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R&R Crusader

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Th MC-5's C& contract has- sles are over for the time being and the band has signed a recording contract with Arnold M. Geiler Productions, producers of AMG Records out of Detroit. The original contract , which would have given AMG the band for a possible four years to control however the company wanted, was rewritten after a series of ces between the MC -5 and their managers to give the band almost complete musical control (the producers cannot record any music the band doesn't tion), permanent ownership of the name MC -5 (the original contract would have given the name and all music recorded under that name to AMG after the contract was inated), and the complete control of personnel changes, rangements, etc. (again, the original contract would i have given AMG the right to hire and fire any andor all members of the band, complete control of all music, license to j switch singers and ists, etc). The money scène is still as weird as ever -- the band will receive 3% of 90% of all royalties, after recording and promotion expenses are deducted, and the 3% of 90% (10% to agement off the top) to be split 5 ways between the members of the band. But the money isn't thething, the music is. Next step: a new 45 single for the MC -5, to be recorded within the aext month. Rob Tyner, lead singer and arranger for the MC -5, plans to record his brilliant origináis "Looking At You" and "Let Me Try. " If the recording peopie were really out to make money they'd record an album of the MC-S'smusic immediately, including one ' whole side of their mas piece "Black to Com." JudgLng from the quality of recent releases by the top bands in the country, an MC -5 album would turn a lpt of people around. The Crusader simply hasn't heard any bands anywhere recording music like the MC -5 makes in their personal appearances around Detroit, and a decent album, hopefully ed live at the Grande, would show people everywhere just where they're at - at the top. Not to harp on it, but The Crusader asked an Ann Arbord.j., who works for a station where the son Airplane's "Somebody to Love" is the no. 1 side, if he'd heard the MC5's "I Can Only tjrive i ou ' Everything" and iL he was playing it on his station. He said that it was probably the worst production job he'd heard. The single is still heavier than most of the drcck playing on the Detroit stations where the pornographic pair Frank & Nancy Sinatr"a have had the number one tune tor the last two or three weeks (now replaced by the super -plastic "soul" bullshit record "Sweet Soul Musxc";. Given the r-rent successes of local groups on Detroit radio (The Wanted The Un-e'ated Segmenta, The bound Freeway, Bob Seger & the Last Heard), you'd think the Keener and CK imphetamine-mouthed jocks would piek p on this one. But still no go. The after-midnight radio scène is getting drearier & drearier. WJLB, which had the most exciting middle-of-the-night gramming' in town jugt a few weeks ago, has now installeda robot discjockey and plays strings of moldy oldies all night. DonZ. on CKLW, who bilis himself as the "World's first plastic d. j. " (and he's absolutely correct!), follows essentially the same format, and WKNR ain't much better. Since it's mostlv heads and night -freaks who are tening during the wee hours, why don't these people wise up and start playing hip albums and esotérica instead of all that bullshit? There's plenty of really great album music that never gets heard except in people's living rooms. They could start with the Airplane, the ful Dead, the brilliant Spencer Da vis album, Donovan's two masterpieces, the Stones , Dylan, the Byrds, et al. and go f rom there into the past and future. But they haven 't got enough foresight for that. Now record ( banning is moving into high gear again Cor the first time since Hank Bailará and the Midnighters were thrown off the air in the middle 50's for such great meat songs as "Work with Me Annie',1 "Annie Had a Baby," etc. These days it's dope that the deejays fear, along with a little honest sex -- the Mama's and the Papas' "Free Advice" has never been played in Detroit to my knowledge, Dono van 's latest singlé "Epistle co Dippy" was withdrawn f rom airplay, the Stone's "Let's Spend the Night Together" was pas sed up for "Ruby Tuesday, " they still aren 't playing the Airplane's "Somebody to Love, " etc. etc. And it took a few weeks for the local dummies to play Strawberry Fields Forever" because it was "too weird" for them. But they had to do it when kids started calling in demanding it instead of the innocuous "Penny Lañe. Remember that -- these pie nave to ao wnat you tell them to do, or else they don#t have any more job. Don't let them run your consciousncss --stand up for what you need to hear. The thing always to is thát these worthless disc jockeys control what you hear, or at least what most people hear. If they don't play it, nobodv but the freakiest ( continued on p. 13 ) WZr pie get to hear it. pAnd as anyone who li stens to the r radio can teil, these disc jockeys have NO wTASTE whatsoever -- they wouldn't know a good record if Lt hit them over the head. The ut-of-sight music that we 're hearing today, what little of it gets on the radio, is a result.of years of selling out by top oups so they could get to a position where they can play what they want to and be sure it'll be a hit. The Beatles of course are the best example of how that process works -- you know "btraw berry Fields" would never get played on the air if it weren't by the Beatles. Groups get to b'e "stars" and then their recoras are assured "hit" status, no matter how they sound. So when the Mama's &the Papa's carne out with "Free Advice" (which goes like, "A bit of CRUSADER (continued ) free advice I'll teil it to you nice If you got some habits Some people won't allow Be cool Be clean If you know what I mean," etc.) the DJs, scared away by the obvious head references in the song, had to make the other side, a vague parody of the Shirelles' old hit "Dedicated to the One I Love,"Jiit because it was the new record by the Mamas and the Papas and one side jf their new record had to be a hit. You Tig"? 111 try tp get more into "the mechanics of social exploitation, " as Semark calis it, in the next few CRUSADER columns. One last word on DJs for this time: The 1 st time The Crusader heard the amazing new Spencer Da vis single "I'm a Man, " which is one of the most together arrangements yet heard, some stupid Keener cutie comes on after the record' s over with, "Well, howd'ya like that for goof-off music?" And then slipped on the 5 Americans, a little more "serious" stuff to keep all the kids' minds sealed shut. But they won't last much longer - wait and see. We might not get everything all at once, BUT WE'RE GONNA GET IT!