Thursday, December 29, 2011

UPDATE! 12.29.73 John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Toledo Sports Arena

Note to bands who wish to keep performing with their original lineup: Stay the hell out of private aircraft and Toledo.

John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra's December, 29th gig at the Toledo Sports Arena  was the fusion groups last performance with the original line up. For some reason, Elliott Sears -- the bands road manager and FOH engineer -- has repeatedly refereed to this historic Toledo date taking place on the 30th of December, not the 29th as advertised.
Does anyone know if the gig was rescheduled?

This just in (01/11/12), direct from the aforementioned Elliot Sears, Mahavishnu Orchestra road manager and sound engineer:
December 29, 1973 at the Toledo Sports Arena was the Mahavishnu Orchestra's second to last concert.  The following night, December 30, 1973 was the bands last performance which was held at the Masonic Auditorium in Detroit
The following link is a list of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra's concerts taken from my itineraries and verified other sources.  Although far from complete it is for the most part accurate.  There are 2 listing that came from outside sources but I question their validity especially April 9, 1972 at Philharmonic Hall in New York.

The MO gig list can be found at the link below.

Friday, December 16, 2011

12.16.79 KISS, Toledo Sports Arena: Kitty-Kats Last Stand

Peter Criss' last concert with the kabuki-faced rockers until the 1996 reunion tour, captured on the video above during the groups 1979 Dynasty tour. One viewing and it's clear the entire band is suffering from a case of  road-borne malaise. Peter's "official" departure date was May, 18th, 1980.

As Toledo's preeminent temple of arena rock worship for decades, the Sports Arena had seen it all by the time it was demolished in 2007. If the walls could talk, they'd probably say things like: "Hey burnout, quit urinating on me," and "Styx again?" or most likely, "It's a free clinic, your parents will never even know."

Let's take a look at some of the video's highlights:
0:11 Rent a Cop: "Sure the security gig doesn't pay much, but I'm making buku cash selling oregano to these suburban dopes."
0:36 Tallow-necked and mustachioed security guard performing the East-Side Heimlich on a 12-year old in the name of crowd control. 
0:42 Maumee High School Panther Band Jacket-REPRESENT!
0:44 Ace and Paul's lethargic windmilling ala Townshend; they know they're onstage, right?
0:52 "Cool" older kids filtering just before showtime: "Kiss suck, but it'll be a party."

Amazing photograph from the same concert by Toledo's own John Rockwood. tumbler

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Found Toledo #1: Toledo Steel Products

Toledo Steel Products Neon Clock.
"Makers of Fine Automotive and Aircraft Parts."
Spotted while cruising the vendor aisles at the Fall Carlisle Swap Meet.
Asking price $650.00

From the comments:
Fill me in on the fencing dude? Was that some sort of logo for the city or for Toledo Steel Products? Was fencing big in Toledo? -- Dave Martin

Blogger Toke! said...
@ Dave Martin: Yes Dave, before skateboarding and punk rock, the streets of Toledo were littered with roaming bands of disenfranchised youth, often engaging in impromptu fencing duels to settle turf disputes. The penalties for appearing in public without a mesh face-guard were swift and severe. But once Barry mail-ordered that Germs record, the fencing scene just died.

Actually, it was just a continuation on a theme started centuries ago in out sister city, Toledo, Spain.

From Wikipedia: Toledo steel, known historically as unusually hard, is from Toledo, Spain, which has been a traditional sword-making, steel-working center since about 500 BC, and came to the attention of Rome when used by Hannibal in the Punic Wars. Soon, it became a standard source of weaponry for Roman Legions. Toledo steel was famed for its very high quality alloy, whereas Damascene steel, a competitor from the Middle Ages on, was famed for a specific metal-working technique.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11.2.74 Lou Reed / Hall and Oates, University of Toledo Fieldhouse

Toledo Can't Dance

Lou Reed brought N.Y.C cool to the University of Toledo Fieldhouse on this November day in support of his most recent album, Sally Can't Dance. Blue-Eyed Pennsylvania Dutch Philly Soulsters Hall & Oates tagged along in the warm-up slot.

