Proof is in the punch; disgruntled band members

Beef & potatoes

Something about D12’s DeShaun “Proof Holton, downtown summer nights and brawling seem to go hand-in-glove. It seems like Hit Singles just reported the feud between Proof and Royce da 5’9that almost boiled over before being settled last July. Now, we get reports of full-on fisticuffs involving Proof and WDTJ (105.9 FM) Program Director Charles “Spudd” Spence last week.

“An altercation did take place,” says Detroit Police Officer Glen Woods, “the night the Pistons won.” Police confirm that the clash between the two took place at Club Panacea on Tuesday, June 15. No charges have been filed as of yet. Other details, they say, are sketchy.

Allegedly, the melee was caught on tape, a vid that has become a highly sought-after item for radio station reps, us, as well as Shady Records affiliates. Spudd and representatives of Radio One remain mum on the incident, and Proof couldn’t be located for comment, but we’re willing to bet that this ain’t the end of it.

Pick yer exit cliché

Band members walking out on their respective outfits are often unsightly episodes rife with fuck-yous, drunken fistfights and admissions to schtupping each other’s girlfriends. Those splits that are sexy and fun, anyway.

After seven years of bashing timekeep, Go drummer Marc Fellis quietly bailed on the Go and, according to band shouter Bobby Harlow, it ain’t a big deal, really. In keeping with the band’s revolving door band-member policy it all makes some kind of cockeyed sense (Bulldog vocalist/Detroit Cobra trapsman and one-time Go man Kenny Tudrick filled in for Fellis at last weekend’s Rock City festival and was heard chirping from the stage, rather fittingly, “You can’t fire me, I already quit twice!”).

Harlow says he’s not worried about finding a replacement. “To me, it’s more about having a good time.”

Well, good times are, of course, relative in rock ’n’ roll. Harlow tells of a recent label showcase (showcase = lots of not-yet-fired weasels in attendance) at Hollywood’s Three of Clubs that saw the singer toss Fellis’s kit from the stage, piecemeal. The fit, Harlow says, was born of spur-of-the-moment exuberance and not some passive/aggressive ploy directed at his drummer. “I threw all his drums off the stage. I stripped his kits down piece by piece,” chortles Harlow. “I don’t think he liked that.”

“That didn’t help,” says Fellis, when reached at Noble Fish in Clawson, where he works as a sushi chef. Fellis says he quit for, um, different reasons: “I just wanted to start something new.”

“He’s cut from a different cloth … a nice-person cloth,” says Harlow, choosing his words carefully. “He wasn’t cut out for this.”

“That’s not true!” says Fellis. “It was just time to start something else.”

Should the Go ever go on to sell a million records will the drummer be kicking himself? “Yeah,” he says with an audible shrug. “It would make me think twice. But it [the Go] wasn’t going all that great.” Harlow and Fellis haven’t spoken since the split a month ago. It should be noted that the Go’s high-profile national tour with Guided by Voices went swimmingly. So much so that the band has been tapped to play GBV’s farewell performance in Chicago on New Year’s Eve.

In other splitsville news, Brothers Groove co-founder/bassist James Simonson walked after a recent gig. According to both parties, there was nothing sexy or awful or drunken about it.

“He decided it was time to move on and that’s it,” says singer/keyboard Chris Codish. “James and I are in spot where we’re cool with it. He wanted to do something else.” Something else? OK. Whatever. When pushed, Codish continues: “I’ve had five lineup changes in five years. Yeah, I’m bummed. But I don’t want to waste energy being sad about it.”

Simonson tells Hit Singles that all is good between him and the Groove. “It was amicable.” Simonson says he’ll be playing anew with, among others, guitarist Bret Lucas. “I needed to get away, step back and do something different. I don’t want to say anything negative. I know that sounds very un-Detroit-like.”

In-demand bassist John Dunn will be stepping in with Codish and company.

Goober goes Hollywood

Spindly Blanche frontman Dan Miller flew back into town for the Rock City fest last weekend from Tennessee. Miller, you’ll note, recently snagged the part of guitarist Luther Perkins in the upcoming James Mangold-directed feature film on the life of Johnny Cash (Walk The Line), currently shooting on location in Memphis. Also in the film are Joaquin Phoenix as the Man in Black and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash.

Vibe rations

Hey, all you street buskers, the City of Detroit wants you. Specifically, the city wants you to audition and get some kind of stamp of approval, then set up and perform in areas lacking in al fresco entertainment.

The first round of auditions were conducted Saturday afternoon at Your Heritage House. Karen Dumas, director of the city’s Cultural Affairs Department, tells us that 20 to 25 people showed up. She wasn’t there — some kind of “retreat” took precedence.

“From what I hear, most of them [auditioners] were pretty good,” Dumas says, adding, however, “A couple of them were less than appropriate.”

Dumas says those who are approved for public street performance will receive a package from the city that will include a “button or badge that they will wear or display.”

Hit Singles has to admit that this program, called Street Vibe, sounds an awful lot like some sort of attempt to regulate buskers. But Dumas insists otherwise, and we’re willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

“This is not an attempt to regulate,” Dumas says. “As a matter of fact, we’re trying to encourage it.”

The sites where the city will encourage more curbside contraltos include Grand Circus Park, Cadillac Square, and farther south along Woodward to Jefferson.

“We’re going to give them the lists of approved sites and they can go at it themselves, seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.,” she says, adding that additional auditions are in the offing.

Street performers are not required to obtain permits (yet). City rules state that they may accept donations, but not solicit them. No amps are allowed. And, “We’d like them to be family-friendly,” Dumas says. “Unless somebody is way out there, they’ll more than likely be accepted. We like to think we’re pretty liberal.”

The cultural affairs diva says the city held auditions to get an idea of who’s interested, and, Hit Singles assumes, encourage sanctioned performers to get out to the prime spots and get with it. And to inform prospective singers, instrumentalists, jugglers, stilt-walkers and, yes, mimes of the rules.

“We want to make sure that people understand what they can and can’t do,” she says, adding that those who auditioned will be “given something that confirms that they have been advised of what the guidelines are.”

May we suggest a big, shiny “City-Approved” sticker for the forehead?

Mod Motown marriage

Gore Gore Girls trill-master rock chick Amy Surdu swapped her white vinyl mini for a full-length satin wedding gown last weekend, taking the plunge with longtime beau Freddy Fortune (Fortune & Maltese, Freddy & the Four-Gone Conclusions). Striking in her Priscilla Presley coif, Surdu was all smiles while Fortune, bedecked in a grey Carnaby Street-worthy mod suit and gold medallion, stood proud. Through a sea of people, Papa Surdu and daughter strolled down the aisle to a live performance (by Rick Mills of 3-D Invisibles) of the Troggs’ “Love is All Around.” The reception, a sightly concoction of family, friends and many rock ’n’ roll inamoratos, including Get Hip Records owner Gregg Kostelich, the Hentchmen, Wendy Case, Dave Buick, a strangely dapper Mick Collins. Photographer Ewolf snapped away while Sirens stunner Muffy Kroha and white boy rapper Esquire enjoyed the groom’s spirited performance of the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” with the coolest wedding band ever, Michigan’s own one-hit-wonder Gee-rage kings ? and the Mysterians. While the many other proud pals did an admirable job hoisting drinks, we are happy to report that this night of matrimony was suffused with beaming faces, fat love and much frolic. Hit Singles offers a toast to the new Mr. and Mrs. Fortune.

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Since 1980, Metro Times has been Detroit’s premier alternative source for news, arts, culture, music, film, food, fashion and more from a liberal point of view.
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