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Ann Arbor 200

AADL Talks To: Peter Andrews

When: 2010

Peter Andrews, photo by Leni Sinclair
Peter Andrews, circa 1971. Photo by Leni Sinclair.

In this wide-ranging interview from 2010, Peter Andrews recalls his varied career producing and managing local and regional music talent — from managing the Scot Richard Case (SRC) band and bringing bands like The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and the Yardbirds to Ann Arbor’s Fifth Dimension club, to booking national acts for University of Michigan student groups. He also discusses his role in Ann Arbor’s legendary Blues and Jazz Festivals, producing the John Sinclair Freedom Rally at Crisler Arena in 1971, and bringing John Lennon and Yoko Ono to town.

Articles and photos about Peter Andrews


  • [00:00:08] AMY CANTU: [MUSIC] Hi, this is Amy.
  • [00:00:10] ANDREW MACLAREN: This is Andrew. In this interview from 2010, Peter Andrews talks about his role in managing and producing rock, blues, and jazz concerts in Ann Arbor during the 1960s and '70s. Among his many accomplishments, Peter brought the Who, Jimi Hendrix, and the Yardbirds to Ann Arbor's Fifth Dimension Club. He produced the legendary Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festivals, and he brought John Lennon and Yoko Ono to town for the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in 1971. Peter died in December 2023.
  • [00:00:40] AMY CANTU: To get things rolling, if you would tell us a little bit about your background here?
  • [00:00:45] PETER ANDREWS: My father franchised the Arthur Murray dance business in the '30s. In other words, Arthur Murray who he worked for, my middle name is Murray. Arthur Murray, who was a dancer, had dance studios across America and still went in Ann Arbor. My dad was kicked out of his office for suggesting franchising the first time because he had a very successful studio in Miami, in New York, and was raking in pretty good bucks. But my dad went and put it a different way how much gross he would make off of each studio. Arthur Murray approved, and he opened 200 studios for Arthur Murray across America. My dad was doing pretty well and we were living in Gross Point and very nice. I couldn't have had a nicer upbringing in terms of having family money in this and that. My dad moved us from Gross Point. We belonged to the Hunt Club, the yacht club, yada yada. It was very very nice. My dad moved us to Ann Arbor when I was eight, thought to be a healthier living environment because Gross Pointe, you're headed for the debutant parties at 13 and having cocktails, and Henry Ford spending a million bucks on the party, and Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole are both there, this kind of thing. [LAUGHTER] It was society-wise, a little over the top in the '50s, and my mom was into that stuff. She was a beautiful woman. She did stuff like volunteer for the Cancer Society, but never really had to work very much. We moved here when I was eight. I went to Angel School, and then I went to a school called U High, University of Michigan High School, which is the greatest high school ever. You had no choice, you were going to learn there, that's for sure. Early on, my dad was the world record holder in the 440-yard dash or once around the track and he was all New England in football and a terrific athlete. All of the kids in my family. I had a younger sister, two older brothers, and we were all very athletic. For me, I never met a sport I didn't just love. I don't know if I had extra genes or if I really worked it harder than my sister and my brothers. But my older brother, Jim, next to us is on the swim team, the track team. My very oldest brother Kurt was on football, basketball, and track, very active. I don't know, I just was so into it from the very first time I played little league baseball or whatever and it was all pretty easy for me, but I worked pretty hard at it. U High went from kindergarten through senior in high school. It was very unique school. I think I plugged in at seventh grade and went there. There were only 50 students per class, 25 males and 25 females, so very intense training. The teachers were just top notch. I got much more out of high school educationally than I did any college, for sure, in terms of practical knowledge. I don't need to tell a whole bunch of stories about it, but U High, it was a place where no girls got pregnant and everybody went to college, I mean everybody. Nobody didn't go to college. That was unheard of in those days. I was your basic high school athletic hero. We'd only play eight football games, but I think I had 40 TD's in three years, 8, 15, and 17 in my senior year. Played offense, defense didn't come out. I was pretty good at football, pretty good at everything that they had. Even as a sophomore, I was all city, which was pretty cool because we had Big Ann Habor High over there, but I don't know. We played a lot of big schools and won most of the time. We didn't win all the time, but vast majority of my high school class was extremely good. The reason I mentioned all that is my dad and athletics had a tremendous influence on me. I wanted to win, basically. I had an attitude that if when you get a job, you don't get a job, it's like what business do you create? I went off to the Air Force Academy, one of the stupidest things I ever did, and my father thinks so too. Because they're basically training you to be killers. I was recruited as a football player and went to their prep school. The first year they had a prep school, our first academy Prep School. They put a bunch of athletes in there to bond them up because the Airport Academy has a very hard engineering school. It's six years of college in four years and you have no electives. You're taking Russian military history whether you like it or not, and by the way, your language is Russian. You had no choice. The enemy was Russia, so everybody learned Russia. I was going along fine there, everything athletically, there you just do one sport. I was doing football, basketball, track, and golf. In high school, you're basic 13 letters in four years where you're supposed to get three maximum if you letter it as a freshman three times, which is ridiculous. I did get two letters as a freshman though. You couldn't play in varsity basketball, so I didn't have a shot at it but I sure liked lettering as a freshman. Actually, I'll get off this in a second, but the greatest coach I ever had was my freshman in Sophomore coach in high school, and that includes college. Guy's name was Jay Stielstra. Now we both got into music business and he went on to coach Ann Arbor High School to a state championship. Left after my Sophomore year. But he said if he was going to coach you called sir. He could take me out one day when I was a freshman and say, this is the broad jump. You run down, hit this jump up in the air. Go on, let me see how you can do. I jumped 19 feet something. He says you're a broad jumper. Indeed, I ended up second in the State two years in a row. Pissed me off I didn't win, boy that pissed me off. But he was terrific coaching and just set me right. After my freshman Sophomore, I didn't need a lot of coaching. I pretty much had it. I just had to get a little bigger and stuff. That really gave me an attitude. My father's influence and that gave me a tremendous attitude. I came back to Michigan, enrolled at the University of Michigan. Meanwhile, the IRS had gone after the Arthur Murray dance business about when do you pay these taxes? People would sign up for five-year lessons. When are you paying them? Now and during Arthur Murray made just a straight-out $100,000 payout to somebody and they kicked it down one level because they had to make an example for the whole country. There were other dance schools as well. What's his name? The great dancer. Anyway, so they kicked it down to the lower level, which was my father, and they basically broke him, took everything he had, making him the example. When I came back to Ann Arbor, that's pretty much. My dad was triple mortgaging everything to get us into college and through college and stuff, but they eventually broke him. My mother couldn't handle it. The lady of the manna with no manna, she probably couldn't handle it too well. They ended up getting divorced. I was pretty much on my own. At that point, I thought, here I am in college and I got to pay for it. One thing I did was start a painting company with my oldest brother as the foreman of the crew. I had some good jobs. I was out getting jobs while the crews were painting. We got this, SEE Fraternity house here in town. Great job. We had all the airless spray guns, everything cool. My brother's foreman of the crew. What can go wrong? Well, I hired a guy named Jim Osterberg who was 50 on the crew. Jim, he wouldn't eggie, he wouldn't put a paintbrush in his hand. He was doing prep and clean up. I'm making no money on this job. I'm like going what is going on? Finally, my oldest brother confessed. You know that guy Jim? I said, yeah. He says, well, he turned the crew onto marijuana. This is like '64. I'm going, oh great. We got a crew taking lots of breaks and painting slowly. They're having a hell of a good time. That was how I met Jim [NOISE] or Iggy, later would book him tons of times. I had to do something. I started the painting company and then I started a teenage nightclub. I met this guy, G Polland, who was working at Discount Records and he was really into the music business, was a capable producer of records. Pretty good judge of talent. I hooked up with Jeep, I think his name was Hugh, really. But Jeep Holland was an extremely important influence in the early parts of the music scene. He was managing The Rationals and recording The Rationals. Also he had a group called The Thyme, which was like a Buffalo Springfield, but the Hollies or something like that. They'd wear these cape things, and they were really good at what they did. We had a pretty good roster of kids and another band called The Chosen Few, which ended up turning their name into the Scott Richard Case which was a pretty important band of the time. Well Jeep had, I suppose you shouldn't put this in print, but we'll just say a drug problem. We won't be specific, which caused him to stay up long periods of time. But even though as brilliant as he was, that is a little crazy. Me being the normal kid growing up in the "normal '50s environment" I wasn't too into the amphetamines or whatever. Anyway, Jeep and I split. I took the group Chosen Few and turned it into the Scott Richard Case, which changed to SRC eventually when the other members of the band didn't like it that the lead singers name was used predominantly.
  • [00:11:28] PETER ANDREWS: Anyway, off I went with Scot Richard Case. I still worked with Jeep a little bit. I decided I would open a teenage nightclub. Why exactly I did? I don't know well here. I should jump back quick. The first experience I ever had in the music business, was this friend of mine took me over to this guy's apartment, and was learning a Chuck Berry tune. The guy's name was John Tish. And John Tish ended up being in Commander Cody. But George Frayne, who is Commander Cody, actually pledged me to the SE fraternity house while I was joining a fraternity. I was still in sort that frame of mind. George was a real character before, and during Commander Cody, He still is, and he had his tie on it and the the fat part was way up and the skinny part was way down. Just totally Waco. I still remember he says, "well, it's like this, Pete, I'm offering you a pledge or whatever. Membership in the old frat house. "He said, so I joined. I never really did anything with the S house too much, but drive the upperclassmen nuts because I was when I transferred to Michigan, I ended up a second-semester sophomore even though I had had like almost three years of college. But Russian military history doesn't [LAUGHTER] transfer too well to the UOM curriculum. I was ended up a second-semester sophomore rather than a junior, or something. I was a little older than the pledges, and I would do things like make them show up for hell week, and we'd all throw snowballs at the upperclassmen and split. Then come back in an hour, and you say, give us your best shot. Like what are they going to do? Wear me out physically? I was in fantastic shape. I mean, the Air Force Academy is a mile high, so when you get in shape a mile high, you barely have to breathe for once a minute, you're in such great shape so I wasn't much for the fraternity bit. Anyway, Jeep Holland, help me put this teenage nightclub together, and it was if you were over 19, you couldn't get in. It was 14, 19th. I rented the Ann Arbor Armory on the weekends, which is now condos. It's Kitty Corner to the police station. The police told me, you're crazy. That's Ann Street. You can't boy, I don't know. That's a rough street. It's a rough street. Here you are. You're kitty-corner, the police station? [LAUGHTER] It's kitty corner to the building. What can go wrong? Oh, I don't know. It was black Shoot O on Ann Street. Had Clint's Club there, and a few other places. Didn't seem too intimidating to me, so I opened it, and I did pretty well. We'd have the Shangre Laws singing leader of the pack. By the way, I should mention before it forget it. The prime movers who were the Ann Arbor's only original blues band. Michael Early Wine, and his brother Dave. No. Anyway, his brother were in the band and quite accomplished band and Iggy was the drummer. You know this already, and a really good band. Michael early one said to me, not too long ago, a couple months, three months ago. He says, man, I can't believe you made us back up, the Shangri-Las, because the leaders, the groups would come in and sometimes you'd have a back up band that would learn their stop. I felt really bad for about 10 seconds. I said, God, I made him back. I said, wait a second, Michael, you needed the money. [LAUGHTER] He says, "Yeah, you're right." I was doing you a favor having you back up the Sags. We'd have the Kingsman singing Louis Louis. That paid for a whole semester of college for me and Louis Louis. [LAUGHTER] Mitch Ryder in the Detroit Wheels great band. The guys were like, well under 2015, 16 years old playing guitar like Jimmy Mccarty still does, It's absolutely amazing. We would have the Contours, we'd have some Motown acts and stuff like that, and we got the greasers in the frats. That was our audience. This was pretty hippy. Just barely. The greasers would do these dirty circle dances, and the greaser girls would just drive these straight white kids crazy. I told my security staff, and I got these guys like football players and made them wore white shirts and ties, so they just stood out completely. I said, we're going to have one fight, and that's all we're going to have in here. Whoever starts to fight, you know, I want you to pick them up, give them a little jab in the forehead or something, and drop them to the floor in front of everybody. That's exactly what happened and it became clear to the greasers and the frass that they couldn't fight here. Because these guys really just want to kick their ass. Give us any excuse, we want to kick your ass, but the fun of it, we had no fights, and nobody had any asses kicked. That was the end of security problem. It had a nice one-year run. I might as well tell you these other stories too. I showed up one day and now Iggy was no longer the drummer in the Prime movers. He had his own group. Iggy and the Iguanas. Of course, I showed up, and the band isn't set up on stage. I'm going and he's got a fake telephone booth on the stage. That's all there is. I'm going Egg, what's up? What, what is this? He says, oh man, here's the deal. He says," look when the show starts, I'm in the telephone booth and I bust out of it Mand I run to the rope from the balcony, and I show me up the balcony and then the band hits it. " and I turn around and the damn band is set up in the little balcony. I have a little balcony in there. I go, oh God, I didn't think that was going to work at all, and I said just just do it and you do it, whatever you want to do, and it didn't work. Everybody's sitting there looking at [LAUGHTER] it just didn't work at all. But I give him credit for trying such a whack job. That went on and then a group of guys named the Hall Brothers. They were into construction. They took here on Lanes on Main Street, seeing what I was doing, and of course the capitalistic tradition wound up and remodeled this place and made it into a nice club. In the meantime, I did two summers, it was called Mother's Teenage Nightclub, and I never told you that in this. I thought that was funny or something. Mothers like, no Mother's here. I had a summer version up North and East Towers. We rented a skating roller skating rink and painted blue, spray painted blue because I knew painting . There were upstate bands, it was like Ann Arbor. Detroit bands, Lansing, Jackson Little Contingent, and then the up Bobby Reagan and the Chavels and Mitch are and Terry Knight in the pack out of Flint, and Dick Wagner in the frost out of the Saginaw area, and there are a series of bands, Question Mark and the Mysterians lived up there 96 Tears. [LAUGHTER]I was riding up north with my partner in my East Tas venture, Max Goldman and a local guide, and the Goldman family owned a very successful clothing store. I was trying to describe to Max what a hit record was, what made a hit record, and 96 Tears came on for the first time as we were going through Sag. I was just getting local play, and I said that tune right there, that is what makes the bridge in the hooks and said that makes a hit tune and it ended up being a huge hit tune. It's a perfect example. Max didn't know anything about the music business. I would have bands up there like The Hideaways, which turned into the Rationals and Savage Grace, Al Jack. I'd have to go ask their parents for permission because they were like 15, and I can remember, and I'd have the Pleasure Seekers, and but both the clubs, even the MC5 were performing then in my teenage nightclub. Pleasure Seekers were an all-girl band that were really good. I'd put them on the beach for one set up North, you know, in East Towers portable stage and play one set in bikinis to encourage all the kids to come that evening. Maybe you'll get lucky, you know, or something like that, but all funky stuff, and but that was pretty good fun. Made a little bit money. Now I really had no teenage nightclub the Fifth Dimension is what they called, the place at here on Lanes was where that restaurant was too. It burned down. Not the Gandy Dancer, but anyway.