Of his fourth and most successful L.P. to date, Reed remarked:
"It seems like the less I'm involved with a record, the bigger a hit it becomes. If I weren't on the record at all next time around, it might go to Number One."
Although Hall and Oates had not yet struck gold singing about rich bitches, smiling Sara and private eyes, their third and current LP, Abandoned Luncheonette, did contain the literal composition, "She's Gone," which would go on to chart at #7 in 1976, only after being re-released by Atlantic on the strength of successful cover versions released by both Lou Rawls and Tavares.

Fine print running along the bottom of the poster rather desperately proclaims:  "This will be a very exciting show...and at a bargain price!"

First hand account of the gig from Boogie Records/Culture Clash proprietor and wise elder statesman of all things Toledo-rock, Pat O'Connor:
Plantland was a great concert promotion company headed by Ron ? a TU (sic) law student. He put a nice array of progressive shows, well for Toledo and the times.
I did see this show which I remember could have easily fit in the Student Union room. Not a lot of people but avid rabid fans. It was rather a schmultz feat as Lou was i his "super asshole I love when you hate me" phase. Gone were those hot as lightning Dick Wagner riffs from R n R Animal. In in with blonde hair product.
Glad I saw it. I didn't realize we'd all respect him, not only for his past endeavors, but also as a lobe artist, at the time. I can only hope we look back and say, "Man the album he did with Metallica was sooo great"
Respect your elders: Get into the Culture Clash and BUY SOMETHING!

4020 Secor Road
Toledo, Ohio 43623
(419) 536-5683

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We're Strong for Toledo.


Nice work people:
The Miracle Vitamins:
The ‘Leles:
Steven Mullan:
Mighthaveben the Band:
Bozarts Art and Music Gallery:
Audio by Little Elephant Recording:
Video by 3BYONE Media:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hello Dave.

This is Dave.
He played football with Mayor Bell at The University of Toledo back in the day. Now he makes BBQ. Really, really good BBQ. This is Brisket. So tender you don't need teeth.
Check out his self-contained mobile BBQ-rig; it's even got on-board hot water and a Coke cooler. Here's the back side, complete with separate wash sinks to keep those pesky health inspectors happy:
Here's some of his trophies and sauce. That's one of his many auxiliary BBQ's in the background:

Here's a front view of the whole operation, including the chicken grills on the right. Note the guys just hanging out batting the fat. Experts will tell that's how you find a good BBQ place; look for a bunch of old guys -non employees, preferably fat- just hanging around, doing nothing. Everyone needs heroes.

I would have gladly paid twice the price:
It was hot and humid the day I visited, 95 in the shade easy. But that only added to the experience.You can find Dave on St. Route 703 (AKA Celina Road) in St. Marys Ohio.
Here's the link to Google maps, if you can't find it on your own with this, you just don't like good BBQ.

Tell him HAL sent ya'.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Three Nights, Six Bands, Seven Bucks.

I Got Your Toledo Rock Party Weekend Right Here:

Friday:  The Bob Seger System & Electric Sideshow.
Saturday: MC5 & Orphic
Sunday: The Rationals and Orphic

State Theater, 2476 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, Ohio

Pass the word.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July, Bitches!

click on image for full-size display

For your information, it's real. And it's spectacular.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Silent Flaccidity

A pair of Franco-Italian relics from Citroen's hydro-pneumatic empire sit quietly awaiting their fate.
Citroen bought Maserati in 1968, hanging on to their Gallic independence until filing for bankruptcy in 1974.
Optimistic 1960's space-age elegance still apparent despite years of neglect.
I've been lucky enough to witness fully operational Citroen SM's in the wild, first in in N.Y.C. and then S.F., where the quirky and sophisticated SM seemed somewhat at home. Stumbling across these derelict  examples here in Toledo, I experienced the the same feelings of confused elation I imagine UFO-conspiracy kooks feel when they happen upon the remote scrap-pile of a residential bathroom remodel gone bad they're just sure is a UFO crash site.

