We don't know who's behind it, but somebody should tell the idiots responsible for lighting up Belle Isle all night that people like to go out there in the dark and sit on the banks of the river and relax- lots of people-and some of us even enjoy groping in our cars or rolling around on the grass at 3 o'clock in the morning. We don't need any goddamn lights all over the place, either! If this is part of "Beefsteak Bill" Milliken's "beautification program" like the lights on the trees at 1-94 and Telegraph let him put all those lights in his own back yard, and give us back our darkness! Seriously, your correspondent-a heavy frequenter of the beautiful island late at night -has never been bothered by any citizen out there in the dark. But since the lights went on all over Lover's Lane one is a sitting duck anywhere one chooses to sit. Maybe these goofy Republicans think they're "protecting" us from the mysterious night. But this citizen feels safer on Belle Isle in the dark than in downtown Livonia at high noon. Dear Mayor Young, can't you do something about these maniacs?
. . . SPEAKING OF doing something about the maniacs, we can thank the Mayor, Parks & Rec Director Leon Atchison, and other city officials for sparing us the wonderful gift of a Bicentennial Rock Concert which the Windsor pirate radio station CKLW was trying to pawn off on the city July 4th. Having made mucho dinero from pumping its unprincipled drivel into the ears of Detroiters for years, the Big 8 jocks- and their promotion department, headed by Al Cecile -were preparing to float Black Oak Arkansas, Foghat, Gary Wright. the Sons of Champlin, and two comparable groups down the Detroit River from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle. polluting the atmosphere with a lot of greed-driven noise and the banks of the river with hundreds of thousands of suburban rock fans. If they were smart they'd start all over again, setting sail from Zug Island and heading downriver, into all the soot and filth which obtains there, until they were all swallowed up by Swamp Erie. Good riddance to bad rubbish, as us kids used to say . . .
We mention Al Cecile because it was this gentleman who, while still at St. Clair College in Windsor two years ago, engineered another ill-fated U.S.-Canadian cultural exchange - the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival in Exile. Our editor, who co-produced the events though the Canadian authorities refused to let him enter the country during the weekend of the Festival, recalls that Cecile and CKLW exec Peter Scheurmier misrepresented not only the mental state of the Canadian police and customs officials but also the size of the amphitheater at St. Clair College, which in no way could have accommodated the number of blues and jazz lovers needed to pay the costs of the event even if the border police had let them across. Now, these same irresponsible Cecile and the CKLW Brass want to use Detroit as a dumping ground for their musical trash, and we can truly be proud of our enlightened city administration for putting the douse on the Can Am River Jam . . .
HOMECOMING: One-of the highest lights of the July 16-24 Homecoming Festival, sponsored and promoted by the City of Detroit, is the incorporation of contemporary urban dance into the program, and particularly Executive Producer Walter Mason's choice of local favorite Clifford Fears (the subject of a Kulchur profile earlier this year) to choreograph the movements of the Homecoming Dancers, a specially-assembled troupe of Detroit dance artists who will perform under Maestro Fears direction in ballets of his own creation. The music is not to be missed, either, but a quick glance at the rest of this section-not to mention our Kulchur-al cover-should make that fact perfectly clear, as our statesmanlike former president was prone to say . . . And before we get off of presidents and governors, isn't it wonderful how Beefsteak Billy and those aging enfants-terrible at the Fifth Estate have slipped into bed together on the casino gambling question? With Milquetoast's Puritanism and the Real Estate's quaint suburban anarchism pulling together once again, those of us who would be more comfortable with a little more action around town -and the added benefit of some badly-needed dollars in the city treasury-are up against some formidable opposition. The Fifth Estate will probably do itself in before this time next year, but the Democrats are going to have to come up with somebody a bit more up-to-date than the perennial Sander Levin if they want to send Milliken back to his department store empire in Traverse City next fall (1977) . . . Oh, and one more thing: the City says it will stage a re-enactment of the original landing of Monsieur Cadillac on the shores of downtown Detroit, July 24, 1701, as the final event in "Bicentennial Week" this year.
We mentioned in our Mardi Gras n New Orleans issue that it might be nice to see some "wild Indians" from the neighborhoods around town congregate at the riverfront in full regalia July 24th, and further thought prompts the suggestion that some commemoration be made of the Detroit Rebellion of 1967, a central historical event from our more recent past which also started on July 24th. After all, if it weren't for the Rebellion we'd still be slaving under creeps like Jerry Cavanaugh and Roman Gribbs, Lawrence Welk and Xavier Cugat would be playing the Bicentennial Ball, and we'd have statues of the Big Four gracing the front of the City-County Building. No thanks, dear friends, no thanks
PENITENTIARY BLUES: Three popular Ann Arbor-based musicians- guitarist Austin Inglehart, bassist Jimmy Fraga, and saxophonist Gary "Daddy G" Churchill- were sentenced to prison terms earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge John Feikens, a Nixon appointee who dealt out two six-month terms (Churchill and Fraga) and a 3-year sentence (to Austin) for crimes related to the delivery of small amounts of cocaine. Jimmy and Austin have already been shipped to Terre Haute (Indiana), where Daddy G is expected to join them soon . . . Meanwhile rumor has it that guitarist Wayne Kramer, of the oíd MC-5, has been sentenced on his cocaine beef and has started a three or four-year sentence somewhere in the Federal penal system. Wayne was playing lead with Rock's Gang, a 50's revival band, at the time of his incarceration, and the story you might have seen in Rolling Stone a few issues ago about Wayne's plight was written by the Sun's own David Weiss, who (naturally enough) wasn't even credited by the big Stone. At least he's doing better than Wayne . . . The next local rock and roll candidate for the penitentiary may well be one Rusty Day, the former lead singer with the Amboy Dukes (years ago), Cactus (at the turn of the 70' s), and any number of Detroit-based aggregations in the past four years. According to our sources, Rusty seems to have gone totally out one night a few months ago and committed serious violence upon a woman friend, who is now rumored to be pressing charges against the veteran rock 'n' roller. Rusty is said to be in hiding from the woman's family and friends, who have sworn vengeance, and one can only shudder at the prospects for our old friend's future . . .