  • [00:20:40] AMY CANTU: Oh, you mean the Whiffletree?
  • [00:20:42] PETER ANDREWS: The Whiffletree, right where all the pot dealers would gather in the back, and drink their 69 tater. That kind of shit was quite the scene at that time. Anyway, the Fifth Dimension, a guy named Joe Salga was the manager, your cigar shopping guy, that really didn't know anything about music. So I'd do their bookings for him, their national bookings. That was pretty significant place in that I was getting a little hipper to the music and RC's influence, I should say, about SRC. Bring me back to the booking in the Fifth Dimension, but SRC was the kind of band that Even though they really lacked a lead singer who could sing really well, he was a tremendous performer on stage and a very good-looking guy. All the girls who answered him. Scott Richard's son.
  • [00:21:39] PETER ANDREWS: They weren't just a band, they had a full 8-track recording studio at that time, which is pretty much the best you could do. A lot of other people recorded there. They also had a sound company, with the sound equipment that we had, we could handle crowds of 100,000 people. Big sound system, Glenn Quackenbush, and the band was electronically, and this and that, really smart. The whole band was much smarter than average bands when it comes to equipment. We had deals with RCA, where we would tell RCA where the industry was going because this was just like, what in the hell is happening? All the older folks are saying, what is this? We got free microphones and stuff from RCA. The same thing with a company called Crown DC300, which were the amplifier of the day, 300 watts per channel. We had 32 of them in our sound system, 9,000 watts per channel, if you can imagine that. We got them all free because we went down to Crown and told them what they needed to make, which was the Crown DC300. They were like a family thing having lunch together at the factory. We just told them what was going on and what they needed to build an indestructible, 300 watts per channel. That band had relationships like that which MC5 Obseger, Ted Nugent would only really dream of, so that was an expanded business. I started doing bookings for the Fifth Dimension and I would book the Yardbirds, which was Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck together. Of course, Jimmy Page wasn't good enough yet to get in the van [LAUGHTER] they were probably doing weird things anyway [LAUGHTER] one of the weirder guys. I booked, The Who's first date in America at the Fifth Dimension. SRC was very influenced by English stuff or the MC5 and stuff were more gritty type things. SRC was more into the English type of thing, The Who. I booked The Who's first date in America there and they had one song called Pictures of Lily [MUSIC] and that was a hit in the Midwest. They had done one live show in New York on TV, Murray The K had a show, they've flown in for that, and that was it. I booked them here and SRC acted like their hosts. This this was about the first time in America and I really didn't know if they were going to make it. I had Roger Daltry putting his arm around me at the Grande Ballroom. In all sincerity, say, ''Peter, do you really think we're going to make it?'' [LAUGHTER] I put my arm back around, and I said, "Roger, you're going to be huge" [LAUGHTER] which of course they were. I remember one time SRC was entertaining them at their band house on Broadway. I went over there and I knocked on the door, and I know they're all in there. What's going on? I go around to a side window, a bedroom with one of the guitar players, and went in through the window, and I opened the door to the living room. They were all ripped on LSD, which was just coming in the LSD craze, it was marijuana and LSD, cocaine hadn't hit yet, and so they're just poised out of their minds. They ended up upstairs as part of their audio equipment, they had what called long-throw horns, and they sit on top of big huge W bottoms would kick out sound, and the high end would be the horns, and a long throw thing, about half the length of this. They were all taking turns playing, "I can see for miles and miles" and loud volume. They were taking turns writing the long-throw horns. It's getting on top of it and being one with the music on [LAUGHTER] I looked out the window, and here's Eugene Staudenmaier who is the Ann Arbor hired a nark from New York or somewhere. I was the voice of reason between the crazies and the straights, the city could talk to me, and I had long hair and all that. I said, "What's are you doing out there, Eugene, you're on private property?" ''I just had a report, I heard something.'' I said "Get off our property" "So sorry Pit". That was the relationship I had with the narks, but you had to be very careful. I played golf with some FBI agent, I don't know, 10 years ago. He was sitting there apologizing to me, going, we really thought we were doing the right thing. They were breaking every law that existed. See two Nixon, the enemies were the radicals too. The radicals were as much the Viet Cong as anyone. Any means were legal and allowable for the FBI to do. Here's a little side story that's so funny. I moved out of my house on Main Street to the SRC Band Complex. We bought this house out on Platt Road or something like that, and it had a swimming pool, a big building for the recording studio and for all of our audio equipment, big old house, it was divided into four apartments plus an efficiency. I moved out there and a woman named Barbara Holiday, it was a really pretty hot DJ at that time, in the radical. Since I moved in with a girlfriend, and they called me like two days later and they said, ''Peter, we had a little mud room in the back of the house, some cab just delivered this aluminum case to our back door, inside the mud room.'' I said, what's the return address. She said, ''San Francisco.'' I said, don't touch that aluminum case, leave it there. If anybody wants to take it, let them take it. Don't talk to them, just let them take it. They called me two days later and they said, still here, I said, okay, I'll be over. I come over, I popped this thing, it's 92 keys of marijuana keys, not pounds, keys, two point something per pound each. It's like, well, it wasn't staggering in those days. I'd have drug dealers offer me 1,000 pounds of pot for free, front it to me, pay me later, which I always turned down as all those people eventually went to country club jails for pot dealers. Well, I didn't turn these 92 keys down. I said, okay, you two take half, I'll take half. What I did, being the good trooper that I was, I put it into the SRC board. They would build their own studio boards, which are pretty complicated, you probably know to build a hell of a board. They would do that, so I put the 10 grand or something, whatever it was, into that, selling cheap in those days compared to now. That was just typical Ann Arbor, I guess they had some trouble. The FBI was following them and they knew that it wasn't ours. They weren't really after the van, the van put it and buried it in the next door property. The FBI are watching in the grass, at night [LAUGHTER] it was really pretty sick. Just a little sidebar of the day, 92 keys.
  • [00:29:07] ANDREW MACLAREN: You're talking about booking at the Fifth Dimension?
  • [00:29:09] PETER ANDREWS: I forgot before. I shouldn't go back. Remind me of booking at the Fifth Dimension because there's some other really fun stuff there. Come on, booking at the Fifth Dimension. I booked The who there. Booked the Yard there, booked Procol Harum there, Whiter Shade of Pale was huge. They were guests at my house, I put them up in my house. I think one was on a honeymoon or something. Their first trip to America and they were having a ball and we're really great guys. They played the Fifth dimension as a fundraiser for SRC, I seem to remember. They were just really good guys, and we had a little private party for them, 10 joints on each table thing for hospitality in those days. We were driving to Detroit for their first date was Meadow Brook, and they didn't have 696. You were driving on 984 and the whole band started screaming, ''Stop the van, stop the van.'' He had Dodge vans in those days, all the bands had Dodge vans. I pulled over, man, and they all jump out and start taking pictures of the tire.
  • [00:30:19] AMY CANTU: [LAUGHTER].
  • [00:30:22] PETER ANDREWS: They go...Wow, wow!
  • [00:30:26] PETER ANDREWS: Come back here, let's go. This is Detroit, we do things like that. Car capital of the world, [LAUGHTER] big tires. Can't believe that man, that's the most amazing tire. They're going on and on. Little fun things like that, I remember. Well, I said, did I book in there? Hello Jimi Hendrix, I booked in there. The same month, Monterrey Pop took place in the end of the month. He's just out there still struggling. Did two shows, sold out two shows, and I sat about this far away from the stage and watch the guy. I think we split a six-pack at the Odyssey bar next door and the equivalent of the six-pack in between shows. Everybody always says to me, well, what did he say? What did Jimi Hendrix say? I said, I don't know what he said. [LAUGHTER] I remember I had the impression he was a good guy. That's all I remember. I don't remember the specifics, what he talked about in the '60s. Let's see who else we book in there. Almost that gives you the idea, though. He had a lot of local bands and stuff at the time.
  • [00:31:29] AMY CANTU: At what point did you start working for the University of Michigan doing their booking?
  • [00:31:33] PETER ANDREWS: Well, I was managing SRC, and they were doing quite well. In the university, I guess they had some agitation from students about how about some concerts, and they didn't do any, they still don't, after the time I was there. It's really a tragedy. They don't even serve their students even to this day. You get classical music from the UMS, one blues show and a couple of jazz shows, and nothing. You aren't going to see Lady Gaga at Crisler, let me put it that way. [NOISE] A vice president of the University, a woman, I don't remember her name, asked me to come in and advise the University about what they might do. Of course, at that time, there’s a feeling among administrators at Hill Auditorium Power Center that's too nice for this stop. She was talking about it used. They are not used to practice skating place on whatever it was, hill or something like that, across one of the band practices now. Maybe that would be a good place at Hill Auditorium. It's strong with Hill Auditorium, it's beautiful, and Power Center in Crisler Arena. It wasn't an interview. She was just giving her advice, and she ended up calling me up and saying, would you like the job, I said sure, I'd like that job, get me had it. I'd already produced a number of concerts, all of which take I don't know takes a while to discuss. I produced stuff like the Saugatuck Pop Festival, Saugatuck Michigan, on the 4th July. I don't know where I came up with that one, but I did. We had about 15,000 people a day, what we didn't expect, and this was over in Saugatuck and we had the crazy world of Arthur Brown, Alice Cooper's first big show in Michigan, Mc five, Iggy SRC, Rotary Connection, Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters, acts like that. It was a good bill. We drove 15,000 people a day for two days and it was right in front of these big sand dunes. Well, the one thing I didn't know that would happen is three motorcycle gangs showed up. As they proceeded to get drunk, they proceeded to take the festival over by force. My security crew quit and left the site. [LAUGHTER] There's 15,000 people, no security, and the bikers had control of the backstage. But there was one good thing, the bikers didn't want the show to stop. They wanted to music man. [LAUGHTER] I remember this one guy and so they weren't really bothering me, I couldn't kick them out of the backstage. You were just roaming around and they were better by gangs than the other ones. I remember at one point this one guy was following me around. I don't know what he's doing. I'm being the promoter doing I got to do pull the show off, which is now crazy. It turned out it was the gay lover of one of the leaders of the motorcycle gang. My ass needed to be kicked because I was messing with his guy, don't you know? The next thing I know I'm in a big pile. This guys trying to kick my ass and all these other people are trying to kick me, but they're kicking the guy on top of me, the main biker guy. One black fellow working on my security that was still there, and Greg Napier, and he reached I could see his black hand coming into the pile. I knew it it was Greg's. I scrabbed onto it, he just yanked me out of that pile. I was running as I came out and I was an old high hurdler in high school too high hurdle the snow fence. I just high hurdle it and I hit in the middle of the audience. While the show went on, it was still going on. For the second day, I hired the baddest ass motorcycle gang to protect me from the other two and they became my security. Did a great job on their bikes and no one would you doing the fence lines and nobody would. Who's going to break in? The bikers just want to kick our ass. We actually made a good profit on the event. At one point, this will tell you how surreal it all was. I really was not in control. A couple of stories, Alice Cooper, remind me of the sand dune situation. But meantime, Alice Cooper is on. Well, I'll tell the sand dune thing that happened before Alice Cooper anyway. This one guy owned the property in the sand dunes. I guess he didn't like the fact some audience members were halfway up the sand dune or whatever. He shows up in his little buggy up in the top and he's got a gun. There's 15,000 people looking at this guy with a gun. He wanted to show us how bad he was. One biker screams up fuck you and he starts climbing the sand dunes towards this guy. He has no gun. The guy standing there with a gun at the top of the hill. I'm going, this is totally ridiculous. I have no control over this at all. Some guy may be murdered at one of my concerts. This is really sweet. The guy just keeps and everybody's watching. This is the drama of the day. Is he going to die or is the guy going to back down? Well, he gets near the top and the guy gets in his buggy and drives away because he really didn't want to kill him, I guess. Good. Go on with the show. Alice Cooper comes on towards the end. Their manager, Shep Gordon, was good manager, he was a real scrambler. I knew Alice Cooper, they had no draw, really at that time. Although they did have a hit on a semi hit in Michigan, on Frank Zappa's label, whatever that was called. They were getting some airplay in Michigan and their manager called me up, Shep Gordon, and being a manager myself, he gave me such a good pitch. It was a tremendous pitch in the band. I told him, so I said, I'm impressed. That was very good, and knew they were getting their place. I gave him a shot in an afternoon slot. Then a manager calls me back and explains to me in depth why they have to be in the evening because of the nature of the show, blatantly going for a much better spot on the hill. I let him do it, It was magnificent in his presentation. I let him get away with it because of their lights, and all the craziness of the show. Anyway, by the time they went on thunder, no rain, just thunder. Great. These guys are already jerked out of their minds, these bike guys, and very drunk because it's towards the end of the show. They did their boxing ring show. Alice Cooper, I you're too young to have seen it bother you. They'd have this boxing ring set up and they'd be playing and they'd be bashing each other like, and it really incited these bikers. It just and so I said to the manager, I said, these bikers really are going to kick their ass, so we maybe need to trick them. I want Alice to say there'll be one more tune. We're coming back for a couple more tunes. That was it. We're going to come back for a couple more tunes and I had their station wagon backed up with the rear door open. I said, don't want you to guys to get in that thing and dive in it, get out of here, which is what they did. Still with bikers chasing it [LAUGHTER] and trying to catch the station wagon, but they escaped the line and Shep ended up, of course, in a very good spot. The band stayed in Michigan quite a bit and we're buddies of SRC, and Alice would drink a Budweisers all the time. We'd talk about hope you're going to make it. They would stay in different hotels on Woodward or something in Detroit. They didn't have any money, so they'd skate out on the bill and go to another motel. These were rough days in some ways they were rough days when the whole thing was starting and then Shep would go back to each hotel and say, I'm the lawyer representing this motel and we're all getting together to get this band. Of course he's the manager of the group. They'd all put their trust in Shep and then they go from motel to motel. They never did pay one of the bills, but I wasn't doing that for my band, but crazy things were happening. Of course, I just got a little message. Somebody Alice said, hello. Some guy came to town. He told the guy, make sure you look up Peter Andrews and tell him hello. Vincent Furrier. Alice's real name, he's an East Detroiter. He was always a pretty good friend. Good guy.
