Showing posts with label detroit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label detroit. Show all posts

4.28.2014

MOTOWN'S HITSVILLE USA: MORE THAN JUST A MUSEUM



"Motown was about music for all people - white and black, blue and green, cops and robbers. I was reluctant to have our music alienate anyone." - Berry Gordy

Having grown up in the metro Detroit area, I had heard of the Hitsville museum but never visited. Hitsville is the original home of Motown Records and the very famous Studio A. Most of the original Motown artist recorded there. Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, just to name a few.

These and countless other international stars got their start on their road to fame in this small unassuming converted house on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit less than 5 miles from downtown. I like Motown music, but I am a rocker at heart.

 
However, one of my son's biggest idols is Stevie Wonder, so we decided to take him on a field trip to Hitsville USA. To my surprise the visit turned out to be far beyond my expectations. The feelings that transpired when I walked through the doors are difficult to describe. Reading about it just doesn't do justice to this Detroit gem.

The admission for the one and a half hour tour was only $10.00. The tour sparked the realization of the immense impact that Hitsville and Motown Records had on the world. We are talking about the late 1950's and 60's, during a time of a segregated society when Barry Gordy, an African American man, left his secure job at Ford Motor Company to pursue his dream. He borrowed $800 to start his recording studio / label.
 

Within six years, his company was generating $20,000,000 per year. That in itself is amazing. What business even today has that kind of growth rate? At that time, Barry Gordy's company became the largest African American company in the country and according to some accounts, the largest in the world. When we toured the house, we stood in the small recording room that produced over 100 top 10 hits within 10 years.

Today, the museum represents so much more then just great music. People come from all over the world to visit including many famous musicians of all genres, such as Paul McCartney, who claimed to be "moved by the energy in the building."

 
The visit to Hitsville USA was a completely different experience for me than for my son who is an aspiring singer. He was fascinated with everything he learned about Stevie Wonder and the other great musicians. For me, I learned so much about what it means to have the faith, courage and drive to pursue a dream.

The Hitsville USA museum isn't only for Motown lovers. This landmark represents so much more. This is a place for all people who need to be reminded that their daydreams about leaving their jobs during insecure times to pursue a passion can become a reality.

This is a place for musicians of all genres. It is a place of musical inspiration to those who put in endless hours into the labor of love composing the right blend of lyrics and melodies with the goal of having their songs become hits.

 
This is a place for all those people who have experienced struggles and setbacks and need to be reminded of what faith, courage and drive is all about as they pick themselves up, dust themselves off and continue on.

Because the experience was so inspiring to me and also because I’m sure I missed some things, I plan to revisit Hitsville USA museum in the near future. I also plan to bring some friends along to share the experience. At some point I would love to meet the man who represents so much to all types of people, "white and black, blue and green, cops and robbers”~ Mr. Berry Gordy.

Jackie Wallace

4.17.2014

MAD RESPECT FOR JONEZEN: NEW ALBUM RELEASE BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

 
Jonezen is a proud native of Detroit, Michigan, and credits the "D" for his motivation and drive. After he made his way to the West Coast, it was in LA where he received some comeuppance, and hit "Rock Bottom".

Jonezen earned mad respect as the winner of Hip Hop Artist of the Year 2013.  Jonezen's verses flow with an energy from and entirely fresh  "eyes wide open" approach.
 

Beautiful Disaster with no holding back on lessons learned... takes his audience on a lyrical journey about the "grind and the game".★★★★ JenniferAnn VersaStyle.



Jonezen-2013 LA Music Award winner for Hip Hop Artist of the Year. Nominated at 2014 LA Music Awards for Hip Hop Artist and Solo Performer of the Year. New single "Bombs Away" ft. D' Meetri produced by IAMVINAY. Video shot and directed by Ryan Pinkall. Beautiful Disaster drops in Summer of 2014. Get the latest:



4.06.2014

FORTUNE RECORDS STORY!


Fortune Records 3942 Third Ave Detroit Michigan



Ron Murphy is Detroit’s premier music authority and has worked in the music industry in Michigan for over 40 years. Ron’s story first appeared in a Michigan music magazine called R.P.M. in September of 1983.



The first songs cut in the new (11629 Linwood) Fortune Studio were recorded on a Magnacord tape machine. In 1953, they purchased an Ampex model 350 which was used to record all of the Fortune masters, until the early sixties.



Fortune Records used simple basic recording techniques and just a few mikes that let the quality of the singers voices, and musicians playing shine through without any gimmicks.




The first time I visited Fortune Records was February 1960 and I was going to be a singer, so my best friend and I skipped school to go make a demo record. When we got down to the Fortune studio on Third Street and walked in, a man wearing a hat and an overcoat came out said “Hi boys, are you lost or what?”

