Guitarist Robert Gillespie kicks back and pours another vodka, playing the charming host in his sprawling Pleasant Ridge home. It’s a spacious rock ’n’ roll mansion of sorts — guitars, books and records are scattered amid leopard-print rugs and throw pillows. The basement is jammed with musical gear, ready for impromptu drunken jams.
Gillespie has a casual star quality. He plays in the super-group Power Train as well as with Mitch Ryder (since 1983).
Today, however, he’s talking about his “favorite band.” They were called the Torpedos, they were full-on Motown rock ’n’ roll punks, and they debuted in October 1978 at the infamous Bookies 870 club in Detroit.

“Nobody liked us at first,” says Gillespie as he pops in a 1981 video of a Torpedos performance at Harpo’s. He apologizes in advance, saying the tape had no sound. But once it begins playing, it’s obvious that the sound has been mysteriously restored. Perhaps it’s the work of the spirit of vocalist Johnny Angelos, who is front and center on the video. Angelos, the gangster R&B punk, doesn’t just look out from the screen, he jumps and screams out at you. He sounds cocky and cool and he looks fantastic. He would be dead in three years.

Even though the Torpedos released just one single and an EP, both on Brian Williams’ Four Winds Records, which both sold more than 1,000 copies, they left an indelible mark. Thanks to Mike Leshkevich and his homegrown Motor City Music label, the Torpedos can be experienced fresh and new with the release of the band’s first-ever CD, No Refills. Gillespie and 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.” He recalls meeting Angelos “in 1969 down on Plum Street at the Red Roach coffee house when I was 14 years old.”

Although the two played separately in various bands (Angelos in the Mighty Quick and the Amboy Dukes; Gillespie in the Rob Tyner Band), the Torpedos brought out their shared vision of rock ’n’ roll with an attitude. Their fellow Torpedos were drummer Ralph Serafino, bassist Mike Marshall (both Tyner Band alumni) and keyboardist-sax player Tom Curry. All were in their late 20s and comprised, for all intents and purposes, an “east side band,” though Angelos hailed from Dearborn. (Jim Banner’s replacing Marshall in the summer of ’79 was the only lineup change.) Gillespie loved writing songs with Angelos. “He was really spontaneous; words just flew out of his mouth. He played guitar too; he played some on the EP.” Angelos’ notorious battle with drugs (“He loved pills of all kinds.”) was never much of an impediment to the band, Gillespie says. He contributed everything from songwriting to the design of the band’s collision-style punk collage fliers.


*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. 




Congratulations to the Motor City 5 (MC5)! You have been certified as an honoree for The Inaugural Walk to Fame launch by the nomination committee members of Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum, Detroit Entertainment Commission, and city residents to be registered in Detroit for a Walk to Fame Star.



Music News & Calendar Item
December 2, 2013

The Rockets Release Four New Songs at the Fillmore on December 28th
Detroit Fans will be treated to the first new music in 30 years
Fans who “Desire” the return of iconic Detroit band The Rockets will be thrilled to hear that the band is back after a two-year hiatus with new band members and four new tracks – their first original music release in 30 years. “Greetings from Detroit,” a four song EP, was recorded live at Wayne State University’s Studio One, and co-produced by The Rockets and WSU’s Tom Court (who toured with The Rockets as their front of house sound mixer in the late 1970’s.) The Rockets will play the new songs live, along with other hits, on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at The Fillmore Detroit.

The new songs, available on iTunes on December 1st, 2013, exemplify Detroit's classic rock and roll sound made legendary by the MC5, The Stooges, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. Presented by 106.7 The D and Live Nation, the show will feature original Rockets drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, along with lead singer Jim Edwards, keyboardist Danny Taylor, and new members Joey Gaydos (lead guitar), Phil “Greasy” Carlisi (guitar) and Mike Marshall (bass).

Tickets start at $15 and are available at LiveNation.com and at the Fillmore Detroit Box Office. Doors are at 7pm, and all ages are welcome. Rising stars of the Detroit rock scene Citizen Zero and hi-octane rockabilly roots-rockers Horse Cave Trio will open the show. The Fillmore Detroit show will be the first public appearance of the new line-up of The Rockets' seasoned musicians. Since their last appearance in 2011 with Sheryl Crow, Raconteurs, and Ronnie Dunn, “rebuilding the band and recording new material was our main goal before we played live again,” says Rocket's lead singer, Jim Edwards. “The Rocket fans will surely appreciate the raw purity of the music we have created.”

Johnny "Bee" Badanjek photo: Steve Galli
The Rockets - new band members:
Phil “Greasy” Carlisi (guitar) Sirius Trixon & The Motor City Bad Boys. Also played with legendary Stooges' members Ron and Scott Asheton (Dark Carnival) and toured extensively in the States and abroad with rockabilly musician Robert Gordon, British guitarist Chris Spedding, and legendary punk artist Jim Carroll. Carlisi has been a mainstay player in the Detroit music scene for over 35 years.  

Joey Gaydos Sr (lead guitar), also a Detroit music veteran, has played with rock heavies Rob Tyner (MC5), and Cub Koda and the Points (Brownsville Station).  Gaydos built a loyal Detroit fan base with his bands, Mugsy and Weapons, and has a well-earned reputation for his showmanship and incendiary lead guitar prowess.  

Mike Marshall (bass) has lent his musical virtuosity to hundreds of recording sessions and has toured with The Motor City Mutants, Torpedoes, Rob Tyner (MC5), Catfish Hodge, Johnny Bassett, Joe Weaver, Alberta Adams, and many other Detroit acts.

About The Rockets
The Rockets were founded in 1972 by former Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels members, Johnny "Bee" Badanjek and Jim McCarty. Badanjek was the driving force and primary songwriter for the Rockets when the band began its signature hard-driving sound that Detroit fans demanded. The Rockets recorded five studio albums and produced several minor hits, including a rocking rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well.” The first album, Love Transfusion, was released in 1977.

The 1979 self-titled release featured the hits, "Oh Well" and "Turn up the Radio." With the 1980 release of “No Ballads,” Desire" was the hit song that solidified the Rockets as a viable national act and lead to an appearance on “The Midnight Special.” The next two albums were “Back Talk “(1981) and then “Rocket Roll” (1982)  "Rollin' by the Record Machine" from this release was the last hit song for the band.

The final release, Live Rockets, was recorded on December 26 and 29, 1982 to a sold-out house at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in suburban Detroit. The early Rockets band performed their last two shows at the Pine Knob amphitheater in Clarkston, Michigan, on August 28 and 29, 1983. The band splintered soon after and members went their separate ways. Badanjek, McCarty and the other members went on to other projects until the band re-emerged in 2010 at the Detroit Music Awards with new singer and front man Jim Edwards. Throughout 2010 and 2011, The Rockets continued to thrill audiences with their dynamic pure rock and roll - and the Detroit trademark sound that began decades earlier with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

Contact: Kathy@ontherocksdetroit.com  Ph:  248-687-9168



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\\




From Chris Carter:
Here is the link to the petition I started weeks ago to get the MC5...THE GREATEST ROCK N ROLL BAND OF ALL TIME!!!!...inducted in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame...almost 900 supporters so far which includes Dennis Thompson, Retrokimmer.Com, Michael Davis' daughter Ursula, son Adrian and Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators!!!

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