  • [00:40:39] PETER ANDREWS: I got out of that one, barely also did a show called the Detroit Pop Festival at Olympia Stadium and had 20 different all Michigan bands and we'd only sold 3,000 tickets in advance, and I was freaked. Really freaked. Well, we ended up selling 12,000 at the door, like three bucks a piece. Sold the place out. We'd have two stages, three PA columns, one in the middle of two over here, and we'd slide the middle one over to this stage and this stage so two sound systems, basically so music would go all the time and I'm waiting for Ted Nugent to go on his bands on stage. I'm going, where the hell's Ted, you know where's Ted? All of a sudden out of the ceiling of Olympia comes screaming, Ted on the rob [LAUGHTER] and he's measured the distance and I'm just going on fuck. [LAUGHTER] I said, Ted, what are you doing? You didn't tell me about that. He said I couldn't tell you because you wouldn't let me. Well, no shit on [LAUGHTER] so he went on and did his bit but it was a fun day. All the bands were at their best for 15,000 kids and I remember there'd also be the St. Jude's benefits for St. Jude's Hospital rock and roll show at Cobo every year. The SRC was of course, always asked to be on the bill and we set up this one thing, we had our hardcore fans a little different, the MC5 fans, but hardcore fans, so I guess I did it. I arranged for a mini Bryant when the piano player on stage rocked the stage. That was the cue for all of our fans, who are strategically located down the front alley in the middle to start rushing the stage. Well, that caused other kids to start rushing the stage, so it looked like this group is really popular if they're rushing the stage for him [LAUGHTER] they were great. A couple of our fans got a little bashed out, but they're very proud of their wounds in battle for the band makeup. Anyway, I'm forgetting some I produced anyway.
  • [00:43:03] AMY CANTU: Wow, those are great. Well, can we take you to the John Sinclair Rally? We'd like to hear all about that. But how long were you working at the university prior to that?
  • [00:43:14] PETER ANDREWS: At the University of Michigan, I was booking about 20 shows a year this is leading up to the John Sinclair Freedom Rally. I would have like, here's one, when is this date? 1973. Well, I was doing it before then from 69 or so. I don't remember the exact years. It was called UAC Day Star UAC was University Activity Center, Day Star was my company. I was contracted I wasn't a university employee, I was contracted to do it and then put my own staff together. Suzanne Young being the primary person of importance, she was absolutely brilliant, had been the secretary for me at SRC, and together we'd run all that, so when I went to the university, I took her with me. She was fantastic. They wanted to make her a vice president of the university, but she turned it down. I think she had some family money. Went to Montana where they tried to make her run for senator. But a very dynamic and smart woman. Now we would do things like Carlos Santana and Mahavishnu. Stephen Stills. God, I didn't even remember I did that one. Stephen Stills, BB King, Judy Collins, Roberta Flack, Commander Cody, Allman Brothers, Rod Stewart in the faces. John Lee Hooker with Muddy Waters, Jefferson Airplane, Alice Coltrane, Bette Midler, Dr. John James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Holland Wolf, Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage. I forgot I did them. Leon Thomas, Pink Floyd at Hill Auditorium. [LAUGHTER] My idea of homecoming, I think I've got this right, was quicksilver messenger service Friday night. Pink Floyd at Hill Auditorium this is all a hill auditorium. Pink Floyd on Saturday night and that was their first tour with surround sound. In the first and second balconies at Hill Auditorium, they had speakers so they could do this whole thing and it was quite phenomenal to see Pink Floyd in that atmosphere. One of the members of the band left with an Ann Arbor woman that he married after the show. Talk about successful groupie there. [LAUGHTER] I would have Quicksilver and messenger service, and Pink Floyd and then Parliament Funkadelic for Sunday. That was my idea of a cool homecoming. Before I arrived, they would have the Righteous Brothers, this would be homecoming show. Righteous Brothers and Peter Nero. Peter Nero would be for the parents. I suspect this would be for the students serving the students at homecoming. I actually went to that shows pretty good. [LAUGHTER] If you weren't stuck on Peter Nero, I never seen him before and let's see who else I put. I said Bette Midler that was there as stories to all these concerts. Ravi Shankar I forgot I did that. Mountain, Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard Great show, Cheech and Chong crawling around on the hill, auditorium stage, snipping each other's butts, [LAUGHTER] it was beautiful. Just beautiful with the Persuasions opening, who were a tremendous cappella group favorite of mine. I booked them a few times. She had The Persuasions, and then Cheech and Chong. That was funny in hell, I gave my poster to my son, I shouldn't have given it away. Luther Allison, Delaney and Bonnie, Gordon Lightfoot, Billy Preston Quicksilver, whatever it is, Buddy Guy. Kris Kristofersen, David Bromberg, I forgot I did him. Bonnie. Well, now we're getting into Bonnie Raitt was the Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, Tim Buckley Junior, Wells of Persuasions, and John Denver. I thought I wasn't much of a folk guy, although I did Judy Collins and stuff, but serving the students, every once in a while I booked a folk act and I really didn't, I wasn't a big John Denver fan at all, when it came out on time please give me a break. But I booked him anyway to please the students, it wasn't the quickest sellout I ever had. [LAUGHTER] I called up Gary Grimshaw when I did a show [NOISE] one of the most enjoyable things to me was seeing what my poster was going to be for that show and I called up Gary Grimshaw. I'd call up Gary once I booked the show, even before I called Suzanne Young, my assistant, and I called him on this John Denver and I said, and I'm sending you a picture and stuff, make something of it, give me like a one color poster cheap. Well, shit then it sells out just like that, I couldn't believe it. I did things like the Almon Brothers with Dr. John and Rockets at Chrysler Arena. Santana, I think I mentioned that. John Sinclair Freedom Rally. Everybody wants to talk about the John Sinclair Freedom Rally.
  • [00:48:17] ANDREW MACLAREN: [OVERLAPPING].Did you just know those guys because they were around, they were in the music scene with the MC5?
  • [00:48:23] PETER ANDREWS: You mean those people's part of the White Panthers? SRC and MC5 were real big, and I hadn't met John Sinclair. I think I just called them up out of the blue and said, let's talk. I went over to their house on Hill Street and Sinclair and I started talking up, talking like 2.5, 3 hours and like the whole this commune thing, and we're just starting, we're talking with each other. Pretty soon like the room was filled, I guess it's the commune bit here, and they're all listening intently to their great leader, John Sinclair and myself. We're talking about all this shit and I found out I really liked the guy and he was brilliant musically. Just brilliant, I was already booking blues and jazz, obviously. This guy knew everybody, not everybody personally, but knew the music guy that would be underneath his covers as a teenager listening to the RnB stations out of wherever, that weren't around here. We just met to clear the air because SRC being the goody goody band and a dirty rotten MC5, although they would jam together, they were friends personally. A lot of musicians on the local scene were all pretty friendly with each other. They weren't really competing, just somebody trying to make it in those days.
  • [00:49:49] PETER ANDREWS: Anyway, we just start talking and talking and talking, and I don't know that I was cooperating, doing that much with him or he with me at the time but we would later with the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. Then of course, you know as I was talking about it too, Nixon could pretty much do what he wanted and if they wanted to get rid of Sinclair, which they decided they did. From my perspective, growing up a Republican family in the '50s, I'm certainly anything but a Republican now. But growing up in that atmosphere, it's like I had a pretty good background for not really wanting to break the law much and even though I couldn't stand the Nixon administration or the Vietnam War in that. It's just ugly. Still it's like I wasn't going to go over and be in the bomb crater picture holding a gun. If you want to be the White Panther Party, well they're already murdering the Black Panthers, straight out killing them under some guise of legality. I said it's not really a great idea to be the White Panthers. But I was still sympathetic to what they're doing, very anti-war myself. I just wasn't going to approach it their way. But yeah, I have a number of good friends. Gary Grimshaw was there. Frank Bach was a pretty good guy. Audrey Simon and I. Audrey was pretty. She's passed away a year or so ago here, but she was a very neat woman. We dated as a hot little affair for a month or so but we made friends all of our lives. There are some very good people over there. I really didn't like the threesome idea that she came up with, informing me of we're all going to have sex now together. Ann Arbor was pretty wild at that time. What was the White Panther Party's platform? I think one of them was fucking in the streets or something like that. I think they actually list that as one of the things. Of course, the rumor spread across America that we were fucking in the streets. I don't know if I can say this on your tape, you can edit it, but it was actually a blow job. It wasn't fucking in the streets. [LAUGHTER] Time I won't give last names but they called him the Mayor of Whitmore Lake was his nickname in the mirror. Kathy, I won't give her last name. It was Kathy and Tom on South You. There was not really fucking in the streets, it was a blow job. [LAUGHTER] To clarify that for history, if that's straight for history, to dig deeper, you could get the last names, but who cares anyway. [NOISE] That wasn't the image I really wanted to be part of or battle for. I was just doing the cultural thing. I jumped back to the University of Michigan. The first show, they hired me and gave me a contract and paid me, but they gave me no money to do concerts. You can do it, but you don't earn your money. Well, I was used to that shit in those days. There was no FM radio in the late '60s. Well, it came about just afterwards, but there was no FM radio and I've heard from a friend of mine on CKLW 50,000 watts AM station, which was the big thing when we grew up. That's what we'd listen to mostly. Friend said this icon Tina Turner song, The "Rolling on the River" just started hitting in some places in the country and they told me they're going on this tomorrow. Big time, huge rotation, they called it in those days. I called up the booking agent for icon Tina Turner, and I pretended I was a dumb student. I said, "Hi, I'm Peter Andrews at University of Michigan, and let me look at my notes." Were you interested in that group icon, Tina? He said I let him finish the sentence. "You mean Turner?" That's the one. Ike and Tina Turner. [LAUGHTER] What do they cost? They're very expensive, young man. They're $10,000. He went Ooooh. I said, "Well, I need to talk to my administrator. I'll call you back in 15 minutes." I just hung up the phone and waited 15 minutes and called him back. I said, okay. He says, We'll take the group for $10,000. Now the guy knows he's got me. Big-time money. No negotiations. He's nailed me with the top price. I said, "Oh, one thing here. Let me read this. We want an option for a second show." He said, sure, I had them. Sure. He says, no problem because he got me second show, big deal. Tell him to do a second show. I came time for the show, Rolling on the River. That's not the real title. I think I was number 2 in the country, number 2 in Detroit and it was just huge rotation. They were smashing that sucker and I sold out two shows where I continued to turn at 350 a ticket and made $10,000 profit for Project Community, the radical black organization on campus. It was the only ones I could get to back the show.
  • [00:55:00] AMY CANTU: Wow.
  • [00:55:00] PETER ANDREWS: Take a chance. After that, I came to work the next Monday. I think that was on a Friday. SRC, of course, opened the show. [LAUGHTER] I came in to work and there are like 10,15 student organizations lined up at my door at 9:00AM in the morning. We went in on this. The university would never give me money. I said, give me some money. I'll lower the prices of tickets even more and you know I'm only charging 354 bucks, five bucks for Duke Ellington or something. They never ever did give me any money. But I made a lot of money for many student organizations and it was quite something. I think the year after I left, it was voted number 1 college program in the nation. Then the reason I lost the job was because of the John Sinclair freedom rally. It took place and then I finished out my contract, and the administrators stacked the board with one more administrator than students. I won all the students votes and lost the administrators' votes. I lost by one vote. The administrators got rid of me because I don't care. You don't get that guy out of jail involved in that. Even though it was a setup, still there are a lot of people who thought he should be in jail anyway. Let him in jail. It's radical.
  • [00:56:21] AMY CANTU: Can you tell us about the negotiations for that particular concert?
  • [00:56:25] PETER ANDREWS: Which one?
  • [00:56:26] AMY CANTU: The John Sinclair Rally.