AROUND TOWN: In happier news, we're thrilled to report the reformation of the hard-rockin' Rockets, a classic Motor City rock and roll band headed by drummer vocalist composer Johnny Bee and master guitarist James McCarty, both original members of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, America's premier rock and roll band. McCarty and the Bee have been working with Rockets bassist John Fraga and North Carolina guitarist Dennis Robbins as Honeyboy, but the return to Detroit- and the band- of keyboard ace Marc Marcano (now sporting a Hammond B-3 organ in his arsenal) occasioned the retaking of the Rockets moniker early this month. A shake-down gig at the Red Carpet will be followed by a week at the popular Anchor Inn in Pinckney and three days (June 23, 25 and 26) at the notorious Roadhouse, at US-23 and N. Territorial Road, just four miles north of Ann Arbor . . . While you're in Ann Arbor, be sure to check out Jim Dulzo 's all-night jazz show on WIQB-FM (103), "Night Train," to hear what we're missing here in the land of MOR jazz. Jim makes a rare appearance in our Vortex this issue, but we hope he'll start making it a habit . . .
Detroit-area concert-goers have one of those weeks of musical feasts coming up during the life of this issue of the Sun- be sure to check out our calendar for all the gory details, but highlights include Eddie Kendricks and the remarkable Rance Allen Group, former Stax Records gospel-rock stars from Monroe, Michigan, at Ford Auditorium June 19 ... Ray Charles and his Orchestra (with the Raelettes) at Olympia, the same night . . . Parliament Funkadelic at Masonic, June 20 ... the Bob Seger/Elvin Bishop/ Tod Rundgren extravaganza at Pontiac Stadium, June 26 ... the incomparable Spinners at Pine Knob, June 26-27 ... the Crusaders' slick funk machine at Masonic, June 27 ... Johnny Taylor at Cobo Hall, June 25 ... and the usual top fare in the city's jazz, blues, and rock/roll/soul clubs . . . Ponmet also has The Show coming up on the 4th of July, with Labelle, Rufus, War and the Ohio Players raking in the bucks under the inflatable dome . . . Speaking of Johnny Taylor, it was a gas to read Carl Arrington's feature on Motor City producer Don Davis in the Sunday Free Press June 6th. We've been meaning to introduce the Sun's readers to Don Davis and his growing musical empire, including Groovesville Productions and its two local studios (including the renovated United Sound facility, into which Don has set a Flickinger 24-track console), but the young Carl beat us to it. Good show, bro . . . Jerry Younkins, "Detroit's first hippie" (that was back in 1964) and a budding young poet who had two books published by the late Artists' Workshop Press (in 1965 and 11967), has re-emerged recently in Jackson, Michigan- the Cement City- this time as the producer, director, scriptwriter, and promoter of a "low-budget horror movie" called The Demon Lover, which holds its World Premier at the Westwood Mali in Jackson, June 11-25. Younkins, who obtained the original financing for the film from an insurance settlement following the severance of a couple of his fingers in a Jackson-area factory where he was working, has put four or five years into the movie and now hopes to find a local distributor to build up public demand for the flick. Good luck, old pal ...
And speaking of old friends, congratulations to Ms. Esther Broner of Wayne State University on the staging of her award-winning play, The Body Parts of Margaret Fuller, at the Bonstelle Theatre last weekend. Even the Free Press couldn't help but praise her work, and we would like to add our small voice to the clamor of acclaim . . . The Feminist Women's City Club will present "An "Evening of Women's Music" June 26th with Lori Jacobs, Robin Morgan, and Doris Seifert, preceded June 25th by the first of a series of Friday night disco parties hosted by deejay Linda Black and produced by the Sun's own Edwenna Edwards. The City Club is at 2110 Park Avenue, downtown . . . Another happy reunion: Catfish Hodge and his brother, hot guitarist Dallas Hodge, have put together the Little Fish Band, featuring such legendary Catfish associates as Shaky Al on rhythm and Bob Babitch, keyboards . . . The Artists' Guild of Detroit holds its second annual Sidewalk Sale in the New Center area July 1-2-3, funded by the Michigan Council for the Arts . . . Afterhours music lovers can still hear the Bill Heid Trio at the Bonfire Bar-B-Q, 8 Mile and Evergreen, Weds.-Sats. Pianist Jerry Bray did a solo spot there recently . . . And Ernie Rodgers leads the sessions with his smoking tenor saxophone at RAPA House, 81 E. Fisher Freeway (just east of Woodward), Saturday nights from 2:30 a.m, Creole food is served to perfection, too . . . And in the daytime, you can get your Creole goodies- red beans & rice, shrimp jumbalaya, file gumbo-at the Luzianne, on Woodward between Alexandrine & Selden . . . So, as the incomparable Louis Armstrong used to sign off: Red beans & ricely yours . . . T.C. Puller.