Showing posts with label mitch ryder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mitch ryder. Show all posts

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..


3.10.2014

BOOKIE'S & THE DETROIT MUSIC SCENE PART 1

 
The Mutants at Bookie's Club 870, 1978. 
Photo Deanne Nichols

Scott Campbell
March 10, 2014
 
The Detroit original rock scene had fallen on hard times in the 70's. In the mid-60's, Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger, The Amboy Dukes, The Rationals, The MC5, and numerous other bands got record deals and radio airplay. By the mid-70's, new Detroit acts were frozen out of airplay with the death of underground radio and record labels weren't signing. A band could earn a living playing five 45 minute sets per night but they had to be AOL radio rock hits. Typically, a band would get a song list from the bar owner and NO original songs were allowed.

By early 1977, new bands such as The Sillies, The Romantics, and a new MC5 fronted by original singer Rob Tyner were looking for anywhere to play original sets of their own music. The Sillies rented The Kramer Theater on Michigan Avenue east of Livernois to do a real concert with themselves in between the new MC5 and an opening set by Destroy All Monsters with Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton and original MC5 bassist Michael Davis. The show drew 1,000 people but most of the money was mysteriously missing from the till, leaving Sillies founder Scott Campbell $1,000 in the hole.

Much as bars were a step down from theater concerts, a nightclub that would host original concerts in the style of NYC's Max's Kansas City or the Whiskey A Go Go in LA was needed for Detroit. The trick was finding a place and making it successful.


BEHIND THE SCENES: STEVE HUNTER AUDITIONS FOR MITCH RYDER'S DETROIT

Mitch Ryder - Vocals Johnny Bee Badanjek - Drums, Vocals Steve Hunter -
Guitar W.R. Cooke - Bass, Vocals Mark Manko - Guitar Harry Phillips - Keyboards
John Sauter - Bass Brett Tuggle - Guitar Dirty Ed - Congas & Tambourine
3rd from the right is Boot Hamilton(Boot Hill)

Back in the day...Steve Hunter had just gotten out of the Army and was living in his hometown of Decatur, Illinois..we wondered how did Steve make the leap from Decatur to Detroit?

It was in the wintertime 'cause it was horrible, the drive there, so it must have been the end of 1970. I was out somewhere with the Light Brigade (band in Decatur, Illinois) and I think I was in a hotel and the phone rang and it was John Sauter. Apparently, he had called Tootie (Steve’s sister) and then Tootie gave him the hotel where I was staying and I said Hey John, Polar Bear (nickname) how you doin? Then he said well listen, I’m playing with Mitch Ryder up in Detroit and I said wow, that’s great.

And he said well you outta come up here, they’re auditioning for guitar players and they haven’t found anybody, I said really? And he said yeah you should come up here quick, I don’t remember when I went up there, but I went up there as soon as I could so I don’t know if I had to get back to Decatur. But I know I left as soon as I could, probably within a day of the phone call. It was an eight hour drive, all I had in the car was the guitar.

What guitar did you bring?

An SG, I had an old SG a 64 or 60 something or other. And I drove all the way up there and I found the place on Cass Avenue, and it was a condemned building. And I don’t remember whether I rang the doorbell, and it was upstairs, so I went upstairs and it looked like it used to be a newspaper building or something cos it had a great big boardroom which is where they rehearsed, huge!


I don’t even know how it all came about, I guess they were expecting me, there were no cell phones so I couldn’t call ahead and say I was on my way, I just told Johnny when I’d get there. And I don’t think I auditioned the day I got there. Somebody called Mitch and Johnny B and said I was in town and I think we set up something for the next day.

And that’s when I walked in the room and saw a Marshall half stack and the only place I had ever seen one was with Jimi Hendrix and Cream. And right then I thought, you know I don’t give a shit whether I get this audition or not, I didn’t even know what an audition was, I had never done one before. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or anything. I just didn’t care, I thought, I’m going to be able to play through a Marshall so lets see what that sounds like. And as soon as I plugged it in and turned it on, whatever the settings were that were on it, it sounded F**** great!


Right out of the shoot, and I think it was Mitch, or somebody said “Do you know any Cream tunes” so I said, yeah, I know Crossroads, so we jammed on Crossroads, and then I think we did some Hendrix, and Bob was there (Bob Ezrin?) Yeah Bob was there, Bob came in a little bit later that afternoon, after everybody else and he heard it, (and that was the first time you had met him?) Yeah, I didn’t know who he was, I didn’t know they had an album deal, I didn’t know he was a producer and he was going to produce it, I didn’t know any of that.

I thought he was just some other part of the organization, and um…. they liked it.

