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Splatt Gallery's History of Michigan Concert Posters
The style and color of the 1975 Michigan vehicle license plate, personalized with a nod to one of the big news items of the year
The front cover of the 1975 “Monster” calendar by Stanley Mouse, along with all twelve months. We will see each of these at the beginning of each month, but this is a nice group shot.
The month of January from Stanley Mouse’s 1975 “Monster” calendar.
A full-page Rolling Stones Records ad in the January 1975 issue of CREEM magazine for the album “It's Only Rock 'n Roll “ with album cover illustration by “Rock Dreams” illustrator Guy Peellaert.
A page from the December 1974 issue of CREEM magazine announcing an upcoming Rock Dreams contest and a page from the January 1975 issue with the entry details of the contest. The winners will be announced in the July 1975 issue.
Suzi Quatro on the cover of the January 1975 issue of the Swedish pop magazine Tiffany.
Suzi Quatro on the cover of the January 2, 1975 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. This was only the ninth time, out of 177 issues to date, that a Michigan-related artist appeared on the cover, a short list that included Rob Tyner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Lily Tomlin, and Marvin Gaye and Alice Cooper each twice.
Grand Funk embarked on their 1975 World Tour with a show in Mobile, Alabama on January 2, 1975. The 44-date tour would wrap up in Hawaii on May 28th, without any Michigan shows. As this turned out to be the band’s final tour (until reunion tours in the 1980’s) it puts their show at Cobo Arena in Detroit in April 1974 as the band’s final home state appearance.
At the start of 1975, it had been eight months since the last Alice Cooper show, in Brazil in April 1974, the end of a short five-show tour that had been the band’s only 1974 appearances, but had capped a whirlwind three-year’s of touring.
Alice made his first TV talk show appearance, on the 'Mike Douglas Show' on January 2, 1975. A short notice in the January 11, 1975 edition of the Cumberland Evening Times in Maryland mentioned that Alice had split with the band, possibly the first time the news appeared in print. Two days later, Alice performed 'Unfinished Sweet' on 'The Smothers Brothers Show' without the band, on January 13th.
Upcoming, in March, his first solo album “Welcome to My Nightmare” is released, launching his first solo tour.
Lizards in East Lansing, Michigan started off the year with two nights of the Friend’s Roadshow, January 2-3, 1975, followed by Jim Schwall for two nights, Mojo Boogie Band for three nights, Friend’s Roadshow for four more nights, Tate Blues Band for three nights, Friend’s Roadshow yet again for another nine nights, and also managed to squeeze in shows by Kegbelly and Country Fried featuring Alan Lee.
Ads for the Savoy Room in the Shelby Hotel in Detroit, Michigan, with an impressive line-up of shows, starting with the Benton Harbor, Michigan native son, jazz pianist Gene Harris, January 3-5, 1975.
Lettering by Gary Grimshaw with illustration by Gary Kell for a short piece urging voter registration in the January 6, 1975 edition of the Ann Arbor SUN newspaper in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It seems that there was some sort of election, ballot initiative or petition happening every month. Some of the issues of the day were the high cost of for-profit health care, the push for living wages, racial inequalities, police brutality, and voter suppression.
Illustration by Gary Grimshaw, with additional treatment by Barbara Weinberg, for the astrological prediction for the new year, in the January 6, 1975 edition of the Ann Arbor SUN newspaper in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
An illustration by Gary Kell for an album review of an LP called “The Bass” on Impulse Records, laid on top of a show review of Sun Ra’s six-night gig at the Savoy in Detroit, Michigan, January 7-12, 1975. At the conclusion of this run, Ra will have performed in Michigan no less than 22 times in the eight years since John Sinclair first brought him to Wayne State University in Detroit in June 1967.
The ad for the Savoy in Detroit, Michigan with Sun Ra’s six-night gig, January 7-12, 1975.
A Discount Records ad by Jive Comix, aka Ted Echterling, in the January 10, 1975 issue of the State News in East Lansing, Michigan.
An ad for The Bucket in Williamston, Michigan, January 10, 1975, with a band of apparent Vonnegut Fans.
Poster/ad for the “Grand Re-Opening” of the Earth Center in Hamtramck, Michigan, January 10-11, 1975. The following weekend featured the Dogs with Larry Arbour and Jerome's Prophetic Funk.
A January 1975 ad from an outfit called CRAZED ARTISTS in Mason, Michigan, offering a large 24” x 33” black and silver poster for a “Concert – Live In Heaven”, featuring dead rock stars, “for those who can’t go there”.
Luther Allison’s short January tour of Michigan, in Ann Arbor on January 12, 1975, in East Lansing on January 13th, in Mount Pleasant on January 28th, and in Ypsilanti on January 29th.
