How a born and bred Los Angeles person like yours truly came to appreciate Detroit/Ann Arbor/Michigan music from afar at a relatively early age... Rock and Beatles/Stones had saved my sanity from a toxic family, and I liked my music loud and fast. While I preferred Lennon's hard-edged rocker covers my chums gravitated to their beloved McCartney ballads and worshiped the latest faux-Joni. Egad, why?

Experts contend that in popular musical tastes, females prefer emphasis on great lyrics and males fixate on insistent beat or groove. Balderdash. If you don't remember the power and musicality of a song first, how can you later dissect what was sung? With this in mind, I tried to infiltrate any club that didn't catch my underaged ass and began photographing that to which I could get access in 1967. I was open to anything good, preferably great. With greatness in mind, a lot of focus came upon The Stooges circa 1970.

I was fortunate early on to encounter the in-person musical orbit of John Mendelsohn, a music writer for Creem Magazine and Rolling Stone who mattered in the late 1960s and 70s. And he didn't just like but loved the Stooges as kindred subversives. He trumpeted same to anyone who'd read or listen, particularly like-minded, quirky new friends such as visiting rookie musician David Bowie on the latter's first USA trip.

Corroboration of Mendelsohn introducing Bowie and consequently, for better and worse, his management MainMan to the Stooges' music can be found on page 148 of Paul Trynka's first edition of his Iggy Pop bio "Open Up and Bleed.") Here in L.A. as with most of the world in the pre-internet Pleistocene, absolutely no one beyond Midwestern zip codes had any prior Stooge exposure prior to Mendelsohn's lauding thereof.

Hence the importance of Mendelsohn's 1970 Entertainment World feature, one of the first if not the first nation-wide cover stories on The Stooges in a mainstream multi-arts magazine, not just a regional, music-based one. Their centerpiece article by Mendelsohn featured lots more natural stage light, live performance photos which took great skill then (and a close, personal relationship with a pro lab that would push film beyond recommended specs) by Kurt Ingham (AKA singer Mr. Twister) (and future Mr. Fastfilm.)

Unfortunately I hadn't met the great arbiter until after the first Stooges gigs in California mid-1970, so my first opportunity to photograph them became the Whisky A Gogo, Hollywood CA in 1973. At the only freebie possible for this impecunious college student/photojournalist, my twenty-two minutes of photographing an appallingly short second set of two songs ("She Creatures Of The Hollywood Hills" and "Open Up And Bleed") yielded all my vintage Stooges' shots since seen over the years in domestic and international periodicals both print and online. They were everything heretofore touted, wild yet precise musicians, wasted, cute and dangerous. The audience initially was scared of them: I thought it was hilarious. At the time, 1973, I could only sell a single image. The world had yet to catch up.

As a Fine Art major at UCLA, I was used to true innovators in my art history lessons being ignored by their contemporaries. Outliers are outsiders, so the slander and malediction of The Stooges meant zero to me. At least in this instance forty plus years later, its audience finally caught up with the onetime maligned Iggy and The Stooges, inducting them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, acknowledging what punks everywhere had known in those intervening decades: they fucking ROCKED. I have been sufficiently fortunate to photograph Iggy and The Stooges in about a half dozen venues, nowadays always to huge, out-of-control-enthusiastic audiences. See LINK to find them all.

 Scott Thurston, James Williamson and Heather Harris

Iggy and The Stooges were my gateway drug to all that Detroit/Ann Arbor/Michigan music had to offer: now let's hear it for The Ruiners and Turn To Crime! -Heather Harris 2014


A band's only as good as its drummer..some of the very best in the world are from Detroit...Not in any particular order..

Please do post your favorite Detroit drummer videos in the comment section below....

PART TWO will feature the younger drummers and up and coming as well...




We had just completed the recording of our first album in the recording studio. Jon Landau produced this album “Back In The USA”, our second record. Jon ran a very tight ship. He virtually changed our lifestyle. We had moved again, this time from Ann Arbor to a small, mainly German farming town by the name of Hamburg, MI.