  • [00:56:27] PETER ANDREWS: Well, most of the negotiations were with me trying to get me to do it, which I wouldn't do. John had been in jail two years or something like that and they decided they needed something big, as John would say, something big. [LAUGHTER] They planned this rally at Chrysler Arena and they booked Archie Shepp, Great Jasmine, and a few other people, and all these radical speakers of the day, Jerry Rubin, you can find the list anywhere. I got articles here. It was going to be a bomb. I looked at it and said, this is a bomb. It's just going to show how little people really care about John Sinclair cause nobody gives a shit. Somebody goes to jail, forget him. If people forget him, in this country, people are so concerned with their own thoughts and desires, they're a little selfish. They were bugging me like crazy to produce this show for him and I just didn't want anything to do with it. It's not that I wasn't sympathetic, it's just this is a loser. I went to Toronto to get away from Leni and the gang, Leni Sinclair and the rest of them. I went to Toronto for my girlfriend Tina Justina. I came back and Leni calls me up or she came to visit one or the other. She was German. "Peter, Peter. John and Yoko want to play on our event." I said, "Yeah. Right." Who's the headliner? Jesus Christ. That's what I told her. [LAUGHTER] I said, so who's the headliner? Jesus Christ. We got Lennon. [LAUGHTER] Must have Jesus Christ. She says, "No, no, no. It's really true Jerry Rubin talked to him. So we have to fly to New York and talk to the Landons." Oh God. I said, look. I said if this isn't real I said, we're through. No more benefits at the Grande or the East town. For me, we're done. We flew to New York and it was like, God, I'm going to make a fool of myself. This can't be true. We had a number from Jerry Rubin and gave us. Nobody to meet us at the airport, no limos, the number one musician in the world. We took a bus or something to Central Station and I remember putting a dime in the phone. Not a quarter, a dime. I called this number and Lennon answers and says, "Oh yeah, man. We've been waiting for you. Come on over, here's the address." I hung up the phone. I looked at Leni and I said, we're hot. [LAUGHTER] We went over there and had him sign a contract. I had a contract made of 500 bucks for John Lennon to appear. He crossed it out, put to be donated to John Sinclair Freedom friend. They were very pleasant, really nice. It was very nice. They had a little apartment on the Lower East Side. No bigger than mine now you know. We hadn't signed the contracts and all, at one point he says, John Lennon says, I wrote this song for John Sinclair and I don't know if it's really appropriate or what. Can I play it for you or get your opinion? I'm like, sure. No problem, John. [LAUGHTER] We go in his back bedroom and he had that steel guitar he played, and he's playing free John Sinclair in the air for breathing air. Maybe you know the song, I don't know. Well, if you're doing this, you do anyway. He sang and I assured him it was completely appropriate that Sinclair was going to love it. No problems with the song, John. Thanks.
  • [01:00:16] PETER ANDREWS: Asking my opinion. [LAUGHTER] We get all done and we leave the place. I used to get $500 for this, by the way. Beatles conventions, just to talk about my time with John Lennon. Yes, very big. I would sell copies of the contract for $25.10 copies. [LAUGHTER] I wasn't that blown away by it all. Although Lennon's were pretty cool. They certainly can't arrest me for anything, but I had a friend who was a drug dealer that owned a Bentley. Charlie, no last name. Charlie, I think that was it. I borrowed him in and you want to meet John Lennon. All you got to do is drive your car, Schuman. I had to beat and drove in to pick up the linens at Metro Airport. Where you get your baggage, you can't park there. Well, I had John Lennon booked but the hell I can do anything I'm thinking. I called the cop over. I'm going like this, looking called this big cop over, he's going to show you even though you got a Bentley, doesn't mean shit, kind of stop. I said, John, this Rose Rice, belongs to John and Yoko Lennon. I said and it's going to pick them up. They're going to walk through that door in about 10 minutes, and I can't really park this somewhere. Can I park it right here? Can you get watch it? I'm going to have John Lennon come out and shake your hand. Right here, sir. [LAUGHTER] Breaking every law. [LAUGHTER] I walked in and we got picked up John and Yoko and came out and I told Lennon, I said, hey man. I'd already met him, of course. He was Mike, we didn't know each other. I said, shake this guy's hand. Give him a lifetime thrill here to hear us. He went out and made a big deal of it. It was beautiful. We got in, Lennon wants to go to Detroit and get a Brooks Brothers leather coat or some brand. I think it was Brooks Brothers, Detroit leather coat, man. How cool? I said, no, John, we're going this way to Ann Arbor, not to Detroit. We're on a schedule. He really followed instructions like a trooper because I was doing mounding a show here on a schedule, and we couldn't be going and ticking around in Detroit. We said okay. I took him to the campus and I had him booked in the presidential suite, but I thought that'd be funny because it was all about anti-Nixon. He's up there jamming with all these people and I couldn't really stick around because I had stuff to do pertaining to the show. Let's see. What do you want to talk about, the show itself?
  • [01:03:06] AMY CANTU: Three-dollar tickets.
  • [01:03:08] PETER ANDREWS: Boy, that pissed me off. John St. Clair still calls it the biggest mistake he ever made in his life. Well, I didn't really, we only had seven or eight days. This is to put this on from the time I talked to the Lennon till the time the show took place. That's a lot to do. Well, I've read words, David Sinclair or Denny Hayes, his lawyer, that delivered the information to him at Jackson Prison, the next day or something after it was going to be reality. I forgot one thing. When I walked out of the Lenin, I looked at Lennon and I said, no one is going to believe us, just because I got a signed sheet of paper. Now I'm in the real world, I'm looking up, I'm going say ain't going to fly. I went back and knocked on the door, and I said, you guys, no one's going to believe this. They started laughing. I said, you got a cassette recorder. I said, yeah. I wrote out a little script for him. I said hi, this is John Yoga. We're going to be joining you out there in an Upper Michigan on this date. I went, boy, we got it now. [LAUGHTER] We had the tape. I don't think it was Davidson Clair. I think it was Denny Hayes, John's lawyer. Still my lawyer. [NOISE] He went up and told John Sinclair that John Lennon is going to appear at your benefit and Sinclair kicked him out. He said, really, man, I just don't need to hear this shit that John Lennon is going to play at my concert. Just get out of here. [LAUGHTER] Kick the lawyer out of it. Just I still need that to hear that crap. He also referred to the Jesus Christ picked that up like I had. Jesus Christ is going to play too. He went back, got the tape, went back to Jackson Prison, said, cool. Sinclair knew what was really going to happen. See he wouldn't have believed it either without the tape. [LAUGHTER] We're just jamming and jamming. I've got a couple of people I trusted and put this staff together real quickly. Plus I had my regular staff and I beefed it up a little bit and we're working away. A phone rings and my assistant says, it's Stevie Wonder. Well, at that point I got John Lennon. I produced lots of acts. I wasn't wowed or owed. He says, Stevie Wonder. He says, "I'm not in favor of smoking marijuana and stuff, but I know that what they did to Sinclair and I want to be in the show." Now when you got Lennon, you get anybody. Stevie Wonder was as big as it gets at that time. Motown, Detroit, this and that. I didn't need any draw. The money, Sinclair decides it's three dollars for the people. [LAUGHTER] I got one of those for the peoples, and I really didn't have a lot of time to argue. It was three dollars, but I really wanted to charge 20. I said to Sinclair, I could have delivered a check to you for $150,000 cash, but no, it was for the people. He says, I was really stupid. [LAUGHTER] Which he was really stupid. We had a chance, I didn't make a thing. They're undercover agents all over the building. I later saw red squad reports. The State of Michigan had the illegal red squads. I remember getting my red squad file. I filed for it and I had to go to Jackson to pick it up. I guess this was my revolutionary fervor. I smoked a joint in the car, in the parking lot, at the police station, while I read the 25 pages they had on me. It just struck you. [LAUGHTER] In that report, they concluded that I was just in it for the money, the concert, which was great. Cool. They're not after me. I'm just in it for anybody's in it for the money. He's a good American boy. I skated their scrutiny, although I did amass a pretty good red squad list from hanging out with Sinclair. What else do you want to know about the concert? You want the whole bit on the concert.
  • [01:07:27] ANDREW MACLAREN: Can you talk about some of the other people that you booked for the concert? How they came about?
  • [01:07:30] PETER ANDREWS: Well, a lot of it was booked, but so I was doomed with a super long event. As a promoter, I won everything. I recently talked to a former employee of mine and I said, was I a good employer, she summed it all up. She said you hated stupidity. Boy, that's a good answer. I did. I just wanted everything right. I was a perfectionist in that. I didn't care about having my picture taken with John Lennon. It didn't really enter my mind, I was just doing the show thing. I threw some little zingers into the show. Stevie Wonder, I told Stevie, hey, you can perform in the show, I'll pay your expense, band expenses from New York He said, nope, I'm paying all that. He said cool. I said, look, I don't need to draw. Let's make you a surprise act. It was one of the most enjoyable things I ever did. Making him a surprise act. I said, don't tell anybody. I'm not telling anybody, only the people in the room knew it. I kept a secret. Nobody knew he was on the bill. Lennon's didn't know he was on the show. Came time for Stevie to go on and I went back and I said, you're going to recognize the next performers, a surprise act, Stevie Wonders here. He said, Stevie Wonder, Lennon goes crazy. Stevie Wonder, say Stevie Wonder, I got to see him. I said, John, it sounds right. Beatle Time said, you can't go out there now. Come on, it's just be a mess. He goes, I sold every set in Crisler,15,000 seats, Not just to the front, it's over the back. We had speakers at the back. I had one for one of the first times a projection screen at a concert. Olympia had one for the Red Wings and I got it. Little did I know the tractor-trailer driver had never driven a tractor-trailer before in his life, but he made it. [LAUGHTER] I remember seeing it tilt like this in the forklift going up the projector. A quarter of a million-dollar projector. I'm going on a minute, we're going to dump it. It just barely didn't dump. It was a lot of close things doing everything last minute. It was very scary. Anyway, Lennon was so serious about having to see him, he said, Peter, you have to understand Stevie Wonder is my Beatles. I go shit, put it that way. I got 10 people in a security guys and we went through the tunnel just at the back of the stage. I didn't let him go out in front. Lennon and I were in the center of the circle and I'm looking around. After about three songs, he's having a ball singing Stevie Wonder. This is one of the highlights of his life. Never seen Stevie Wonder perform. You think of the Beatles and Motown. Because all the English groups took American music experience and fed it back to Americans when it became popular. Their own music like blues. Rolling Stones are great blues band. They happen to be the greatest rock and roll band, but they're a tremendous blues band. You listen to what they did, they got their name. The club owner called up, Keith and Mick were practicing and club owner calls up with their first date ever. They don't even have a name. He says, okay, I'm going to book the club. What's the name of the band? Keith Richards looks down and they were just practicing a Muddy Waters tune. Who was their favorite blues artist? Mine too. Sinclair's too. It was like a Rolling Stone. He said we're the Rolling Stones. That's where they came up with their name from Muddy Waters. Stevie does his great show. They ended up meeting later. If you remind me, I'll remember and it was a long show. It didn't go until like three or four in the morning. I couldn't really help it. Joy of Cooking, I had to cancel. They showed up a little late. I wanted more women on the event. I was always, let's get some women on the event thing. I had to cancel, no chance I can reschedule. It was just too damn tight, won't happen, but Seger and Tea Garden and Van Winkle were just too great together. Commander Cody ripped it up as usual because they were selling out Hill Auditorium by that time 4,000 seats, once a year for me.
  • [01:12:08] PETER ANDREWS: Oh, and little tricks. Well, promoter tricks, like I said is Sinclair. Let's get a phone call, live phone call, that'll emotionally get this audience because you got John Lennon, and you're a promoter, you think, what else can I do?
  • [01:12:24] AMY CANTU: [LAUGHTER].
  • [01:12:26] PETER ANDREWS: Screw 'em, it's for John Sinclair, we're trying to pop him from jail, what can I do? I thought a secret phone call. I had this phone number backstage that I gave to John, and that was wired into the sound system which went live over the radio to hundreds or thousands of people. John was freaked out, afraid to make the phone call because they caught him, so everybody was listening when Jackson's in prison, you could hear it on the radio.
  • [01:12:52] AMY CANTU: [LAUGHTER]
  • [01:12:52] PETER ANDREWS: Jackson, all the prisoners were listening. Inmates and hopefully not the guards. John calls this number and we didn't know when he was going to call. I stopped one speaker, I think it was Father Groppi, I don't know, I stopped one speaker and says, ''This is a live phone call from Jackson prison.'' Then and I had his wife and kid up at the sound, just yeah that'll work, get the kid in here.
  • [01:13:17] AMY CANTU: [LAUGHTER].
  • [01:13:17] PETER ANDREWS: Get some crying. Because you want to get the guy out of jail, so it'd work perfectly. Just, I mean, people were bawling, cheers were running down the aisle, I mean, I'm standing on perfect [LAUGHTER] [NOISE] . The Sinclair's going, it's got to work. I'm going to get out. How can they deny all these people here together the strength the whole political phone call. Come on, get it going. Dave Marsh, I knew it was huge when Dave Marsh who was a writer, I don't know if you know him still around, I'm sure. He was a young little White Panther in his teens. He came to me and he was just crying like crazy, he said, ''This isn't fair, you've gone too far.'' He said, ''This really isn't fair.'' He's crying like loudly, ''Dave, do you really think it'll work that well?'' That's what I told him. He says, ''Oh.'' Goes off crying, hit that one right on the head. When you're a promoter and you've got that to work with you want to really fuck with him, really knock him out.
  • [01:14:29] AMY CANTU: Yeah.
  • [01:14:30] PETER ANDREWS: Get the guy out of jail. Well, after that, and I'm sure there are many other things I could remember about it. But after that, Supreme Court met in a special session and sure Sinclair's lawyers have been working for a long time to take, all I could do is really attack the marijuana laws because obviously had him guilty. This Sinclair story where they set him up with the fake head shop, and the husband and wife who weren't really husband and wife, and they tried to buy pot from him, well, he didn't sell pot. He smoked a lot of pots, so he threw two joints at him one day and says, ''Just stop talking to me.'' Well, that's the two joints for possession 10 years in jail. Insane. I think as I've said, MTV and George Magazine listed the John Sinclair Freedom Rally as one of the 50 great concerts of the century, so I was interviewed by MTV about it.
  • [01:15:31] AMY CANTU: What about the film, Ten for Two?
