*Just learned Friday that former Detroiter, Was (Not Was) cofounder and super-producer Don Was is currently working on nine or so outtakes from the Rolling Stones' great Exile On Main Street album to include on a remastered reissue of the classic double album, scheduled for release later this year. As Keith Richards said of Don back in 1994: "To me, Don Was is very much like working with Jimmy Miller, who's a producer but also a musician. To the Stones, it's a real extra to have a guy that knows how things are played, what's done." As we noted late last month on the blog, Don is also putting together another "Detroit Super Session" program for downtown's Concert of Colors next month.
*Speaking of Don, he was part of a tribute concert to former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer that took place early last month at NYC's Nokia Theater in Times Square. The concert was a fund-raising benefit to support the treatment of children and young adults who suffer from adversities such as addiction, physical and sexual abuse and chronic illness. In addition to Was, among those appearing and performing at the show -- which was emceed by Matt Pinfield -- were Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell, Billy Bragg, Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction), the Dictators' Handsome Dick Manitoba, alt-band Joan As Policewoman, Gilby Clarke (Guns 'N' Roses), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick, Tinted Windows) and rapper/political activist Boots Riley (the Coup). Of very special note was that Iggy Pop also appeared at the show, making it the first time Kramer and Iggy have ever performed together onstage, delivering a version of the Five's "Kick Out The Jams" as well as Iggy's own "FIve Foot One." The following day, Kramer took many of the performers to Sing Sing Prison to perform for the inmates. He also essentially led an 12-step meeting at the prison, offering the convicts some hope for a future when they are finally released.
*Local celeb photographer Thomas Weschler has joined forces with Detroit music scribe Gary Graff to write a new book, Travelin' Man, detailing Weschler's almost lifelong involvement in the Bob Seger camp. The book's forward is by John Mellencamp; the afterword was written by Kid Rock. Seems they missed the best title for the book, though -- namely, "Turn The Page." The book won't be available until October 15th via its publisher, Wayne State University Press...but you can already pre-order it (or at least check it out) at amazon.com by clicking here.
*Congratulations to Detroit native Luther "Squeak" Jackson, who is the grand prize-winner of LL Cool J.'s first annual “Boomdizzle All-Star Competition,” scoring the win with his original song, "My Dream." Jackson won a one-record single deal and the opportunity to perform onstage with LL Cool J., who was part of the all-star panel of judges (fans also voted in the contest). What's especially inspiring is that Jackson was born with only one ear and is partially deaf but he claims he never let his dream of being a musician stop him, even if it meant sacrificing his career in music to stay in Detroit to take care of his ailing grandmother, who recently passed away. Jackson’s single is now available as a free download to the first 1,000 people on Boomdizzle.com, a digital music and entertainment distribution online social community founded by Cool J. and will later be available for purchase via iTunes.
*Congratulations as well to Motown Records legendary composers Holland-Dozier-Holland who will receive the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the 2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame 40th anniversay event on Thursday, June 18th, in New York City.
*Since this is more or less an "old school" roundup, we should note that the legendary ? & The Mysterians of "96 Tears" fame will be playing this coming Sunday, June 14th, at the All Around Bar, 25621 Ecorse Rd. in Taylor. Phone 313-292-6838 for more info. And, finally, our friend Scott Morgan is reuniting the original Rationals (who scored a Midwest "garage rock" hit with Otis Redding's "Respect" before Aretha even recorded the damn thing) for a show at Ferndale's Magic Bag on Friday, July 24th. It's a CD release party for a two-disc anthology, Think Rational, that the great British release label Big Beat is releasing right around that same time. More details later...
One of the greatest rock albums of all-time now has a D-Town connection...