The hydro-pneumatic suspension system that permits the SM to navigate crater-strewn streets and highways with such aplomb and neutrality also provides for the vehicle's variable ride-height capabilities, the bodywork often settling merely inches off the ground while at rest.

A total of 12,920 SM's were produced from 1970-'75, including 2,400 exported to North America in 1972-'73.

Where: Dorr St. near Holland Sylvania.
Best Case Scenario: These are simply parts cars, and a fully-functional Citroen SM is at this very moment plying the streets of Toledo, swallowing Fiat 500-sized potholes with indifference and wowing kiddies and jaded bystanders alike with impromptu curbside displays of automotive-suspension calisthenics. 
Worst Case Scenario: After completing an arduous restoration of concours quality, the formerly carefree enthusiast becomes a demanding pecksniff and begins to unravel with the sad realization that his meticulous grande routière will never experience the intoxicating effervescence of  genuine French air and hydraulic fluid simultaneously escaping from numerous locations along the vehicle's undercarriage while circling Avenue des Champs-Elysees during la vendage. Crushed by this glaring inadequacy, narcotics become the owners only form of relief, eventually abandoning the vehicles here during an opiate-fueled stupor.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bosco Got A Roscoe

Twenty-one year old random doodle from the pen of elusive Booger Clown/Lobster Boy Comix Head Cheese Felix Wilson Jr., recently unearthed during the latest attempt to organize the massive PDGB archives. Sharp-eyed devotees of the punk music will undoubtedly recognize the illustrator as the same guilt-ridden neurotic that gave the world, among other things, the gut-busting antics of "Bazooka Morris and His Gang" comic strip, the cover art for Toledo based rock band, Gone In Sixty Seconds, and most notably, the notorious 1983 LP cover from the band that boldly declared "You Suck!," a sentiment held so closely by the politically correct-adverse rock combo they found the need to reiterate it in 1994, and again in 2008.

For approximately three years, Bosco navigated the transient population and innate debauchery of Toledo's mighty Perth Manor with ease, always eager to share his portly and stylish fuzziness with anyone who offered a pant leg to rub up against. Over the years, Bosco* shared a mattress with numerous traveling luminaries and musicians including The Rollins Band, The Misfits/Samhain, and Das Damen. And he could eat like a freak.

*AKA Bosco Buddy, The Luxurious Bosconian, Samwich-Havin' Bosco, and about six-dozen other random nicknames. Just the very mention of the name "Bosco," can send former Perth House resident Michael Montgomery into an involuntary semi-catatonic state, tales of Bosco's adventures spilling forth with the gravitas of sacred words from a peyote-ingesting tribal elder.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Collect call for Mr. Paul Allen of Seattle:

You and your wallet are needed in Pittsburgh, STAT!

Paul Mawhinney was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Over the years he has amassed what has become the world's largest record collection. Due to health issues and a struggling record industry Paul is being forced to sell his collection.

This is the story of a man and his records. I hope you enjoy it.
But wait! How do we know he's not just some huckster trying to make a fast buck on a bunch of vinyl he pulled from the dumpsters behind the local Goodwill?
  1. Shirt-straining gut?--------------------check
  2. Gender neutral eyewear?--------------check
  3. Mewlery (PDGB for old guy bling)?---check
  4. Facial Hair?----------------------------check
It's cool-he's legit. He's one of us.
Never can be too sure with this type of thing.

Seriously, this is the most touching thing I've seen in quite awhile. But then I'm like that. Any readers know the current status of Paul and his vinyl?

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen is a well-known fan of music and pop culture, philanthropist, creator of the Experience Music Project, owner of the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trailblazers and a really, really, big boat. He's probably one of a handful of people with the cash to buy the collection and a place to put it.

