LITTLE STEVEN'S UNDERGROUND GARAGE FESTIVAL
August 14, 2004
By DESTROIT SLICK
at Rikers Island
(no, sorry , that's Randall's Island, just to the west)
PHOTOS: Iggy & The Stooges - PETER WHITFIELD ;
All others - KITTY KOWALSKI of The Kowalskis
Kim Fowley, (who, it is spoken, had gone to the Spawn Ranch to get laid) was the MC of the day.
Chocolate Watch Band, Richard and the Young Lions, The Electric Prunes, The DICTATORS, the New York Dolls, Bo Diddley,
THE STOOGES .
These were the highlights of it. There were many others, but these were the faves.
The Stooges: AWE, Mayhem and Revelry.
Every once in a while, I stopped and tried to be objective about it. Simple songs, right? Straight up, chord stuff. Iggy flips around like a fish, pulled up on a hot pier. So what's the big deal why the fantastic mayhem?
Uhhhhh, there is no intelligence in looking at it this way. Like, who the fuck cares why I?D RATHER IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE REVELRY.
Sheer greatness, it is. It's so great the Asheton Boys were getting to do this. They deserve it. So the righteousness, the righteousness!!!!!
They delivered, and then some. And that's an understatement.
My enjoyment was enhanced by me being sandwiched by what felt like about 5-20 pounds per square foot of body pressure between two of the most gorgeous young things. This said pressure pulsed at a rate equal to the beat of the music. The dancing was in synchronized in such a way that the pulses of beat that was animated each quanta of "dance" movement (hereafter called a dancacule). Our legs pulsed toward each other then away, or as a electronics person world say: We were 180 degrees out of phase.
This took a continuous effort on HER part, so what the heck? I'll do my part to pass on the Spirit of Detroit Rock ?n? Roll, even in some small way that I can contribute in this moment .
One should do what one can.
I loved the Stooges, alright?
As with food, presentation, setting and service adds a factor to the enjoyment
In this case: Our mighty DESTROIT Stooges were served up in a way that was:
• 180 degrees out of phase;
• 1 in 500 on a standard of beauty;
• 2-10 lbs per square foot, pulsed.*
A tits, thighs and ass sandwich.
It was unique and pleasing experience and totally righteous. Now did this blur my judgment? Yes, but his is another reason I like Rock ?n? Roll - and you should too.
*Now, I couldn't calculate the pressure it ranged from. What felt like approximately 50% of what her weight would have felt like on a horizontal stacking of bodies, to 2G's, sometimes surging to a breath-inhibiting 4 or 5G's. We were 3rd deep from the front.
I'm sorry, did I forget something? Did this blur my judgment?
Did I forget something?
Tommy of the Star Spangles.
The day almost started badly. First, I didn't think I'd need my reading glasses for a rock show, and I'd mistaken Randall's Island for Rikers Island. When we were driving up 125th Street, I asked a cop, 'How do I get to Rikers Island?' This did not evoke a friendly response.
Things got menacing. The cop leaned toward us. We sped off, found the TriBorough Bridge, and then located Randall's Island.
It was great. It was medium-big for an outdoor fest, but not stupidly massive,
Every once in a while, I overheard people say something about "Charley is coming" and how this Charley had just killed 15 people in Florida.
Now, I felt the impulse to pace myself. With 45 bands on the bill, I had no intention of giving full attention to the whole thing.
Neither did I come here in the role of a godamned music critic.
FOR GOD'S SAKE, GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!!!! I can't tell you what someone was wearing or what equipment they used.
Richard in the Young Lions rocked, as one of the MCs stated. He spoke for me when he said it took him straight back to 7th grade, when "Open Up Your Door" was a HUGE hit on Detroit radio!!!! Amen brother, I got the he-bee-gee-bees. Yikes! It was going to be a Great Day.
Kim Fowley and Kitty Kowalski.
I got to see the Chocolate Watch Band. Cool.
The Electric Prunes' "Too Much to Dream" was right on the money. Yee haa.
The Paybacks were good. These sets were very short (ED: due to a breakdown by the revolving stage ) so there was this limit to building momentum, but this didn't hold back The Paybacks.
The Romantics: Yep, sho nuff, they delivered, and not like a half-hour old pizza pie either. They rocked.
(SORRY I CAN'T RECREATE THE WHOLE FUCKING SHOW FOR YOU.)
The gig had these wonderful GO-GO dancers, and when Nancy Sinatra played a rather relatively longer set (my guess is her connections gave her no fear of Charley either)...when she did "These Boots were made for Walkin' " and all the GO GO
Dancers came out, it was kinda sweet, I thought.
Chesterfield Kings. Yep, they rocked.
Festival organiser Little Steven and his Boss.
A Gore Gore Girl looks on.
THE DICTATORS!!!!! Fucking great. TOP TEN was back with them.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK.
BURN, BABY, BURN.
I AM RIGHT!
STAY WITH ME: Say no more.
As the fest continued, the MC announced something about shortened sets for The Ravonettes because Charley might becoming to NYC tonight. I don't mean to be judgmental but it was these Danes who got spooked into a shortened set, I thought to myself. I bet the Stooges aren't afraid of this Charley, fuck Charley. Yeah, fuck him.
A short commentary: AGE and Quality.
Bo Diddley: 70-something. No problemo. Some wines get better with time, some don't. Take that to your cellar and apply where appropriate.
The mighty Bo Diddley.
The New York Dolls: David Johansen (he looked like hell) started tentatively. As it went on, his comfort blossomed, You could feel his joy, playing to his beloved New York City, big time!! He sang great. The replacements of the dead were OK by me, and he blew a mean harp. Full points.
Let me put it this way: In Detroit/ Ann Arbor in the '60s and '70s. there was this guy who announced University of Michigan Football. His name: BOB UFER.
When something so superlative would happen on the field, BOB UFER would honk this horn. You know one of those medium-sized things with a rubber bulb that expels the air to honk it. Get it? Like when Little Anthony Carter scored a TD in the last moment of a big game against Indiana, UFER was reduced to sobbing and gulping for air, and the horn honked in the tempo of gulping sobs.
And It's Little Jimmy Osterburg. He is writhing, leaping. He is squirming, he is worming, He cannot be stopped.
ROCK ACTION: ABSOLUTELY BOWLS OVER ALL OPPOSITION, WITH DEVASTATING DOWN FIELD BLOCKS. UNRELENTING ,
Ron Asheton (my spellchecker wants to correct the spelling to "Acetone" - I wont do it !!!!) Sheds them with waves and waves of powerful and fuzzy chords.
He is stoic, he doesn't break a grin or a grimace. He is like a rock.
He is Clint Eastwood in "The Line of Fire". Gary Cooper in "High Noo"n. Or John Wayne "On the Sands of Iwo Jima". He is no glory hound, unrelenting. He stands them up , times his punches like Marciano, and just keeps coming at 'em.
This is soooooooooo fun, I am grining ear to ear. But of course, my judgement is prejudiced.
The Bass . A young(er), relatively newer guy.
The heart... the heart....It cant talk....
The horn is honking.
Osterburg: He is over the line.
Dozens of the crowd reciprocate: They are over the wall and onto the stage.
The crowd is going nuts.
More honking and sobbing....Destroit Slick is losing his mind!!!!
Hail to the Victors!!!
BACK TO THE BAR