ROCK and ROLL DOPE
by FRANK BACH
In the last issue of the SUN we ran Joe Tiboni's amazing account of what went down at the so-called "Return of the Rock and Roll Revival" rip-off held at the State Fairgrounds in Detroit three weeks ago. Those who were there know that everything that Joe said about the two-day bummer were absolutely true - there were lots of bogus drugs such as reds and PCP posing as THC and mescaline as well as tons of skonker food, too, with not nearly enough righteous weed or pure psychedelics, no healthy organic food at all, and almost no drinking water, even, Our brothers and sisters were there - no doubt about that - and there were a few beautiful musical shots from the Savage Grace and Brownsville Station; but other than that the whole thing was a hot, dusty, uncomfortable, stone drag. And for one 20 year old brother named Don Zarro it was more than that - it was stone DEATH, brought on by an overdose of the killer jones.
As bad as conditions were at the two-day dirge, things have gotten even freakier for the whole Michigan rock and roll scene since it happened. As lurid details from what went down at the Fairgrounds made the news, top honks from all over the State such as Lieutenant Warner Stringfellow of the infamous Detroit Narcotics Squad and Governor Billy Milliken have jumped into the scene to point fingers of guilt, proclaim innocence, and just woof and oink nonsensically in general. I mean, these fools do a lot of crazy talking all the time anyway, but the fuss they've kicked up around the last "Revival" is particularly interesting - because it could all turn out to be very dangerous to all of us if we let it rage on unchecked.
The first round of backswipes and eye-gouges in the new battle against rock and roll music in Michigan was set off by old Guv Milliken himself. Last year, you'll remember, Willy and the influx of jones into the community helped make it just as sensational in terms of ugly drug stories. No sooner had the bummer reports come in than did the shit begin to ooze out of Lansing that William Milliken was jumpin' up and down, huffin' and tootin' for the abolition of all pop festivals for good.
On hand to help shock the straights into submission was Detroit Detective Warner Stringfellow, the man who planned the bust that sent brother John Sinclair up to prison for ten years for giving away two joints to Vaughn Kapegian, a disguised Stringfellow flunky, back in 1966. Quite a few of Stringfellow's undercover snakes were apparently running unchecked throughout the crowd, because the Detroit porker told news reporters that there were "flagrant drug violations, right out in the open" --and he had eight people charged with sales and for with possession to "prove" it.
Stringfellow continued to run his mouth and as he did he managed to let slip that sonie of his boys had "made a purchase" of some jones inside the Fairground. But no one bothered to ask, if there was so much heroin around that people were dying from it and even a Detroit police creep could buy some, why wasn't anybody arrested for the shit? Why were people being busted for sales and possession of LSD, marijuana, and hashish while jones flourished?
But, to the honky press, these weren't the most important questions of the day. What made the headlines, and what caused Milliken no end of embarrassment, was that the "Revival" was held on property owned by the State of Michigan and managed, therefore, by Billy Milliken himself! An investigation into how this all happened revealed an even more devious and ugly set of affairs than anyone had before imagined.
It seems that the permit to use the Fairgrounds had been obtained through made history by taking over local TV stations to piss and moan in everybody's face about how hundreds of thousands of young people had - in his words - "made a mockery of the law" with "blatant nudity and flagrant abuse of drugs" at the big three day Goose Lake Pop Festival. The Governor was just plain SCARED when he heard about all those beautiful rainbow people getting high and getting down with the music and he knew he had to cook up a bunch of shit quick to put a stop to these enormous people's gatherings. Milliken made a list of proposals to be put in effect at all future pop festivals, the most scene of which were 1) that the number of people allowed to attend rock and roll events be limited to 5000, which is about one-twentieth of the number of people that watch football or baseball every weekend, and 2) that State and local police be allowed to roam the festival grounds and make arrests at will, so as to put an end to this "blatant and flagrant blah, blah, blah." Milliken couldn't come right out and say that he wanted to put an end to pop festivals forever, so his idea was to make so many weird laws that it would be virtually impossible for them to happen anyway.
Milliken's proposals were threats, plain and simple, to every person in Michigan who dares to love rock and roll - they were never made into State law but the idea was that if anything as powerful as Goose Lake happened again then old Guv could jump up and say, "This would never have come off if my proposals would have been made law!" And then, bang, the legislature would just go right along and all but outlaw people's festivals altogether.
His next big chance came after the "Revival," of course. Although there were not nearly as many people at the State Fairgrounds as were at Goose Lake last year, the marijuana famine the sponsorship of the eminently "respectable" (tut-tut) Detroit Association of Performing Artists, which UPI reported is a "corporation established to encourage youths to study serious concert music. " DAPA originally contracted the Fairgrounds last year to put on some rock and roll shows of their own - the idea was to send kids to school to learn to play Brahms and Beethoven and other music sanctioned by the establishment, using money drained out of the pockets of rainbow brothers and sisters who can't stand to listen to any of that classical nonsense but just want to hear some righteous rock and roll. It turned out that DAPA didn't know quite how to stage a successful rip-off and they ended up losing money on their little "shows."
