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Musical Poop

Detroit Music: Jack White released a Platter that Mattered before White Stripes

AKA: “Odd Ball music and the Detroiters’ who listen to it…”

Long before Jack White hit the big time with “White Stripes” he was touring Metro Detroit with a band called Goober & the Peas. I enjoyed many a Goober show, and others like me who enjoyed what I call “odd ball” music were also at the shows. We jammed at places like Lili’s in Hamtown. Okay no, the town is really not named Hamtown. Hamtramck, Michigan is well known around Michigan for it’s Polish Sausage and abundance of Polish culture. Of course, that was then.

And this is now. Rock N’ Roll is no longer considered “top 40” or commercial when compared to the Rap/Hip-Hop-derivatives. However, some might say that being on the burning edge of a society is where Rock and Roll music belongs. But you didn’t come here for a lecture on R & R did ya?

You came because Jack White, Cub Koda, Catfish Hodge, The Urbations, The PM’s, Bootsey X and The Mutants once blasted out super fun and creative music. They performed in obscure corners of Metro Detroit where people laughed, danced, and enjoyed hot hot women and cold cold beer.

That was Goober and the Peas! Now how about Cub Koda? The Cubmaster was a great talent known for his blues-style guitar playing. He released solo LP’s and played with his band “The Points” at Second Chance in Ann Arbor (aka A-Squared.) But some of his most notable tunes are from his days with Brownsville Station. Here’s two of my favorites…

You may have heard a newer version of Smokin’ in the Boyz room by Motley Crew. Now listen to “Hodge” – – Catfish Hodge! He released a regional hit, “The Boogie Man’s Gonna Get you” on his 1972 Eastbound Records release. Eastbound/Westbound was a Detroit label, and you may have heard of them via bands like Funkadelic. The following video is from a re-release of Hodges’ music on Ace Records called “Different Strokes.”

Hodge played the blues, but what about another style, something I like to call…Rockin’ Polka? Here’s a dang fun band that was more interested in being “odd” than being politically correct. The following 70’s era remake was a local Detroit radio hit. You might recall the original hit from the 60’s. Love Potion Number 9…

PM is fun, but Bootsey X was pure genius — or at least as Bootsey says, “Genius From the Waist Down.” I owned a Cassette that Bootsey X and the Love Masters released back in the day, and I still love this music! Bootsey jammed at Lili’s in Hamtown many times, and I also enjoyed his vocals when he accompanied Dark Carnival, singing the Iggy Pop classic “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”

Side-note: Dark Carnival featured RON ASHTON on guitar! Yep DC is one of bands that he fronted after leaving Iggy and the Stooges.

Second Side-note: Ashton’s lead singer was Niagara, the Metro-D-area Painter. She’s super talented, and dang-gorgeous too.

Second Second Side-note: Ashton fronted bands like “The New Order” featuring vocals by Dave Gilbert, of the Rockets. No-one screams like Dave Gilbert, especially on their “Love Transfusion” LP. The Rockets were one of my favorite Detroit area bands featuring Jim McCarty (guitar) and drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, both former members of the group Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. On slide and rhythm guitar was Dennis Robbins, who later garnered several hits on his solo LP.

Third Side-note: Ashton was in Destroy all Monsters along with Niagara. DAM was seen frequently around Ann Arbor, sometimes sharing the bill with Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith (Patti Smith’s hubby) and his A2 area band, Sonic Rendezvous.

Mutants, yipes! The Mutants played the D to many a happy crowd, and they graced the airwaves with their hit “So American.” Here it is via 45 rpm, the record is backed by a great (but rude) tune called “Piece of S@^^%.” They also have an LP out, under the name “Motor City Mutants” where you’ll hear a different mix than in the Youtube video below:

Urbations, flirtations, wonko-vations, oh my! I really loved the Urbations early live shows, featuring Dr. Blurt Sandblaster on vocals. I owned one of their EP’s, but it disappeared into the land of…”May I borrow this record, I promise to bring it back…” So here’s what I found on Youtube. If you can find the EP with “Flatfoot Sam” — I highly recommend it. Buy it for me and I’ll blow you kisses forever. The following, “Ring Ring” is really not as fun as the stuff I remember, but you’ll get the idea.

“Otay,” so that’s about all for now folks. Maybe some day I’ll come back and we’ll discuss ODD BALL music from places like Miami, where my bar-buddy Charlie Picket jammed with the Eggs. (c) Dean Lachiusa 2020.

ADDENDUM, da dum dum…This always seems to happen to me, and to you, and I’ll likely continue to add more snippets to this article. Many moons ago I watched a live performance in Detroit by a local band called Fugitive Poetry. The performance was stunning, in particular the tune “Caterpillar” in which the guitarist was elegantly lit while inside a (cocoon.) He rolled and spasmed during the song. And I’m sorry that there is no film/video of that performance. Unfortunately, and IRONICALLY he died shortly after…from cancer in his spine. There is an LP, and I have it. The vocals are strong, and high – in the castrato range much like David Surkamp.

