From Publishers Weekly
"What happened to the revolution? We got beat," says Detroit luminary John Sinclair at the end of Carson's history. A tribute to some of the original "hair" bands, the volume brings to life the people, places, rehearsals, gigs and police raids of some of the most popular rock acts born in the USA, filling an unfortunate lacuna in many rock histories. Although Carson's focus is on 1965-72, when the "Detroit Rock" sound truly developed, he gives ample and important background covering the blues, R&B and Motown sounds which fed directly into Detroit rock 'n' roll. Carson guides the reader from the early psychedelic stage shows of the MC5 through the rocky beginnings of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the Bob Seger System, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, Grand Funk Railroad and, later, Alice Cooper. Pivotal chapters cover the MC5, a band that defined the Detroit sound, and their relationship with the "Mythical Figure" of poet John Sinclair, who founded the Detroit Artists Workshop. Carson's book is detailed, informative and well documented, with a large bibliography that gives readers voluminous opportunity for further study. Many references are to the 57 interviews Carson conducted to write the book, and these provide the grit for which the Detroit sound and scene are famous. Dozens of brief biographies cover the post-1972 lives of major figures, while a brief discography rounds out the book. 30 photos
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Carson chronicles Detroit pop music between World War II and Motown Records' early-1970s removal to L.A., delineating loud, intense Motor City acts from John Lee Hooker to Bob Seger and drawing lines of influence between white and black acts. During the period, Detroit's gritty, high-powered, seemingly urban industrial music had national influence. Carson details how Hooker's sinuous blues took the world by storm in the late 1940s and how Hank Ballard conquered the early rock world first with the salacious string of "Annie" hits and later with his song "The Twist," which Chubby Checker rode to worldwide fame. Later still, Mitch Ryder preceded Janis Joplin in defining blue-eyed soul, the MC5 provided the soundtrack to the sixties revolution, and Grand Funk Railroad spawned the mullet era of arena rock. Meanwhile, Motown acts (Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, etc.) climbed the charts, powered by the Funk Brothers' peerless playing. And then there's Iggy and the Stooges. More great pop than one city should produce, and Carson's got the skinny on it all. Mike TribbyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved