Showing posts with label ron cooke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ron cooke. Show all posts



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.

James Brown and Ron Cooke backstage at Cobo Arena

Ron's Bands:
Bobby and the Daytonas or Daybreaks
Mitch Ryder/Detroit
Sonic's Rendezvous Band
Gang War
Scott Morgan
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..



It was sometime after I had left the Sonic Rendezvous band that I got a call from a local music promoter with and interesting idea. As the conversation grew it became clear to me that this would be and opportunity to experience something tantamount to the big bang theory.

Seems Johnny Thunders was going to be in the metro area for a few show's with the Heartbreakers so I agreed to become witness to this musical black hole. As time passed Johnny had taken a liking to the scene here and decided to hang around for awhile. The promoter had convinced JT that maybe he should try changing his habits and he agreed.

The conversion of Johnny Thunders had begun. In a remote house out side of Ann Arbor Michigan. The plan was hatched to clean JT up and build a new band around his style of rock & roll. The first call went out to Wayne Kramer of the MC5 fame, myself, Scott Morgan's brother Johnny Morgan to play drum's what was to become known as the Gang War Band.

We rehearsed in this remote place and I spent a lot of time with JT. I noticed as time went by that he became healthier looking and added some weight on and his eyes were clearer. So were hanging out one day and JT says Ronnie can you take me to town I haven't seen any concrete in weeks. I laughed out loud that this wylie New York cat was freaking out.

We decided to play a show to see how it would go. I went downtown A2 to a non descriptive bar that was the local watering hole for some of the city's finest drunks you know the kind of place dark smokey and some strange smells. I inquired of the owner who by chance was from my home hood that I hadn't seen in years if we could set up and play the place.

He said we can't pay ya anything. I said fine just get some more table's in here. Come's the day of the show with just a few random call's and word of mouth the bar owner call's and says his phone is ringing off the hook about tonight's gig. This place had never seen live music and it wasn't a place that most would ever enter due to it's extreme funkiness.

Well as the pressure was building up and a galactic shift in the universe is about to pop. The line of people is around the corner and down the block. The noise in the place from the chatter of the crowd was deafening. The band comes up from the cellar and begins to peal the wall paper with a sonic blast. Johnny reached up and caught his guitar neck in the ceiling tile pulling it loose.

He decided to swing from the ceiling support's like something out of a Tarzan movie and bam down come's the whole ceiling in the place all forty foot of it on the crowd, the bartender's and the waitresses. The place goes nuts. Ceiling tiles are flying around as if a hurricane was in progress beautiful I thought complete havoc. We didn't hang around long after that.

The owner was pissed off but here's the real deal... that sh*t hole collected it's insurance money swept the place out build a permanent stage and had a 25 year run as the place to play in Ann Arbor. After that I guess you could say we put the STAR in the Star Bar. And it still shines today even though they bulldozed the place and put up a parking lot.




From Roscoe Helco

CATFISH – I saw this band play at the Fillmore and later at Keystone Korners, where Janis Joplin got up out of the audience and jammed with them. Clockwise from the left: Jimmy Optner (drums), Bob "Catfish" Hodge (lead vocals), Mark Manko (guitar), Harry Phillips (organ) and R Cooke (bass). They recorded two album for the Epic label. Harry was from my old neighborhood. He and Ron Cooke would eventually join Mitch Ryder in the band Detroit. Bob Hodge had a successful solo career and recorded the hit album, "The Boogieman Is Gonna Get You," for Westbound Records. Catfish could be discribed as Detroit's Canned Heat



*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.


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

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



Robert "Bootsey X" Mulrooney

It is with great sadness that I post the news that Bootsey X passed away at around 7 pm November 28th at Detroit Receiving Hospital. I loved how much joy he found in performing...and I am honored to pay tribute to Bob tonight...

Stanley T. Madhatter introduced me to Bob at a fundraiser in 2009 at the Painted Lady in Hamtramck. Bob was very ill then and his many friends gathered to raise money for his medical care. Madhatter adored Bob and spoke of him all the time. Madhatter and I sat at my computer and played all of Bob's videos the next day.  My very favorite video is Secret Agent Man...

Bob was so damn cute...had such a girlie crush on him. We became buddies on Facebook in 2010 and real life too. While chatting one night, I invited him to go with me to an appearance at the Guitar Center Drum Off. He was just the best to photograph! He and I had a blast shooting that night.

Bootsey at The Drum Off

What a fun night with Bootsey and Gerald Shohan his best friend, his guitarist and his protector. The love and friendhip these two men shared was so inspiring. My heart goes out to Gerald tonight. This tribute is to Gerald as well, and his magnificent giving soul.

"Would like to believe that Lili is pouring my friend Bootsey X a few shots at that great rock bar up in the sky tonight. Safe passage, my friend. We'll see you again further on up the road..."

