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Splatt Gallery's History of Michigan Concert Posters
The 1974 calendar published by WABX-FM radio in Detroit, Michigan.
Marvin Gaye on the cover, and a full-page Tamla-Motown records ad in the January 1974 issue of the British music magazine Black Music.
Cover of the January 1, 1974 edition of the Joint Issue newspaper in East Lansing, Michigan, with artwork by the same mystery artist “G” who has also made posters for the Goodman School and the Dogs rock and roll band.
Poster by Dennis Preston for the Simple Pleasures store in Lansing, Michigan, which is the same as an ad in the January 1, 1974 issue of the Joint Issue newspaper.
Newspaper ad for Bob Seger at Limbo’s in Detroit, Michigan, January 2, 1974.
Newspaper ad for Diana Ross with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Masonic Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan on January 2, 1974.
A Tilghman Press poster for Marvin Gaye at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on January 4, 1974. It was Gaye’s first return to touring after nearly five years, over which time his beloved duet partner Tammi Terrell, who had collapsed in his arms onstage in October 1967, passed away in 1970, and Gaye had retreated to the recording studio, producing his two landmark albums, “What’s Going On” and “Let’s Get It On”.
Both albums were huge commercial, and critical, successes, with the title track from the second album becoming his second #1 single on both the R&B and Hot 100 Billboard charts. Motown had long wanted him to tour in support of these records, and so had his fans, and realizing he could use the money, Gaye reluctantly agreed.
This kick-off show was recorded and released as “Marvin Gaye Live!” in June 1974. The live reworking of the song “Distant Lover” was a tour de force of his passionate vocal skills, complete with the shrieks, wails, and screams of adoring female audience members, it was released as a single, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest live performances of all time.
Marvin Gaye – Distant Lover (live) (1974)
Poster by A. Funcke with Commander Cody at a marijuana legalization benefit at the Village in San Francisco, California, January 4-5, 1974.
The Brewery in East Lansing, Michigan got the year started off with a three-night stand by the Chicago band Heartsfield, January 4-6, 1974. Bob Seger was coming up next, with The Dogs Rock & Roll Band, apparently back home from NYC. And coming later was Iggy “Popp”. Poster/ad by Terry O’Connor.
The “Oriental World of Self Defense” tour, a “spectacular array” of martial arts demonstrations, “deadly weapons”, and “breaking feats” made its way to Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, January 6, 1974. It also included a special tribute to Bruce Lee, who had just died the previous summer, in July 1973. The model on the poster sure damn looks like Alice Cooper to us.
It has become a bit of a legend, not just in the lore of Michigan music, but also in the annals of Classic Rock that “Aerosmith kicked off their 1974 ‘Get Your Wings’ tour in Detroit”. There are multiple “On This Day in History…” sites that for January 7 will have “1974: Aerosmith begins their ‘Get Your Wings’ Tour in Detroit”. But we are going to make the bold claim here that the January 7 show, which has assumed such a legendary status, didn’t happened.
Aerosmith’s “Get Your Wings” tour started off on March 9, 1974, at the Orpheum Theater in Boston, Massachusetts. If for no other fact than January 7 is a full two months before the first of all the rest of the shows, it can hardly be called a “kick-off”, if anything if could be called a sneak-preview, or a trial-run, but again, we contend it didn’t happen.
The source of the error is the numerous bootleg records from a show at the Michigan Palace in Detroit on April 7, 1974. This show was broadcast on radio and became the source of at least five or six well-known bootlegs. Bootlegs are notorious for bad information, and from these we get incorrect dates (April 14, 1974, April 4, 1974), and incorrect venues, such the “Masonic” and even “The Palms” (?!) And one of the bootlegs, called “Michigan Palace 1974”, has the date as January 7, 1974. We think the source of the January 7 date is as simple as someone, somewhere along the line, mistakenly changing April 7 to become January 7.
We also cannot find any contemporary sources that either announce the January 7 concert or mention it afterwards. Maybe someone can prove us wrong, but until then we may be the world’s lone voice claiming that Aerosmith DID NOT kick-off their “Get Your Wings” tour at the Michigan Palace in Detroit, Michigan, January 7, 1974.