  • [01:15:38] PETER ANDREWS: The film is a sore point for me, we spent a quarter of a million. The Lennon spent quite a bit of money shooting a film and Steve Gebhardt was their like filmmaker just followed around those little things they did for the radical movement with that white baby Grand Steinway was their private filmmaker, and he put the staff, the crew together, Manupelli, the name of very accomplished guy, George Manupelli locally, and shot a movie which the Lennons have never allowed to come out. We had a contract with them, same lawyer, Denny Hayes, had a contract regarding the use of the film, and that we were going to agree on what charities the monies we're going to go to, blah, blah, blah. Well, they brought the contract to me to finish contract purposely during the event when I was very busy. I stopped and I realized I got to take care of this, I read the first page, it was exactly the same as our contract, flipped it up, signed it, they've taken away all the rights on the second page. The Lennon's representatives or Apple or whatever did this on purpose to screw us out of all our rights. Even though all the conditions were changed on the second page, I whipped it up and signed it, and later found out they fucked us, they screwed us. I don't think John and Yoko really knew anything about it at the time although later Yoko would use that as a reason that she was in control and that the film has never come out. It's really a shame, I'd be glad to show it to you of course I have a copy. But it's a good film, could use a few titles so people would know who Allen Ginsburg was and Phil Ochs but it's a great film, it's very entertaining, I think. Can't come out, I made a try two years ago talking to her lawyer. I kept saying, ''Have you seen the movie yourself? Have you watched it?'' I could never get an answer out of him. One time, so I know he never even saw the movie and I'm trying to convince him of the historical benefit. ''What do you want out of it?'' He just kept trying to get out of me, you must want money. I said, ''Sure, you can give us money if you want.'' ''Oh, I see, you see.'' It's like that. I wrote a very kind letter, kinder than she deserved to Yoko, and he really didn't go anywhere. Finally sorta told him to F off and not quite like that. But I just couldn't do it, couldn't get it going, still can't. There it sits a wonderful movie. Gross a few million dollars for some benefits somebody. Might be nice for me since I hardly made any money out of all this stuff. Anyway, and I ended up getting fired at the university for putting this on. It just wasn't acceptable, it was too much for the administration to handle, so I lost my number one college job in the country over it.
  • [01:19:01] AMY CANTU: Didn't I read somewhere where the Grateful Dead Concert at Hill Auditorium, you were worried about setting the Hill on fire or something?
  • [01:19:08] PETER ANDREWS: Oh, did you read that?
  • [01:19:09] AMY CANTU: [LAUGHTER].
  • [01:19:10] PETER ANDREWS: We had to draw attention to burning the place down. I was never a Grateful Dead fan, although when I managed SRC, sometimes SRC would end up in the same bill, Chicago Aragon Ballroom, and of course, the Grateful Dead would say, ''Don't touch these.'' Now, because the LSD, ''Don't touch these.'' Well, of course they were lying, I wanted everybody on LSD. Here and I wasn't taking any of that shit, I was pretty mild participant in the drug war. I mean, mild meant I only took 50 hits of acid, that's very mild. Then I said, enough of this crap, I don't like this out of control, I wanted to be in control. I wasn't really a drug for me, I was smoking a lot of pot, that was fun. But the rest of that, where's that going with the LSD thing? I don't know.
  • [01:19:59] AMY CANTU: Grateful Dead.
  • [01:20:00] PETER ANDREWS: Yeah. I thought, well, Grateful Dead are a natural for part of our concert series, even though I'm not that big a fan of theirs it's an obvious booking. I booked him turned out a week after the John Sinclair Freedom Rally. I had them booked at Hill Auditorium, so a couple shows or two days, I don't remember. I'll have to check on that, they're not banned to do two shows in the night, so maybe it was two nights in a row. But I think I had 8,000 posters printed up, one of the best Graham Shows ever. Was so good, Grateful Dead bought the rights to it, supposedly, I got to check on that I think I might put it out anyway. John Sinclair, of course, was out of jail now, and so Sinclair got your third-row seats, you're the guest of the evening, the band's going to say something. Sinclair wasn't the biggest fan of the Grateful Dead either. I mean, it's a lot of San Francisco music was not Detroit music. They get on the show and they're thinking recognizing John Sinclair and look down, he's sleeping. Wake him up.
  • [01:21:11] AMY CANTU: [LAUGHTER].
  • [01:21:12] PETER ANDREWS: Wake his ass up, logging out in the third row, Great. To get his ass woken up, looks silly. You're the honored guests, you don't go to sleep, so where are we at the festivals?
  • [01:21:30] ANDREW MACLAREN: You were approached about reviving.
  • [01:21:33] PETER ANDREWS: [OVERLAPPING] I got all this stuff too if you don't want to washboard Willie in the New York Times. Front page baby. He played at the Schwab and Inn. He'd always go, yes. Play down the Schwab and Inn in certain nights, which was then turned into now it's a furniture store. I had it is a Primo show bar. You'll never hear about that one. Our logo is, Grimshaw did the poster. It was this guy walking across the desert smoking this fat joint and his head was popping off. You see the entrance and his brain itself and the smoke is coming out. He's walking across the desert and he has a little caption and he goes, this DIS displaces smoking. [LAUGHTER] Actually got away with that as our logo. I had Luther Allison and Albert King and all these. I didn't know it was Albert King. I had a little club at a place called The Alley Toon, and the Primo lasted for only a year, even though the Primo was successful. The previous owners, when you took over a liquor license in those days, you had to pay all the previous corporations' bills to get that liquor license. Well, they hit about 80 grand in debts on us. After a successful year at the Primo Showbar in South Ashley across from Hertler Downtown Home & Gardens, it was a jumping club for one year, until we found out about those debts and they screwed us, so we had to close up shop. But a lot of fun times were had there. I remember discovering some of my female friends in the ladies' bathroom smoking a joint, and I walked in there and I said, no, we can't be having this, we'll lose our liquor license. We cannot be smoking pot in the club. When you finish that joint, just don't do it anymore, okay? Give me a toke there. Good. Now be good girls. [LAUGHTER] Tough security. But tell us are the days it was funny. I was across the street smoking a joint with a couple guys and this cop car came right around the corner and stopped, and he caught us. In those days, sometimes cops would only go one per car. He was by himself. Then I just happened to had what they call a lid, which was close to an ounce, 12 bucks in those days. In my pocket, and I'm going hmm. I'm going to search every buddy. I said, well, you go first. Buddy goes first, and I just go, this is easy. I just took my lid out, put it on the window swivel, Downtown Home & Garden, which was Hertler Brothers, and I said, I'm next search me. Cool, come here. Good. [LAUGHTER] I said this was pretty easy encounter and I was a law-abiding guy, I really was. At least that was just funny now. He give away of that stuff. Where are we? Blues & Jazz Festival? [NOISE] Well, John's out of jail now, and what you're well aware on the '69 and '70 blues festivals, and I guess this is what is the '70 or '69. I don't know. One of them. Anyway, here's like a talent list and I'm sure you're aware of it, and they done that show. I didn't attend. I was at Goose Lake with SRC, which was the nastiest produced event I've ever seen. It was a mess. Just a secure total, this thing where you get there, perform and get the hell out of there. They'd hired the Rainbow people to do their security and stuff thinking they were getting not me personally, but the effort that was done on the Blues & Jazz Festival, so they thought they were getting the people anyway. What a mess. In the '70, that was in 1970, everybody was in LSD in that one, I'm telling you. That was in 1970. The Blues Festival lost 30 grand. Well, I know that story. I was asked to put it together again, and I put together a budget which I found somewhere it's at home and it was too much, and I added Jazz to it, and it was too much for the university to handle. I was jerked up on the idea and had been booking Blues & Jazz and stuff, so I was pretty into it. When the university turned it down, I took it outside the university and talked to Sinclair about it, and he was into it too. He liked the whole idea, and I would be the director, and he would be the creative director, knowing what he knew. We started planning things. We had no money, nothing. I suppose it doesn't matter anyway. I don't remember the kid's name out of Lansing pot dealer, front of this 20 grand and we turned it into a quarter of a million. You didn't have ticket trying where you had to wait till after the show to get your ticket money, so we're out every day collecting the money from the outlets and $5 ticket for a whole day, and we wrote it into a quarter of a million and pretty much for all purposes broke even. I think it was 5,000 or 3,000 dollars loss the first year, the same in profits the second year, but we were figuring out how to do it and we weren't losing money really.
  • [01:27:03] AMY CANTU: You were president of the Rainbow Multimedia?
  • [01:27:06] PETER ANDREWS: Rainbow Multimedia was not Rainbow People's Party, it was not the White Panthers it was a nonprofit organization, but not run by the Rainbow people. I let the name, I didn't care what corporate name it was. We were producing events under different names, and yeah, I was president of that, and it was for musical efforts, and Sinclair did it with me. So that was the corporate name that we operated under. Sinclair was really good because it's like I remember coming to him and saying, again, we don't have enough women on the show. How about Bonnie Raitt, who was very young at the time, and he knew more about her not really liking her that much than I did liking her, he's just that knowledgeable about music. He says, well and here was a cool thing. It's like this is a good example. I wanted Bonnie Raitt to be in the show. He said, well, all right, but I'll tell you what, Sippie Wallace, who was a great blues shouter from the '30s lives in Detroit, she's retired, Sinclair says, and that was the big influence on Bonnie Raitt, I said really. He said yeah. If she can get Bonnie Raitt to come out of retire or she can get Sippie Wallace to come out of retirement and do two or three tunes with her onstage, I'll go for Bonnie Raitt. Not that I couldn't have persevered and book anybody I wanted, but Sinclair got and I got along and I respected him a lot. I said, so I called up Bonnie's manager, what's his name? Sure enough we got Sippie Wallace come out of retirement, come up and perform. I've got it. It was on the 1972 Atlantic Records double LP. Sippie singing her signature tune, Women Be Wise, Keep Your Mouth Shut. Don't talk about your man, because the other girls are going to steal him from you, was the idea. They sang that together. I think it's Bonnie and Sippie. But Bonnie's and Bonnie's career was revived. She came out of retirement, made up to 1,000 dollars a night. I booked her a few times myself, so that made me feel real good that worked out and Bonnie Raitt since has been a tremendous fan of the festival. She appeared again when we brought the festival back in '92. She was on the first night Women of the Blues, Bonnie Raitt and she had, goddamn it I'm forgetting the woman's name out in New Orleans. Piano player. It's trouble with all these things, you can't remember every damn name. Anyway, second woman on the ball. Katie Webster, good one, [LAUGHTER] and Thornetta Davis out of Detroit. I went in and I had to send CDs or whatever it was, albums, I think it was CDs, ma'am. To Bonnie Raitt to have her approve Thornetta Davis. Then Bonnie who didn't have to go on for a couple of hours, shows up for Thornetta's set. Thornetta's still to this day, loves telling the story, said, ''Peter. I looked over and my God, there's Bonnie Raitt to see my show. I couldn't remember my words. I couldn't even remember what song I was on.'' She'll go into this and embellish it. Bonnie really liked her. After Thornetta said, Bonnie came into her dressing room and said you're coming on for the encore, here's your part, learn it. She's studying her part, and Katie Webster and Thornetta came out for a big deal, was very nice, and Bonnie Raitt's terrific. I went to off the subject, I went to a show at Pine Knob with my wife Jill. Not married Knob, but with my wife Jill, and right away she had two parts of the show, and the first part she mentioned the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. Well, that's really nice. Then she mentions it again during the first part of the show. I was here, I said if she mentioned this one more time, we're going back and say hello. Well, second part of the show, does it again. She mentioned the Ann Arbor Blue and Jazz Festival. She said, come on, we're going to go say hello. She says we can't go say hello. We don't have any backstage passes. Get me the manager to her manager, female came out, she knew about the Blues & Jazz Festival too, the manager. She'll know my name. I just want to say hello. Because she mentioned the damn thing three times. She said, I got us right in, a little room, greeting room there, about four other people, I didn't hype. It's no big deal to me, but it was fun for my wife, so that's why I did it for her. Anyway, Bonnie and I'm sitting on my brother's lap at the mixing board and my brother was doing the sound. My older brother, he passed away, but he used to talk about that a lot. [LAUGHTER] Cheap thrills in the music business. Anyway, we ride this 20,000 bucks. I don't know how we did it, programs, we had childcare things, drug tents, all these services, the idea was really, let's do this right, because again, I'd already done festivals and bigger things with more people and so I had an idea what you had to do with it.
  • [01:32:22] PETER ANDREWS: It's just so much. It's such a large subject, I'm trying to condense it here. But here's a little things that would happen. It's like in the second year I got with National Public Radio in Atlanta could put out a LLP. One of the best blues CDs or albums you'll ever hear. Michael Christo, I think I've got his name wrong, was the producer, a very famous music producer over the years and it was top quality stuff. It's still one of my favorite blues tunes CDs to listen to. I guess Rhino Records has the rights now. The original masters were burned up in a warehouse fire in New Jersey in the '90s or something. But Rhino was going to put it out again, but they haven't for some reason. We got screwed on it, which most performers do. We only got five grand out of the whole thing for all that time. We were screwed. But at that time, you almost expected to get screwed by your record label and hardly make any money off the records, you'd make it off of live performances.
  • [01:33:32] AMY CANTU: Can you talk a little bit about the staging and where it was located? A little bit of that, how that all came together?
  • [01:33:39] PETER ANDREWS: [OVERLAPPING] It was at the site next to Herron High. We just named it Otis Spann Memorial Field, and that's our logo. The guy smiling is Otis Spann, he was Muddy Waters's pianist for 16 years. Great pianist. But it was on that field at least in '72 and '73. The only problem with that field is it was a chemical dump site for the university, which of course they thought appropriate for these long-haired hippies but to hell. They would tell us to be very careful of digging holes to put the fence in because they didn't know what was down there, seriously, I still don't. Now it's a parking lot in a dirty field, but not much grass would grow on it. It was very dusty. You can see that from a couple of reviews from writers and Rolling Stone and stuff. So it wasn't the ideals and we indeed we broke three or $450 beats, going into the ground, because we had to put a fence in, take a fence down for the field. So it was just a field with nothing there that had anything to do with the music business and we built the stage, I ended up actually inventing a stage, patenting it, because all the staging was getting much, much bigger in the whole industry at this time. I had four-foot stages at Cobo Hall. No, it is six, you needed seven. I was set into production. In '72 or was it '73? I tried to do a roof over the 3,000 people, a high tension cloth roof, which Tom Mann was helping me with that was doing it and sues all news production stuff. Never had anything like that. Well, it was manufactured incorrectly so when we had the telephone poles we were hooking it to, so when it was brought to tension, it ripped right down the mill. Now I have no roof over the stage. Fortunately, it didn't rain. The whole weekend it didn't rain. It was about 2:00 on Sunday I was riding out with John Lee Hooker and a big rainbow. This was rainbow people's party and rainbow and this and that. This huge rainbow shoots up on the site. Just beautiful right over the stage. We didn't know if it was going to rain and then all day cleared up and it was absolutely beautiful like a miracle for the music. Well, you know about everybody, all the artists on there, right?
