grew up not far from Tiger Stadium and his father owned the Security Seal business on Michigan Ave. Rikki worked along side his dad as young boy and worked in the building trades for over 30 years.

 Rikki  (retrokimmer.com)

In recent years Rikki has resided in Wyandotte, Michigan. He loved that small artist community. He enjoyed living there immensely.

Rikki was a very good chef..cooked authentic Puerto Rican dishes and loved to make Spaghetti Marinara from scratch on Sundays..He loved to eat the best foods. Rikki loved his many sports cars and his Softail Harley. Rode often with his pals in the Highwaymen.

Rikki was full of life, love, and laughter....

 Wyandotte Museum (retrokimmer.com)

But his true love in life was making music and meeting talented people. He loved to encourage everyone to follow their dreams and live their best life. He truly enjoyed living his life to the hilt. One of his favorite quotes was from Hunter S. Thompson..

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”



His career in music began when Rikki was hired to play Bass guitar in the second version of the band the Motor City Bad Boys. This was the greatest time in Rikki's life.

He talked often about the MCBB crowds that packed CBGB's, Max's Kansas City,  and the Great Gildersleeve back in NYC. He loved NYC and the glamour and nightlife.

  Mick Stevens, Rikki St James, Sirius Trixon, Glenn Dean and Jim Jam

The Motor City Bad Boys, one of the most fascinating rock bands to ever come out of the Detroit music scene. MCBB played Second Chance, Bookies, Max's Kansas City, CBGBs and Great Gildersleeves many times during the 70's.


RIP LOVE...xoK







10.11.2015

BRUCE "BEEZER" NAZARIAN OF BROWNSVILLE STATION HAS DIED

 Brownsville Station

The world lost one of the sweetest men I have had the pleasure to meet....I just met Bruce recently via the phone...he graciously wrote 2 Brownsville Station stories for  Detroit Rock n Roll Magazine. I am just shocked...What a charming and wonderful man...My love and prayers to his family and many friends...rip my friend.....xoxoK

 

I had been a session musician in Detroit for years, but also had a thing for rock and rolL.somewhere along the way I met Al Nalli, the band's manager, and the rest was history... 

I joined the band in 1975 - just as they were finishing the Motor City Connection album - that was the first one I played on...

After the band split-up in 1979 I went back to playing sessions for a while, and started a new band call The Automatix, with some session buddies of mine, and Shaun Murphy, a killer singer from Detroit who was our secret weapon. Shaun left just before the band got signed to MCA. in 1980-ish. "Bruce Nazarian"


Bruce was a musician, author, Apple certified computer engineer "digital guy", audio/sound expert, book author and a list of other accomplishment that you can read on his huge WIKI page



Bruce Nazarian (born in Detroit, MI)

In 1975, a chance meeting with band manager Al Nalli would lead to his joining Brownsville Station (of "Smokin' in the Boys' Room" fame).[4] During the next few years, he participated in countless live shows and recorded several albums with Brownsville, including "Brownsville Station" aka 'The Red Album'  which included "Martian Boogie"  and "Air Special" for Epic.  This  was to be Brownsville's last recorded work. He remained a member of Brownsville Station until May, 1979.

http://www.detroitrocknrollmagazine.com/2015/07/the-making-of-martian-boogie.html



In 1988, he recorded vocals and produced some demos for Anita Baker's "Giving You The Best That I've Got" album, and provided Anita with her first experience with recording on a Direct-to-Disc digital recording system.

Anita would later call again on Bruce to record her vocals digitally. This would be one of the last projects recorded at the W. 30th Street NYC studio location.

http://www.amazon.com/Recording-Production-Techniques-Musicians-Nazarian/dp/0825611776/ref=la_B001KI5GO6_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444580953&sr=1-1

Bruce also had a long involvement with the written word. From 1985 to 1986, he was a contributing editor to MIX magazine, where he created "In Sync", a monthly column devoted to computerized music production, sequencing and MIDI.

In 1988, the textbook he had written for his university class "Recording and Electronic Techniques for Musicians" was published as "Recording Production Techniques for Musicians" by AMSCO Press. The book and all artwork were created on an early Macintosh 128K using MacWrite and MacPaint, making it one of the first books printed from an electronic manuscript. Many of the topics in the book are still relevant to today's digital recording process.