Another bootleg that contributed to the myth that the “Get Your Wings” toured kicked-off in Detroit, Michigan on January 7, 1974. We think the recording is actually from the April 7 show.
Ad for Iggy & the Stooges at the Playhouse Theatre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, January 7, 1974, that was apparently cancelled.
Ad and review headline and photo for Bob Seger at The Brewery in East Lansing, Michigan, January 7, 1974. Opening band, The Dogs seem to have returned home from NYC. The reviews from this period were remarking as to how good Seger’s band was, although only ex-Third Power guitarist Drew Abbott was typically mentioned by name.
The January 1974 line-up at The Stables in East Lansing, Michigan, starting off with Ahmad Jamal, January 4-5, Josh White, January 7-12, and Freddie Hubbard, January 21-26. The Josh White ad uses a Dennis Preston illustration, unknown artist for Freddie Hubbard, possibly by Terry O’Connor. No illustration for the Ahmad Jamal ad, but the cover of his 1973 album would have been an ideal image.
Ahmad Jamal – Suicide is Painless (1973)
Dennis Preston illustration for Josh White Jr.’s return to The Stables in East Lansing, Michigan, January 7-12, 1974. He had performed there at least 35 times in 1973.
Rainbow Graphics poster with Leni Sinclair photo for John Lee Hooker with the Brooklyn Blues Busters at the Rock & Roll Farm in Wayne, Michigan, January 8-9, 1974. Next on the schedule was Salem Witchcraft, January 10-13.
Ad for the Primo Showbar (logo by Gary Grimshaw) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for January 11 – 26, 1974.
The January 11 issue of the Ann Arbor Sun newspaper had some interesting news on the local bands at the start of the new year in an article written by Freddie Brooks:
“First off, Lightnin’ has undergone some restructuring in the past month or so with lead vocalist Scott Morgan and bassist (Terry Trabant) dropping out but they definitely haven’t stopped rocking. Instead Al Jacquez has taken over most of the lead vocals…They’ve been playing around for a few weeks now and sound surprisingly good, especially so soon after the change.”
“Scott and Terry are working out a new band with guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith and bassist/keyboard man Michael Davis. Smith and Davis are veterans of the legendary MC5 and if you don’t remember them from then, you might have caught them playing around last summer as Ascension. There’s no new name for the new unit and they’re still working at finding the right people to round out the group but the should be playing jobs within the next few weeks.”
“Another ex-member of The MC5 and Ascension, drummer Dennis Thompson, is rumored to be in the Murder City working on a new band with bassist Ron Cook and none other than Mitch Ryder. Mitch was last heard to be working with Wayne “Tex” Gabriel but there’s no word on whether Gabriel is in the new band which is going to be called the Detroit All Stars.”
“Rusty Day’s Detroit band lost a couple of members recently with Big Bill Hodgson dropping out to work a job and bassist Nathaniel Peterson Jr. also left to work with ex-Catfish guitarist Jody Blair and some other people on a new group called Zoom! Detroit also recently left the management of Rainbow Multi-Media. I’m hoping for a chance to see how Detroit has adjusted to the changes and see how they sound now but it seems as if they aren’t playing much locally. They just returned from a couple of dates in Iowa and I know they have added John Seeburg on bass with guitarist Steve “Crawdaddy” Gaines taking on Big Bill’s lead parts as well as amply covering his own.”
“Another Ann Arbor band, Uprising, has been coming on really strong for the past couple of months, (but) lead singer Leon Mills…was injured in an accident on New Year’s Day and it looks as if he’s gonna be out of action for a while, unfortunately.”
Poster for Iggy & the Stooges with The Tubes at Bimbo’s in San Francisco, California, January 11-12, 1974.
Dennis Preston ad for the Sounds & Diversions store in East Lansing, Michigan, circa January 1974.
Cover of the January 11, 1974 issue of the Ann Arbor Sun newspaper. If you ever wondered where Ozone artist Chris Frayne got the models for his trucking art, this photo is by Chris Frayne.