  • [01:36:13] AMY CANTU: Yeah. You can name any recollections of Miles Davis and Ray Charles.
  • [01:36:21] PETER ANDREWS: Well, I'll just blast off some here. Miles Davis. The only thing Miles Davis said to me the whole time after pissing me off, because he wanted to go on earlier then headlined the show he insisted on going on earlier. I was just pissed off at him. I wasn't impressed by stars if there were jerks, it pissed me off. It wasn't like, oh, it's Miles Davis. Only thing he asked me is, where's the blow? Hey, man, where's the blow? That was the only sentence he said to me. I said, you're on your own there, Miles. But I'm going to arrange drums for Miles Davis. Remind me to talk about Ray Charles too, there's a nice story there. Count Bassie, Sun Ra Ensemble, Chicago Pharoah Sanders, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, he was cool. James Brown, Eddie James. Eddie James wasn't on the early one, excuse me, Dr. John, I didn't write this one. Junior Walker in the All Stars was fantastic even though not strictly jazz and blues but man he was in a white tuck on the stage, laying on the stage upside down, as blowing his sax Road Runner, which is a recording I played it on the way down. I just love that recording. Ray Charles, of course, BB King, of course. Muddy Waters, of course, Howlin' Wolf, of course. What's her name that wrote Hound Dog again? Big Mama Thornton. All the best. Freddie King, Otis Rush, Lightining Hopkins. The idea was real authentic blues and jazz. Remember this, it's always blues and jazz not jazz and blues. More blues with jazz. The primary focus a little bit is more blues and jazz and that was the idea of jazz, even though Sinclair was a jazz. We would have to go at that time it's like Ornette Coleman was very paranoid about people recording him illegally. Even when we did a live radio broadcast at 96 stations in 35 states or something the whole weekend, he wouldn't allow himself to be broadcast because people would record it off the radio. Sinclair and I had to go to New York and visit with him, me a young kid pretty much to convince him that it's okay, we're not going to rip you off. Sometimes you had to be like that or you'd have to visit with Mingus' wife who was his manager, Kathy somebody, a very smart woman just to make sure this was going to be cool because it's Charles Mingus. I think he canceled the first year. We had to put him on the next year's event, but all the great stars of the day that we're still living. We wanted and got him.
  • [01:39:30] PETER ANDREWS: You to talk about so many things. Psychedelic Rangers are fun.
  • [01:39:35] AMY CANTU: What about the security situation?
  • [01:39:37] PETER ANDREWS: Security was fine, other than two problems. First of all, one year I think it was 1973 in Ann Arbor. I heard this guy Bill, and again I'm not going to do his last name, to had to organize my security. I gave him $10,000 front money. Then another $10,000 he was getting later. This was to pay everybody and take care of any physical needs that we needed to buy. Well, it turned out he was a cocaine dealer, that I didn't know it. He blew the whole first 10,000 on a bad coke deal and proceeded to blow the next 10,000 trying to fix up the first 10,000. He told these people that I didn't have the money to pay them. For years, I didn't know. I would walk down the street sometimes and get this cold look from some people. It was like a unique look. Finally I got one of them to tell me what had happened and that this cold cocaine thing, I was so naive, I didn't know what had happened. They all just thought the festival couldn't pay him the money because we were paying everybody wasn't volunteer. That was one nasty thing that happened. He has since died in the motorcycle accident. Person that did it, so I don't have to talk about him. We had a group of radicals from New York called Yuppies. Not the Yuppies but the Yuppies, I believe. I don't know. They show up at our office and they want to make the event free for the people. Even Sinclair is going out of here in mind, who's going to pay the bills. We finally placated them a little bit by telling them if we've sold all the tickets we're going to sell and we're not selling anymore and there's still room on the site, we'll let you in. That seemed to placate them, but as the event actually took place, Genie Plamondon, very smart, accomplished woman. Genie comes to me and she's handling this internal and external security. She's handling internally says Peter, we have a problem I can't handle, I'm going to say Yuppies, they're about to cause a riot outside the fences. I don't really I said, okay. Give me a megaphone to get me a megaphone. All the doors were closed except for one because we're through selling tickets, you know nobody's coming. There's only one gate open. I said line up all the security people we have behind the closed doors. When I say to open them, open them. She said, okay. I went out with my mega. To me this was fun. At that point I promoted a lot of shows and these fucking punks, I think they're going to screw this festival up. I said, okay. Well, I got on the microphone, I said, all right. We understand that there are a few of you trying to riot, maybe break down some fences and crash the event. I said, we know exactly who you are, you individuals and what we're going to do. I said, open the gates. They opened the gates and they're ready to kick their ass. I wasn't going to kick anybody's ass, but my security people didn't know that I wasn't going to unleash them. They're ready to attack. These yuppie guys says, we know exactly who you are. What we're going to do now is let anybody in that wants to go in. But for you, you that have been causing these problems, we are going to kick your ass, make you bloody, and throw you into the streets. They believed me. I would've believed me at that point. It was a total bullshit. That was fun for me. I already seen him walking up the hillside with guns and stuff about to die. This was a fun little thing for me really. They dissipated like you wouldn't believe it. Now, earlier I'd asked Captain Khan, my liaison with the police department. He was a really cool guy. Captain Khan, great fellow. During the events, they would stay up by my office in a little fenced off area, pretty much drinking beer and having a great time doing nothing. Because there's nothing to do, unless you want to arrest people for smoking pot, which is worthless, you might get killed. The other 10,000 people attacked the cops, you never know. I had asked Captain Kohn, I says, we got this. This was before the event after they'd come to our office. We got these problems with these New York radicals. I said, what do you think I ought to do? Well if it was me, I'd beat him up a little bit, throw him in the back of a truck, take their clothes off them, and dump them by the side of the road, and then just throw their clothes on after him. I said, wait a minute, kidnapping, assault. [LAUGHTER] I'm going through major felony series, says that's just me. [LAUGHTER] Well, needless say, I didn't do that. I wasn't the person. Some would in those days, but no, I wouldn't really do that. We solved it the other way.
  • [01:44:53] AMY CANTU: What happened by 1974?
  • [01:44:59] PETER ANDREWS: Well, what happened is, 73 was just beautiful and we were on our road to knowing how to make money and make it commercial. Sinclair was also handling the media with a woman named Darlene Pond, one of the competents of the Rainbow People's Party. Darlene was doing a great job. Then we go into '94 where James Stevenson is elected mayor. Republicans control Council 64. Some of these quotes are amazing. From Rolling Stone Magazine, News Day, Chicago Express, Village Voice, Boston After Dark are just flaming great reviews. They said it was bringing undesirable people to the city. We were denied a permit, 64, along party lines, with the Democrats saying, they'll be out of office soon and then you can come back. Well, it costs a lot of money just to do these events and we didn't really have a lot of money. I think we made a slight little profit in 73 and then 74 they wouldn't give us a permit. Well, what was it? Sinclair College or something in Windsor. I forgot their name. They had nice amphitheater, and they offered to let us use it for the festival. Again, there was an FM radio at that. Well, there it was just coming on, but it wasn't really dominant. I got Sinclair put up 50,000 in advertising and we took it to Windsor. Everything sounded good. James Brown, I think I had BB King on that show too. Had nice headliners and stuff. But again, I was doing it with John Sinclair, was now free from prison and really pissed the FBI off. They were unhappy, and this was the FBI's chance to get Sinclair again. The FBI took over the border crossing. They wouldn't let anybody across who was going to our festival. Nobody. Turn them all away. Guaranteeing a bomb. All we have was Canadians.
  • [01:47:06] PETER ANDREWS: A, so they wouldn't even let Sinclair across the border. The ACLU called me after the event of ACLU of Windsor and he said, ''We can't believe what happened with the FBI. You guys could just sue them some big time, we'd just be dying to help you do it." I just lost $112,000. I don't feel like taking on the FBI in a legal case for Christ sake. Sinclair didn't do too good at that. I'm not about to do it, so we just had to let it go and they killed us. They killed the event, FBI and the Republicans. Now, I was quite pleased to see the Sun Magazine, the radical magazine of the day, that the White Panthers and then the Rainbow people put the Sun Magazine out. Excuse my language in this one. But they put out a front cover of Sun Magazine with Mayor Stephenson sitting in a chair, basically working his own unit over. It's like this into his mouth. Totally outrageous cover, but I liked it somehow. That was what they did in response to him canceling the festival. That's all we could do. [LAUGHTER] There are interesting things that happened. It's like I told Ray Charles management about the live radio broadcast because he was key. For some reason, this was a few years ago, so things weren't done quite as finutely as I wanted them to be. It turned out I was called to Ray Charles dressing room, and Ray didn't know anything about the broadcast. I don't know anything about this live radio broadcast. What is this? I looked at the manager who was looking away. I realized I'm going to get no help there. He says, ''I want $1,500 more. Artists, especially Black musicians, are always hitting you up for more money. Only one gave me money, and that was AL Green actually. I was paying him 18 grand. He says, ''Just pay me 12. You're doing nice stuff here.'' That was in the '90s. But Ray hit me up for 1,500 more. I really didn't have time to argue with his management because we were going live in less than 10 minutes all across the nation with the headliner. I had 18,000 people on the field, so I didn't really want a problem with Ray. I just got agreed to the blackmail of 1,500 bucks, and on the way to the office to get the cash, I stopped at the recording booth and we had no rights to record Ray Charles but Sinclair wisely had a two-track machine in the back. We had audio and video going on. We had video cameras for the screen that I had on the field so people in the back could see. But we weren't recording people. We're just using it for the performance. I said, ''Record them. Put the back machine on. I'm going to show the manager that this one isn't running, that we're not recording him or videotaping him.'' I said, ''You run it all.'' I went to the audio booth where the recording studio was, and I said, ''I'm going to lock you in here and I want you to tape all the lights shut and record them.'' Went got the money and went and paid them. You go. Somewhere there at the Bentley library, we have the video and audio tape that still sits there. We have tons of stuff at the Bentley library that hasn't been released that we have to get the artists rights to do. I haven't been able to get any record labels interested in doing a little work. They're too lazy, so that still sits there. Let's see what else. James Brown once hit on the 90,74 festival. James Brown hit me up for, he called me to the dressing room and he's making 10 grand, and he needed a little more money. Here we go. He says, ''I want 6,000 more dollars to do the show. I think that's about fair.'' The contracts, everything is on. It doesn't make any difference. White people have been ripping off Blacks so much musically and if they can get a shot at a White boy promoter, they're going to take it. I didn't go for him though. I remember James Brown. I said, ''Well, great. You want 6,000 more.'' I said, ''Why don't we do this? Why don't you just not play and you can give me my 5,000 deposit back because we're really getting killed here. We're going to lose money. Why don't you just not play for the $10,000 and give me my five back?'' The whole band started laughing because they'd heard him do these routines before I was a promoter. This Black guy started laughing, going ain't working this time. [LAUGHTER] He laughed. I said I was just kidding. Show went on. I had my lawyer, a Jewish fellow from New York, terrific entertainment lawyer and man, he'd never seen anything like James Brown. I put him right on stage, standing with me, and I was like, [LAUGHTER] it was wonderful. Beautiful moment. But we lost 112 grand, and so the festival ended until '92. I tried for 17 years, all the time. Every other year I'd make a try at it, and I'd be sent to the Parks Program Advisory Committee. They kept turning me down because they thought, are a bunch of Blacks from Detroit going to come with guns and knives? I swear I was asked that. You imagine that? This is the '80s and stuff, and there was a Halfway House issue. We're going to build a house for the homeless out in Washington and it was a big controversy. One woman said, ''I don't know. We think this is going to affect the city negatively like the Halfway House issue." Because the Blacks were involved. This is all racism. The worst kind, because they don't even know it. I had people apologize once the event was created in '92 with Lee Barry and Eric Cole's help, were local promoters. I would run into all that conversation which was just totally ridiculous. Finally Lee Barry and I got together and there was one Black council person and we took it directly to the council, forgetting the advisory committee or what anybody told us we're supposed to go through. We just went right to the City Council on a Monday night and planned it right, and ended up getting a nine, or nothing. Or 10 or 11 to nothing vote, telling the Parks Department to work with us and do this event, and that's when it really got going again. In '92, it was pretty good. Bonnie Ray made some good headliners. I don't remember them all. Well I do, but I'm just not thinking about them. Yet still I went for a toning down of it. It wasn't exactly the way I would have done it. A little bit smaller headlines, not so much in '92. But afterwards when the crowd was and they were breaking even, so they tried to even book less talent and get a few more people. I stuck with it until '95. The end of '95, I'd had it as president and now we had 20 people in the board of directors that had a committee that was choosing talent. Just all up wrong way to do it. I told him, so I said, ''You were going to run this into the ground.'' It was so personal to me, I really couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand not doing it right. That's what really pissed me off. Just really right. I couldn't stand the compromises. Maybe I didn't like stupidity. I don't know. I just severed myself from it and they amazingly made it to 2005. Of course that's when they called me when they're 65,000 in debt broke, don't know what to do. I spent two years trying to revive it. Got rid of everybody in the board. Got rid of everybody, Joe Tiboni included. Sorry, Joe. Joe and I've gone around a few times over the years and Joe likes to argue. Good heart but he became president and that was about the end of it. The second to last president. They ended up in a downtown street. One-day event with Duke Robillard and Bobby Watson. That'd be it. That'd be the whole show. It's really hard for me to watch. It's still going on and doing so badly. It's been such a huge part of my life. It drives me nuts that it isn't still continuing. Because it should. It should be one of the great events in Ann Arbor. It should be over two weekends, a 10 day festival in the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival inspired the New Orleans Jazz Festival. They were just a little event in a park downtown one weekend a year. Some of our workers, they had worked on the festival. I could come up with the names if I thought harder, but we're down in New Orleans working with them and said, ''Hey, why don't you do this and this. They're doing all this up in Ann Arbor.'' We actually inspired them to go bigger and do what they did which was cool. I've never actually been able to see that festival. After the blues and jazz festival. Let's see. First I was let go at the university, so there are no more concerts. I was doing concerts at Central Michigan IMA facility up in Flint and did some East Coast stuff with Commander Cody. Some concerts at universities. Or Grand Valley State, I did some shows too. But the festival was over. I was no longer doing all the shows at the university thanks to my buddy John Sinclair. As I started talking about, production equipment became much larger because everything was getting bigger, and huge stuff.
