LIGHTNIN' STRIKES WITH FIRST 45 There's a whole lot of shakin going on in Michigan, and the bands that are making the music which comes out of and inspires it all are getting ready to reach out to millions of starved energy addicts with their powerful Michigan jams. Another step in the revival is taking place this week as one of those bands, Lightnin', until last month known as Guardian Angel J releases its first single.
Lightnin's first 45 is coming out on Rainbow records, a division of Rainbow Multimedia (which also manages the band) and should be available in your local record stores soon. If it isn't there within the next few weeks it's because your record dealer hasn't ordered it yet. The tune is "Hijackin' Love," a Memphis tune by Johnnie Taylor, and it was recorded live at the very last of this summer's free Tribal Stomps at Otis Spann Field. The b-side is a studio version of "The First Time I saw You Baby."
The record will be distributed locally, and efforts will be made to get it on the radio, both am and fm. People who listen to Takin Over, the People's Communications' Committee show on WNTZ-FM, have heard the record already along with the rest of the Otis Spann tape. The music is powerful rhythm and blues, but there ain't much we can SAY to describe the music; the best thing to do is to cop the single for yourself and come to dig it like we do.
"Hijackin Love" is the second release on the Rainbow Label, the first having been the historic recording of FREE JOHN NOW! by the UP with b-side "Prayer for John Sinclair" by Allen Ginsberg, which was handed out free to the 15,000 people who freed John last December 10 at Crisler Arena. The cover was designed by Gary Grimshaw at Rainbow Graphics.
LIGHTNIN' has been playing their music for us at gigs around Michigan of all kinds (including benefits for the FREE JOHN NOW! movement, McGovern for President, the Michigan Committee for Prisoner's Rights, the Tribal Council Community Parks Program, the Human Rights Party and others) since its formation as Guardian Angel in 1971. Before that its members all of whom went to Ann Arbor High Schools were playing in some of the bands from the previous era of Michigan rock and roll.
Scott Morgan, lead singer, played with bassist Terry Trabandt before in the Rationals, which put out several hit singles back in the sixties; Jeff Jones (guitar) and Al Jacquez (vocals and rhythm guitar) played together in the old Hideways and later worked with each other in Savage Grace; and Scott's brother, drummer Dave Morgan played in the notorious Our Mother's Children. Terry also used to play with DETROIT, and Scott has had offers to sing for several national recording acts, but both of them are staying here with LIGHTNIN' to do what they know they have to. (Some of you might remember Guardian Angel's former lead guitar player, Wayne "Tex" Shorter, and might be interested to know that he is now the lead guitar for Elephants Memory.)
So be listenin for LIGHTNIN' coming out over yr. radio soon, and be lookin for it at your local record store soon. Money made by the record goes to the band to keep them alive and kicking and to nonprofit Rainbow Multi-Media, which'll use its share for more vital community cultural activities in the spirit of the ones it's accomplished so far.
TIDS AND TADS ...The Blues and Jazz Festival two-record memorial album will be released on Atlantic Records in mid-February. The record will include a dynamite selection of the artists who appeared at the festival, in yet another Grimshaw design that includes full color photographs of the performers and the people . . .. The ROCKETS are packing them in at Detroit's Red Carpet; look for an interview with the band in a future SUN ... RADIO KING has recorded some tapes at Morgan sound that you can hear on the Sunday People's Communications Committee Show on WNRZFM from 4-7 p.m. ... RIO SMOKEHOUSE, who knocked people out at the Ballroom several weeks ago is playing this week at Mackinack Jacks ... KOKO TAYLOR returned to Ann Arbor last week for an engagement at the Blind Pig which packed the place solid. On Friday and Saturday you could slip from Koko to the Ballroom and catch the MOJO BOOGIE BAND - seems like everywhere you turn now in Ann Arbor there's MUSIC ALL THE TIME! ... The December 9 Allman Brothers, Dr. John, Rockets show at Crisler is selling out and will feature a huge video screen, as well as the removal of all the seats from the floor for dancing ... Jim Dulzo filled in on WNRZ last week, doing an early morning show that got you out of bed and UP! It was Jim's first return to radio since he quit on the air at ABX with Larry Monroe last summer, and we sure hope to hear more of him on the air ... DO THE MICHIGAN BOOGIE ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT LONG!