Dennis Preston illustration for Doug Kershaw at The Stables in East Lansing, Michigan, January 11-19, 1974.
Ad by Chris Frayne for a benefit concert for the Ann Arbor Sun newspaper with CJQ and the Vipers at the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 13, 1974.
An ad for the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio program, airing a show by the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen on January 13, 1974.
Nice ad by an unknown artist for Willie Dixon at The Brewery in East Lansing, Michigan, January 14, 1974.
Illustration by Dennis Preston for a Sun Glasses sale at the Sounds & Diversions store in Lansing, Michigan which appeared in the January 15, 1974 edition of the Joint Issue newspaper.
An ad for The Rockets at the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 15, 1974.
Ad for the band from Ohio called LAW, at the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 16-17, 1974. Their 1975 single “Wake Up” caught the attention of Roger Daltry, who helped get them signed to MCA Records and brought them on tour with The Who.
Law – Wake Up (1975)
Newspaper ad for two generations of Brubecks as Dave Brubeck joins his sons, Dan, Darius and Chris, who is also in the Ann Arbor band New Heavenly Blue, together at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 17, 1974.
Ads for Slade with Iggy & the Stooges at the Allen Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, January 18, 1974.
Iggy on the cover of The Scene magazine in advance of the Stooges show opening for Slade at the Allen Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio on January 18, 1974. For weeks, the show was advertised as “Iggy & The Stogges”.
The group appeared on stage ninety minutes late and played a 20 minute long three-song set.
“As his third and last song drew to a close, Iggy jumped into the crowd and pleaded for someone to hold his hand. Only one person did. Others sat and watched or turned away and smiled. On stage again, naked except for a bikini brief, he looked crushed. He turned to the mike and announced, “You can’t buy a man’s soul,” and walked off. Later that evening he passed out in somebody’s hotel room and had to be dragged back to his room.”
According to the Varsity News, organizers for the Homecoming Dance at the University of Detroit featuring Detroit with Rusty Day, on January 19, 1974, were not expecting much of a turnout since “students had already sauced themselves at the pre-game beer bash…but as the evening rocked on, the students kept coming”.
“After the four-hour supply of wine was finished in one and a half hours, 12 gallons of wine, 13 kegs of beer (enough to fill 2600 16 ounce cups), and 7 boxes of potato chips containing over 100,000 chips followed quickly.”
Newspaper ad for Slade with Iggy & the Stooges and the James Gang at the Toledo Sports Arena, January 19, 1974.
Suzi Quatro on the cover of the January 1974 issue of Pink, a British teen girls magazine, with the headline “Are You A Tomboy Like Our Suzi?”
Ad by Gary Grimshaw for the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Zoom! on January 19, 1974.
An ad by an unknown artist for the Artie Fields Productions recording studio in Detroit, Michigan, published on January 19, 1974, touting the current smash hit “Americans” by Byron MacGregor, and the addition of engineer Ken Sands, formerly of Motown, and also name-dropping Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ohio Players, Detroit Emeralds, Funkadelic, Fantastics, Spanky Wilson, Bill Moss, and Teegarden & Van Winkle. No mention that the MC5 recorded their second album, “High Time”, at the studio, or of the only album recorded by the Rationals, suggesting that by the beginning of 1974, both of these ill-fated bands were already all but forgotten.
Gary Grimshaw poster for Seals & Crofts at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 20, 1974.
Poster for Iggy & the Stooges at the Stone Hearth in Madison, Wisconsin, January 20, 1974.
We knew that Iggy and the boys were coming to town, and in our excitement over the unexpectedly cheap tickets, we just gobbled a bunch of acid and went. We were ten days early and at the wrong place, with the wrong crowd, but it turned out to be fucking hilarious. Nuc, nuc, nuc.
Terry O’Connor poster for Iggy & the Stooges at The Brewery in East Lansing, Michigan, January 21, 1974. It was the band’s first Michigan show since October, and according to a show review, the packed house was treated to a great hour-long show, ending when guitarist James Williamson’s amplifier blew up. The new songs sounded good, the band said a couple of labels were interested in doing a record, and things were looking up. The band had eighteen more days left in their existence.
