The seventies rock & roll in the Motor-city... An amazing time to be playing in the bar scene. Between Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Toledo there where only a handful of clubs and they would be packed every night.
I started a new band called The Rockets featuring Jim McCarty on guitar who was also a band mate from our first band Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels. And on bass was John Fraga, and Marc Marcano on keyboards. We had no vocalist at the time and so I sang from behind the drums.
There were many musician friends who would always stop by and wanna sit in, we only allowed the musicians we knew who could play to sit in. There was a young lad that would always be hanging out and asking us to let him sit in, he had a cropped haircut like the English musicians ala The Faces and he always had on a Burgundy Velvet suit.
He was like the Mick Jagger of Detroit. Before he would sit in he'd walk into the restroom and wrap wads of toilet paper around his neck and as we started to play he would grab the mike and start singing while ripping piece's of the paper off from around his neck and he'd be throwing piece's of it at the girls on the dance floor.
And believe me I'm talking about a lot of toilet paper. The dance floor would be covered. He had it all, a rock star in the making. At the time The Rockets were managed by John Sinclair and Pete Andrews who lived in Ann Arbor.
Johnny Angelos and Robert Gillespie
(photo courtesy of Robert Gillespie)
After playing the Red Carpet one night and Johnny sitting in with us, the next day I had to go to a band meeting in Ann Arbor. It was early afternoon and I was in heavy traffic, as I was flying down I-94 just passing Metro Airport I did a double take because out of the corner of my eye....
I saw Johnny Angelos hitch-hiking on the side of the freeway with his Burgundy Velvet suit on and messed up hair in the hot sun, and I'm thinking damn that's one crazy mf. He never even went home yet and the man is heading out to sing on another gamble with love in his eyes. Johnny was a bad-ass singer who never reaped the awards he was due.
Detroit Guitarist Robert Gillespie and Johnny 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.”
They developed a following, label interest and landed choice shows with the Romantics at venues such as Cleveland’s Agora ballroom and Detroit’s Masonic Temple. They got some radio support from Doug Podell and Steve Kostan. Yet it was not enough.
The Torpedos broke up shortly after Angelos split in 1981. He went on to form the Reputations with guitar slinger Bobby East. The Torpedos tried to continue with Thomas Anonymous, a singer from New York.
Post from: Retro Kimmer is a talented and widely-respected writer, show promoter and multi-media event designer. Kimmer's blog, Retrokimmer.com, is about pop culture and it's evolution into today's hottest trends.
I've seen some eclectic guitars in my day, but this one takes the cake! One of the two new Rockets guitarists, Phil "Greasy" Carlisi, made this funky slide guitar using a uhmmmm, bed pan as the guitar body! If you see it from a few rows back, you might think it's an old Vox teardrop guitar. No way buddy! This is an honest to goodness BED PAN guitar.
I didn't make that bed pan guitar, I bought it at a guitar show off a dealer for 40 bucks, so I can't take credit for making that, just credit for having the BALLS to play it.
Phil Greasy Carlisi
Carlisi played with the MC5's Dennis "Machinegun" Thompson and toured and played with Niagara Detroit,legendary Stooges members, Ron and Scott Asheton as part of Dark Carnival. He also put in time with latter day rockabilly legend, Robert Gordon (check out his version of Springsteen's "Fire.") as well as British guitarist Chris Spedding.
The legions of Detroit rock fans are overjoyed that The Rockets will be playing 4 new tunes, live at the Fillmore on December 28.
Yes.. there have been some changes in the lineup.
So what? This will no doubt prove to be a stellar show with Jim Edwards out front giving it everything he's got and that's plenty. The new team have played a huge part in the Detroit rock scene forever. (read more below)
The Rocket's playlist contains a ton of tunes written by Johnny Bee Badanjek..his beat continues to astound us no matter what band he is in or what their NAME is...It doesn't matter...the fans will continue to support Detroit's hard working, hard rocking and bad ass musicians...(RK)
Live Nation presents The Rockets at The Filmore on Saturday Night December 28th. We haven't taken any promo shots yet because we've been so busy in the studio. This is the cover of our new four song EP Greetings From Detroit which will be put up on I-Tunes and Amazon and many other Internet sites with a week or so... stay tuned..
The band will be recording more songs and adding onto the tracks we already have. It's some smokin' hot Detroit Shimmy. Live Nation will announce opening bands in the days to come.
Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, along with Jim Edwards (lead vocals), and Danny Taylor (keyboards) are thrilled to announce new band members;
Mike Marshall (bass).
Mike Marshall (bass) has lent his musical virtuosity to hundreds of recording sessions and toured with The Motor City Mutants, Torpedoes, Rob Tyner (MC5), Catfish Hodge, Johnny Bassett. Joe Weaver, Alberta Adams, and many other Detroit acts.
Phil “Greasy” Carlisi (guitar) Sirius Trixon & The Motor City Bad Boys, legendary Stooges' members Ron and Scott Asheton (Destroy All Monsters) and toured extensively in the States and abroad with rock-a-billy musician, Robert Gordon, and British guitarist, Chris Spedding. Carlisi has been a mainstay player in the Detroit music scene for over 35 years.
Joey Gaydos (lead guitar), also a Detroit music veteran, has played with rock heavies Rob Tyner (MC5), Cub Koda and the Points (Brownsville Station). Gaydos built a loyal Detroit fan base with his bands, Mugsy, and Weapons and has a reputation for his showmanship and incendiary lead guitar prowess in the Midwest.