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Cody's Act Attacked

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Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen got together here in Ann Arbor a long time ago. They played a lot of gigs and we always had a good stomp down time with them. One of their time favorite (as yet unrecorded) hits, "Back in the Ozone Again," was used by brother J. C. Crawford as a theme song for killer rock and roll shows on WKNR and also gave Ozone House its name. They had left Ann Arbor for California almost a year ago, and just came back to play their killer home-coming gig at the Hill auditorium on April 17. They also played at the Canterbury House at a benefit for Mark's Coffeehouse, and at the Palladium, along with the Stooges and Guardian Angel, Scott Morgan's new band. Commander Cody will also be playing in Washington on Mayday, as well as other places in the East. They'll be back in Ann Arbor the last 2 weeks in May and will hopefully play at the first free concert in the park. On April 17 Hill Auditorium was packed The multi-media show "Pork" had set down some weird vibes (another people's band from Ann Arbor should probably have been booked instead), but between sets people were throwing frisbies, toking down, and generally preparing themselves for the Commander's set. They were recording that historic night and had laid out $700 to do it. They do truck driving songs like "Looking at the world thru a windshield," blues like the "Down to Seeds and Sterns again Blues," (which seems to be perfect for Ann Arbor right now), country and western, as well as some killer old rock and roll tunes. Someone was showing films on the screen in back of the band, and everybody was digging it. Then things started getting weird.

A film that had been entered into the Ann Arbor Film Festival about trucks was shown. The band had never seen it. The first part of it was fine - just shots of different trucks on the road. Then the film was shot from inside the cabin of a huge truck, and then from inside the driver's head as the fantasy of a naked woman appeared on the dash for the driver to oogle at and play with. All during this the band was playing their tunes and the people were digging it. There are a lot of conflicting stories about what happened next, but this is what people generally felt happened. People started yelling from the audience, calling the band sexist pigs. A group gathered in back. The band got uptight about the show being stopped and being called names, and eventually about thirty people took over the stage. When the microphone was seized nothing coherent was said to explain the action. The audience overwhelmingly didn't dig it at all. Someone on the stage repeated a number of times that all they wanted was an apology. Commander Cody came up and took the microphone and apologized to whoever was off ended by whatever they were offended by; he hadn't seen the film. But the people still refused to leave and some really ugly scenes went down. Finally one sister got up and suggested that all the people who supported the action should leave the building together – it was unanimous that it was a good idea, so they split and the music continued and everyone got down to a good time again. It's unfortunate that people very often react to things without taking the whole reality into account, and it can be very dangerous. A number of people reacted heavily to seeing a film of a truck drivers naked fantasy writhing woman on the screen – Continued page 4