The Brewery ad for Iggy & the Stooges in East Lansing, Michigan, January 21, 1974.
Good advertising, good bookings, good press coverage, the management at The Brewery in East Lansing were doing something right, 1974 would prove to be a great year for the club.
Not everyone was impressed by the Iggy & the Stooges’ show at The Brewery in East Lansing, Michigan on January 21, 1974, A week later, in a letter to the editor of The Michigan State News, Lisa and Cheryl let their rather poetic objections be known, accompanied by an editorial cartoon by an artist signed “J. Daly”.
Vince Vance & the Valiants from New Orleans, ever-popular in East Lansing, Michigan, returned to the Coral Gables, January 21, 1974, with the addition of a female backing unit, the tongue-twisting Valianettes.
The Alle-Ey bar in East Lansing, Michigan, celebrated its one-year anniversary with a show by Bonnie Bramlett and the Ten-Piece Band on January 22, 1974, and an ad by Terry O’Connor. Over the course of its first year, the Ann Arbor band Ten High had been essentially the house band, playing nearly every week, although the Detroit band Riot, and the Westland, Michigan band Salem Witchcraft also played a handful of shows.
Poster by Mike Brady for Chubby Checker with Marcus at the Rock & Roll Farm in Wayne, Michigan , January 22, 1974, with upcoming shows by the Rockets and Bloodrock.
An ad for the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan with Lightnin’ appearing on January 22, 1974, to be followed by two nights with Bob Seger.
Poster/handbill by Greg Sobran, with some Gary Grimshaw logos, for Bob Seger at the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 23-24, 1974. Other acts on the schedule include Luther Allison, Lightnin’, Rabbits and Frut.
Ad for Bob Seger at the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 23-24, 1974.
Poster by an unknown artist for the Climax Blues Band at the Michigan Palace in Detroit on January 24, 1974, we have no idea about Bette Davis, whether this was the actress, or Betty Davis, the wife of Miles Davis, probably neither.
“Iggy” (and the Stooges) performed at the Victory Theatre, an aging burlesque house in Toronto, Canada , January 25, 1974.
Jake “The Shaker” Woods came to Ann Arbor to perform in the Detroit Blues session of the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, and he never left. The Ann Arbor SUN proudly noted that he was making his living on the streets selling their newspapers on this subscription page in the January 25, 1974 issue.
An ad for Black Oak Arkansas in Columbus, Georgia on January 25, 1974 with The James Montgomery Band. Long-time readers may recall the band Cosmic Expanding, that Montgomery formed in Grosse Pointe High School, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, and that performed at some of the early shows at the Grande Ballroom. You may recall the psychedelic posters that the band made for those appearances and the posters for a subsequent Montgomery-Miller Blues Band.
Montgomery moved to Boston, Massachusetts to attend Boston University. He joined the Colwell-Winfield Blues Band for a tour backing Janis Joplin. In 1970, he formed the James Montgomery Band, which became so associated with the Boston music scene that the band was frequently mentioned alongside Boston favorites Aerosmith and the J. Geils Band.
James Montgomery remains very much active today – his website is found here:
Here is a track from his 1973 album “First Time Out”:
The James Montgomery Band – Train (1973)
An ad for Ted Nugent, Gary Wright, and Brownsville Station in Saginaw, Michigan on January 25, 1974. Brownsville, however, may have been in San Francisco, California, opening for Slade and the James Gang at the Winterland on that date. This appears to be former Spooky Tooth member Gary Wright’s first solo Michigan appearance.
Poster by an unknown artist for Bloodrock with Cactus and Bob Seger at the Michigan Palace in Detroit on January 26, 1974.
Ad for the Primo Showbar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, notable for having the last known appearance by Frut, on January 26, 1974. The band that had started at the Grande Ballroom in March 1967 as Frut of the Loom, ran its own party venues, the Frut Palace and the Frut Cellar, that played to host the The MC5, the Stooges, Alice Cooper, Parliament-Funkadelic, Amboy Dukes, SRC, Teegarden & Van Winkle, Detroit, Guardian Angel, Catfish, Frost, Third Power, and even Danny & the Juniors.