In 2004, he wrote "DVD Studio Pro 2 - The Complete Guide to Authoring with Macintosh", published by McGraw-Hill. In 2006, he wrote "DVD Studio Pro 4 - The Complete Guide to Authoring with Macintosh", published by McGraw-Hill. Both books covered DVD authoring with Apple DVD Studio Pro in great depth.

In 2009, he wrote "Fast Path to Blu-ray for Mac", published by The Digital Guy Press.

The industry truly lost one of it's brightest stars....

STOOGES SAX MAN STEVE MACKAY HAS DIED


Steve Mackay, saxophonist for The Stooges, has died due to complications from sepsis. Steve was 66.

Steve was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the 1960s, he went to Ann Arbor to attend  the University of Michigan's art school. This is when he met Iggy (Jim Osterberg) at a Carnal Kitchen gig.

Iggy invited Steve to jam with the Stooges. Steve played on: "Fun House" and "1970".

Following the recording of classic LP Fun House, Steve toured with the Stooges. when Iggy and the Ashetons reunited, he was invited back to perform on the band's 2007 album The Weirdness and 2013's Ready to Die.

 Stooges Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame..Steve second from left

Steve toured with the band in recent years. We got to see him in 2011 play with the Stooges at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor...he was fantastic!

Steve also made solo records and worked with so many other groups such as, Violent Femmes, Sonny Vincent, Mike Watt, and R. Stevie Moore

Iggy shared his thoughts on Steve's passing:

"Steve was a classic '60s American guy, full of generosity and love for anyone he met. Every time he put his sax to his lips and honked, he lightened my road and brightened the whole world. He was a credit to his group and his generation. To know him was to love him. - Iggy."


Rest in peace Steve...our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and legions of fans..

Enjoy this full Stooges show from Detroit



8.14.2015

DETROIT BASS LEGEND WR RON COOKE HAS DIED


W R (Ron) Cooke
Ron's Bands:
Catfish
Mitch Ryder/Detroit
Sonic's Rendezvous Band
Gang War
Scott Morgan
Dead City Prophets

A Detroit Rock Bass Pioneer, W.R.'Ron' Cooke has died.

Ron long ago staked his claim to fame in the dynamic history of the Detroit Rock scene over several years.


Never one to lay down his sword and go home quietly, He came roaring back to life with the help and support of many of Detroit's greatest talents. After beginning his career at an early age, he was able to play with some of the true rock greats over his expansive career.



From Bobby & the Daytonas, Detroit (W. Mitch Ryder/Jim McCarty/Johnny 'Bee' Badanjek/Steve Hunter/Steve Dansby/Rusty Day & More), (w. Blues legend Bob 'Catfish' Hodge), Cactus (w. Rusty Day), Gang War (w. Johnny Thunders of New York Dolls & Wayne Kramer of MC5 Fame), Sonic Rendezvous Band (w. Fred 'Sonic' Smith), The Boogie Man From Hell, Mike Katon and so many many more, leading him to his most recent project The Dead City Prophets.


Ron is survived by his ever loving wife Pam, their children and grandchildren. Thoughts and prayers to the family. xK

Ron really loved this gig at the Magic Bag..


6.28.2015

DETROIT LEGEND:TERRY "THUNDER" HUGHLEY HAS DIED


We are so sorry to hear of Detroit's great Drummer Terry Thunder Hughley's passing from a terrible Asthma attack...Thnnder was a wonderful man and musician extraordinaire....RIP TTH.... our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Deborah Hughley, family, friends and legions of fans....Retro Kimmer

Terry "Thunder" Hughley had been a professional drummer since receiving a Drum set on his 16th birthday. He has had the pleasure of working with some of the best names in the music business.

Names like; David Ruffin, 5 Special, Enchantment,The Dramatics, The Platters, L. J. Reynolds of
The Dramatics (Key To The World Tour), New Birth,Little Carl Carlton, Don Was, Mitch Ryder, Black Merda, Bobby Franklin's Insanity, The Drifters, The Coasters,Kim Weston, Ali Ollie Woodson of the Temptations,and even Pro Boxer Larry Holmes just to name a few.

Currently played with The Sun Messengers, playing for The Detroit Pistons & backing such artists as Sir Mack Rice,The Original Falcons Reunion with Eddie Floyd at the Chicago Blues Festival, Earl King, James Thunderbird" Davis, Johnnie Adams, Martha Reeves and many more.

The Sun Messengers also had the pleasure of opening up for Jay Leno for 2 nights at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

For the past 4 years Terry had been the Host drummer for“The Don Was Super Sessions” at the Concert of Colors.

