Sometimes a musician's home is a perfect extension of his music. Of course, bigger-than-life Skynyrd knock-off Kid Rock sports a go-cart track running around a man-made pond at his house. Eternal scenester Stirling Silver's home is a veritable Detroit rock 'n' roll museum. But the Livona home belonging to Friends of Dennis Wilson frontman Tony Moran is, arguably, the most rock 'n' roll of them all.
It's certainly the most over-the-top.
Indeed, the Livonia Observer named the house "the most swinging ranch in Livonia." Moran shares his childhood home with his pop Dan, and every inch is airbrushed or covered in largely custom car-culture-inspired art and collectables. Each color-saturated room sees a different theme inspired by the mod and psychedelic '60s and early '70s. Walls are covered in B-movie (biker) posters, classic Kustom Kulture art work from Robert Williams, Ed Roth and Stanley Mouse, while hundreds of old lunch boxes, Hot Wheels, car models and actual choppers fill the house.
Tony and dad own several custom cars and choppers (including a '60s Triumph custom chopper by Motor City legend Ron Finch) and often work on them together. They each own a 1973 Plymouth 340 Duster. (Tony's is light blue, dad's is green.)
"We're cars and bikes to the bones," Moran says. Various Moran family members have for generations worked in the auto industry, including his father who worked at the Ford Rouge Plant, and who also happens to be a professional airbrush artist.
The automotive art embellishing Moran's house is reflected in the FODW's Nuggets-era psychedelic garage rock-biker music. "We started out in 2003 playing a bunch of shows with the Terrible Twos as a Cramps-inspired band. We couldn't really play so we made up for it with onstage antics."
The band has evolved since them — think darker, neo-psychedelic Verve by way of Spacemen 3 shoegaze — and for inspiration Moran doesn't look far. "It's fun to wake up in the morning," he says, "sit on a motorcycle and then just ride it out your front fucking door. Our whole house smells like gas and oil and paint and rubber, but that's the way we like it."
Go to myspace.com/friendsofdenniswilson. FODW's new self-titled album will hit streets (vinyl and mp3s) on March 3. You can also catch Moran DJing (as Mod Tee Pee) each Monday night at the Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668. Keep an open eye for Moran's annual fest, Fiberglass Freakout.
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