Then he laughed and I explained that I had called last week about making a demo, then I asked again about the price just to be sure and he said “that’s right, I’ll give you couple of takes on a tape and then cut the dub for $7.50 – so are you ready? I said yes and gave him the money and we went to the studio in the back.


3942 Third Ave in 2001 just before demolition

I recorded one song and went into the control booth to listen back. While listening the man said, “Well how do you like it?” I told him it sounded pretty good. He replied “What do you mean pretty good? I’m giving you my best sound!”



The Fortune Records story started almost 40 years ago. Devora came to Detroit from Cleveland, Ohio and was introduced to Jack Brown through a blind date set up by a friend. Devora was already writing poems and songs, even though Jack was working as an accountant at the time, he liked her songs and encouraged her to send them to a few music publishers.


Devora Brown: songwriter, pianist, record store owner, producer, engineer, song publisher and co-principal of Detroit-based Fortune Records...Jack Brown: co-principal of Fortune Records with their daughter, Janice

By this time Devora married Jack Brown, and in 1947 after little response from other publishers they decided to start a publishing company and record the songs themselves.


Jack and Devora Brown set up the publishing company with Devora’s brother helping out. In 1956 the Browns purchased the building at 3942 Third Street and moved into what was to become Fortune’s permanent home.

When Motown Records started to become successful around 1962, I remember asking Devora how come they let Motown get ahead of them. She replied “We had all those people down here but they sure didn’t play that way for us.”

Unlike most record companies of the 50’s, Fortune Records had a sound all of it’s own. You knew it was a Fortune Record without looking at the label. Just like Motown in the 60’s.

Other than the J-V-B record label started by Joe Von Battle in 1945 (which folded in 1968), Fortune has now become the oldest steady record producer from Detroit, Michigan. Out of all the record companies started in Detroit, including Motown who left, Fortune Records outlasted them all.

Ron Murphy

September 1983

4.05.2014

EMINEM STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION OR SMART BUSINESS

 

Just read this interview with the mighty EMINEM...Turns out his absence was depression which after studying his childhood, that is not surprising...But we thought is was brilliant of EM to step back and let the posers get their junk out of the way...He is back now and better than ever....


The Full Huffington Post Interview is Here

During Eminem's hiatus, West released three successful albums -- "Late Registration," "Graduation" and "808s & Heartbreak" -- and Lil Wayne put out two -- "Tha Carter II and "Tha Carter III" -- in addition to compilation records. Eminem considered "dissing everyone" in a song that he now says would have been "career suicide."

"There were times that it didn't feel good to be me," he said, referring to his past struggles with drug abuse. "I think deep down I just wasn't happy with myself, man, you know? There were some really dark moments in there, when I think about my thought processes when I was a high a lot. It wasn't good and it certainly wasn't me. I'm not even that sort of person." Read more...


3.14.2014

THE ROCK AND ROLL LAWYER SHOW -- CHERI CLAIR'S OTHER OTHER OTHER JOB


I've been representing Sheldon Kay and his radio show for several years now and I feel like I've know him forever. Our relationship is nearly telekinetic. I try to anticipate his needs... or help him find the words he's looking for... or sometimes we just look at each other and know what we're thinking. It's an ideal business relationship because nothing is more important than communication.

The Rock and Roll Lawyer Show, which celebrates the rockabilly, roots, and other various musical realms, airs every Friday at 6 PM EST on WCXI 1160-AM -- which can be heard on terrestial radio in some areas and streaming worldwide using www.tunein.com or the TuneIn App for mobile devices.

Sheldon Kay is really a lawyer and he's gotta work sometime....


One of my favorite parts of working with the radio show is chatting with listeners in our facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/rockandrolllawyer.

I look forward to meeting lots of new listeners!

Cheri Clair is the Creative Director and Publicist for Sheldon Kay, The Rock and Roll Lawyer... in addition to being a contributing editor here, booking bands and doing promotion.

Episodes of one season of Cheri's own radio show with her husband, 'The Shagg & Cheri Radio Blast', can be heard at  www.mixcloud.com/cheridetroit

Cheri's email address is rockistar@gmail.com

3.10.2014

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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2.24.2014

DETROIT'S MUSICAL YOUTH


Cheri Clair introduces two young bands making big waves in the waters of Detroit

THE PORCELAIN DOLL COLLECTION

The young standout band The Porcelain Doll Collection is a punk/garage revival, mostly female, band from Riverview, MI. The band consists of Alayna Brooke on Vocals, Lauren C Reyna and Cam Anderson on Guitar, Dylan Kissel on Bass, and Zoe Kissel on Drums. TPDC was formed on September 23, 2012. TPDC is heavily influenced by the RIOT GRRRL movement and garage rock/punk. TPDC's sound can be likened to Bikini Kill, L7, Tijuana Sweetheart, The Ramones, The Cramps, Kathleen Hanna, The Runaways, Joan Jett, and The Cramps. 

