Big Detroit punk reunion show Saturday

There’s a big ol’ reunion show taking place at PJ’s Lager House Saturday night, featuring some of the folks who helped make the punk and new wave scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s in Detroit what it was.

For instance, Boston’s Fireking is a band founded by Anthony Kaczynski and Smitt E. Smitty, both former members of onetime Detroit new wave band Figures on a Beach.

But the evening will also include the final reunion performance of R.U.R., a band whose classic lineup featured Matt Hathaway on drums, Bill McNeil on bass, Rick Mills on guitar, and Tex Newman on guitar and vocals. We wrote about the band’s 1979 Go Baby EP in a piece on Detroit’s most underrated records back in 2010, declaring, “Not overtly punk and with more reverence paid towards Townsend-like guitar riff godliness, ‘Go Baby’ crests with accusatory lyrics and understated drumming. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more memorable rock record from this town at that time — and it’s proof positive that punk is equal parts execution and attitude.”

What’s more, after the band broke up, its members went on to other punk bands in the 1980s. Rick Mills played guitar in the 3-D Invisibles, and Tex Newman fronted Country Bob & the Blood Farmers.

Hosting the event is a man who is a legend in his own mind, Detroit’s best painter, Jerry Vile, of Orbit magazine infamy.

The fun begins at 9 p.m., with the Seatbelts scheduled for 9:30 p.m., Fireking for 10:30 p.m.
and the fantastic R.U.R. reunion around 11:30 p.m.

Plus, Tex Newman tells us that, if you were ever an R.U.R. fan, you don’t want to miss this show, “’cause this is it,” he says. “No more reunions for RUR.”

It all happens Saturday, Aug. 2, at
PJ’s Lager House,
1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; $10.

About The Author

Michael Jackman

Born in 1969 at Mount Carmel hospital in Detroit, Jackman grew up just 100 yards from the Detroit city line in east Dearborn. Jackman has attended New York University, the School of Visual Arts, Northwestern University and Wayne State University, though he never got a degree. He has worked as a bar back, busboy,...
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