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Coat Puller

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The Coatpuller column originated with the 2nd issue of the old Fifth Estate in November 1965, and continued there until 1967.

The 3 logos pictured here were designed by Gary Grimshaw and first appeared with the column during that period.


The Coat Puller
by John Sinclair

Shades of the rock and roll wars of the late sixties! Young Steve Glantz, Gabe's son in more ways than one, it would seem, raided a contracted bill at the newly-renovated Showcase Theatre September 2Oth, inducing Steppenwolf to break their date with the Showcase to go into Glantz's Michigan Palace tor more bread. It's pretty shitty when a major promoter can't stand for a 2000-seat hall like the Showcase to try to establish itself as a place for lesser-known talent to be exposed in this town. Look for a feature on the new Showcase in our next issue. After digging Bob Marley & the Wailers there earlier in the summer, I can't help but hope they make it work. . . . We had planned to do an obituary for the Fifth Estate, but it appears the old rag isn't really dead yet-it just smells that way. The Fifth, named for a coffeehouse in Los Angeles ten years ago, has taken a very interesting step backwards, choosing to deal with less than a thousand or two of their fellow citizens in their noble publishing efforts. While their current issue, a "parody" of the SUN which is for tlhree pages the most interesting issue of the Fifth in a few years, would seem to suggest a return to the consciousness of 1968, in reality the Fifthers have gone all the way back to 1964. Congratulations !o Brother Peter Twerpie (the erstwhile high-paid late-night talk-show hot-shot for the local ABC- isn't that the Anarchist Broadcasting Corp.?-radio outlet) and his lovely wife Marilyn out out there in Rochester. Using our cover should help them sell a few papers for a change. Maybe they'll start a FREE SQUEAKY movement next. . . . J.J.'s Lounge in the Shelby Hotel is open once again, with the Lyman Woodard Organization back in the saddle Wednesdays through Saturdays. The only major change is the $2.00 cover charge, but if music's worth anything, the deuce is not so bad. Meanwhile the Tribe has moved into the Pretzel Bowl Saloon on Woodward north of Davison in Highland Park. where the LWO spent most of the summer. Tasty snacks and excellent music, to be sure. but the Bowl has emitted sort of a strange vibe ever since Michael Henderson (Miles Davis's bass player) and Norma Bell (saxophonist with the LWO) had the police sicked on them a few weeks ago-while they were on the stand! .... Lowman's Westside Club is the hottest place in town riglit now-Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were SRO during the middle of September in the main showroom, while the 1700-capacity cabaret hall on the "B" side of the club was packed to the rafters. Whew! Hope they can keep it up, but then it all has to do with who you present, and if Kim Weston can keep hitting with talent like H.M. & the B.N. 's, Jerry Butler, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Terry Collier, et al., they just can't lose. (Kim is behind the talent policy at Lowman's, and we're behind Kim all the way. Just what the city needed!). . . . Drummer-composer-singer-genuine rock & roll archetype Johnny Bee (Badanjek) slid back into town recently after spending a few weeks out west cutting a demo and doing sessions for Dr. John's new LP, due out soon. Seems that keyboard ace Barry Goldberg dug the Bee's great tunes, took the rest of the band (Jim McCarty on guitar, John Fraga on bass) into the studio, produced and played keyboards on the cuts, and is now trying to shop the demo around among the major companies....You can hear jazz on AM every night during the week on WJLB radio, with John Edwards doing the honors. . . . Meanwhile, WJZZ-FM, the 24-hour Detroit jazz station, seems to be upgrading their "guest artist of the week" feature, with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Mose Allison hitting for three successive weeks. One still hopes for something a little less "jazzy" and a whole lot more JAZZ-like, tho. Now if Bobby Bass, the new station manager there, could put some of his hip ideas on "progressive black radio" into action, we might just have something worth listening to in this town. . . . Blues fans will love to know that the Detroit Blues Club with Bobo Jenkins is presenting Detroit blues players at Ben's Hi Chapparal at Gratiot & Forest every Thursday night, with the help of the Coachman on m.c. Have mercy! . . . Fito and his Salsa-Rock band are churning out the good stuff at Moby Dick's in Dearborn (Schaeffer between Michigan and