Rock ‘N Roll Revival


Fifth Estate # 79, May 15-28, 1969

The Michigan music scene will rock on over the Memorial Day weekend with the First Annual Detroit Rock and Roll Revival.

Rather than hire performers at random out of the Billboard charts or the record ads in Rolling Stone, producer Russ Gibb, of the Grande Ballroom maintains that rock and roll is the true culture of America’s youth, and must be presented as such.

“There’s more to it than just a hodgepodge of fly-by-night superstars,” Gibb says, “and a festival should be a total educational experience for the people who attend, not just a movie matinee with all the stars. We’re trying to create an event and situation that will be just that.”

The Monterey Pop Festival gave rock and roll its final accreditation. The music industry had to take notice, as this lightly publicized youth cultural event drew more people and attracted more press and discussion than all the Judy Garlands, Frank Sinatras and Bing Crosbys could hope to muster.

The magnitude of the Monterey success can best be comprehended in the light of its influence on the concert form: virtually every fair to middling American city where the kids dig rock and roll music has had its Pop Festival.

The great majority of these festivals fell far short of the original because of greedy promoters too interested in making a quick buck and not enough concerned with staging a true cultural event.

This year’s festival will reverse the trend toward strings of record company hype bands and return the feeling of FESTIVAL to the rock and roll summer scene.

In booking the Revival, Gibb has chosen his acts carefully, inviting only a handful of “name” bands, and concentrating on the incredible array of genius and talent that has developed in the Detroit area in the three years since the Grande opened.

The headliners were chosen with care: from the father of rock and roll himself, Chuck Berry (who recently turned the Grande into a revival meeting all by himself), to the unbelievable space sounds of Sun Ra and his Myth-Science Arkestra; from the high energy music of Detroit’s own MC5 to the Cajun rock of Dr. John the Night Tripper (making his first appearance north of New Orleans); from the much publicized albino blues of Johnny Winter to the funk-a-delic maniac assault of the Parliaments, the farthest out black vocal group in America today; from the pop British blues of Terry Reid to the baroque minstrelling of the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble; from the powerful jazz utterings of the Lyman Woodard Trio to the modern day street-folk-poet David Peel and the Lower East Side (who will not perform on stage during the two day event, but will wander through the people singing and strumming their raunchy broadsides.)

Equally important is the selection of Detroit and Michigan bands which include besides the MC5, the Stooges, the Amboy Dukes, SRC, Teegarden and VanWinkel, the Frost, the Rationals, the Lyman Woodard Trio, a soul-rock-jazz group, the Red White and Blues Band, the 3rd Power, Savage Grace, Caste, from Kalamazoo, Train, Sky, the Gold Brothers, and the Dutch Elm.

The Detroit Rock and Roll Revival will be held Memorial Day Weekend, May 30 and 31, from noon to midnight each day.

In keeping with the spirit of a Revival, the festival will be held on the Michigan State Fairgrounds, where an amusement park atmosphere of rides and refreshments will be created for the festivities.

Tickets will be held to $3.50 for each day’s performance. Advance estimates range from a minimum 15,000 people daily to over 30,000. (A Detroit Pop Festival held at Olympia Stadium the day after Easter and headlining the MC5, Amboy Dukes, SRC, and Frost, with 16 other bands participating drew over 16,000 people—the biggest Detroit rock crowd since the Beatles’ last trip to Olympia.)

The spirit of Detroit—the religious fervor that informs the youth of the Motor City and brings them together in shuddering orgasms of rock and roll frenzy—will be the real attraction, and the people will be there.

Hendrix Boo-Boo’s (sidebar)

Editors’ Note: Hendrix did the Cobo Arena number on Friday night, May 2nd. He was busted in Toronto on Saturday, May 3rd.

TORONTO—Jimi Hendrix was remanded in court here to face trial June 19 on a charge of illegally possessing narcotics.

Hendrix was arrested at the Toronto International Airport as he stepped off a plane. A few hours later he gave a concert to 10,000 at Maple Leaf Gardens after being released on $10,000 bond.

Police said they found four capsules of heroin in Hendrix’s possession.

Hendrix, dressed in a red hair band, purple shirt, crimson pants and a cape was four hours late for his court appearance. Teenagers filled the courtroom during his three-minute appearance.

Hendrix was charged under his real name, James Marshall Hendricks and gave his address as New York City.