This is a new column — part music news, part Hedda Hopper, part tripe and sometimes sincere — by Metro Times contributors. It will run whenever we see fit.
You gotta love a town that has a rep for streetwise toughness and yet still has the heart to return an errant credit card to a visiting major-label exec. A few weeks back, music-biz myth-maker Seymour Stein (yes, he who bestowed upon the world both Madonna and the Ramones) was in town doing what so many label weasels have been doing of late: looking for the next Detroit pop sensation (heh, heh, that still seems like such a strange concept now, even with all the hype and such). Anyway, seems Stein left his “Never Leave Home Without It” at the Magic Stick after a bout of noshing in front of the Sights (a band he later frothed over).
Well, one freaked-out waitress, a Bloody Holly bassist and a few “should I or shouldn’t I’s?” later, Stein was reunited with his Expense Account’s Little Helper.
Another band that pricked Stein’s ears that Tuesday night was Bogue. With the recent departure of trapsman Matt Blake still fresh in their grills, the Bogue two-guitar front line of Dan Meister and Mike Walker recruited temp-banger extraordinaire Eric Cook (who has ably manned the kit stool for both Bantam Rooster and Gravitar in past rock lives). Now it seems Bogue has filled the vacated skinner slot with Illinois transplant Bill Hafer, who (according to unnamed sources) is an “absolute fuckin’ monster!”
Still, we’ll have to wait a bit to check up on Bogue since Meister is currently subbing on bass for the Detroit Cobras after the departure of Disco Nawara, the bottom-line rock upon which the Wildbunch/Electric Six boogie is built.
Seems that after a half-dozen years of flirting with breakups, obscurity, cryonics and arena-rock stardom, the Electric Six may have found the chink in the pop-culture armor they’ve been looking for. With a single due out on XL and a brand-new album in the can, these debauched nighthawks have ingratiated themselves enough with the public to convince someone to underwrite a minitour of the UK. As Jackie Harvey would say: Item! The Electrical Six are hot as a light socket!
The Electric Six will unleash a completely different side of the Detroit rock face on the unsuspecting limeys starting on October 22 in Brighton and wrapping up on the 28th in London. (I’m sure you can plan on Metro Times’ London Affairs Chief Shireen Liane to give us the poop on how the pasty-folk react to Dick Valentine’s rock propositions).
Monday, Sept. 30, 2002, Hamtramck, Mich. The world-famous Lili’s 21 club passed away today, shutting its doors for the last time. After a weekend of viewing, this was the final service. And because the place was overcrowded, hundreds waited in vain outside.
Among the mourners in attendance were Wally Palmer (Romantics), Free Press columnist Mike Duffy, ex-Mutants Pasadena and Tom Morwatts, Hiawatha from the Cult Heroes, Niagara, and many faces from the past and present Detroit/Hamtramck scruffy rock ’n’ roll elite who had paid their dues in the place.
Lines for the bathrooms were longer then usual, the beer was warmer then usual, the atmosphere less intimate then usual, but despite said conditions, few seemed to mind.
Bootsy X and the Lovemasters put the ball over the fence and sealed the casket shut on the highest note possible.
Bartender Michael Karwowski announced last call shortly before 2 a.m., a cheer went up among the faithful still standing, hugs mixed with tears; it ended all too soon.
Requiem for a diva
Few people ever embodied the spirit of Detroit techno like Laura Gavoor — free, electric, powerful, inventive and passionate. Gavoor, 44, who lost her life after an aneurysm last week, was integral to Detroit’s cultural resurgence. Her influence in making our Techno City the shadowy epicenter of dance floor savvy is incalculable. In many ways, Gavoor was the mother of Detroit techno and house. So many interconnected things happened because of her touch that it begs the question of whether or not techno would have ever taken off on a mass scale without her.
Gavoor threw many of the city’s seminal techno events, she ensured that Detroit artists were booked worldwide and paid accordingly, she ran Derrick May’s Transmat label for a while, she was Motor’s connection to global street cred and was partly responsible for its bookings — and the list goes on. She’d even managed the majority of Detroit’s old-school talent at various points. Lately, Gavoor dove into the world of sound track deal-making. Laura wanted Hollywood to look to Detroit for its futuristic sounds.
A product of the disco and post-disco scenes, her understanding of Detroit’s artistic ability and her desire to show it to the world seemed boundless. In a recent conversation about the Detroit underground’s continued potential, Gavoor boldly announced, “People think that disco died in the ’70’s. Well it ain’t dyin’ this time! Hell no!” Neither, it seems, is she.Send quips, comments and rants for Hit Singles to [email protected]