Back to our Michigan roadtrip:
Now where were we? Oh yeah, we spent our first night in Michigan at my level-headed sister Hope’s domicile…
After a night and morning slathering light and happiness in every nook and corner, we headed toward Pontiac to pick up our oldest two Grandkids, Bria & Jamel. And, then slide on up to the campground from there.
To get to Pontiac, we took I-75 north. Which took us through the outskirts of Detroit. From the freeway, the once proud Motor City looked like TV news scenes of a bombed out Gaza.
Everyone said downtown and along the river wasn’t so bad. Hope that’s so, because we didn’t check.
We used to have a lot of fun there.
Some of the greatest times were in the after-hours blues clubs. On any given night, you just never knew what touring show biz personality was gonna walk in and let their hair down.
Also loved going to the Tigers baseball games. Plus, all the trendy bands played in Detroit.
Saw The Rolling Stones 4 or 5 times (once 2nd row center seats). Saw The Doors just after Morrison got run outta Miami for showing off his weenie to the front row fans. Caught Creedence Clearwater Revival when they were red hot.
Seemed like Alice Cooper and Bob Seger were playing somewhere every night. To this day I can not listen to one more Seger song! Saw the Motor City 5 (MC5) do Kick Out The Jams, Mother F**kers, the late Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith could beat up a guitar!
Being from nearby Ann Arbor, Iggy Pop and The Stooges where always getting raunchy in some hole-in-the-wall dive (but what a fun show they put on). And, of course Ted Nugent, before he totally flipped out.
Saw Steely Dan on there first tour in Detroit…
We were so far in the back of Cobo Hall that the band looked like action figures. Because their first big radio favorite, Rellin In The Years, was a surprise hit that was recorded with studio, session musicians, the touring band members were still getting used to playing together. Yet, they were tasty good, that night in Detroit.
The best live rock show I ever saw was in Detroit…
The Small Faces with Rod Stewart before he went solo. They were decidedly drunk on their a*ses but decidedly having a riot playing. And the mid-show fistfight between a couple of band-mates seemed to make their playing juicier. (I used to know all their names…ahh the sweet curse of time…)
Saw The Funkadelics first live show at a 4th of July show. George Clinton was incredible live! saw Johnny Taylor in an after hours club. Saw The spinners playing in a dinner club.
Remember seeing Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Mavin Gaye, The Parliaments (who were also The Funkadelics on alternate gigs). Also, saw B B King a couple of times.
With the passage of time, and in those days I used drink a little (Kentucky slang for laying on the booze pretty thick), my memories could be a tad or two off. But, I guess I saw just about all the top bands except The Who, (whom I really liked), Led Zeppelin, and yet, missed my favorite rock ‘n roll band, ACDC!
You name em’ I probably saw em’… in Detroit!
Anyway, we rolled through Detroit and on up to Pontiac.
Which is also beat down to hell town. When I started working at Pontiac Motors in 1964, Pontiac was a cool town with an active downtown. Shopping was diverse, and the streets busy with foot traffic and hardly a parking spot to be found.
They’ve even sold the Pontiac Silverdome Stadium… to a Canadian! Oh, the good times me and my boys had there watching the Lions and the Pistons play. They’re both still my favorite teams.
Without Pontiac Mtr’s 36 thousand employees (in its heydays) Pontiac’s now a lonely ghost town. Hardly more than a whistle stop. The shame is, Pontiac cars were the best GM had to offer. But, that’s how it goes when the top people running an auto company don’t even drive.
Despite all that, we picked up the kids and headed north to the campgrounds outside of Holly, MI. And, I’ll tell you all about that next time.
Ideas for me, your aging related story, or comments are very damn welcome.