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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Grand Funk Railroad on Playboy After Dark

Hugh Hefner's recipe for a good time: Tony Randall, Barbie Benton, and Grand Funk Railroad. I dare you to come up with a more volatile trifecta of ingredients for achieving maximum hedonism. The perfect salve for our troubled souls in these trying times.


Fun Fact: Mark Farner infamously used a Messenger brand guitar, which featured an aluminum and magnesium neck and a built-in boost/distortion circuit. While little is known about this short-lived, west-coast based luthier, we do know the guitars used De Armond pickups, designed and manufactured right here in Toledo, Ohio. Pictorial evidence indicates Farner replaced the De Armond pickups with humbuckers somewhere along the line.

DeArmond-pickups-toledo-rowe


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Monday, March 16, 2020

Mark, Mel, and Don: The Rise and Fall of Grand Funk Railroad

grand funk railroad new york
Times Square, New York City, June 14, 1970.
Quarantine got you down? Why not check out Peter Makowski's condensed account of when three working-class yobs from Flint, Michigan, tapped into the national zeitgeist and briefly ruled the world?
Excerpted from Grand Funk Railroad: The Forgotten Story of a True American Band
"But the fact that the media played absolutely no part in Grand  Funk’s success turned out to be a major selling point to their audience. Critic/documentary maker, native of Detroit and bona fide Funk fan Michael Moore once said: 'People loved this band because some record company didn’t concoct it; image consultants didn’t choreograph it. This was a people’s band that just wanted to rock. A hard-driving, industrial rock’n’roll band that related to the average hard-working American.'
Indeed. There was a huge, ignored and uncatered-for audience in the U.S. Midwest who worked nine to five, paid their taxes and every weekend partied their brains out on a mixture of ripple wine, grass and barbiturates. While the middle classes had the privilege to protest about Vietnam, these poor bastards were actually being shipped out there to fight. This was a pissed-off generation who simply wanted to rock’n’roll. Grand Funk came to the rescue." –Peter Makowski, Classic Rock  / Louder
Now surf on over and read the complete story on LOUDER

Monday, February 17, 2020

John Brannon Crowd Surfing at Circle Jerks Gig in Detroit 06-06-82

CircleJerks-John Brannon-Negative-Approach

With the Circle Jerks officially back in the saddle and the news that Detroit's favorite Fun Boy Three tribute band, the mighty Negative Approach, will be firing up the van and strapping on the jackboots in order to accompany Morris, Hetson, Schloss, and Associates on the majority of the dates, I figured this photo would make a timely addition to the long-dormant PDGB blogroll.


Long story long, the day started in Ann Arbor, where we stole a Rick Springfield promotional standup from the dearly missed Schoolkids Records, with every intention of giving to the Circle Jerks. We did, they played, and Keith utilized the cardboard Rick as stage prop while the crowd partook in the usual sweaty shenanigans that culminated in JB getting in some epic crowd surfing runs. NA, of course, opened the show, and now the Circle Jerks are reuniting for a tour to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Group Sex, their influential first release. Concerned the punkness needed a little extra shove to send it over the edge, they invited Negative Approach and Adolescents along for the ride. Now shaping up to be the Old Punker event of the summer, the tour dates are below. Sadly, at this point it doesn't look like the fellas will be venturing East of the Mississippi, but we're confident there are more dates to come.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Ford v Ferrari Trailer Released

The story of when two wealthy auto scions, Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari, went to war on the race track to settle a grudge. Caroll Shelby and Ken Miles made it happen. If any genre of non-documentary action film has consistently failed to deliver on the promise of capturing the excitement and the quirky human aspect of its principals, it's automobile racing. The exception, of course, is Ron Howard's Rush, which though quite popular internationally barely made blip on the radar of American viewers. Historically, the problem is not the on-track action sequences–Steve McQueen's Le Mans offers some of the most realistic on-track and driver's point of view motor racing sequences ever recorded and basically re-wrote the rule book for automotive action photography–but the script. Whether fictional or historically accurate, the backstory rarely lives up to its potential, the off-track segments of many motor racing films simply interludes to string the action sequences together. We sincerely hope Ford v Ferrari,  which is scheduled to premiere on November 15, 2019, breaks this unfortunate tradition.

Based heavily on Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans (2009), A.J. Baime's exhaustively researched and comprehensive account of the all-out assault by the Ford Motor Company to beat Ferrari at Le Mans, the trailer for Ford v Ferrari appears promising. (FTR, reports of Baime's dissatisfaction with the Hollywood's treatment of him and his work are beginning to surface.)  Starring Christian Bale as Ken Miles, the Shelby test driver and racer who helped develop the Ford GT40 Mk II, and Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby, it certainly has no shortage of Marquee actors to bank on.
No word on if Matt Damon used N.O.S. cans of Carrol Shelby's Pit Stop deodorant before shooting his scenes.    
Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Josh Lucas, Caitriona Balfe, John Bernthal

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Official Trailer for Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time In Hollywood" Looks Amazing


The trailer for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood appears to confirm what we already suspected: The work blends touch points in history with film and pop culture references to artfully craft a pastiche guaranteed to trigger the sensibilities of viewers who either experienced the era or wish they would have. Look for it to hit theaters on July, 26, 2019, nearly fifty-years to the day after the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders that serve as a time marker in the movie.  Ordered by Charles Manson, the murders and their aftermath would reverberate through Hollywood for decades to come and remain a defining moment for many of a certain age.

once_upon_a_time_in_hollywood

We're especially digging Cliff Booth's (Brad Pitt) classic white "Champion" T-shirt. Champion Spark Plug was based and operated in Toledo, Ohio, by the Stranahan family from 1910 though 1989. Still in operation, it is now owned by Federal Mogul.

Check out the partial cast below: 
Leonardo DiCaprio
Brad Pitt
Margot Robbie
Kurt Russell
Timothy Olyphant
Dakota Fanning
Luke Perry
Margaret Qualley
Al Pacino
Bruce Dern
Emile Hirsch
Scoot McNairy
Damon Herriman
Austin Butler
Lena Dunham
Nicholas Hammond 
Mike Moh
Rumer Willis