 Quote from the band: "We aren't here to bring around an old movement, we're here to create a whole new generation built on the staples of groups before us. An "in your face" act of feminism and other f-words over an energetic angst fest of raw music." 


SHOCK WAVE


Three Macomb teens have been shocking audiences and making waves all over Metro Detroit lately. The band, appropriately known as Shock Wave, has been together for about 3 years, but in that short time, has played an unprecedented amount of shows. Comprised of Angelo Coppola (17) – Drums & Lead Vocals, and brothers David Frankel (16) – Guitars, and Dylan Frankel (18) – Bass & Vocals, these young men have been making a name for themselves in the local and national rock scene. 

Aside from performing all over Metro Detroit, the band has made it a priority to use their talents to help those less fortunate. In their short time together, Shock Wave has played for over a dozen charitable events ranging from fundraisers for private individuals in need, to well known non-profit organizations that have raised money for children’s autism, toys for tots, breast cancer, children’s hospital and more. 


2.22.2014

IN AN IGGY POP GALAXY 1982


In an Iggy Pop galaxy far, far away comes this 1982 interview by Pamela Peer

Iggy Pop, also known as, James Newell Osterberg of Ann Arbor, Michigan was in a reflective mood on that drizzling San Francisco afternoon. He was recuperating from a sprained ankle suffered at an Edmonton, Alberta gig on the “Zombie Bird House” tour, which gave him pause to evaluate his circumstances.

“It’s the funniest thing, because it’s made me think about what’s important to me. It’s only a bad sprain. I’ve had much more basic things happen to me, but they didn’t faze me. But not to have your two feet on the ground, it’s like where’s my swagger?”

Before recording Zombie Bird House on Chris Stein’s (Blondie) Animal Records, Iggy had been soul searching. Touring to support Party, his last Arista Record, The Rolling Stones put Pop on a couple of their dates. Although he enjoyed it, when he got off the tour in December 1981, he “had this nagging dissatisfaction with where things were at for me. I was starting to feel too much like I had a career with a small ‘c’.”

That was when Stein approached Pop about recording an album on his Animal label. Stein outlined the structure of his small corporation and Iggy knew that the budget for the project Stein was proposing would be low.


At that time, Iggy had been living for two years at an “outrageously” priced Manhattan hotel and describes his life as” living it up daily”. Iggy needed time to consider the offer, so he popped down to the Carolinas to see family and golf with his parents during January. He concluded that if moved forward with Stein, living large at a Manhattan hotel and dining at NYC’s finest eateries would no longer be an option.

“I wondered if I had it in me to do something else,” Iggy recalls. Pop put himself to the test and sought shelter in Brooklyn. Actually, he asked his light man, Sal Lupo to find him an apartment because by his own admission, Iggy is “really lousy at apartment hunting”. To him, “Brooklyn was a vague image. I mean it might as well be Berlin.” After a thoughtful pause, Iggy continued, “My Brooklyn image was where a lot of writers came from and that sort of what I’ve been dying to do for a long time…to be an author. I’ve always wanted to articulate more fully in my work.”


And he did just that with the publication of “I Want More: The Stooges and Other Stories”. What started out as a photojournalistic Stooges chronicle, Iggy had an angle, and “I just wanted to spit that part of my life out.”

The book and new album reflects Iggy Pop’s new life experiences of living in an apartment, taking out his own garbage and learning to type. He says he uses the town well by eating its fresh food, writing all morning on his second-hand Smith Corona and commuting daily to the city. Pop feels he is living “efficiently and making every dollar count”.

When formulating the creative blueprint for Zombie Bird House, nothing was left to chance. Two months were spent in pre-production work. Iggy and long-time musical mate, Rob duPrey became equal collaborators noting, “There’s only so many times when it’s appropriate to have a hired hand. It’s nice to have somebody with equity.”


The two pooled their instruments and musical resources and had the sound on each song almost complete before going into the studio – “right down to which drumbeat goes where. “The words were the hardest thing. But what I was shooting for basically was alternative news. I was getting a real bad aftertaste from television. Real People (an NBC reality television series that aired from 1979 to 1984) isn’t a bad idea, but it isn’t real enough for me,” says the former Stooge. “I don’t mind the news, but I don’t love it either. So I wanted to talk less about myself and more about what’s around me.”

The vocals on Zombie are not as fluid in range as on his previous albums. Pop attributes this to his concern for diction in conveying the alternative news’ message and the lack of intoxication. Iggy says he was straighter during these sessions than on other albums. A little juice to grease the pipes on the next album probably wouldn’t hurt.