  • [01:57:25] PETER ANDREWS: The stages, the sound wings, the crowd barricades, all weren't adequate. Roof structures holding. Now you need to hold 30,000 pounds of lights, they really didn't exist. I've started inventing a stage. First one, I remember the first show I did was George Harrison at Albert Hall. Again, the stages weren't big enough in these auditoriums. Couldn't handle the loads, weren't big enough, weren't tall enough. I invented this stage and it wasn't quite good enough. I was underneath it with a rivet gun, replacing rivets during the show that were popping out while George Harrison was playing to a slow crowd. But eventually I started this company called Aztec Staging. We ended up being production company the year in the US and Canada in '79, but we started in '74, '75. One of the first gigs I got was a Rolling Stones tour. Remember I had to fly to Boston, talked to this production company that had all the responsibilities for doing it all, but they didn't have the equipment. I did crowd barricade and portable staging. The portable stage was 80 by 60, 12 feet in the air. Pretty big stage. Tall as this room, think of that. For Kansas, Royal Stadium and total stadium tour with a $500 per minute late fee. Two tractor trailers to haul it. That was my second stage. It was too beefy, too big, too heavy. Did the tour, but then I revise and came up with an insert system. Every other 48 unit was just a deck which would sit on the lips of the four legged ones on the sides. Now you only had half the units to put up half the time, much stronger the decks for honeycomb and rather than plywood, so much lighter. Really great stage patented. Now I turned into the Number 1 stage in the world. Stage 1, I think it's called. I went bankrupt eventually with that business. They picked up my patent. That's how things happen in the world sometimes. We were doing roof structures too. We invented a roof that could hold 35,000 pounds of light. I could literally set up a concert anywhere. Invented a crowd barricade, that when the audience stood on it, they couldn't push it over because they were standing on their own weight. It was impossible to push over. It was like an L kind of thing and stuff like that. I had up to 11 tractor and trailers on the road doing electric light organs. They did this big spaceship tour. We built their little spaceship for them. They'd go up and down. Pink Floyd was my favorite client of all. They were the most creative group. We did a custom stage for them with like 20 different holes in it. Things were coming up during the stage and we had Kiss for many years. We had to put steel chips in their stage because they were usually so loaded. They'd fall on their ass and slip in the regular stage cover. We had to put some steel things in there. They were big boots. They wouldn't fall on their butts. Did that for quite a few years until the recession hit in the end of the '70s. It wasn't until Michael Jackson started touring again that he brought back the big shows, because we would make our money on the big shows in the summertime. Led Zeppelin, we did see a lot of Seekers. All the biggest acts of the day, stuff. A lot of stories there. Fleetwood Mac was, no, I can't tell them. Fleetwood Mac was pretty high, you might say. I would actually have an entertainment director as part of the production company. I would go out and entertain these groups, get their accounts. I remember Danny was his name. Dan West, not his real name, other pot fellow. Of course, this was the Midwest distribution point for marijuana. Tractor trailers were coming in here all the time filled and even my business, Aztec Staging. I had a friend come over to my house one time. She said, I have to talk to you. Well, go ahead. She says no, we can't talk in here. I'm in my house. She says, we have to go out back. I said, okay, now we're in a cornfield behind my house. She said, how's this? I said okay. Ned and Fred who were the barons of pot. Ned and Fred sure. Nice guys. I didn't hang out with him because I knew. Of course all my backers in Aztec Staging were pot dealers. There were no RICO laws. You could take money that you knew was illegally gained and as long as you didn't do anything illegal with it, you weren't guilty. I was the cleanest guy on the scene. I wouldn't do anything illegal. Nothing. Even though all my corporate backers put up over 50G's each, I wouldn't do anything illegal. I wouldn't wash their money, I wouldn't give them fake jobs. This was their legal effort. Of course, they got the greatest treatment backstage any person could ever imagine across America and they had a hell of a good time. I don't want to say, what hell of a good time. But I remember we had a house in Malibu where we'd entertain people. I'd be in Ann Arbor working and they'd be out there having a good time entertaining our clients and Fleetwood Mac said to Dan one day, Dan, where you guys party? If we didn't know that Peter was back in Ann Arbor taking care of business, there is no way you'd get our account [LAUGHTER]. Have another, whatever they're having [LAUGHTER]. You can imagine we won't go into those details. But that was an amazing time.
  • [02:03:34] AMY CANTU: In the '80s?
  • [02:03:35] PETER ANDREWS: Not so much the '80s. Nothing happened in the '80s for me. At that point I was now married, two kids, no opportunities. I should have obviously moved to LA or New York. I had all the connections in the world. I'm doing shows in South America, Bogota, Colombia for the largest pot dealer in Colombia. Victor Bonnila and all stuff like that is going on. It was pretty wild. He offered me two million cash to start a business. I said, what business are you thinking of? He says, I don't care, go start a business. I wouldn't know Victor. I can't take it. Turned down two million cash. Probably still had some buds mixed in with it [LAUGHTER]. I know. I think back, I go, man, should you have taken that? No, I probably all those guys did time. Shoes Brothers when they went down. I forgot the other thing. Shue Brothers who made the down took 53 people with them, but the woman that took me out to the cornfield, she informed me that a couple of my tractor-trailers had been used to haul loads from Maine, which I would freak out over. Well, the co-opted a couple mile. Big Bob and Woody. Big Bob could get a load all the way across America without hitting one way station, believe me. They actually brought two complete tractor trailers full of marijuana into my warehouse, unloaded them without me knowing about it, because they knew I would just never, ever. They couldn't pay me off because then I'd know and refused to do anything illegal with them. That's what pissed me out. My own tractor trailers with a company I owned 51% of logo on the side of the truck calling marijuana. That was just those days. It's not like it wrecked my day to find it out. I couldn't go to Ned and Fred and say, give me. She said, well, they owe you a quarter of $1 million. Well, when am I going to go collect it? Then I go to jail with him, because when my name was brought up, that's the straightest guy on the scene. He didn't do anything. That's what I wanted. I remember one time I had a stage at the Rolling Stone stage and the end of the season up in Montreal doing a show and I'd hired a truck driver and I didn't know he came, recommended. He stole my stage and took it to Ohio and called me up trying to get more money out of me. Cross state lines and ship. Now I call the cops. Of course, I'm not going to pay him his money because actually that stage was now obsolete. It was the Rolling Stone stage and it was time to build the next model which got rid of all the problems I had. That's the stage they stole, which was insured. I think I got 20,000 insurance from stealing it. He did me a great favor. [LAUGHTER] because I had no use for that stage anymore. You had it gave me the money to build my new prototypes and all my things and get the next model going, which was my real success. But I remember the FBI coming in and they had handcuffed tie class and shit like that. They were deep FBI, big guys. I had recorded this guy. Not that it would stand up in court, but I know FBI is going to come and see me a long-haired guy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They're going to think I'm guilty. I had recorded the fellow when he called me up asking for money. I said, you mean you're really serious? You are asking me for how much, 3G's? Yeah, man, I knew I had the recording. When the cops came in, first of all, it was so funny because I thought three of my board members were there. Never seen guys scattered. Hello, this is the FBI. It ain't just work. [LAUGHTER] Taken off. What's the FBI doing here? But I called him and they came in and I just played the recording for him and prove to him, see what's going on. I wasn't suspect of stealing my own stuff for the insurance which they would have thought. You just had to be a little careful. That's what I did during the rest of the '70s.
  • [02:07:55] PETER ANDREWS: I didn't get into sales. I didn't transition. I hired my best friend, David Sinclair, to handle sales, and my dad lived upstairs for me. I put him in the apartment, gave him 100 a week to advise me. He came down and he says, David's a wonderful guy, but he should be teaching poetry at Dartmouth. I said was my best friend. I did, but I didn't pick up on the sales quick enough to save the company. Or I'd be selling stages today, I guess, and living in San Francisco, or who knows. Sinclair and I once we're very close to having a production deal. I think it was '90, '73 or something with RCA Records. We had three or four groups we had recordings on. The idea is we would deliver finished albums not using their studios. We had Detroit featuring Mitch Ryder. We were called The Rockets. We had Rational member Scott Morgan, Terry Trabant plus Savage Graces, Al Jack K. in a band called Guardian Angel which was a great band. We had black group out of Detroit called Deliverance, so we were going to have four or five accent into management and recording and putting out albums, which was pretty easy for us. Then Clive Davis was fired or something at Columbia or somewhere and shook up the music industry. We had a 72-page contract, all negotiated, all done. Spent 10 G's on the lawyer, and they froze all deals. Our deal went away. It froze all deals. Or I'd probably be managing excellent stuff today. That's what I should have done. I should have gone to LA or New York where I had all those connections. I've been an agent or a manager, something like that. I make a lot of money.
  • [02:09:55] ANDREW MACLAREN: Could you just talk briefly about David Sinclair? Everyone we talk to says, you want to talk to the guy who was the brains behind the rainbow, people's party and everything?
  • [02:10:04] PETER ANDREWS: I don't know that he was the brains. He was brainier. Very smart fellow. Sweet guy. He was given credit as co-producing the John Sinclair Freedom Rally. No, that was just for their sake. Make themselves feel good and make it because they're always interested in media response and this and that, so I let him do that. But all he did was cost me money to pay for 45. David was a very good guy. But at the John Sinclair Freedom Route, the only thing that I remember is it pissed me off because I had to pay for 15,000 singles by the group called the Up Free John No. Free John now. Terrible band. It was the latest band, they were trying to push the MC five and the Up. I had to pay for all the singles scattered all over the parking lot. All these singles, nobody wanted them, he's going to use the event to promote their next big group. But David and I were very good friends but he's a sensitive guy. He wasn't let's go out and shoot people or be radical. He just was and I think got pulled into it because of his brother. But yeah, he was my best friends. We hung out a lot. I liked him. Smart. He wasn't really a down to the grindstone business person, you might say. Although they try to portray him a little well. It wasn't a brain say outfit since John was brains outfit, but David had a lot to do with it as a functioning member and they did a lot of great things in the community, but we weren't that hot as business people really. Like I said, I wouldn't let him, I let him do food once, [LAUGHTER] that's it. I couldn't believe it just screwed that up so badly. I was friends and stuff. I would do benefits for John when he was in jail and stuff like at the East Town, in the grandy Ballroom. But it wasn't like I plugged into their organization to do it and use them to do it. No, didn't. I don't need those hippies, they're high. [LAUGHTER] Not that I I used to smoke five joints in a day and it would energize me and just get on the phone, smile and dial, and I was a talker, I basically was an organizer and a talker. I had my dad in charge of the crew. He was probably 70 then, close to my age now. He was in charge of the set up crew. I know in 72 he was, and he'd get out there with Pun and all these guys. He says, look, I want to hear about this politics shit. We got a job to do here and I screw that and they would all, my dad was a leader type, and this is what we're doing. Pun. He'd order them around and they'd do exactly what he said. He was in charge of getting the fence up, the stage, all that stuff jumped right there. Here's a guy, [NOISE] he used to drive strictly Cadillacs and huge house on the here on the river right across from Gallup Park, up on the hill in the township and he had everything. Beautiful wife, the kids, you name it, and they broke him and he really handled it well. I put him above my office in a little apartment there, and I would have him come down every day at the end of the day, and he'd tell me what he thought was going on. I should have listened more to him, actually. I had a great relationship with my dad this fantastic. You see now everything has gotten bigger and it just keeps getting bigger. Bonnie Raitt, in the summertime for an outdoor show, she'll try to get 150,000 Bonnie Raitt.
  • [02:14:04] AMY CANTU: It's a different...
  • [02:14:07] PETER ANDREWS: Headliners are very expensive. You see one thing that's really starting to wreck the business are tons of casinos. They don't care what they spend on an act. They'll overspend just to get the people there. They don't care what they spend on the act. That's minor compared to the other gross. They are inflating the cost of acts terribly. Anyway, that's a little thing that's going on. Not to mention the music industry. Congress allowed monopoly. In 1993, Congress allowed multiple ownership of radio stations, and Clear Channel stepped in and bought about 70% of them. Some other people come along now too, but only two or three of them. It's all, it's monopolies. They allowed monopoly. Now that they own the radio stations, they thought, let's buy out all the promoters. We can play it on the radio and promote it in the auditoriums. Now we'll control both. They did that and they controlled one hell of a lot of the business. It's sick, they buy whole tours. Then they might work with a local promoter where they don't have a grip hold in that market, but they control the tour. Little that was starting, I remember during a Bob Dylan show, a Bill Graham I knew Bill. SRC played at the Fillmore. I met him, cool guy.
  • [02:15:35] PETER ANDREWS: He pretty much had the whole tour, and then he would work with local places. The University of Michigan was always a cool place. Dylan's coming in next month, I think. Ann Arbor is always a cool place to play. On that particular show, I looked out in the audience and I like things that go well. There's a guy that's not dressed correctly, he's wearing this coat. He doesn't need a coat. he's holding his hands. He is recording the event. I mean, it was obvious that his arms didn't move him. He had the mics [LAUGHTER] separated like that. I said to Bill Graham and said, look, look at this guy here. He's recording the event. Bill was, "Yeah." I said, I'm going to have my security throw this guy out. He says, "No, we'll do it" I said what? "I said we'll do it. I'll get on one side of the stage, You get on the other, I'll give you the signal and we'll rush him." Okay, Bill. That's what makes you happy. He wanted to get in on that. He and I threw the guy out. Sure enough he was recording. That was the same show. I looked down and there's Timothy Leary sitting behind backstage, just behind the crowd barricade, sitting on the floor of his legs crossed watching Bob Dylan show. I said, Timothy, what are you doing? I didn't let him backstage, I don't even know how he got there. I was pretty tight on backstage as people. We had a nice little plus in conversation. He's just there watching the show. Somebody let him in, probably gave him a hit of acid, let me in the backstage. That stuff was just common then. Things like that happening. You never knew what was going to go on, but it was fun. Too much fun. Community parks program was very interesting too, if you ever looked into that. We had 13, 14 concerts for summer for free every Sunday in the park.