NIPTDWTT (Nothing In Particular To Do With Toledo Thursday) Post - Blues Maker (1969)

Although many Toledoeans may find it of particular interest. 
Amazing documentary featuring Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell, singing and talking about his blues. Produced by the University of Mississippi.

(Double Click for full screen)

Monday, May 16, 2011

*Bong* *Bong* * Bong*: You Put Jelly Beans In 'Em.

"Mom always made the best hash brownies, until her old Waring mixer finally died. But now we can skip the trip to the kitchen and spark up her brownie mix anywhere with the new Bong Blender from Oster!"
You can bet Kim "Tootie" Fields has one.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

NIPTDWTT* (Nuthin' In Particular To Do With Toledo Thursday) Post

Although particular Toledoeans my find it of interest.
Bad Brains Live, West Palm Beach 3.20.87

1987 was a strange time for hardcore. Scene stalwarts Black Flag and Minor Threat had disbanded due to a confluence of factors, and the DKs had become a professional punk attraction for tourists. Redd Kross -god bless 'em- had long dropped all hardcore-pretension and were busy rocking out in all the stringy-haired glory we knew they could, while the CBGB's scene in NY evolved into this metal/thrash/skin scene that appeared have more inclusive rules than prison.

Major Labels came calling, and within a few years on either side of the video above, many once raucous, respected, and groundbreaking bands such as Husker Du, Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets, Butthole Surfers and the Bad Brains all politely took their seats at the corporate dinner table. I know, I know; but at the time it seemed like a big deal.

The genius of the Bad Brains is/was they  never set out specifically to be a "hardcore" band, they simply happened to be a group of intensely talented individuals who fully understood and harnessed the passion, speed and power of  hardcore on their own terms, merging it with their existing artistic and occasionally un-PC agenda.  As such, the typical regimented artistic boundaries of the hardcore scene seemingly didn't apply, or at very least the rulebook was open for broad interpretation: Witness here, a non-ironically Cosby-sweatered Dr. Know dispensing chorus-pedal tainted Rasta-Var-Halian licks far more akin to the Sunset Strip axe-shredding sensibilities of the day than the HC pentatonic template hammered out on the stages of the Masque, 9:30 and Freezer Theater. But in their hands, it works.

The Spring Break crowd appears polite enough, but with the exception of a few enlightened individuals, it's clear the Bad Brains energy is lost on the Beach Blanket Bongo audience.

Although pieces of this video have been floating around for years, this is the first time I've ever seen it available in it's entirety.

While we're getting all misty-eyed over post '85 Hardcore, check out Dave Markey's amazing doc of life on the road with Black Flag. The first true hardcore Cali band to put out a record and tour east, BF essentially wrote the HC guidebook in the process. Despite theses accomplishments, BF remained so unsatiated they took said book, scribbled in-between the lines, doodled in the margins, and tore off both covers plotting their future. Right fucking on.
BUMMER! It appears they've pulled the plug on this vid due to copyright restrictions.

"Reality 86'd" A film by David Markey (c) 1991 We Got Power Films. (TRT 01:01:51) A road documentary shot from the inside of the last Black Flag tour ever (the 1986 "In My Head" US tour.) Greg Ginn along with Henry Rollins, Cel Revulta, and Anthony Martinez comprise the final line up of the band. Featuring behind the scenes proceedings and live performances from Black Flag, Painted Willie, and Gone (Ginn's side project, then featuring Sim Cain and Andrew Weiss (later of the Rollins Band) . Filmmaker / musician David Markey was along for the entire trip as the drummer / singer for Painted Willie (with Phil Newman & Vic Makauskas), documenting the six month tour as it happened. Also features roadie Joe ("Planet Joe") Cole, soundmen Davo Claasen and Dave "Ratman" Levine, and the tour manager who kept it all together, Mitch Bury. A crucial turning point in American underground rock. The end of the line for a trail blazing American band.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"No Springs, Honest Weight" Toledo Scale

