Grande Gaff

by

Fifth Estate # 74, March 5-19, 1969

There’s so much to say, man, that I don’t know where to start…maybe with the Five…the MC5 are a really classic example of environment and music coming together. There’s a Simple declaratory sentence for you…

The music affects the environment and…the environment affects the music. Dig? The machine, man. Detroit is a machine, The Machine even, and in the music of the Five…the frenzy, the anger…is the music of the Machine. Did you ever work in a factory? Jesus, I hope not. There’s music in the factory, but it’s the music of…metal crunching metal…a melody of violence…the Five are Man against Machine, baby, that’s all.

And the Frost. The Frost (I can’t turn loose of it, Ma!) have the joyous sound of human beings escaping the factory, the great moment of freedom, 5 o’clock Rhapsody, breaking out into the clean, fresh…air?…maybe there’s no escape…

Anyway, Detroit is where it’s at. Not California, not New York, not England…well, that may be unfair, or premature, but…the next Big Sound is gonna be the Detroit Sound…and I don’t mean Motown, mofo…

The big recording companies are sniffing around, signing bands…and though distribution is a big problem, it’s possible that there could be some Detroit labels one of these days…

People are getting a little tiny bit bored with the West Coast anyway, I think…I’m even getting bored RIGHT NOW just rapping about it…the Airplane’s windup rubber band is losing its snap… the Dead…are not Grateful enough, like maybe when you make it something dribbles out and gets lost, only you don’t know it…but somebody does.

Not to dismiss what’s going down out there in the land of perpetual sunshine, but I think maybe some of OUR groups are more…alive…because they’re still in the process of arriving, and that’s more exciting than the actual arrival… at least in music…

Some odd notes: The Frost have finished their new album in New York and it’s got some interesting cuts…the Rationals have been very quiet, but rumor has it they’ve been down in Nashville recording…Live From Earth, the groovy Channel 56 show for “us,” needs support… send them any spare bread… another thought on the Jams cover… why don’t the Dearborn cops, and others, start worrying about the REAL obscenities…Vietnam…poverty…bigotry…repression…?

You know something is going down here in the automotive capital of the universe…people are getting together…creative people…and there are so many creative people here… so many families developing… art families, music families, everything families…people living together, creating together, growing together…and maybe Open City is going to draw them into something really fantastic…we’ve gotta do our number together because we need each other if the movement is to make it…it can’t be done if we all pull in opposite directions…and there has to be room inside for every point of view, every kind of freak, black freaks, flower freaks, movie freaks, booze, acid, hash, love, music, politics, sex, money freaks.. everybody can learn from everybody…

Peace.

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