Thursday, August 2, 2007

I GET MAIL!

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Following are some of the best e-mails I received in response to my first Metro Times piece. (Leah Warshaw, who wrote one of the very best, is the only writer who gave me permission to use her name

because she’s the only one I’ve spoken to thus far. But if anyone else wants their name printed, just e-mail me and I’ll post it immediately. Thanks!)

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Hey Bill,

Welcome back to Detroit. Liked your article, very well written and I will enjoy more in the future, I'm sure. Just some info: the blackout that happened in 2003, the metro Detroit portion of it started during the soundcheck for Iggy & the Stooges' first Detroit show in like bizzillinon years or something. Blind Pig still puts on a kickass lineup. Arena rock is still great in Cobo and Joe Louis.

That's all that I can think of. Again, welcome back, good job, and good luck.

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Dear Bill,

I could relate to what you wrote in so many ways. I left MI for San Francisco in 1971 and thought I'd never return and came back to visit in 1982 and I'm still visiting. Your article was excellent and I look forward to a weekly read in the Metro Times.

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Bill

Just wanted to share that I really enjoyed the read. And where do I find Angel?

Hope you settle in sooner rather than later

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Bill,

A friend just emailed me your Metro Times article from today, and I just wanted to say "welcome back"!!

I live in Lansing, and can honestly say I still brag about Let’s Talk About Girls to all the folks around here whose “ageism” makes them think they've heard great local bands.

In September of 1986, I took a girl on a first date to Rick's in East Lansing to see the band, and I ended up marrying her. Thank you.

I credit my dad's jazz collection and LTAG as being huge influences in my development of appreciating the passion in music, so you can be assured that I am sincere when I say that I am excited you're back, and look forward to reading you again.

Congrats!

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Loved the article I myself left Detroit many years back, returning about three years ago to find it is a city of geniuses going in circles. You may have noticed this in small doses before you left for California 20 years ago. Yet, Detroit could be everything it wants to be if the people of this city would just suck up their pride and let things happen.

First thing I would do is stop referring to this city as a “motor city.” Yeah, yeah, we invented the whole thing umpteen years ago but I think with the thousands of jobs lost and now that most of our vehicles are made in Mexico and China then shipped, here it's time I think we moved on from this little saying. next big beef: Motown THEY LEFT. The museum is located where most people can't find it, on the outskirts, not in downtown -- and the owners are too cheap to invest in a tour bus. So they should not get any more free promotions. Honestly, if had not been for the stellar back up band that carried half the artists, there would be no Motown.

Watch how we miss the brass ring in this town, as we fall deeper into debt. Detroit isn’t Vegas. we have the casinos but no big time entertainment shows, like the blue man group or Siegfried & Roy before the tiger incident. So, if I’m a traveling to gamble, and maybe take in a show, and I can choose Vegas with its nice weather, shows, and prostitution ... or Detroit with the Motown museum that I cant find and maybe a half-ass show that I can't find because there is no billboard anywhere pointing me where to go.

Detroit's one-up is they should run gambling ads for Detroit tourism. prostitution is legal in Canada. It’s unlikely to happen here, but that draws my attention to the city. (By the way, they legalized weed and prostitution in Canada when you were gone, and if it hadn’t been for the whole 911 thing, it would still be a great country to visit on the weekends.

One thing you wrote about in the article is Detroit's musical influences on the rest of the world. when I was in Chicago, I used to produce an underground television show, interviewing local and international DJ's. what I found most unique was that the words Detroit came up with quite often when referring to the roots of techno music.

What this city needs is a serious jolt in the ass, the final brass ring that they are missing. For years, they have been pumping out kids from Henry Ford, U of M, Wayne State and even Specs Howard -- video majors and sometimes audio majors who leave here looking for the big dream somewhere else when it could lie right in front of them with the right direction.

Breaking new musicians with video and with today’s technology could be done at about half the cost of what it used to cost me and a lot faster. Detroit could easily be an independent Hollywood without the sleazy taste.