Sparrow Market. Ann Arbor, MI

"We are not obligated to sell one more scale, but we are morally bound to service the scales we have already sold."
Henry Theobold 
Founder, Toledo Scale

It's always satisfying to see one of these older Toledo-born & bred babies out in the wild still providing reliable service with their trademark accuracy. I'm 99% sure the scale pictured above is a model 2110, which has been in production for over half a century with only  minor mechanical, cosmetic and nomenclature revisions. The globe is positively littered with vintage examples still in daily use, their presence serving not only as gentle reminders of the industrial might Toledo once wielded, but also as artifacts from an era when machinery was designed with serviceability and longevity in mind. Mr. Theobolds  mission statement (above) represents a concept that seems to have  escaped the "stack 'em deep and sell 'em cheap" importers peddling much of the disposable junk equipment available today. And when I was a boy, this here internet was all farmland.

Through a series of innovations including the patented and slogan-inspiring spring-free dual pendulum movement, Toledo Scale revolutionized the industry in the early 1900's and absolutely dominated the retail point-of-sale and industrial scale 
business for the rest of the 20th century.  

Although the corporate H.Q. moved 120 miles south to Columbus in the mid-1970s, a small amount of manufacturing muscle stayed put at  their Albert Khan-designed Telegraph Road Facility in Toledo until 1984. Hopes of production of any capacity resuming at the location were crushed on July 5th, 1985, when the building -which had previously survived a direct hit from the devastating Palm Sunday Tornado in 1965- was destroyed by fire. In 1989 T-Scale merged with Mettler, a highly regarded Swiss manufacturer of precision lab instruments, the pair emerging from the union as Mettler-Toledo.

But this story is not one entirely of bittersweet Toledo nostalgia. Unlike the majority of corporations that abandoned Toledo in the 70's, Mettler-Toledo still employs actual Americans, including many right here in the good old USofA! At last check, their worldwide payroll included over 11,000 employees, 3000 of which stateside, including 700 in central Ohio.
Here is John.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Digging a Ditch: Tim Kerr & Brian Mank, 9/83

Click for Larger View
An otherwise bone-dry culvert overflowing with passion, soul and style. Necros tour, somewhere East(?) of Austin, Texas. 1983.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

DORITOS LOCOS TACOS: Yes Toledo, This Is Really Happening

Am I the only one in awe of the fact that a new Taco Bell menu item, a taco whose shell is comprised solely of a giant nacho-cheese Dorito is available ONLY in Toledo, Ohio*!? It's called “Doritos Locos Taco,” and frankly, I can't wait to barf one -or seven- up in the hopper next Saturday, Friday, Thursday, tonight at 4:00 AM. I can't think of a better food product to put a culinary cap on a night of drinking cheap beer and pricey tequila.
I've searched and searched for the (Columbus-dissing, no less!) TV commercial on the webernets to no avail...till then, it appears there is a movement pending (insert bathroom joke here) to take the delectable nationwide: 

Even better: At this point, "There is no indication that Taco Bell will make the Doritos Locos Tacos nationally available" according to widely revered authority on such matters, Foodbeast.

But really, can Toledo honestly be considered a test market? Where better to hawk nutritionally ambiguous gut-bombs encased in a radioactive-hued corn shell? Proud Toledoeans will stand in line all day and pay triple the going rate just for the privilege!

*I added "Ohio" in order to avoid confusion with Toledo, Spain, where tradition dictates all prepared meats and produce be served in a large nacho-cheese Dorito shell.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

04.16.11 Record Store Day Toledo 2011: Forty Sad Portraits Of Closed Record Stores

Sad, I've been in at least ten of these forty stores over the years. On the bright side, Steve Jobs can finally make the last lay-away payment on that sweet Kenmore washer/dryer combo his wife's been hinting at. I hear that little minx is quite the homemaker.