Surkamp was the lead in the band Pavlog’s Dog, and he performed a guest vocal for Detroit’s own Michael Quatro on his 4rth LP featuring the (odd-ball) tune, “Ancient Ones.”

Quatro is best known for his LP “In Collaboration of the God’s. And I highly recommend this record, especially if you like fine keyboard playing. Mike’s famous sister Suzi Quatro and their not-so-famous, but very talented other sisters fronted two of the first all-girl bands — “Cradle” and then later “Fanny.” Mike Quatro is from Grosse Pointe, Michigan. And I’ve run into him many times through the years at his live shows and around here. (He also shops at the same record store that I do.) Mike has an interesting history.

As a live performer, he played multiple Polyphonic keyboards at the same time — notably WITHOUT MIDI. That’s right, Mike handled multiple rhythms without any computer assistance. He’s a freakn’ keyboard-genius who’s legacy is likely effected by his reputation with girls.

Sex is something that might have effected Quatro’s career, for example on his “Bottom Line” LP, you can see his wife’s hinny and Mike’s bulge predominantly featured on a series of back-cover photos.

I spoke with Bayard Spector, the SRI record company mogul about his “Bottom Line” release, and he didn’t seem too pleased at the time. I won’t go into details, but his reaction seemed to be the same kind of reaction that (some) folks have when they see Mike’s re-releases of his United Artists material on LP’s published by the Koala record label.

If you look on Discogs.com, you’ll see Koala released LP’s that Discogs tags as “unoffical releases.” I take this to mean that these releases are not entirely cleared or licensed — and very close to being considered bootlegs.

And speaking of interesting record labels…Bayard Spector operated SRI (Spector Records International.) This is NOT the same Spector Records operated by the infamous Phil Spector…Strange coincidence or marketing sub-genius??? — Dean out…until the next addendum!

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Musical Poop new poop

Let these tunes say how you feel about the Election! Ten Election Tunes

Aka: Songs that suit your mood and songs that share your feelings about the Election!

Joe Perry said “Let the Music do the Talking.” And that’s exactly what I’m going to do today. After being hammered by months of television advertisement’s and Facebook posts, I think some of these tunes should offer a chuckle, some inspiration, and to some folks, perhaps a solemn, serious note. The following selection of music is designed to reflect the sentiment that many of us feel towards the Election results.

In other words, take this article with a grain of salt (and a snicker or two.) This is NOT directed towards any particular political issue or candidate.

To wrap things up…

Sure, the musical content doesn’t directly point to any one issue or any particular candidate. But maybe that’s a good thing because I’m not trying to rile anyone up. Cheers (c) Dean Lachiusa 2020.

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Musical Poop

The things we do for Love, Music, Spirit

The things we do for love
It’s been over 50 years since the band Spirit released “Taurus” which is a short orchestrated introductory musical piece. For over 7 years, the Randy California estate owners have been involved in a law suit that names Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to heaven as music that was derived from the Spirit tune.

[Note this article has been edited and updated 3 times in the last few years in order to reflect the courts decision. Please forgive the use of passive phraseology.]

I’ve read dozens of comments on Youtube and other sites, and Led Zeppelin lovers seem to get very angry over this. Spirit lovers don’t say much. I can understand why they don’t because I love the old Spirit music and I’m lucky to have several of the old LP’s. Spirit is mellow, it’s moving, most of their music is a sophisticated mixture of Rock N’ Roll and Jazz elements, and all of it is in a sense – Spiritual.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Zeppelin, but I also have read about numerous similar law-suits involving Zeppelin.

Does this mean they stole Spirits work? Actually…Maybe. But you have to listen very close to the Spirit tune, and then compare it to the Zepp tune. But that’s the kicker. Because when this was first brought to court, the jury did not listen to the music! They looked at sheet music. Come on man! You have to have a full understanding of composition to “see” the similarities in the music in question.

And I admit, without listening closely my first impression was that Zeppelin did not steal Spirits music. And I say that as a Spirit fan. From my first impression, if Zepp did anything more than be inspired, my thinking was, let the court decide if a writing credit or money will be the fix. Another thought…

I have to say that I think the reason this lawsuit is happening is simply to give Randy California credit. Credit for being a great writer who is sometimes lost and forgotten in a sea of top forty favorites and classic oldies like Led Zeppelin.

It’s my opinion that sandy-toed Californian’s who were part of Randy California’s laid back lifestyle cherish the memories. And I’m guessing that they want Randy to be respected and loved for his accomplishments. And so…the reasons for the legal action.

Okay, now if you haven’t already watched it, check out the video/musical clip, (above) — un-fortunately it has an opinionated title by the author. Sorry I can’t control Youtube. I’ll try to find a better video comparison. (But to tell you the truth, I kinda agree with the Youtuber.

Note – 2020: In 2019 the courts did finally rule in the favor or the Spirit estate. And in the words of the Sensational Alex Harvey, I say “Hail Vibrania.” But seriously, I’m happy for the Spirit camp. – (c) DL as Mr. Know it all, the musical subgenius