Terry is also was an aspiring Blues singer performing overseas at The Prestigious Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland, The Utrecht Blues Festival in The Netherlands &The Lionel Hampton Club in Paris, France.

Terry’s voice also can be heard on TV & Radio commercials for Toyota Trucks, James Martin Chevrolet-Buick, Mr. Allen's Shoes, & Betty Crocker Cakes.

How do you say goodbye to one your best friends?...You don't. You say 'I'll see you later buddy'. That is what I'm saying to my beloved Terry Thunder Hughley. I'm gonna miss our talks, your shoulder to cry on, the wonderful hugs we shared and of course your simply amazing talent on the drums. You are gone in the flesh my friend but alive in many hearts every day including mine so....I'll see you later buddy. I love you so much. Debra, I hold you close in my heart. Tosha Owens

So devastating to hear of the passing of Terry Thunder Hughley! No better man has ever played drums or sang from the heart in the City of Detroit, the place he loved most. Terry's passing coming right on the heels of Garfield and has to teach us to love these great musicians! I found this video of 'Having A Christmas Party' which features both Terry Thunder and Garfield, along with Thornetta, RJ, Johnny Evans, Paul Carey, and more. RIP Terry Thunder you will always be loved...Tino Gross





6.22.2015

GARY QUACKENBUSH SRC LEAD GUITARIST HAD DIED


Sad news to hear that amazingly gifted guitarist Gary Quackenbush passed away this past weekend . Gary was the original and most fabulous guitarist of the band Scot Richard Case aka SRC.

SRC's first hit record...



Scott Richard Case aka SRC was formed by Scott Richardson, the Chosen Few lead singer, with Gary's band, The Fugitives, which featured his brother Glenn Quackenbush & E.G. Clawson, and Robin Dale, Bass & Vocals, the only British member of the group. Jeep Holland, manager of The Rationals, became their manager.



We had the lovely opportunity to watch Quack in action and up close when we filmed him in 2010 in a small rehearsal studio in Ann Arbor. With Chris Taylor, Al King and Mark Sisto. This was a spontaneous session with no rehearsal..but what a joy for me to watch...



Gary's unique style influenced legions of young guitarists and his signature style lives on...
Our condolences go out to his family and many friends....RIP Quack

Gary Quackenbush is survived by brother, Glenn, of New Hudson; sister, Martha Leabu, of Brighton; and 10 nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be private. The family asks that donations be sent to the Hospice of Lenawee, 1903 Wolf Creek Highway, Adrian, Michigan.

11.29.2014

MISSING BOOTSEY X: STORY FROM GERALD SHOHAN


Even though he’s been gone for a year now, don’t think any of his fans and friends will ever forget Bootsey X! I’ve spent some time on Youtube the last few days thinking I would add a one of the video’s of Bootsey X and the Lovemasters along with this picture. 


The trouble is, I couldn’t decide which one. Like most of you know, not every show is the brightest star in your universe. Should it be one that reminds me of the time we had that night, or a song that everyone wanted us to play.



I watched one that had both Bootsey and Steve King, both of which left us this past year. Instead of rambling on, I’d just like to say during this holiday season, how thankful I am to have been a part of the life and times of these guys, and thank all of you for being there for us.
Feel free to post or like your favorite tune or moment. THANK YOU GERALD

10.20.2014

TRIBUTE TO TOMMY FARLESS OF MUGSY BY RON PERRY


TRIBUTE FOR TOMMY FARLESS BY RON PERRY

I am heartbroken. Devastated. Part of my youth, and part of the world as I know and understand it, died today. His name was Tommy Farless. There are some people who are destined to make a mark in the world, and Tommy Farless was one of those people. Anyone who ever saw him sing has his image and his voice permanently etched into their consciousness. It was an experience no one EVER forgot, and it was an experience that left a huge, lasting impression on my life.

He never became famous or rich. Like a lot of musicians, he struggled with demons and didn't have the easiest life, but when he had a microphone in his hand, he was a king, a hero...a god. There has never been any musician that has been such a big influence, or that I have looked up to more in my life. I would give my left nut to possess the talent he had in his pinky.


With everything I have ever done in music, my main goal was just to try and be as good as Tommy Farless, although I knew that would be an impossibility. Every vocal I ever tracked, I listened back and thought "how would Tommy sing it?" and then I did what Tommy would have done. I still listen to his recordings and draw inspiration.