They released two albums on the Westbound and Trash Records labels, made the cover of CREEM magazine, and delighted audiences for nearly eight years.
An ad, multiplied, for Joni Mitchell at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 26, 1974.
The next night after her appearance in Ann Arbor, Joni Mitchell performed at the Masonic Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan, January 27, 1974. She would tour extensively in 1974, making up for only a handful of appearances in 1973, but she had spent most of that year perfecting her next album, “Court and Spark”, released on January 17, 1974, that paid off in becoming the most successful record of her career.
This was her first tour with a backing band, the formidable Tom Scott & the L.A. Express, recordings from the tour would later be released as the live album “Miles of Aisles” in November 1974
Joni Mitchell – Free Man in Paris (1974)
A newspaper ad with Brownsville Station appearing along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Gang, and Slade at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California on January 27, 1974.
Ted Nugent on the cover of The Scene magazine following his show at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio on January 28, 1974. The inside story headline read “Amboy Duker Ted Nugent Discusses His Musical Career”, which just cracked us up to no end.
The show was a radio broadcast and can be heard here:
Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes – Live at the Agora Cleveland (concert) (01/28/74)
Illustration by W Roble (?) for Jerry Jeff Walker (he wrote “Mr. Bojangles”) at The Stables in East Lansing, Michigan for six nights beginning on January 28, 1974.
The blaxploitation martial-arts film “Black Belt Jones” was released on January 28, 1974. Funk Brother guitarist Dennis Coffey, along with music director Luci De Jesus, composed and performed the film’s soundtrack.
Dennis Coffey – Theme from Black Belt Jones (1974)
Dennis Coffey – Love Theme from Black Belt Jones (1974)
The Alibi Rock Theaters, also known as Alibi East, opened in Mount Pleasant, Michigan in late 1973 and was booking popular acts, REO Speedwagon, Spirit, and Detroit had already performed there before this January 29, 1974 show by Bob Seger (a blast from the past in billing the “System”).
Gary Grimshaw poster for Duke Ellington at the Power Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 30, 1974.
Newsprint version of the Gary Grimshaw poster for Duke Ellington at the Power Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 30, 1974.
You should recall, a few posts back, that we dispelled the belief that Aerosmith kicked off their “Get Your Wings” tour in Detroit, on the erroneous date of January 7, 1974. But it turns out that Aerosmith did perform a pre-tour show in Michigan, still over a month before the start of the tour, but the memory of this show may have fed the tour kick-off myth.
The managers of The Brewery in East Lansing were early fans of the Boston band and they had been trying to book them, they finally succeeded with a show on January 30, 1974, the poster is by Terry O’Connor.
Aerosmith had performed at least twice before in Michigan, when they toured with the Mahavishnu Orchestra in February 1973, and with Mott The Hoople in October 1973 (both times, billed as “Arrowsmith”). They did NOT, however, appear with the New York Dolls at the Michigan Palace in September 1973, despite Dennis Loren’s very nice poster.
At the end of a glowing review of The Brewery show, written by Dave DiMartino in Lansing’s State News newspaper, he writes, “Heading for Detroit, the group will share the bill with guitarist Roy Buchanan this weekend, and then continue their trek of the Midwest”.
The January 19, 1974 issue of The Fifth Estate newspaper in Detroit, had a listing in its events calendar for Linda Ronstadt with Roy Buchanan at the Michigan Palace, February 1. Our guess is that Ronstadt cancelled (she would return to the Palace on the 13th with Jackson Browne), and that Aerosmith was slotted in. An eyewitness account claimed, “Aerosmith…played Detroit with Roy Buchanan…the show was excellent and my fellow guitarist buddy and me both thought Joe Perry blew the “Telecaster guitar god” and his lame band off the stage”.
A newspaper ad for Iggy & the Stooges at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, New York, with two shows nightly for three nights, January 30-31, 1974 through February 1st.
Volume Ten - 1974 - continues - HERE