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Rock And Roll Dope

Rock And Roll Dope image
Parent Issue
Day
12
Month
November
Year
1971
OCR Text

Since August this Rock and Roll Dope section has been missing f rom the pages of the Sun - up until last issue that is, when Frank Bach's Free John Now! piece written last spring was rerun in the supplement that kicked off Stage 2 in the campaign to get brother John Sinclair out of the slam. So then this is the first R&R Dope that's been put together in just about fliree months - and if you've checked out the by-line you know that this is the first column ever put out by the UP as a unit. It says "by the UP" up there because these writings are being put together a new way now, and we think it's important you know why. Now the reason we haven't been writing lately is not because there isn't anything happening with the band or on the Rainbow rock and roll scène in general; because there sure has been a whole lot of activity going down everywhere. Actually, it's because of so much stuff that has been growing and changing around us lately that we've had to suspend this column f or a little while just to check things out. We've been working and playing pretty hard recently (and more on that in a minute) and we've been fairly well jammed, but more than that we've found it necessary to make some changes of our own in order to deal with things better, and it's taken us this time to get ourselves together and re-organized. What we're trying to say, first of all, is that we've decided that it was up to the UP as a band to take responibilit] for the music section of the Ann Arbor Sun--whereas before individual people were in charge of getting this stuff together, we've come to the conclusión that the best way to do this is through a collective effort. That's the same way we make music and play jobs - where nobody acts as an "individual" but we all work together in an organized manner to produce a unified thing, that is, our jams. In his interview two issues ago Mitch Ryder talked about the need for musicians to begin giving up more energy to the non-musical activities on the scène or, more precisely, the economical and political aspects of the music. Just in the last week we talked to brothers in the Guardian Angel and in Harvey Khek who ran down the same thing in different that we've got to start doing more to insure the life and growth of the music, more than just playing the tunes anyway. In the past it's been up to just one af two people (mostly Frank) to coordínate R&R Dope and most of the other music stuff, and it turned out to be just too big of a job to be done in that way. So we're going to do it the best way (really the only way) we know how to get anything done: together. Anyway, weVe sorry that there hasn't been consistent rock and roll news in the paper - we think it's a drag and we're saying right here and now that we think it's important enough for all oí us to take the responsibility of seeing to it that the words that need to be said about what's going down in this rock and roll community are righteously kicked out. . . Ok, to start with we wanna say that the biggest, most crucial issue we have before all óf us is the situation with brother John Sinclair. We feel that the most immediate, most pressing problem facing the Rainbow Colony right now is that of Jjhn's imprisonment because John has done so much for the scène in the past and, for all the work we have to do as a people including the job of getting the music scène tighter, John is the biggest single energy source we've got - if we can get him, out of jail that is. And we know we can do it, all of us working together as a people can do it, in fact we're really the only thing that can get brother John back out on the streets because the courts and the government have shown time and time again that they won 't do it unless they're absolutely forced to. It's interesting to point out that it was John who actually started the R & R Dope column (for the Fifth Estáte) back in 1968--U was the first time anybody started laying out on a regular basis what really goes down in the music scène - and it was his work back then that helped define the rock and roll reality of things for all of us, musicians and music diggers alike. r And since John always talked about things in terms of self-determination and freedom for our people he really put the fear into the chomps who's thing is keeping all of us down - and for his work they managed to lock our brother up for what is now going on three years. So another thing that we want to commit the Up to right here is doing air we can to FREE JOHN NOW! We've been doing a lot in the past but we see now that we have got to do more - and one of the things we can do as a band is to begin producing more benefits to raise money for John's fight to be out on the streets. We think that there just can 't be enough high energy benefits for righteous people's causes anyway, and the events that have been put on in the past have been some of the best things happening, the only thing wrong being that there hasn't been more of them. The first FREE JOHN NOW ! benefit will be happening soon, probably at the killer Cinderella Ballroom in Detroit. Watch for word on it. We hope nobody thinks that we're trying to push our own trip here or something - basically we just want to do whatever we can to get our whole scène together, to make this a better, higher energy place for all musics and all musicians. Just as we know we can 't consider ourselves individuals, primarily, within the Up, we also know that it's impossible to consider the Up as an individual band on the scène - we're all in this together, and we want to work closer with our brother and sister musicians to get more rock and roll and more words and ideas about rock and roll to the people. We'll be telling it as we see it from here on out and we want to make this a forum for other musicians (like that interview with Mitch Ryder was) and all kinds of music workers and diggers who have something to say, too. OK, bef ore we split right now we'd like to run a little bit about what's been keeping us busy all this time. Checking the calender we see we've done a whole raft of the usual concerts, high school dances, benefits, and f ree gigs--in the past three months over 30 jobs in all, plus recording, just too much stuff to talk about in detail. So here's a few tidbits: Of the free gigs we've been doing we've liked the Sunday park concert things the best, and since August we've done 'era in Ann Arbor, Jackson, Flint and Mt. Pleasant. Can 't wait till next spring. We've also done a couple of dances at the Platt Road Juvenile Home and are looking for more institution we can rattle with our music, so if anybody knows of any prison, training school, or anything like that that would have us, let us know. We'd like to recomend such gigs to other bands, too, because the sisters and brothers sure do appreciate the jams ! Sometimes the most exciting things we do are high school gigs-there's something about being in a high school gymnasium with all those brothers and sisters with their shoes off and all those wierd chaperones and shit that just makes people act crazy. The most memorable one was the gig we had in August at Frank Bach's old alma mater, U of D High. U of D's on Detroit's northwest side (where Bob and Gary used to hang out, too) and we've been playing there a lot lately and the kids have been getting mighty freeky. At U cí D they kept coming up on stage to dance with us throughout the set, and that really pissed off the teachers and shit who were guarding the whole affair. They started puiling brothers and sister off the stage but they came right back on when we told them we didn't mind them up there with us. When the stage got so crowed there was barely room to move (and sweating bodies were sliding and bouncing off one another) the chaperones started saying that the setup was going to cave in--which was a prudish ruse, of course. Sisters and brothers kept piling up there as fast as they were being pulled off. Finally in the middle of "Just Like an Aborigine, " with kids dancing and throwing fists all over the place, they shut off the power on us. The kids wouldn't move though until it came back on so we could finish off the set with the "Free Marijuana! FREE JOHN!" chant. The teachers finally gave in as they had to, and the crazed crowd chanted on victoriously. At the end of last month we drove out to Washington D. C. to play for the "Evict Nixon" anti-war rally that was happening out there - we were supposed to play out in front of the Washington Monument on Monday the 25th but it rained so hard that day that we had to wait until nighttime, when the rally was switched to a local church. We got it on with Elephant's Memory, some right on rock and roll brothers f rom New York (who had just copped ex-Detroiter and éx-Guardian Angel Tex for lead guitar), along with a few hundred dancing maniacs, and stayed overnlght to hope for better weather so that we could play outside for the folks. Things did clear up and we managed to turn on about a thousand more brothers and sisters to Michigan rock and roll before heading home. Anyway, we've been busy. We got ourselves a little more together so that, hopefully, we can bring more music your way and see more music stuff gets in the Sun every issue. We'll need your help though, and if you've got anything to say ar play, or anything to suggest, you can get in touch with us through the Sun just about any time. See you next ish. FREE JOHN NOW! RAINBOW PÖWETR TO THE PEOPLE OF THE FUTURE ! (The Up are Scott Bailey, Frank Bach, Bob Rasmussen, Gary Rasmussen, and M.C. Anne LaVassuer. ) J