His voice can only be described as a cross between a sparrow and a lion. He was the fiercest, most powerful and expressive singer I ever heard, bar none. he could croon a lullaby and turn around and let out a blood curdling scream that would rattle your skull, all in perfect pitch.

To know that he is no longer here in this world shakes me to the core. I was honored to get to know him and become his friend, and although we weren't super-close, I am glad that I got the chance to let him know exactly how I felt about him. He was my hero, my idol. I loved him. I have heard it said that the greatest musicians in the world are people that you've never heard of, so ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the greatest rock singer who ever lived...Tommy Farless.

8.15.2014

HEAR JOHNNY WINTER'S FIRST SONG RELEASED FROM STEP BACK LP


Hear the first song released from Johnny’s final studio album Step Back, out September 2.

Ben Harper on Johnny Winter, for Rolling Stone:

"The blues means everything to me, and Johnny Winter meant everything to the blues. There is not one note, lick or riff I will ever play that doesn't owe an unpayable debt to Johnny Winter. I play the way I play because I couldn't play like Johnny Winter.



"While simultaneously breaking musical and cultural barriers, he was one of the ordained architects who went on to define the blues not only for generations, but for an entire genre. As an artist, he played and sang with a rare and unparalleled urgency and sincerity that requires musicians of all stature to listen and learn. As a producer, Johnny Winter was the gatekeeper whom Muddy Waters entrusted to further his own sound. That says it all.

"Johnny Winter was the gospel truth, one of the rare and hallowed musical pillars of the blues. Tonight I'm gonna play Johnny Winter real loud in my house, then try to cop a lick or two of his and once again wonder, 'How on Earth did he play that!?

7.30.2014

DICK WAGNER HAS DIED: A TRIBUTE BY STEVE HUNTER

  Dick Wagner Photo credit BlueFat.Com

Sad news today...my old compadre Dick Wagner passed away this morning after a hard fought battle with a very bad lung infection. I know there are lots of you out there who know about the two of us and our history together. From 1973 until about 1978 Dick and I were lucky enough to play on some pretty cool records and some amazing stages all over the world with some incredible artists.

We had a thing when we played together like none other I’ve experienced. It might be because, for the most part, I think we were opposites. But I think that’s what helped us play so well together. We hardly ever had to work anything out...we just did it and it was always right. It was truly a phenomenon.

There was always mutual respect. After 1978 we went our separate ways but always stayed in loose touch. And we tried many times through the years to put something together as the Hunter/Wagner team again, but it just never seemed to work. We were at our best as a team I think, when we were focusing on the material of artists like Lou Reed and Alice Cooper.

That always seemed to be when the magic happened. Dick has written and co written some real Rock N Roll classics that will live on, as well as his playing. The stuff we did together back in the 70s was really and truly magical. With much love and respect, Rest In Peace my dear old Compadre...steve

7.17.2014

TEXAS BLUES ICON JOHNNY WINTER DEAD AT 70


Guitarist Johnny Winter a Detroit favorite passed away while on tour....

Texas blues icon Johnny Winter has passed away on July 16, 2014 in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland.

His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of one of the world's finest guitarists.


Winter rose to fame in the late 1960s and '70s with his performances and recordings that included producing his childhood hero Muddy Waters.

"I love blues. I don't mind a little rock and roll, too, as long as it's blues-based rock and roll," he told Guitar World in 2010. He was the older brother of Edgar Winter — also a music legend.

Winter's representative, Carla Parisi, confirmed Thursday to the Associated Press that Winter died Wednesday in a hotel room in Zurich. A Facebook note says "his wife, family and bandmates were all saddened by the loss of one of the world's finest guitarists."

He had been on an extensive tour that took him to Europe for his last performance Saturday at the Lovely Days Festival in Wiesen, Austria. He performed in May at the annual Jazz Fest in New Orleans. READ MORE

6.06.2014

DON DAVIS DETROIT MUSIC AND BANKING LEGEND DIED AT 75

 
Don Davis
Photo Credit: John Urbanek

Sad news tonight....Don "The Don" Davis perhaps the most successful business mogul in Detroit history passed away yesterday at 75.

DETROIT (June 6, 2014) – The Wilmore Agency regrets to announce the passing of Detroit native Mr. Don Davis after a brief illness on Thursday, June 5th.