Quiet and most rural, we gave ourselves some room from the party crowd and all the traffic in general. We needed the change of scenery. Jon was a music writer for Rolling Stone and we were his second recording project ever. He had us running laps around the house and eating a low fat, high protein diet. He also tried his best to run a no drinking and drugging regimen as well. We rehearsed like men possessed and that was a good thing. I have to say now in perfect 20-20 hindsight, that what Jon did for us was actually quite beneficial in many ways.

I was not into this guy at all. I used to call him a Fascist and an amateur. I wanted a professional producer with a proven track record, but once again the powers that be overruled me again. I felt he was anal retentive and was driven to total perfection partly because of his lack of experience, so he overcompensated.

The tunes were too tinny sounding and lacked punch. The music lacked that fullness that we were known for. There was no improvising. We may have overdone that on the first album. I felt very strongly about this. Jon’s heart was 100% in the right place. He wanted a hit single from this band and he knew we needed to change to accomplish this. We confused our fan base. (More on this period later folks.)

The songs were also all 3 minutes long or shorter, and this flew in the face of our first album, KOTJ, where the songs were on average 4-7 minutes long. In retrospect, we did need to clean up the timing and the tightness of the tracks. I will be the first to admit this.

I had to play to a metronome and we layered the tracks as opposed to playing as a group. This felt alien to me. I adapted to this format in a short time, but I still did not like it. Now, years later, many of our fans think it was our best album out of the three. We could have done a hell of a lot better with a pro, but would we have been as tight? I doubt it. All in all, as a result, what you see and hear on the tapes of the Tartar Field performance is a direct result of that conditioning.

Now I think everything is as it should’ve been, because that is the way life comes at you. So here you have it, the first time we played the new tunes off “Back in the USA” or what many people call “The White Album”. We did this in front of a large audience at Tartar Field, Wayne State University, mine and Michael Davis’ alma mater.

Remember that this band was always evolving, we never stood still, and this chapter is just as different as the one before it, and the one that followed it (the High Time Period). “Gotta Keep Movin”, my, oh my…wait till I tell you of the Jac Holzman and Elektra period!

The drama is even better…MGT

MC5 playing Looking At You live at Tartar Field 
on Wayne State University Campus in Detroit on 
July 19th, 1970 TURN YOUR VOLUME UP NOW!


From a Reader: I was at this concert. Great show. This show was a benefit to raise money to benefit Jackie Wilson. It was so hot in there. I started out about midway back when Mikey Dread played and people kept passing out so by the time the Clash came on, I was right up front. Could barely move. 

At the end of the show, Topper Headon threw his sticks into the crowd and one hit me in the face. I grabbed it and some woman next to me bit my arm. I elbowed her in the face from the pain and shoved the stick down my shirt. People were scrambling all over the place to find it. I hopped up on stage and crawled away (the place was jam-packed). I still have the drumstick. It's says "Toppers Boppers" on it.

Great post!!!

Motor City Rock Venues

History of the Motor City Theater/Roller Rink

The Motor City Movie Theatre/Roller Rink Historical Project




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.



Here's an advance peek at the new Diablos single off 'Return Of The Funk Hand' LP It's called 'Good Good Vibes' ...and it's a love letter to groovy rock n roll Detroit kids everywhere!!!!

Tino and the Diablos hard at work....working them good good vibes......



Music inspired, science fiction and fantasy combined in a way that revolutionized poster art of the Psychedelic 1960's-era. Famous for his rock posters, The Psychedelic Rock Art of Carl Lundgren, a Detroit, Michigan based artist, showcases his posters which were as important to the Detroit Music and Art history as were the music legends themselves; The Who, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd to name a few.

The book's foreword is written by Mitch Ryder, who was lead vocalist of a Detroit 1960's rock group The Detroit Wheels. The introduction is by Russ Gibb, a former radio personality and rock promoter from Dearborn, Michigan, who played a major role in the late sixties/early seventies Motor City music scene. Whether looking for something fun, entertaining or reminiscent, this book has it all! The Psychedelic Rock Art of Carl Lundgren presents Carl's posters in a unique way that will evoke emotion and memories.
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