Considering Iggy’s new fascination with writing, it seemed obvious to ask if music was still a priority. He responds, “I enjoy live work, but I don’t think the traveling constantly is all that good for you. It’s like eating too much ice cream. I could never stop doing music. I really want to do Off-Broadway. I’d like to stay in a town and perform every night, with the ability to make it finely honed. I couldn’t imagine not singing or playing…I’m a rocker!”

Iggy Pop & Glen Matlock live in 1982, photo by Roberta Bayley.

Even among the most rebellious rockers, Iggy Pop has the reputation of being outrageous. But at 35, it seems the man is mellowing. Being sidelined in a hotel with a healing ankle, Pop notes “these past couple of days have been one of those times when in the past, I would have blown up.” But he isn’t exploding, he’s examining…himself.

Detroit audiences have always joined in the madness at an Iggy gig – after all, Detroit is his home turf. And he says, “when Iggy comes to town, get the bottles, the eggs, the pineapples…even guns have been displayed. I was shit scared this time ‘cause it wasn’t only Detroit, it was Halloween in Detroit.”

He did the Detroit and an Ann Arbor gig and a book signing – all interactive activities and Iggy was pleased. “I got respect. Nobody threw anything. I felt great about that.”

To what does he attribute his newfound respect?

“My attitude,” says Iggy. “I rocked my butt off on stage and tried to remember to say ‘thank you’ once in a while.”

2.14.2014

MOTOWN BURNING: NEW BOOK BY JOHN JEFFIRE

Author John Jeffire

"Motown Burning," which has just been released in e-book format on Amazon for Kindle owners. You can purchase the first chapter for only 99 cents to get a feel for it, or throw caution (and sanity) to the wind and purchase the whole thing for only $9.99! For those of you unfamiliar with the book, here is the synopsis: Detroit, late July of 1967, and the city boils over.
 

For Aram Pehlivanian, aka Motown, the Grande Ballroom and the music of the MC5 and Iggy Pop and The Temptations no longer provide a haven as destruction engulfs his city. However, escaping death in the streets during the '67 Detroit Riots only leads him to the jungles of Vietnam and away from Katie, the girl who might be his salvation.

Beaten on the streets of Detroit, hunted in the jungles of Vietnam, and fueled to survive by the music of the Motor City, Aram burns with one goal...to see Katie again. Winner of the 2005 Mount Arrowsmith Novel Competition and the 2007 Independent Publishing Awards Gold Medal for Regional Fiction. READ AN EXCERPT HERE


2.04.2014

THE HISTORY OF DETROIT! MURDER CITY COMIX : KENT MYERS

 


For "Detroit! Murder City Comix" (D!MCC) I was drawing Detroit-themed comics after moving to San Francisco in the late 80s. I thought it would be something unique on the west coast plus autobiography was the trend in undergrounds and mine was from Detroit. Rick Metcalf and I had worked together on a comic in Detroit for Fun magazine.

 

I did the art and Rick wrote. We continued the collaboration remotely and he wrote a great story "Gunned Down in Motown" which won the best new comic in the San Francisco Bay Guardian (newspaper). I had just about enough material for a complete issue so we set up an art show and launch party at Dave Robert's Willis Gallery in the Cass Corridor.
 

We got a bunch of Detroit and San Francisco artists contributing original work with the Detroit 'Murder City' theme. From the SF underground we had S. Clay Wilson, Spain & Trina from Zap, Mavrides from the Freak Brothers, Bill Griffith from Zippy the Pinhead and from Detroit we had Niagara, Glenn Barr, Mark Dancey and so many more. It was a great event.

 
Detroit! Murder City Comix launched with the Willis art show in Detroit in 1990 and was a riff on R. Crumb's 'Motor City Comics' with the new murder capital fame. (original invite attached) Rick and I self-published the first 3 issues before being picked up by the bay area publisher "Slave Labor Graphics" for issues 4-7 which ran throughout the 1990s. Based in Detroit, Rick was a great promoter and writer connecting with local celebrities, getting D!MCC on the TV news, a cover story in the local paper, and highlighting the Detroit music scene with stories featuring Iggy Pop, Niagara, Mitch Ryder and more.


On the home front D!MCC was controversial and condemned by the mayor's office (Coleman A. Young) which added fuel to our fire. Outside of the 7-issue comic book, D!MCC has also appeared as a feature in many other publications including Film Threat, Gearhead, Filth, and Black Market among many others. I do both the art & writing for some of the smaller features, and D!MCC lives on with an occasional new story like one coming later this year in Specious Species #7, a San Francisco interview and culture zine.

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.

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

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