Don Davis was CEO and chairman of First Independence Bank, Michigan’s only African-American owned and operated commercial bank, with multiple branches around the City of Detroit. A notably, successful endeavor, Mr. Davis led First Independence Bank with $204 million in assets (as of December 31, 2013), and was ranked as one of the top ranked African American owned bank in the United States, according to Black Enterprise Magazine.

Don Davis famous for his early work as a pioneering Motown session guitarist, then his historic work at United Sound Systems. He produced and/or played on numerous soul hits with the greatest soul artists of the 1960's and 1970s. Don left USS in Detroit and went to work at STAX in Memphis.He produced hits too numerous to list here...but you can see them on BlackRadioNetwork

Don was also a well known philanthropist, Davis partnered with the Lawrence P. Doss Scholarship Foundation to launch The Don Davis Composition Scholarship Award, which assists Detroit's underprivileged students in their educational goals.

Our friend John Neff who worked for Don back in the day has shared many stories about the amazing accomplishments of Don Davis... Read more here

Don passed away after a brief illness yesterday...and more details will be released soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with Don's lovely wife Kiko and his three wonderful children.

6.05.2014

STEVE KING GRAMMY WINNING DETROIT RECORDING ENGINEER DIED AT 56


Friends of Steve King wrote me last night to say, the Grammy-winning recording engineer best known for his work with Eminem, died Tuesday at Harper University Hospital in Detroit. He was 56. Steve a very well liked in the Detroit Music Business...Sad loss to the music world..Steve died way too young....our thoughts and prayers to his family and many friends and colleagues.


Steve worked with all the legends, Eminem, Aretha Franklin, Patti Smith, George Clinton,  50 Cent and members of G-Unit. He died on Tuesday in a Harper University hospital not long after being diagnosed with liver disease.

In a statement, Eminem said that, "I'm very sad to hear about Steve King's passing. I had the honor and pleasure of working with Steve on many projects in my earlier years and he was a greatly talented engineer, musician and friend. I will miss Steve's friendly way and sense of humor the most. My condolences go out to his family and all that knew Steve."



4.10.2014

POPULAR DETROIT GUITARIST RICK STEL DIED AT AGE 60

Guitarist Rick Stel photo: © Ingo Rautenberg

**UPDATE**

OBITUARY AND FUNERAL INFORMATION HERE

Sad news today, we lost another loving Detroit soul...Guitarist Rick Stel fought a brave battle against cancer...He was so good and his music was compelling. I remember the first time I saw him play it was in Ann Arbor with Jim McCarty's Mystery Train. I was there to film Jimmy but my camera kept pulling me to the left where Rick was playing.

He was magical to watch..he really was...our prayers are with his family and friends.....he was beautiful ❤️

JB Blues interviewed Jimmy McCarty 
about Rick's passing...
it's a lovely piece..
 click here to read more


3.30.2014

THE ASHETON HOUSE WRITTEN BY NIAGARA DETROIT

Scotty and Niagara in Dark Carnival at the Blind Pig 1990 (photo courtesy of Niagara)

THE ASHETON HOUSE

If you ever had the nerve to be within Scott Asheton's force field, you'd have been stunned by his pale, BLUE eyes. He had a deceptively calm demeanor. Dangerous? Yes. You'd find yourself behaving very carefully. This was mid-70's, Ann Arbor.



Scott played drums with Sonic Rendezvous (Fred Smith-MC5, Scott Morgan-Rationals), at Second Chance, a ballroom/bar. Seeing him only made me (and FEW others at that time) miss The Stooges, since their disintegration years before. The last time I saw them: When Metallic K.O was recorded in Detroit.


Scott was a rock solid drummer. His friends called him "Rock.” His tattoo said "Rock Action". 
People even now are intimidated by the memory of him, though he passed away in March 2014. Some wrote me: "He scared the BEJESUS out of me." But his friends adored him. He was a liked guy. No one could stay mad at him.


We met in that club's dressing room. The Ramones also played that night. I wrote for a Parisian mag- “A Letter from Detroit" sort of thing. 

That summer of 1977, Ron Asheton returned from L.A. Finished with his interim, now defunct band, New Order (with Dennis Thompson-MC5). In the next few weeks, he became lead guitar for my band, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. DAM had been, up till then, a basement Art/Noise unit. DAM with Ron Asheton promised to be eccentric & somewhat dazzling to an expectant local music landscape.


