Roy Mabel photo
ROY LONEY with PURPLE KNIF
PJ's Lager House
January 22, 2011
By TIM HURLEY of HURLCO
Roy Loney, backed by Purple Knif, brought a warm thaw to frigid winter at PJ's Lager House on January 22, 2011 in Detroit.
Longtime fan of his since opening for the MC5 with the Flamin' Groovies at the Grande' in 1968, the Hurley Family (aka: HURLCO) had to come out of retirement for this one. We're glad we did.
Upon entering the club, we made a beeline for Roy who was sitting at the bar getting his pre-set lube on. We chatted a bit as he graciously autographed a handbill for the gig designed by Gary Grimshaw.
As he took the stage, the energy level spiked.
We were stage-front and could read the set list. A precedenct was established when he ignored it and "ownpened" up with "Diablo". It was OK...but when the band segued into "Don't Believe Those Lies", the house started rockin'.
Roy looked his age...but did not act like it. Strumming his acoustic guitar with an electric band, he still had all the moves and enormous stage presence. The shit began to fly when they played "Phantom Movers". The crowd went ballistic and we all started dancing like kids.
Standouts of the set included "Roadhouse", "Shake Some Action", "Second Cousin", "Teenage Head" and of course the set ending "Slow Death"...which was actually written in Detroit...of course. Ah' but we were very fucking alive that night.
Roy sang his heart out. The band was cookin' with Crisco and by the 3rd or 4th number and they locked into a very deep pocket of raucous thunder that satiated the crowd. Roy knows how to put the "Roll" into Rock N' Roll. The band was clearly having as much fun as Roy feeding off the energy a live crowd of rabid foaming jackals lusting for the Real Thing. At one point, the bass player grabbed the mic and said: "We are from Ohio and now all live in New York. We've never played in Detroit and I gotta' tell you something. We played Cleveland last night and they aint' shit compared to Detroit!" Amen Brother.
Detroit loves to break the cherry of a band and they became baptized in Detroit...losing their collective hymen in the process. It was fucking great.
After "Slow Death" and the band began to unstrap their guitars...Roy just stood there and grinned. The assembled gathering of folks representing the Rebellious Rocker Society of Detroit & Ann Arbor were going apeshit. After a dramatic pause he said: "Well, we could pretend to leave the stage and come back...but lets just stay right here and do it!"
Their encore was...get this..."Bye Bye Johnny".
What a show. I'll take a gig like that for 10 bucks and you can keep the tired-ass Eagles for $250.00.
This was just the way God intended Rock N' Roll to be. Wish you were there.