Charlie McCain, a young freek from Jackson who is working on that city's free Sunday concert series, called in this story the day before we went to press:
It seems that the City of Jackson gave the park program a grant of several thousand dollars, and Charlie decided to use a large part of it to pay the bands that would be playing in the Jackson parks this summer. Charlie called the Diversified Management Agency in Detroit for help in scheduling bands to play. DMA books almost all of the big Michigan bands and is the largest agency in the area. Up until a couple of years ago it was owned by the notorious Mike Quatro; Quatro sold the company when his reputation got so bad that nobody on the scene would trust him. Since then, there have been a lot of changes in DMA, but dig this. . .
When Charlie called DMA an agent there told him that one of the agency's customers, the owner of a nearby teen club, was pissed off about the free concerts--he was afraid that they would ruin his business or something--and DMA wasn't going to cooperate one bit with the people's events. A&A Productions, a smaller agency here in Michigan, offered to do the booking for free as a service to the Jackson community and started working with Charlie and lots of local bands in filling up the park program calendar.
A little while later DMA called back, apologized to Charlie, and told him they would take over booking the concerts if he would drop all the bands that A&A had already booked. Charlie told DMA "No deal." After that he heard that DMA had sent a letter to all their bands telling them not to play at any free concerts without first checking with them. The Amboy Dukes' Ted Nugent told Charlie what he thought about that: "If DMA thinks they can tell us where not to play, they're crazy!"
It seems that DMA owes the Jackson community, and the entire Michigan music scene, an explanation for the low-level dealings that they're accused of. The SUN has tried to get in touch with DMA for two straight days to talk to them about this, and also to get a listing of their bands for the WHERE IT'S AT calendar which runs every week in the SUN (and now on WNRZ) as a service to Michigan bands and music lovers. But DMA has repeatedly refused to accept collect calls from the SUN for this, and this week when we tried to call them direct they either put us on "hold" for ridiculous lengths of time or didn't answer the phone at all.
Stay tuned to the SUN for further developments. We're sorry we couldn't tell you where bands like the Dukes, Alice Cooper, the Stooges, and the MC 5 are playing this week, but that's DMA's fault.