Scott's painting  From the Funhouse show CPop 2004 (photo courtesy of Niagara)

Ron brought me to live at the Asheton House. Mrs. Asheton's house. Ann Asheton. "Ann My Ann's" house. Scott lived there too. The brothers were older than I was...one of Ron's relations took to calling him, "Humbert Humbert". 

At this point Scotty was not consistently looking for fights. He'd just put a friendly stranglehold around various necks.

Once, at a bar, he flattened a patron for getting a little sloppy with me. It may have been his sense of loyalty. It may have been his sense of recreation.

 Ron had a saying: "The bigger the front, the bigger the back", meaning whatever persona you're selling on the outside, it will be the opposite of what's on the inside.

Your regular barroom guy (and also persons with any sense) would keep at a safe distance from Scotty.

At all events, whenever children were in Scott's vicinity, they were drawn to him like a magnet. It was axiomatic. They recognized his child's heart. 

Ann Asheton was the head of meal planning for the entire Ann Arbor school system.

Our schedules barely overlapped. Then she'd return in the evening and plan dinner- though none of us ever ate together. She was capable of running a strict household...except that she had given birth to two Stooges so she had seen it all.

 One time there was no bread on the table. Scott questioned, " NO Buns? No Buns, my babe, No Buns."

When I first started living at the House, Scott would call out, ''Niagara! Look out the window! What's that? It's a witch! What's she saying? You're gonna die!"
("Looking out the window and a witch flew by
 Whipping her broomstick, she said, “You're Gonna Die, You're Gonna die You’re Gonna Die, You're Gonna Die"- my lyrics to DAM's first single: Bored b/w You're Gonna Die)

Very funny.

The Routine: 
We'd sleep till late afternoon, and then went to our respective band practices. After practice, if there was a party, we'd inevitably meet up.

 During daylight hours, Scotty was often non-communicative, grouchy. But we were so busy, and life moved forward. But at night, refueled with necessary libations, he was charming. He was himself. If you found him at a party, you ALWAYS knew where to find him. He was static. He was anti-mingle.



Other times, we'd head for some club. Every current and upcoming Punk band traveled through Joe's Star Bar. When they became more famous, they'd play at the aforementioned, The Chance. We played the same circuit locally. The bands would want to meet us.

They would especially like to tell Ron that his guitar playing was their Holy Grail. It was said by EVERY band's guitarist. The braver ones were also excited to meet Scott.

 If we didn't go on to an after hours party, Ron & I would come home and continue cocktails. Scott would arrive a bit later. 

Ron would rock in the den (he was a rocking chair addict) which was open to the kitchen. Scott would begin gathering his one real meal...after hours of torturing the drums.

For kicks, Ron quietly would pursue the hobby of writing down everything Scott consumed. The lists cracked Ronny up, being so vast and varied, Scotty's appetite being creatively inspired by marihuana. He'd sometime stand in the kitchen, push out his stomach, pat it and muse: "...Yeah...I think I'm going to get me that jumpsuit."!

Ron and Scott were masters at turning nothing into a good time. Deep down they had the wounds of being kicked around. Ron really knew how to tell a story. Scott was more the one-liner type.

Though they remembered the good times in The Stooges, they could never forget the painful ones. Ron could transform anything depressing into an irony or a funny joke. They both had practice at that.

Scott was even younger than Ron when they lost their father. He was an aviator in WWII who gave young Ron piloting lessons. The young Scott became a loner type, a rebel.

They seemed so different, almost opposite.

   Scotty's Busted Drum Head (trashed after only 3 practices) (photo courtesy of Niagara)

But their humor was interwoven. There was shorthand there, key words and verbal signals that were unexpected and unique only to them...and hilarious. 

If we weren't practicing, recording or touring...the nights were ours. Ron and I would hang out in the den. The TV was on the one late night channel: "Cinema Sixty-Two".

The station had a rotation of three movies. The announcer had a lisp, so it was: "THINEMA THIXTY-TWO". Scott was up in his room watching the same thing. He'd come down at every commercial to convey some one-liner spoofing the film, or whatever. We'd never know what to expect.



Sometimes Scott would bring down a "priceless gem" - like show and tell - to entertain me. (His room was always locked, as soon as he went in or out). He had nothing really. But he'd make something of nothing. Once it was their high school year book (photos of Ron, none of Scott) with scrawling to Scott from lovesick girls. When I lived there, one woman wrote Scotty a letter or poem everyday. He'd leave these on the kitchen table, opened...and then, unopened.