As for Motown, there's a lot more music that’s been invented in this town than just Motown, and I think we really need to star referring to our town as “the music capital to the world.” it just sounds better and bigger and that's what we need.

Anyhow, sorry to rant. if you’re looking for someone to show you around town and not waste your time, I’d love to show you around. by the way, the State is now the Fillmore, which is sad because how really famous was a place called “the Fillmore” to the people of Detroit? Hell, the Grande still has more personality and yet it sits vacant. G

Great article. I very rarely read the Metro Times anymore. I'll explain that one later!

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Loved the article in Metro Times... I, too, came back after a long stay away...partly in California (when Stevie – “Don't call me Stephanie” – Nicks was first hitting) and partly in Asheville NC.........the Smokey Mountains. Please stop by in your travels and I'll buy you a few brews and talk about the old days.

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Wow, what goes around, comes...this is great news for Detroit Rock City and the Metro Times.

I was at MSU when you ran roughshod over the Entertainment section of the State News, and for that I am forever grateful.

Christ, I'm actually listening to X in my office right now. Maybe I'll follow it up with some Pere Ubu...

I remember the shit storm that ensued after your preview of an upcoming REO Speedwagon show in Lansing when you suggested anyone stupid enough to be going to the show should save their money and buy a copy of REO's live album at Wazoo and listen to it, instead.

And, I fondly remember your film reviews, and a particularly enthusiastic one for Debbie Does Dallas. And then later, your's and Barry's band...was it Let's Talk About Girls?

Anyway, welcome back, I look forward to reading your work.

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I don’t know anything about that feud with KISS and Gene Simmons (other than what you’ve written), but consider me a long-lost new friend.

I enjoyed the whole article.

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Welcome home.

I remember seeing LTAG at Rick's in East Lansing in the 80's. Great memories of a very cool band, during a very cool time in my life.

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Oh man! I had so many good things to say in my letter. I tried to send it while I was at work and my boss walked in. You will be glad to know I still have a job and didn't get caught!

My dad was born in Detroit. When he was 14, he moved to LA and stayed for 20 years. His stories of being a rocker hanging out on the Sunset Strip were more entertaining than nursery rhymes. I can't wait till your next piece.

You make me rethink my abandonment of music journalism.

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Bill,

I thought about whether I should title this email "welcome home" or simple "welcome to Michigan", seeing how your article in today's Metro Times discussed your alienation at coming back to a place that's changed so drastically in your absence. But then, Michigan, and especially Detroit, is built on alienation. This is a place that people loyally defend because, in part, it's so difficult to explain to people in other cities why anyone would want to live here. I think it also characterizes our music scene which you described as being incredibly strong and supportive, if insular. I've heard that Detroit has a reputation for being difficult for touring bands, that bands which would get full houses elsewhere barely muster an audience of a couple dozen here, and I think that all these assessments are true. Detroiters support those closest to them and have an inherent mistrust of others, and there are as many different ways to define “Other” as there are neighborhoods in the metropolitan area.

Not to dissuade you. I'm sure that before long you'll have discovered what's cool, what's new, and what you feel is worth writing about. But I'd like to suggest that coming back to this place offers a unique opportunity: to view things as an outsider, without preconceived notions about what you'll find. It's much the same way that I've been exploring the local scene. Until recently, I didn't know much about Detroit music at all but decided to remedy that and have spent the last six months or so religiously going to shows. What I've found is that there are lots of scenes; bands and listeners bound together by common sounds, themes, style or geography. And a lot of it goes under the radar of print media, which I expect is the case in most places. I'm sure it won't be long before you have a sense of who has a following and a reputation, but right now you get to see everything with fresh eyes and I hope that you'll discover bands and venues that you might not have otherwise.

I hope you enjoy our fair city and settle in soon. If you ever enjoyed Royal Oak in the past, I suggest you avoid going there now. The transformation it's undergone in just ten years is depressing as hell.

Looking forward to future articles,

Leah Warshaw

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