City Slang: Clutch Cargo regresses to religion

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Pontiac club Clutch Cargo is being turned back into a church, according to clickondetroit.com.

A recap is in order. Clutch Cargo was a Detroit-based events group with ties to Bookies, St. Andrew’s, etc.
The venue in Pontiac was dedicated as a place of worship for local residents by the First Congregational Church of Pontiac back in 1911. However, it got off to a shaky start and mounting debts meant that it wasn’t ready to open until ’62.

35 years of worship followed, before the building was reopened as the Sanctum nightclub in ’97. In ’99, it again reopened as Clutch Cargo.

Never in the greatest location, the venue did host some cool shows. This writer remembers an interesting double-bill a few years ago featuring the Happy Mondays and the Psychedelic Furs. Feel free to share your own memories.

Somebody called Voice of Reason posted a comment on that ClickOnDetroit story, saying, “I always thought it was kind of sacrilegious to turn any church (of any faith) into a place like Clutch Cargos. I went there once for a concert, and it just seemed like a bunch of filth and debauchery and basically everything and anything that should not go on in a church (of any faith!).”

Personally, it’s the filth and debauchery that we liked. Whether there will be any less debauchery when the building reopens as a church owned by the Luther Family of Oakland Township and Grace Gospel Fellowship, the parent organization of Grace Centers of Hope, remains to be seen. An MT staffer recently told me that the best make-out spots in Detroit are next to dumpsters behind churches, because “nobody goes there at night.”

You didn’t hear it from us.


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