Bill Holdship "You have to go with me to this crazy 'History of Rock' class I'm taking at community college, Bill. The teacher is an idiot. And she's crazy. I don't know how she got to teach anything! She talked about Altamont and then said, 'After that, someone was killed at almost every Rolling Stones concert for years!' I raised my hand and told her that isn't true...and crazy bitch got mad at me! So now I'm afraid i'm going to flunk 'History of Rock' at community college!" --Bootsey X
 Joe Michnuk and Bootsey X

Joe Michnuk "I visited Bootsey X over the last several years we would go out for pizza when he was still able to walk. He loved Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park. It was always cheese pizza no toppings that was his favorite. After he lost the ability to walk, I'd visit him with vanilla ice cream since everyone else brought the pizza.
We'd eat as much of a half gallon as two guys could & tell stories about chicks 'n music. We made each other laugh so hard that the nurses would come in to see what was going on. They all called me "The Ice Cream Man" @ both HFH & St Joe's Nursing Home. I'll miss his sense of humor & tremendous creative genius the most."

Last year we had a small holiday party in Ann Arbor. Gerald and Bootsey came out and they performed my favorite...SECRET AGENT MAN.  Kyle Davis and his band backed up Bob and Gerald on RAMROD BABY too which the young guns really loved...

My friends Danny Creadon, Steve, and Art Godoy headlined that party and were just in love with Bob. As more information comes in I will update this tribute..Not sure about any details as of yet.

Willy Wilson R.I.P. Bootsey X (Robert Mulrooney) - Too many great memories to share from shows, parties, record stores and the launching pad. Bob was a true rock n' roll legend. I picture him in the great Fortune Records building in the sky talking musical smack with Jim Shaw and Tony Fusco. 

Kelly, Valorie, and Bootsey X Chris Scott Dellas "He was a cat I always looked up to and admired. He seemed to drum for every band I saw when I was a teenager and later I rarely missed a Bootsey X show. He was always cool and smiling with me and always treated me with kindness. This many people are mourning not just Bob's passing, but not being able to see him make people happy again from the stage. Thanks man for being nice to a once-dopey kid."

Valorie Synwolt Bob was a jewel. He was genuine genius. There is an angel rockin in the name of Detroit out there- he was a true friend- my heart is shattered, because I got back home too late to sing with him one more time.I will miss my Boot Karen Neal Looks like Bootsey X is re-united with Julie Hecker. Prayers for Robert Mulrooney's loved ones and family and of course, remembering Josie Salash and the Hecker family too! Rest in peace!!!

Jerry Vile In addition to fronting or drumming for virtually every band in Detroit Bob was a very good writer. He was on staff of White Noise And had his own page in issue 4.

Jerry Vile and Bootsey X I will miss you Bob. You are the spirit of rock and roll and everything else worthy of vinyl. Hopefully one day we will build a memorial to you. Rock In Peace..

Mortichia Pippenshmooze I will really look forward to seeing Robert Mulrooney on the other side, where as somebody said, he will be surrounded by music and babes. Boots was always so sweet. He was the only man who ever asked me to be a "Sugarbaby of Soul" but I can't sing. I could only shake my ass and dance along. So much fun. Sad sad goodbye for now.

Andi Sparks Divetta ...and another light goes out.Robert Mulrooney was a strange and wonderful creature. just the way i like them. love to all of our hearts who knew him. there are so many. I love my friends and what they do. Bootsey X Joe McGuire Bob sold me my first record when I was 12 years old at Desirable Discs II in Dearborn (and he sold me many more after that).

Later I worked with him at Peoples Records when I was in college. He was always really nice to me, friendly and very funny. He was one of those rare unique individuals and it's really sad to hear that he passed.

To all who knew him and supported him in his life and in his art I send my heartfelt condolences. Joe Kidd ... i first met bob at a bar on michigan ave in inkster. he was drumming in a band called STREETS. i was in my first band called THE SILVER CHORDS. we were friends right from the start. we loved each others music. it was around 1976. we were all doing a lot of cover songs then. bob used to come to see us just to hear us do 'under my thumb' 'you better move on' and the big blue oyster cult hit 'dont fear the reaper'. i remember at the end of one summer night somehow we had in our possession a bow & arrows. we were firing them into the sky trying to shoot out the streetlamps on schoolcraft road. . - peace to you - j.k. //oo\\



The Funk Brothers, Motown's famed backing musicians, will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 21 in Los Angeles. Percussionist Jack Ashford and guitarist Eddie Willis, as well as several of the late Funks' family members will be there to bask in the glow of the Tinseltown honor. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity; I couldn't miss this," said Joe Hunter Jr., son of the late pianist Joe Hunter, the first bandleader for Motown's band in 1959. He scraped up the money to fly out with his wife. "Too many people sacrificed to make this happen."

The march of time has depleted the ranks of the Motown band over the years since their 1960's heyday. Most of the Funks were older than the Motown stars they backed up, having come to the "Snakepit" recording studio at 2648 W. Grand Blvd. as seasoned pros from Detroit's vibrant jazz scene.

Hunter had already been touring for years backing up Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, Little Willie John and other R&B greats before setting foot in Motown's studio. Several key members of the group were gone well before Allan Slutsky's book about Motown bass legend James Jamerson, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" came out in the late 1980s. Jamerson died, largely unknown, in 1983, and drummer Benny Benjamin had passed on years before that in 1969. FULL STORY HERE
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