  • [02:17:41] AMY CANTU: West Park?
  • [02:17:42] PETER ANDREWS: No, not West Park. There were a few concerts there, but bad place for concerts with all the old folks sitting right on the hill hearing every no. But no, it was at [NOISE], where were we? Gallup Park eventually, for the better ones. It was someplace else first in Gallup Park for its heydays and whenever it was 69 or 68-ish. But we would have 3, 4 acts. I think I was doing it 69-72 or 3. There'd be a meeting at my house every Tuesday night where I would first spend the first 15-20 minutes beating Joe Tibone into the ground so that we could have a meeting. Just getting over all his weekly arguments or complaints. It was just a pain in the ass. I still liked him. Then we could have our meeting. I would get the Musicians Union to put up some money and some other people. We do bucket drives. Our motto is don't say fuck it, put it in the bucket, which would be all the rich people on the hillside across from where I grew up. I knew all these people and I went and placated them all. Cool it. I know MC 5 are going to say, kick out the jams from others. I was, I know they're going to do that but just close the windows. Well, all right, Peter, I have to put up with this. [LAUGHTER] I placated all the people for the festivals and for the park programs to cool it, not be complaining to the city. We get 3,000 people every Sunday. Now there was one Sunday. We got a new city administrator or an assistant city administrator come in and really question the value of these programs. I did two things. I took Skip Taub who was a member of the White Panther party and one of the rabble rousing could really give a great part of the people's speech. I mean, right on brother Skip. I took Skippy, as we called him, with me to meet the new administrator who was balking and going along with this program. I said I don't know how things are going to go. If I do, I said don't say anything, Skip, say nothing, just sit there. But if I tap you under the table with my foot, I want one of those jump up part of the people's speeches scare this guy a little bit. He said, "Okay." Just going to have our business meeting. It's not quite going the way I wanted to, so I kick stippy. He's like this, he stands up and his chair blows back against the wall. I mean, blows right against the wall. When he stood up like this just blew it right against the wall and just lit into this guy. Of course, I'm being the voice of reason, standing between the two. Come down, Skip. I'm holding him back. This administrators going welcome to Ann Arbor. I just couldn't believe we were doing that. I'm the voice of reason always. I calmed him down. I got Skip to sit down. Sit down, Skip. Okay. I got everything I wanted from that guy. [LAUGHTER] Everything in the program needed we got and that's how you sometimes had to deal with the city, just a little theater. It was a riot. Another time when they were questioning the value of it, we never let Detroit stations announce this. The FM stations had become real big now, WABX. They were really, again, I don't know if anybody's interested in these. I booked. It was a Bob Seger, SRC, and Ted Nugent all on the same Sunday. That was like overload. I let the Detroit stations announce it. Well, we had 15,000 people show up, where we normally have three. We had cars backed up all the way to Geddes Road and onto the highway backed up. We were clogging the highways up. All they said to me, everything you want but just, Andrews, do not let the Detroit stations announce this. I said, no problem. We were a bit over the top there. I mean, 15,000 people. Gallup Park. I had some plane taking pictures of it too, and it was a mess. Just wall-to-wall people. You have to deal with the city a little bit, of course. I was the voice of reason, the guy they could deal with. I can't go and deal with Sinclair and the MC5. [LAUGHTER] It's like the city council's walking in there.
  • [02:22:12] AMY CANTU: That was great.
  • [02:22:12] PETER ANDREWS: I was the one they could deal with.
  • [02:22:14] AMY CANTU: Peter, most of your photographs and things that you've mentioned, are they at all at the Bentley or do you have quite a bit of your own?
  • [02:22:21] PETER ANDREWS: Well, I got to go do another run at the Bentley. I took a bunch of it. You can have it copied, and I had a bunch copied years ago and I thought I was going to do this book and didn't do it. I have to go out there now and do a whole going through, because the largest collection they have is the John Sinclair Collection. Recordings, everything, video. They're going to transfer the videos so you can't show them and transfer it. They're so brittle. You just have to transfer it. You bought that obviously? Plus all these recordings and there's just everything. There's a lot of my stuff from when I was running Rainbow Multimedia, which the bookwork ended up with John Sinclair's Collection. There's some of my business things that are there too. It's very interesting. Hell of a collection. But I'll go out there and get all the stuff. I actually, this afternoon I finally cleared everything. My eBay stuff, it's pretty much going to be done by Wednesday to just do this outline. I'm supposed to start this afternoon. I had Humble Pie. [LAUGHTER] Yes I did. Moody Blues. I did have the Moody Blues. I don't even remember some of this. I didn't remember Judy Collins. I was up at Michael Erlewine's place. I'm in his study or something, there's a poster, Roberta Flack poster on the wall. I said it's a grim show, I could obviously say, I said, man, nice poster. What did Suzanne Young do that after I left? My assistant took over my job, I told her to distance herself from me that I was going to get fired, and she did. He said, no, you did that show. Said I did Roberta Flack, really. Nice poster [LAUGHTER] . I continued Turner was amazing. Jefferson Airplane, that was fun. They all wanted to party. We're in Ann Arbor. San Francisco had a couple of other cool places, but Ann Arbor, come on. He did the show. We took him over to the Rainbow People's house afterwards. A couple of guys, the bass player, drummer, he's up sucking the nitrous tank in the living room. Some other guy. Grace is downstairs breaking out her pack, finally she got the good coke. She's breaking out her pack. Nice party. it's a lot of fun. But that's where they would go to the Rainbow, we're in Ann Arbor. It had a pretty cool reputation in Ann Arbor. I got rid of that Mayor Stevenson. Read some of these reviews.
  • [02:25:05] AMY CANTU: They're great.
  • [02:25:06] PETER ANDREWS: It is true. Now there are a couple of writers would take the attitude here, they're pushing the Rainbow culture on us and they really did a lousy job of it because this culture is what are they talking about. They had to trying to come up with something new, cool, an angle. they would attack the cultural presentation of the Rainbow people, assuming they were doing everything, just a concert. We're making political statements. It wasn't a place to have the political boots and talk to them. I didn't do any of that. Let the Rainbow people do that. I wasn't really there to do that. I was sympathetic with everything. But no, I wanted a huge national event. I wanted to create a huge national event in Ann Arbor. As a matter of fact, before the last one took place in 74, I'd always thought you could put this on the road. Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival at Ferris. I'd started booking dates. Ferris was one of them. Before we lost 112,000, I have to pull the rug on that, but I was going to put it on tour, barnstorm across America and all kind of stuff. Two days, do it indoors at these colleges. If the festival was revived, I'd still do that now. Two-day shows indoors, so the weather can't screw it up and produce their posters, form their programs a whole bit and teach them how to go out and get sponsors and sell sponsors, give them sponsorship packages to work with. Once you got them, you keep them. You end up with 100 colleges and universities, 400 shows a year. Not really a hard extension. Once you got it going.
  • [02:26:56] AMY CANTU: Great.
  • [02:26:56] PETER ANDREWS: How clean is that to the administrators? They'd love it. Clean. Nobody's coming to come on and take a turd onstage and cause the biggest scandal in the school's history or something. Although, I did have a guy mooned, one of my audiences, Ray Nance is his name. Trumpeter.
  • [02:27:16] PETER ANDREWS: Very talented trumpeter, a Black fellow who played in the Duke Ellington band. At the Power Center during the show, Ray was a little loaded, a little drunk, you might say, and actually mooned the audience. [LAUGHTER] Duke just [LAUGHTER] kept playing, kept the band going. At that point, Duke Ellington was pretty old and it was a real honor to have him to present him. I think he died about a year later. Gary put on the world's most honored musician. It was pretty cool then. The greatest, it was really nice tasteful poster. I still have the original. What was great was Count Bassie. What a thrill to put on Count Bassie in his later years. He's going 300, 250 dates a year, bus one day to the next day, just barnstorming. He gets here, and we had Rolling Stones. We had all these publications. Sinclair was great with the media. He really knew how to manipulate them to our advantage. We had everybody there. Here's like 10,15 people waiting to interview Count Bassie. He steps out of his bus, what the hell is going on here? I said, here's what we've got Count, it's mostly white crowd, young. We got about 12,000 people out there to hear you, ready to go. You got about 10 magazines including Rolling Stones in Chicago list and ready to interview you along with the New York Times. Let's get this together. He'd jump right in there, man, let's do the interviews. I'd pump him in. He was always cool seeing all those young white kids to hear him. He loved that piano and he had Big Joe Williams with him that year, singing lead. You just got to imagine the whole Count Bassie Orchestra smoking on that Lenin piano with Big Joe Williams.
  • [02:29:18] AMY CANTU: Yeah.
  • [02:29:18] PETER ANDREWS: That's what was fun to me. That's when it all came together because it's all the performance that knocks him out. For me as a promoter, I just wanted everything right to not interfere with those magic, Ray Charles and even Miles that turd [LAUGHTER]. Jerry Rubin, I called him a putts in an interview, I went, oh jeez, I shouldn't have said that, putts. But he was a little putsy. He played being a big shot and all this, and Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. I'm in New York with David Sinclair and we're traveling around and they're in the front seat and I'm in the back. I'm talking about all the stuff we're going to have to do for the concert. He said, you got to be the promoter guy all the time? I said, Jerry, somebody's got to be, because you guys don't know what the fuck you're doing, which is what I told him. I remember Jerry when he actually came to Crisler Arena and he stood on the stage and realized, oh, wow, this is really big. [LAUGHTER] The physical reality of it was just hadn't hit him yet. I'm going to speak to all these people, this many people. I can remember stand there looking at him going, oh, he's a little impressed? He gave his jury Ruben goofy speech but he was really jerked up and just loving it. The other thing that was going to happen from the John Sinclair Freedom Rally is John and Stevie Wonder got together with myself and we're going to do an anti-Nixon tour. [NOISE] 25 cities with Stevie Wonder and John Lennon and a local actor too. Leave some money locally for anti Nixon organizing. Leave money locally. Well, Strom Thurman heard about this and called John Mitchell. John Mitchell who's at your ball. He told the President who called Hoover up, and he told Hoover, he put the thumb on this guy. He's not going to be doing an anti-Nixon touring. They threatened him with a deportation for hashish because of that and the FBI consequently followed him to the last day of his life ridiculously. It's ridiculous. Just terrible history, terrible American history, which put the Republicans in charge. Who knows what they might do or what the law really is. A lot of people got man, were you at Woodstock. They go no. We were in Ann Arbor being cooler than you were because we were watching great blues. The greatest blues. Best blues not jazz, of all time. Which is true. I wouldn't go to Woodstock. I had the time, had the money, because I knew Woodstock was going to be one fucked up mess besides all the other stuff, and the great accident appeared. It was a mess. Ill conceived, badly produced. I just wouldn't. I wouldn't even go near a place like that. I don't know. I wanted things right. It's like I can still remember half the TD's I ran for as a kid. I remember the plays and stuff, and it was from that to producing concerts. I wanted it right, but I wanted the biggest impact it could have too. It would be great fun to do it again and actually do the whole thing just perfect, just little touches. I would always have bleachers on the side of the stage, backstage bleachers, and weren't connected to the stage. That's where sponsors and my guests would go, special people, writers, media. They'd see the show right from me to you backstage. Just often guests just blow their minds. People come up to me now and this one kid, he says, yeah, I was a Psychedelic Ranger. I said, oh, you were. Yeah. I remember standing by the side of the stage smoking a joint and watching BB King. It was the greatest thing in my life. I said, oh yeah as you walked up, I thought I was getting fired for sure. He said, oh, because he was out of position, wasn't doing his job. He says, taking BB King from five feet [LAUGHTER]. He says, no, you came up and you really just wanted to make sure I was having a good time. I'm really cool. Things must have been under control. [LAUGHTER]
  • [02:33:57] AMY CANTU: That's great. Well Peter, jeez, thank you so much for sharing all these great memories.
  • [02:34:01] PETER ANDREWS: Sure. It's always fun to talk about this shit. [MUSIC]
  • [02:34:12] AMY CANTU: AADL Talks To is a production of the Ann Arbor District Library.
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Length: 02:34:21

Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)

Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library


SRC (Musical Group)
The Chosen Few [Musical Group]
University High School
University High School - Athletics
University High School - Students
Commander Cody
White Panther Party
John Sinclair Freedom Rally
Rainbow People's Party
Rainbow Multi-Media
Ann Arbor Armory
Ann Arbor Police Department
Free Concerts in the Park
Outdoor Concerts
Fifth Dimension
The Kingsmen [Musical Group]
The Rationals (Band)
Mother's Teenage Nightclub
Prime Movers (Musical Group)
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels [Musical Group]
The Who [Musical Group]
The Yardbirds (Musical Group)
The Pleasure Seekers [Musical Group]
Ike and Tina Turner [Musical Group]
Grande Ballroom
Rock Concerts
Otis Spann Memorial Field
Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor Sun
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Goose Lake Music Festival
Schwaben Inn
Aztec Staging
Rolling Stones (Musical Group)
Jefferson Airplane (Musical Group)
The Up (Musical Group)
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
Clint's Club
The Odyssey
Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival
Ann Arbor
Local Creators
Local History
AADL Talks To
Peter Andrews
John Sinclair
Leni Sinclair
Jeep Holland
George Frayne
John Lennon
Yoko Ono
Jay Stielstra
Scott Richard Case
Iggy Pop (Jim Osterberg)
Michael Erlewine
Bob Seger
Grace Slick
Bonnie Raitt
Sippie Wallace
James Brown
Darlene Pond
Miles Davis
Roger Daltrey
Eugene L. Staudenmaier
Otis Spann
Pun Plamondon
Genie Plamondon
James Stephenson
B. B. King
Count Basie
David Sinclair
Ray Charles
Jimi Hendrix
Hill Auditorium
Otis Spann Memorial Field
Crisler Arena
Ann Arbor 200