Monday, October 19, 2015

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sussudio: 21 Jump Street, Toledo Style

In the the 1983-84 school year, Toledo Police officer Phil Toney went undercover in the Toledo Public School system as part of an effort to crack down on  a drug ring that had been operating freely within the district. A pretty common crime-fighting tactic at the time, Toney's tenure is notable for one potentially disastrous slip: When it came time to build his cover, he, either by Freudian slip or sheer absent-mindedness, chose to go with the name "Phil Collins." (You can read the original story at 13ABC.) While the then 31-year old Toney's recent admission at least partially explains the difficulties toke! and his pals had scoring quality product during that time, the real story is how his "Phil Collins" alias escaped the scrutiny of both his TPD associates and the NARC-dar of the local High School drug gentry. "[It] Never really dawned on me until I first told somebody my name," remembers Toney, "and they said, 'Oh, yeah. Like the drummer in Genesis!"  Stoners-sometimes it seems the only thing they can do properly is screw themselves. 

My name? Robert. Robert Marley, nudge wink.

Actual names of dealers I've met and/or T-shirts I've seen: Dr. Feelgood, The Snowman, Queen of Green, Clown of Brown, Mr. Green, Boo Boo, Snitches are a dieing(sic) breed.

Also: Phill Collins as "Phil the Shill" on TV's hit drug drama, Miami Vice.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Maumee Rock City

Some say you gotta lose your mind there.
 #Necros, #Henry and June, #Soledad Brothers,  #Universe Crew, #McDonalds, #UpChuck, #Riot Squad, #Stain,

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"They Would Pick Him Up When He Fell." Rolling Stones Visit Gibson Guitar Factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1975

Keith Richards and Ron Wood tour the Gibson guitar factory July of 1975.
Like most of the small to medium sized rust belt burgs located within the inescapable gravitational pull of Detroit, auto manufacturing was a driving force in the economy of Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Until the mid-1990s, K-Zoo was home to both the Checker Motors Corporation and GM's two-million sq. foot Fisher Body stamping plant.) But, in a textbook example that odd dichotomy and attitude that defined the rust belt, Kalamazoo was also home to Gibson Guitar Factory--i.e., "yeah, wood or metal, strings or wheels, it don't matter much to us, we MAKE shit here." Founded as the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg Co. Ltd in the early 20th century, Gibson called 225 Parsons St. home until the move of its operations to Nashville was complete in 1984. A decade earlier, the Stones came to visit.
Gibson was owned by Norlin in '75, and in retrospect quality was at an all-time low. Ron Wood was still a relatively new Stone, and the band was slated to play COBO Hall on July 27 and 28. Keef was still living in 24/7 party mode.
Jump on over to MLive for the rest of the photos and the complete story.
As for the old factory on Parsons St.? It's still humming, turning out some of the finest quality instruments available today as the Heritage Guitar company.
(Photos Courtesy of WMU Archives and Regional History Collections)