347 Yonge St. without the iconic "Sam the Record Man" neon signage? 
How will tourists navigate Toronto? 

It's not the commerce I miss so much, it's the hang.
Luckily, we've still got a few places worthy of your time and money right here in Toledo:
Culture Clash Records
Rama Lama Records
Shakin Street Records
And in Ann Arbor:
Wazoo Records

It just wouldn't be right to conclude this pity-party without shedding at least a few tears in honor of some personal favorite fallen temples of vinyl worship: Sounds, NYC; The original School Kids, Ann Arbor; Purple Phrogg, North Lima; Boogie, Toledo, Zed, Long Beach/O.C., and many, many, more.

Thanks to J.Yuenger for the heads up on this list.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

03.30.68 Jimi Hendrix Experience at The TU (aka University of Toledo) Fieldhouse

Sunday Special: Roast Beef OR Fried Chicken Only 99¢!
From the Toledo Blade, March 30, 1968
Honestly, do you think anyone is gonna' come out to that stinky-old fieldhouse and lay down $1.50 to see some equally smelly hippie with a Fender guitar jumping around onstage, stroking his ego and making suggestive (really, is there any other kind?) sex-faces at the young ladies in attendance with all these tasty and nutritious dining options available for the same coin?  Likewise, if Mr. Hendrix had a sensible bone in his body, he'd put down that mid-performance guitar tartare he's so fond of and instead sink his teeth into one of Harold's tantalizing specials ASAP.

 A side note to Mr. Promoter: 
Look, all of us in the biz know hyperbole is part and parcel with concert promotion. From the xeroxed flyers stapled to telephone poles by excited teenagers to Grand Funk's legendary, sixty-foot high, city block-long Time Square Billboard, the goal is to "get the message out!" at any cost. But I honestly believe you've gone overboard here; some of that lettering is nearly one-half an inch tall! We don't need your kind tarnishing the otherwise sterling reputations of rock promoters.


Photo: Daniel Byrne

Here's a (rare)early A.M. shot of toke! and four-time AHMRA British European and American Racing Series National Champion Kenny Cummings preparing to unleash the sonic fury of his Vintage Norton Commando race bike on the still-slumbering citizens of the West Village.
Rise and shine people!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Necros T-shirts: Get 'Em While They're Tepid!

6/14/11: HEY! They can be found HERE.

"So Uncool"
Maumee Gym (kinda) T-shirt   
  • Straight from the source: The fellas printed these up last summer for the Why Be Something You're Not book release party/concert in Detroit, where three of the guys performed as Sorcen-Get it?   S-O-R-C-E-N. Clever, no? 
  • Scholars of Midwest Hardcore History will undoubtedly find these shirts as witty as they are stylish; Do you know which barely-released (original pressing of only 100 copies, but bootlegged ad nauseam) Necros song the quote is from?
  • Get 'em while you can, when these are gone, there won't be no more
  • Size M measures 17" pit to pit and 23" collar to bottom hem, they increase dimensionally from there.  
  • Gildan 50/50 cotton blend T
  • Maumee provenance: Actually printed by Jimmy from next-generation Maumee rockers Henry and June, 1/2 half of which would later become the Soledad Brothers, the half with Jimmy becoming Boogaloosa Prayer, whose drummer happens to be original Necros drummer Todd Swalla. Patchwork threads of integrity woven here, no waiting   
  • No stains, pit or otherwise, but we're happy to entertain any requests regardless of perversion

    Get Yours Here: Maumee City Madhouse.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why Did Glenn Frey Roll The Rationals Van?