And they said well can you move up here? And I say well yeah whatever. I’ll need to go home and get some stuff, yeah sure (they said) can you be back here (I think ) it was by the weekend I don’t remember what day it was, just sometime before the weekend, so we can start rehearsing. Sure, so I drove all the way back to Decatur, threw in some clothes and shit I didn’t bring anything else up with me really, drove all the way back to Detroit and they gave me a room in this condemned building. (So was the half stack theirs or had they hired it?) No, that was theirs; that was back in the days when you could buy a Marshall half stack for $250, it was cheap then. So they owned like a couple.



The first gig I did with them, somebody else had the half stack I didn’t get to use it, I used a Twin, and the Twin had two giant SRO 12’s in it (Speakers) it sounded great but it wasn’t loud enough, they sounded F**** great though. I was standing in front of it thinking man, this sounds better than the Marshall does but it wasn’t nearly loud enough. So they went out and bought me another Marshall. I just used it, it wasn’t mine but that’s it really, the rest of it’s a blur.

I just remember I tried to quit smoking, and that was a terribly wrong place to try to quit smoking, and the day I’d gone the longest without smoking, this arrangement for Rock and Roll (Lou Reed song) came to me like a shot, the whole thing. (Wow! it was like your head cleared) I guess so, it must have cleared up for a second, and the whole Rock and Roll thing came out. So, we went up to rehearsal next day, and I told the guys, I said, you know I kind got an idea for this Rock and Roll cos they wanted to do the tune.


They had played the tune for me, on a cassette or on a record, I think it was probably on a record cos we didn’t have cassettes yet. And I thought, well I don’t know, it sounds kind of folky, the way Lou Did it, it was kinda folky, and they wanted to rock it up. And I just remember the first thing that entered my mind was I wonder how Mountain would do this tune if they were doing it, and the whole arrangement came after that.

So I went up and showed it to them, and they F**** loved it, I could tell, but Detroit people never say anything like “oh that’s great man!” which is one of the reasons I like them, they don’t hype you like LA, over the top. In Detroit they say, yeah this is cool.

I could tell when Mitch was singing it that he loved it just the way he’d sing it, he just punched it out and it sounded great! Then Bob heard it, he said, “what the F*** is that!” and I said well, you know, it’s my arrangement of Rock and Roll; he loved it.

It must have been pretty tough going from Decatur to Detroit?

You know, I was so young and na├»ve it made no difference to me, I just thought, Oh cool I’m going to playing with Mitch Ryder. I was 21 maybe 22, I didn’t give a shit about any of that stuff.

(Note: Steve’s arrangement of Lou Reed’s ‘Rock and Roll’ was to later catch Lou’s attention and along with Bob Ezrin, that is how Steve came to do his second ever album; Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’)




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12.20.2013

DETROIT GUITARIST ROBERT GILLESPIE!


Detroit's Amazing Guitarist Robert Gillespie
Had a great time chatting with Bad ass Detroit Axe man Robert Gillespie the other day.  It has been a long time coming as i know damn near everyone he played with! We almost met at a gig at Alvin's in 2009.  I thought it was time to share the man with my readers...He has a long history and is a founding father of Detroit Rock n Roll.  He is so smooth but right on the money... as Stanley T. Madhatter used to say...."ARE YOU READY TO ROCK N ROLL?"


 Robert Gillespie

Detroit Guitarist Robert Gillespie has had an interest in guitar since the early age of six or seven; his grandmother, Martha played piano and a little banjo and his grandfather, Jesse, played fiddle and mandolin.

There was an old guitar in granny’s closet that Robert wanted to play with all the time and finally Martha got it out and tuned to to an open chord Hawaiian style and laid it across his lap and would use a butter knife to play chords and slide up and down the neck. Robert was hooked but still too small hold it up-right and play it properly.


The Torpedos

At the age of ten Robert got a cheap acoustic and started banging around with that and finally took lessons after seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan show like many other young people.

After a year and a half of lessons he was ready and got organized with some older guys and played in a garage band called The Wise Guys they played one back-yard party and a wedding, then broke up.

All through school the interest continued and Robert was very into the English wave of Rock bands like Rolling Stones / Kinks / Animals and most of all the Yardbirds and The Who.


Robert Gillespie
Robert played with a cool East-Side band called Lickin’ Stick that performed at the Cinderella Ballroom in 1971, and also backed up Chuck Berry at the Allen Theater in Cleveland, Ohio that fall.

Lickin’ Stick turned into Limousine and they recorded a few songs that Robert wrote and one caught the interest of a local D.J. Johnny Williams.  The new 18 year old vote had just came into effect and Johnny Williams added some lyrics.



"This is my 50's Les Paul Gold-top; "Goldie" I bought her from Paul Warren from Rod Stewart's band......she's smooth like "butta"..." Robert Gillespie
The song  “You’ve Got The Power” b/w “Natural Fact” written by Gillespie and vocalist John Ogen, a great singer from downriver received airplay locally and in Flint. That band turned into Northstar with Motown bassist Tony Newton. 