This year they got time-tested-and-proved bloodsuckers Bob Bagaris and Gabe Glance to do the job for them. As everybody knows, or should know by now, Bagaris and Glance are the jivetime low-lifers that squeeze five-bucks-and-up from thousands of brothers and sisters for the pop star rock and roll scene that holds out at the Eastowne Ballroom every weekend and occasionally at the time Cobo Hall. The deal that the Eastowne chomps and DAPA worked out was that Bagaris/Glance would take care of most of the "Revivals"; DAPA would let them use their permit for a straight 10%.
This unholy pact was made before the first "Return of the Rock and Roll Revival" on May 30 and, since Bagaris/Glance ended up with about $80,000 on that one, they were anxious to do it again. DAPA had made $9,000 for doing almost nothing so they were more than happy to go along. The State Fairgrounds tried to back out by cancelling DAPA's contract but DAPA took them to court - and that's what took them so long to get the second "Revival" together - and they won.
The most macabre twist to the story of the "Revivals" came two weeks ago when DAPA was accused by the State Fairgrounds of pulling a fast one to make some quick money. The Fairgrounds officials claimed that they had been tricked by DAPA, who they thought was supposed to be promoting classical music, not rock and roll shows. The DAPA slicksters were quick to come back with, "We didn't want a notorious production. We are not entrepreneurs of rock concerts. We used these rock concerts to fund serious music."
They didn't want a "notorious production"! What did those creeps expect? "Gee whizz, Andre," ( you can just imagine these DAPA fools saying to each other) "how are we going to get some money together to send these dumb, er, nice little kids to the conservatory to keep alive the tradition of our dead old, er I mean, serious music?" "Lets ask Bobby Bagar is and fat old Gabe Glance to help us leech some money off the teenagers with some rock concerts Leonard. After all, they've got experience in this stuff." "Wow, that sounds like a great idea..."
What finally happened, of course, is that the phony "Revivals" - which stole their name from the original Detroit Rock and Roll Revival successfully produced by John Sinclair and Trans-Love Energies in 1969 for the purpose of giving the people some righteous rock and roll at a fair price ended up giving the State Fairgrounds officials the excuse they needed to ban rock and roll from the fairgrounds forever. "Their just aren't going to be anymore rock concerts even if I have to stand at the gate with the only key to the lock," oinked E. J. Kierns, Fairgrounds general manager.
The next week Plymouth city and township officials got into the act at a small rock festival put on as part of summer series by the local governments. Although the Plymouth honks told the newspapers that they "didn't have any problems with drugs" at previous concerts, they were all over the stage that weekend warning that they had gotten "a call from Governor Milliken" and if there was any drug use they would close down the concert series for good. Uniformed police and plainclothes narcotics agents slithered through the crowd in what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt to make any busts.
Although the "Revivals" at the State Fairgrounds are over, the story doesn't end here. It's already more than obvious that the government and police will use the scary tales gleaned from the bogus "Revivals" as an excuse to harass just about any rock and roll even in the State that they can get away with harassing. Even before the last "Revival" Jackson County officials tried to close Wampler's Lake Pavilion because they supposedly feared "another Goose Lake" if the dances at Wampler's continued through the summer. The idea of brothers and sisters getting together in the music is clearly considered a dangerous event in the twisted minds of most government officials, and the last "Revivals" have only given them more ammunition in their fight to stop the people's music from spreading.
At least it's out in the open why the politicians are down on rock and roll, anyway. They come on really self-righteous, of course, when they talk about "rock music and drugs" and act as if they really wanted to "do something" about the drug problem. But their boy Stringfellow let it be known that they really don't care about the worst drug of them all - jones. After all, jones brings you down, makes you easy to control. What they're really afraid of is people getting HIGH, righteously smashed on some good dope like LSD, marijuana, hashish - all the stuff that the Detroit Police were busting people for at the "Revival"!
But compared to the promoters of these rip-off events, the politicians are CLOWNS, they're nowhere near as sneaky or as treacherous as people like Bob Bagaris and Gabe Glance. It's the Eastowne creeps who get at our people and our culture from the inside - they take off all our money and our energy at the poorly-run "festivals" where our high energy music is all but destroyed by the hideously low energy death scene that it's put into. Think of the millions of dollars that the Eastowne (and the State and City governments) have made off of US and the music that WE have created with our new way of life. Is Bob Bagaris thinking of us now as he vacations in sunny Greece?
The only solution to this "pop festival" dilemma is, of course, the organized self-determination of the people. It's US who have got to get together and put together rock and roll concerts the way they should be put on, just as we do here every week through the people's Tribal Council. We've proven here in Ann Arbor that it CAN be done by the people - and that is the only way that it will work, finally, because no one else is going to look out for our interests and our needs besides ourselves. We cannot allow creeps like Milliken to "outlaw pop festivals." We have got to TAKE OVER all these festivals, eventually, so that our music can survive, so that we can educate our brothers and sisters to the uselessness of bogus dope and our righteous sacraments can survive, so that we can keep our money in our own communities so that WE can survive and grow into the Rainbow Nation that we must be!
RAINBOW POWER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE FUTURE!