Eventually Scott would tell me of a special movie that was going to be on. Something he liked, that he thought I would like. Tennessee Williams, Brando, a quirky, bittersweet love story. Really unexpected. 
Ron liked war movies and could answer every question on those egghead game shows. (Of course, both loved The 3 Stooges. Ron had EVERY one of them memorized by heart. Though you already knew that he was the one who christened "The Stooges").



Once there was a siege at the Asheton House. I don't know how it started. Scotty got his nudie mags and cut out ONLY ASSES and taped them up wherever Ron and I would unexpectedly stumble across them…on our bedroom door...the lampshades! Anywhere where it would be in our faces! It went on for a week-at least. Whenever we thought it was over, we'd open the fridge and... ASS!

Meanwhile, just the rumor of a band called DESTROY ALL MONSTERS with Ron Asheton playing guitar had everyone buzzing. Our first show sealed the deal. We became press darlings.
We traveled, played wild gigs, toured England. Ron and I soon moved out of the Asheton House.

In the mid-80's to mid-90's, I moved from Ann Arbor to front Detroit's DARK CARNIVAL. Ron joined soon after. Scott became the drummer. We practiced from where this is being written. On the wall hangs a Remo hard core drumhead...which Scott had busted through in no time. It's signed: "Tell 'em how I feel, Scott Asheton".



I can never go back to those days. But sometimes, they come back to me.
 Last night I dreamed that I was standing in front of the Asheton House. 
And light was shining from its windows

3.23.2014

JIM HARPER REMEMBERS WKNR KEENER 13 NEWS DIRECTOR PHILIP NYE


Jim Harper Remembers Legendary News Director Philip Nye...

Philip Nye (not the science-guy, the newsman) passed away this week. If you grew up listening to Keener 13 you probably heard him doing the news, back when radio stations actually had a full news dept.

If you grew up in Detroit in the 60's and 70's you probably watched Ch 7 Action News, (Bonds, Kelly, Ackerman, Turner) which he oversaw as News Director. His talent knew no bounds as he went on to even greater things in broadcasting and he positively impacted the way we viewed our TV news in America. He brought a level of class and respect to the industry.



I remember as a young man, taking the bus from Westland to Dearborn with my childhood friend, Jim Kerr to visit Keener 13 and investigate the rumors that Paul McCartney was dead. We were 13 and 14 yrs old...just a couple of teenagers terrified about a Beatle-rumour. We asked the receptionist if we could talk to someone about this terrible news and she asked us to wait. 5 Minutes later and dashing man appeared and said in a velvet voice "Can I help you boys?" It was Phil Nye, Keener's News Director.



He sat down in the lobby and discussed the "Paul is dead-story" with us and all it's mysterious music-clues us for about 15 minutes. At the particular time the story had not been denied or confirmed by anyone, including The Beatles. He asked us to continue investigating and report back to him if we discovered anything new. Nine years later I would sit in that same lobby (on the same couch) as the Program Director and Morning Host of 100.3 WNIC.


I spent 22 years at that station and a week wouldn't go by without me thinking back about how big a gesture Phil Nye afforded us. The news of Mr. Nye's passing has me thinking about how much that gesture made me want to become a part of the great fellowship of radio broadcasters. 


And in my "mature years" I sit in awe of how one life can impact another, and exponentially affect countless others. Rest in Peace, Phil Nye. And thank you for a very long and meaningful life lesson. Deepest sympathies to your family and friends. Jim Kerr went on to become one of the most successful morning radio hosts in America and just celebrated 40 years as New York's most beloved morning guy. So many great talents both on and off-air worked in the building Phil Nye called home.


Philip Nye (HEAR PHILIP NYE HERE) was the news director at the legendary WKNR AM 1310 Contact News in Dearborn/Detroit in the mid-1960′s working with names like Bill Bonds and Eric Smith. Phil made it to several of the Detroit Radio Reunions.


Nye passed away peacefully on March 20, 2014 at the age of 87. Born in Newark, Ohio on March 1, 1927, he was a proud graduate of Ohio State University where he studied theater and journalism. He had a long and distinguished career that included both radio and television. Mr. Nye worked actively as a broadcast journalist until the age of 86.

Visitation for Philip Nye will take place Monday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at McCabe Funeral Home in Farmington Hills. The memorial service will start at 1:00 p.m. on Monday

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