The summer of 1976 Robert was jamming at the infamous Red Carpet, a popular east-side club with the Rockets. Robert met guitarist Jimmy McCarty and drummer Johnny Bee Bandanjek, the cream of the crop of Detroit musicians from the Detroit Wheels, whom Robert admired blaring from the transistor radio in 1965.

One special night Robert found himself on stage with Rob Tyner from the MC5. They both hit it off and starting rehearsing, writing songs.


Robert Gillespie with Rob Tyner

Their new band the New MC5 played their first show the next year at the Red Carpet. They soon signed with Brass Ring Productions and began playing arenas all over the tri-state area, mostly Michigan. They opened for big headliners like AC-DC, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush,  and recorded some tracks for Atlantic Records.


By late 1978, Robert and Johnny Angelos started the Torpedos with Mike Marshall on bass and Ralph Serafino on drums (both from the Tyner band). They began writing and recording then became very big in Detroit creating a buzz with record people on a national level.

The Torpedos

The late Johnny Angelos a brilliant pop song writer and much more. — with Tom Curry, Robert Gillespie, Johnny Angelos and Ralph Serafino.  Johnny quit the Torpedos just as things were getting hot on the scene.  He went on to front another smaller band then sadly committed suicide. Robert and the Detroit rock scene were devastated.

Robert is very proud of the music the Torpedos created. In recent years Johnny's son Mitchell Angelos has been fronting the reunited Torpedos. My pals Robin and Trudi went with me in 2009 to see Helldrivers/Torpedos/Circus Boy at Alvin's in Detroit.

Though they were all great...to me the Torpedos stole the show! We danced their entire set. Barely got any photographs due to having so much fun.  Didn't get to meet Robert that night but we will meet soon I am certain.


 Robert Gillespie and Mitch Ryder


ROBERT SMOKES THIS TUNE......................
During the 1980′s Robert started a band with vocalist Dennis Quinn and Mike Marshall on bass plus Greg Calder on drums called The Finnz. They recorded two singles and performed on Doug Podell’s T.V. show called The Beat. The Finnz’s were finished in early ’83 when Robert heard "When You Were Mine" on the radio from Mitch Ryder and just had to have that gig. He auditioned and got hired spring of ’83 and toured the US and Europe and recorded five albums and a DVD over the 19 years with Mitch (longer than anyone else BTW).

Powertrane L2R Andy Frost Chris Taylor Robert Gillespie and Scott Morgan

In 2001 Robert formed Powertrane with Scott Morgan of the Rationals and Sonic’s Rendezvous Band. They performed and recorded two CD’s, two singles and did gigs sporadically over the next eight years.


When Geoff Ginsberg, president of Real O Minds Records (Philadelphia), brought Robert Gillespie into Forty-Ounce Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan to overdub the guitar work on Morgan's song, "Satisfier", the chemistry between Morgan and Gillespie was immediately apparent.

Powertrane's combination of young talented rockers with Detroit legendary musicians has created a unity and cohesion which has drawn out the talent and creative energy evident in this lineup.

 Ron Asheton, Robert Gillespie, Deniz Tek, Chris Taylor Scott Morgan

Their first show was at the Magic Bag on St. Patrick's Day 2001.  Powertrane played sold-out, high-profile gigs in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Cincinnati, not to mention Detroit and Ann Arbor. They were been joined on stage by Mitch Ryder, Ron Asheton and Deniz Tek.


Robert Gillespie and Mike Marshall

Then in 2010  Robert had the idea to start an instrumental band. He called his long time pals bass man Mike Marshall and drummer Greg Calder
 

Robert Gillespie Greg Calder and Mike Marshall

Guitarist Robert Gillespie along with Mike Marshall on bass & Greg Calder on drums. They play instrumental Guitar-Rock; from Dickie Dale to Jimi Hendrix and exciting originals.

Together they formed The Detroit Daggers..

12.16.2013

MITCH RYDER AND DETROIT!


*Steve Hunter (Ld. G)*Brett Tuggle (G)*Harry Phillips (Keyboards) Frijid Pink*W. R. (Ron) Cooke (B, V) Catfish*John Badanjek (D, V) Mitch Ryder & The DetroitWheels *Ed "Dirty Ed" Okalski (Congas, Tambourine) 

 
In 1971, Mitch Ryder formed a group called "Detroit" and recorded an excellent album produced by famous producer Bob Ezrin...Who Also Produced Pink Floyd, Kiss, Alice Cooper & Many Others.

 COPYRIGHTED ART WORK BY STANLEY MOUSE

The single "Rock 'N Roll" written By Lou Reed

Featured on their LP Titled "Detroit" Released In 1972. 

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