Ford Road) Thursday-Saturday. . . . Heard Dan Carlisle's thinking of leaving town again. . . . Noticed the "For Sale" sign go up at the two Motown properties on Woodward Avenue recently -the former World Headquarters of the big M at Woodward and the Fisher Freeway, and the old Graystone Ballroom on Woodward between Canfield and Willis. There is also a whole lot of talk that Motown is opening two new studios in Detroit, which would be a wonderful thing at this point in time, as they say. Barney Ales is back in as President of the Motown Record Corp., replacing Ewart Abner, and the Holland Bros. (Eddie & Brian) are reported to be back in charge of A & R. We'll see what we can find out next time . . Speaking of which, Charles Moore has been rehearsing a new band of guitar players and drummers called BANG, fronted by himself, which will turn some heads as soon as it hits the street. . . . Cobb's Corner Bar, Willis at Cass, is featuring the very stimulating music of Bob McDonald, with bassist Rod Hicks and drummer Frank Isola, on Monday nights. No cover, can't beat it. . . . Detroit's resident mobile recording service, Chuck Buchanan's Metro Audio, has been busy lately cutting live dates all over the midwest, including three days with War in Chicago, the Charlie Daniels Band Volunteer Jamboree in Tennessee, and Bob Seger's two nights at Cobo Hall. That's their sound on Gladys Knight's "The Way We Were," recorded at Pine Knob last summer. . . . Have you noticed the goofy T-shirt decal competition between the two honkey newspapers in town? And the Free Press's psychedelic underground adult T-shirt gimmick? What will thev get into next, roach clips? . . . WJLB's Al Perkins presents Detroit's own Ron Banks & the Dramatics, the Choice 4. and Angelo Bond & the Bondage Review. Saturday Oct. 4 at Cobo Hall. with the Choice 4 filling out the weekend at the 20 Grand .... Sunday the 5th should take you to Cranbrook's Academy of Art Museum for the first in a series of "Detroit's Jazz Today" concerts which will warm up the winter this year. Mixed Bag, the excellent unit from Ann Arbor, plays at 3:00 p.m. Oct. 5th. at the North Woodward cultural complex at Cranbrook. Producer Bud Spangler says of Mixed Bag, the most "exciting and original small combo playing any place in the country today." Bud, incidentally, can still be heard Monday niglits on WDET-FM (101.9) with his "Jazz Today" program. . . . Rudy Robinson & his Hungry 5 have a new single out, The Last Time the Family Had a Party.". ... Be sure not to miss the dynamic Richard Pryor Monday, Oct. 6. ... The Detroit Opera Theatre presents the American folk opera Porgy & Bess at the Music Hall downtown for ten days, Oct. 3-11. featuring 60 young black Detroiters with some heavy out-of-town stars. ... Al Hudson & the Soul Partners, a fast-rising Motor City group getting ready to release their first records for Atlantic, hit the home-town big-time November 2 when they join the mighty Spinners and Minnie Riperton on stage at Olympia. . . . Dudley Randall's Broadside Press, a solid Detroit institution known all over the world for its innovative publishing feats, celebrated its tenth anniversary last weekend with a three-day poetry festival featuring Don L. Lee, Sonia Sánchez, Audre Lord, and other poetry notables. Congratulations Bro. Randall! . . . Nancy Wilson swept through Detroit last Saturday night for a concert at Masonic. The Main Ingredient opening for Sweet Nancy. ... On the cabaret scene, two up-coming happenings look pretty hot from here: Friday October 3 at the United Dairyworkers Hall, 15840 Second south of Puritan, where "Two Dirty Old Men" present "Shit on It-Let the Good Times Roll" from 9 to 1 :30. The Ghetto Connection and the Direct Current Band will kick 'em out. ... And The Good People present a "Back to School Jamboree" on Friday the l0th at Local 876 Hall. 12th St. and Grand-Blvd. Butterball Jr. of WCHB will have the Fantastic Four ("Alvin Stone"), the dynamite Amalgamated Funk Co. (led by Carole Taylor), Sharlotte Page. and the East Side Swingers! Whew! . . . Bro. Jack McDuff just left town after an extended stay at Watts' Club Mozambique. Organist Lonnie Smith hung next door at the Jazz West -two very welcome music spots in the middle of the booming Fenkell-Livernois entertainment strip. . . . Bassists Michael Henderson (Miles Davis) and Ralphe Armstrong (Mahavishnu Orchestra) are rehearsing some incredible music they're getting ready to spring upon the unsuspecting public. Me, I can't wait! . . . Don't forget blues at Ethel's on Mack Avenue east of Grand Blvd., catch the Mojo Boogie Band wherever you can, and watch for WGPR-TV to open its eye on the Motor City soon. . . Like my ma used to say, "Nuf sed." See you next time. . . .