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Detroit Rock City

Cover of Detroit Rock City

Detroit Rock City

The Uncensored History of Rock 'n' Roll in America's Loudest City
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Detroit Rock City is an oral history of Detroit and its music told by the people who were on the stage, in the clubs, the practice rooms, studios, and in the audience, blasting the music out and soaking it up, in every scene from 1967 to today.

From fabled axe men like Ted Nugent, Dick Wagner, and James Williamson jump to Jack White, to pop flashes Suzi Quatro and Andrew W.K., to proto punkers Brother Wayne Kramer and Iggy Pop, Detroit slices the rest of the land with way more than its share of the Rock Pie.

Detroit Rock City is the story that has never before been sprung, a frenzied and schooled account of both past and present, calling in the halcyon days of the Grande Ballroom and the Eastown Theater, where national acts who came thru were made to stand and deliver in the face of the always hard hitting local support acts. It moves on to the Michigan Palace, Bookies Club 870, City Club, Gold Dollar, and Magic Stick – all magical venues in America’s top rock city.

Detroit Rock City brings these worlds to life all from the guys and dolls who picked up a Strat and jammed it into our collective craniums. From those behind the scenes cats who promoted, cajoled, lost their shirts, and popped the platters to the punters who drove from everywhere, this is the book that gives life to Detroit’s legend of loud.
Detroit Rock City is an oral history of Detroit and its music told by the people who were on the stage, in the clubs, the practice rooms, studios, and in the audience, blasting the music out and soaking it up, in every scene from 1967 to today.

From fabled axe men like Ted Nugent, Dick Wagner, and James Williamson jump to Jack White, to pop flashes Suzi Quatro and Andrew W.K., to proto punkers Brother Wayne Kramer and Iggy Pop, Detroit slices the rest of the land with way more than its share of the Rock Pie.

Detroit Rock City is the story that has never before been sprung, a frenzied and schooled account of both past and present, calling in the halcyon days of the Grande Ballroom and the Eastown Theater, where national acts who came thru were made to stand and deliver in the face of the always hard hitting local support acts. It moves on to the Michigan Palace, Bookies Club 870, City Club, Gold Dollar, and Magic Stick – all magical venues in America’s top rock city.

Detroit Rock City brings these worlds to life all from the guys and dolls who picked up a Strat and jammed it into our collective craniums. From those behind the scenes cats who promoted, cajoled, lost their shirts, and popped the platters to the punters who drove from everywhere, this is the book that gives life to Detroit’s legend of loud.
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About the Author-
  • Steve Miller is a journalist and the author of several books including the Edgar-nominated true crime Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender. He is co-editor of Commando: The Johnny Ramone Autobiography and editor of Touch and Go: The Complete Hardcore Punk Zine '79-'83.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 20, 2013
    It’s not all Motown and rap—Detroit has contributed its share of rockers, vividly chronicled in this spirited oral history. Journalist Miller (Commando: The Johnny Ramone Autobiography) follows the rock scene in Motor City, its suburbs, and its satellite college town of Ann Arbor, from Ted Nugent and Bob Seger in the 1960s through the White Stripes and Kid Rock in the aughties; the presiding genius is Ann Arborite Iggy Pop, whose spitting, head-smashing, crowd-diving stage antics were the basis for punk rock’s etiquette and ethos. The reminiscences are standard rock soap opera fare, but harder edged: the drug use is more driven, the clubs grungier, the resentment of major labels more bitter, the groupies more heartless, the gunplay more casual, the attitude more defiant—“I had a straight razor in my boot, and I just, like, shook it in his face,” recalls one woman bassist—and the iconic rock mood of besieged apocalyptic rebellion more authentic against the city’s grim backdrop of bloody race riots and postindustrial collapse. Fans will find a trove of gnarly lore on unjustly (and not unjustly) neglected bands here—and an atmospheric portrait of the Wild Midwest frontier that spawned them. Photos. Agent: David Patterson, Foundry Literary + Media.

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Detroit Rock City
Detroit Rock City
The Uncensored History of Rock 'n' Roll in America's Loudest City
Steve Miller
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