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Michael Davis (MC 5) R.I.P.

Michael Davis pic

 It was with great sadness that I learned over the weekend of the death of Michael Davis, former bass guitarist (singer/songwriter/producer & artist) with Detroit rock legends the MC-5.

A man who I actually had the privilege to meet, when he turned up at The Bodega for Electric Banana!

I kid you not.

September 1st 2004 • Electric Banana @ The Bodega Social
Surving members of what was left of MC5 had recently reformed with guests Nicke Andersson (the Hellacopters) filling in for Fred 'Sonic' Smith and Mark Arm (Mudhoney) replacing Rob Tyner on vocals.
Calling themselves DKT/MC5 they were in town to play a sold-out show at the Rescue Rooms.

I as usual was hosting my weekly Wednesday night Electric Banana slot at the bar. That's right folks Electric Banana really has been going that long... since 2003 in actual fact!

Anyhow Nicke and I go back quite a long way...
In fact the first time he and his then band Entombed ever came to the UK, they all slept at our place in the Meadows, Nottingham. They were all VERY young 16 to 18 I seem to remember, and they were all very impressed with how cheap the beer was in this country compared to their native Sweden.
Knowing that Nicke was in town I thought I would try and catch up with him by inviting him down to the bar and ask if he was maybe interested in doing a guest DJ spot at Electric Banana. It had been years since we had last seen each other and a mutual friend Albert Mundrian had interviewed us both for a recently published book about the roots of Death Metal/Grindcore.
"Choosing Death - The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore" by Albert Mudrian

Around midnight or so, just as I'm thinking he's probably not gonna show because of other commitments or something.
All the band and crew walk through the door... Michael Davis! Wayne Kramer! Dennis Thompson! and Mark Arm!

The MC5 at ELECTRIC BANANA!!!

Yes! Nicke was up for a spot of DJ'ing and yes his band mates were gonna pitch in with their ideas for requests as well. It was a fantastic little night, and certainly my most memorable Electric Banana. Six or seven old blokes all huddled round decks and CD wallets on the bar, all trying to out-do each other with their suggestions for tunes.
What did we play then ?  Soul strutters mainly, and greasy old rockers. I certainly remember playing a lot of Larry Williams & Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, and all of us unanimously agreeing that it didn't come much better than tunes like this...

Technically speaking it was still the summer holidays and students would not start back for another four weeks, so this all took place in the downstairs bar (before the days of the outside smoking area).
The bar was busy but certainly not packed, and it was just a beautiful stress-free evening with a select crowd (most of whom had made their way down from the Rescue Rooms after the show) of enthusiastic music fans all pitching-in with requests.

Michael Davis - if you are watching from up there, I'll play some for you on Wednesday at my next Electric Banana.

Peace and love - The Rev XXX

...More Dirty Old Men!

...and I also wanted to include two more tasty Dirty Old Man tunes.

Irene Reid photograph

However I've previously been warned against filling pages with lots of videos, so I'm having to spread this across two different blog entries.

First up, a bangin' funky strutter from 1969 on the Old Town label by Irene Reid.
That if you want to pick up a copy of for yourself, you can find on the excellent Kent/Ace Records compilation
"Heavy Soul • Old Town & Barry's Deep Down & Dirty Sides" CD.

...and another garage punker, a great stomper from Minneaopolis legends The Electras.

Electras on the tracks
After me folks... "He's nothin' but a free-wheelin' girl-stealin' dutty old man!"

Which you can find on the stormin' "Scotty Story" (Arf! Arf!) compilation.
A must-have for every serious fan of US sixties garage punk. Thirty blisterin' tunes, a cram packed 79 minutes, 24 page booklet and all lifted from the original master tapes.

Dirty Old Man at The Pop Confessional

Hi folks, the Rev here...
now I realise that 99.99% of my Pop Confessional punters either noticed nor indeed care about this BUT, to me it's the reason I'm still playing records to folk more than half my age.

I managed to slip this very obscure garage punk classic into the mix at The Pop Confessional Friday just gone.
It's by THEM the Belfast beat blues band that gave us Van Morrison. Although this tune actually dates from a later period 1966/7, after Van had  jumped ship to persue a solo career and the band had relocated to Texas.

Dig this baby...

Anyhow it got me thing about dirty old men.

Another great dirty old man tune that I could certainly play out down at The Pop Confessional, 1973 philly classic and Prince Charles' favourite... THE THREE DEGREES !

...and then I began thinking about this Rod Stewart album.

What tha hell was going on 'ere, when the powers that be thought that this was a great idea for an album cover ?

Rod Stewart album an old raincoat won't ever let you down

Yes, it's reassuring to know that we now live in so much more enlightened times.
Where's that pediatrician's house?
Pass me that petrol bomb!

Electric Banana - Request Genius

Hi folks - the Rev here...
Best request of the evening at ELECTRIC BANANA on Wednesday (February 1st) just gone ?

Young lady: "Have you got that one about the riot!"
Me: "Mmmm a riot you say ?"
Young lady: "Yeah that's it! I predict a riot by The Kings of Leon!"

Seriously the best request I had all evening ?
Probably this...

The Rev's abstract ramblings pt.1

Edgar & Johnny Winter photograph
EDGAR WINTER
and his brother JOHNNY WINTER
The Winter brothers! not to be confused with British comedy/light-entertainment legends - the “WinterS” brothers (see pic below).

Mike & Bernie Winters photograph

You know there was a time when the tune "Free Ride" by The EDGAR WINTER BAND was quite regularly requested here at The Social/Bodega. Back in the old Guilty Pleasures days before THE POP CONFESSIONAL.
Edgar also apparently (according to his Wikipedia entry) invented strapping a keyboard around yer' neck, in order to rock-out with it more like a guitar.
...anyhow folks, I’ve recently got back into this tune and just the other day I googled it to see what footage might be out there on the interweb.

Check this out. What A band!
Not only is it keyboard rockin’ albino EDGAR, but also included in his band are Dan ‘Instant Replay’ Hartman and Rick ‘Hang On Sloopy’ Derringer. A man who I personally last saw play here in Nottingham 25 years ago, as part of Cyndi Lauper’s band at the then recently built Royal Concert Hall.

Edgar’s biggest hit (I think) here in the UK was “Frankenstein”, but this I think is the better tune...

As for his older brother (also albino) JOHNNY, the first time I ever came across him was as a 15/16 year old watching the Old Grey Whistle Test. How mad is this!? Getting on for nearly forty years later and I can actually refer you to the original footage up on You Tube.

The important thing to remember here is context - this was back when there was practically no live music on TV, and this*** was more likely to be the bollox that passed for musical entertainment
***...yeah I know that this is actually from about ten years later in the 80's, but can you imagine how bad it must have been a further ten years earlier.

With love... The Rev X