Was it:
  1. Because the Detroit Native suffered a momentary, hallucinogenic-induced glimpse of a future world gone mad some forty-years hence, where, even after writing dozens of criminally-mellow top ten money-making hits for the Eagles and guest-starring on Miami Vice, his seemingly incoherent, booze-addled band-mate Joe Walsh would still be considered "the cool one," by non-dicks everywhere? 
  2. Because he was hurrying to meet Cher at a Bally Total Fitness Center to engage in a shiny, satin/spandex-clad and poofy-coiffed workout of such crass intent that even fellow wealth enthusiast and Eagles band-mate Don Henley would hang his head in shame?
  3. Or was it simply a case of the heat, in fact, being on? 
      Like all good modern-day folklore, the story accompanying the above photograph evolved fast and furiously on the lips of those farthest from the facts, speculation and hearsay eventually evolving into climatic local legend, truth be damned:
      "Frey rode along with The Rationals to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and upon arrival immediately encountered the MC5, who were wasting no time leaving Chi-town and suggested The Rationals do the same, post-haste. And, due to the chaos, rioting, and confusion in the streets, the van went greasy-side up during a high-speed evasive maneuver required to guarantee the band and their gear safe passage from the streets of Chicago." A romantic story, but bogus nonetheless. 
      The Truth Comes Out:
      Years later, Frey came clean while being interviewed about gigging at Traverse City, Michigan's 1960's teen hangout, The Tanz Haus:
      “Yeah I remember the place,” laughed Frey. “One time I borrowed The Rationals van to get up there and I was flying through a small town (Manton) and lost control of the van on the curve and totaled the van and trashed the equipment I borrowed as well.”
      Club employee Sue Sivek also remembers that night:
      “It was May 13, 1967 and I noted in my diary that his band, The Mushrooms, were not very good, they were mediocre at best. But I also noted that the singer (Glenn) was good and had talent. You could tell he was better than the rest. Though most of us were shocked when he made it big.”
      FUN FACT: Glenn sings backup and strums acoustic guitar on the awesome original version of Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man."

      Although The Rationals' legacy may not shine with the same intensity as their rust-belt rock'n'roll brethren, they stood shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the MC5, The Frost, and The Stooges while hammering their own R&B influenced sound out of the indigenous hard Michigan rock. So much so, John Sinclair named his book Guitar Army: Rock and Revolution with The MC5 and the White Panther Party after the Rationals song of the same name.

      Friday, February 11, 2011

      02.11.75 Queen and Kansas at University of Toledo Student Union Auditorium

      PDGB can only imagine the backstage interaction between a hot-panted and purse-lipped Freddie Mercury and the burly, bearded -yet curiously progressive- heartland rockers of Kansas.

      Mercury, seated before a personalized tea service whilst clutching his velvet-draped scepter: "Hmmmn, hmm, hello boys. Join me in a cup of tea?" 

       Kansas members, replying in satin tour-jacketed unison: "Helmet laws suck motherf#*%er!"

      Faintly, from a Kansas roadie in the distance: "Peavey Ruuuuules!"

      Within a year or so of this gig, I read a quote (a bold pull-quote, no less) in Creem Magazine from a member of Kansas regarding the artistic integrity of the then chart topping media darling, Bruce Springsteen: "That's not talent, it's just two chords going back and forth." Suddenly, the phrase "Comparisons are odius" made complete sense. I like to think that somewhere, the narrow chest of my seventh-grade English teacher* swelled ever-so slightly against the constraint of his cable knit sweater vest. If they can't see something in it's own light, so be it; I'm not going to try and change any minds. But that didn't mean I had to give a shit about any of them.

      Later that week I picked up the Ramones first Album.

      *Mr. Kratzman was my seventh-grade English teacher at Gateway Middle School In Maumee, Ohio. In addition to banging his head against the wall in response to our generally knuckled-headed juvenile existence,  dropping the occasional Lydgate, Cervantes and (attention pecksniffs: feel free to argue the spelling/origin of odius here, I haven't the time or concern) Shakespeare reference, he could bang out show tunes night and day on the old Gateway upright piano, often accompanied by Mrs. Uhause(sp?) on vocals. He was truly the son my mother wished for. If only the Maumee curriculum specified for a yearly visit from TRCKAK(The Rock Combo Known As Kansas), we'd all be editing the Westminster Review by now.