Concert poster for Grand Funk with Eric Burdon in Little Rock, Arkansas on January 12, 1975, using the Neal Adams illustration from the inside gatefold of the album “All the Girls in the World Beware!!!”
A second very cool poster by an unknown artist from Strawberry Music Productions for a show by Salem Witchcraft and Sweet Crystal in Inkster, Michigan on January 15, 1975. The words “New World” appear along a camel’s leg, first from right.
Ads for Lisa Gottlieb’s Savoy Room in the Shelby Hotel in Detroit, Michigan, starting with Elvin Jones on January 17, 1975, with Tracy Nelson, Mirabi, and Howlin’ Wolf finishing out the month, and a return to the old hometown for James Montgomery to start off February.
A Discount Records ad by Jive Comix, aka Ted Echterling, in the January 17, 1975 issue of the State News in East Lansing, Michigan.
A very cool poster by “godenschwager”(?) for Rare Earth with the Ohio Players in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 18, 1975.
A conflicting ad for the “Midnight Boogie” concert in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 18, 1975 with Funkadelic in place of Rare Earth.
A very cool full-page poster/ad for a syndicated series of thirteen one-hour shows for radio of The Elvis Presley Story, from the January 18, 1975 issue of Billboard magazine.
Newspaper ad for Linda Ronstadt at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 21, 1975. She ended the show with “You’re No Good” and a rendition of Martha & the Vandellas’ “Heat Wave”. One show review concluded, “She’s a gift to us all”.
The following clip is from a “Midnight Special” show on January 17th, just four days before this concert, so it’s probably pretty representative of how she and her band looked and sounded at Hill.
Linda Ronstadt – You’re No Good (Midnight Special TV show 1/17/75)
Time was running out with only a couple of weeks left before the January 24, 1975 drawing to win a pound of marijuana, courtesy of the Ann Arbor SUN newspaper in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
An ad for a Dance Concert at the Union Ballroom in Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 24, 1975, sponsored by the Friends of the Ann Arbor SUN, presenting a “Stars of Stars” Chicago Blues Revue, and included in the festivities was the announcement of the winner of the SUN’s “Win a Pound of Colombian” contest.
An ad for Bimbo’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan showing a quick return for The Rockets, appearing there January 24-25, 1975. It had been reported that the band broke up in October, the same day that Peter Andrews left Rainbow Productions.
The Mariah Coffeehouse in East Lansing, Michigan continued booking a steady series of folk and blues artists, adding “Folk & Blues” to their name and featuring artist illustrations in their ads. Michael Murphey on January 25, 1975, followed by Tim Weisberg and Loudon Wainwright III.
Suzi Quatro on the cover of the January 25, 1975 issue of the British music magazine New Musical Express.
Newspaper ads for the first Michigan shows by the Rockford, Illinois band Cheap Trick, appearing at The Brewery in East Lansing, starting on January 27, 1975. They performed the following night, January 28th, opened for Flo and Eddie & the Turtles on the 29th, and then stayed on for four more nights, January 30th through February 2nd.
Some sources show that Cheap Trick had appeared at The Brewery a little earlier, on December 6, 1974, but we have not been able to confirm it. These were the early barnstorming days for Cheap Trick, with most shows around their local Rockford-Milwaukee area. It will be another full year before they return to Michigan. It is also still two years before their first album, so the line in the ad that reads “playing all their gold records” already shows the band’s sense of humor.
Newspaper ad for Lynyrd Skynyrd at Ford Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan on January 29, 1975. This was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first Michigan show as a headliner, they had previously opened for The Who at Cobo Arena in Detroit in November, 1973. It was the third Michigan appearance for opener Charlie Daniels, his first was a seemingly mismatch, opening for Sha-Na-Na at Pine Knob in July 1973, and then, the better suited opening for the Marshall Tucker Band at Masonic in December 1974, which, by the way, was the Marshall Tucker Band’s first headlining Michigan show. The new wave of Southern Rock was infiltrating the Motor City.
An ad for the Starwood in Hollywood, California with the Butts Band and the George Clinton Band appearing on January 29, 1975 through February 9th. We did a double-take, George Clinton in Los Angeles with a “Band” all the while Parliament-Funkadelic were taking off around the country?
Then we noticed the ABC Records, and remembering also being fooled by a 1974 album called “The George Clinton Band Arrives”, with the cover photo of a close-up of an astronauts boot making a footprint on the lunar soil, this was a different George Clinton, George S. Clinton, an accomplished musician, composer and songwriter in his own right.
His fascinating and influential story is well told here:
And a very kick-ass track from the 1974 album is linked below.
The George Clinton Band – Jungle Love (1974)
The Butts Band was two-thirds of the former Doors, with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger teaming up with singer Jess Roden, who had been one of the candidates to replace Jim Morrison. As we’ve previously documented, a replacement could not be agreed upon and keyboardist Ray Manzarek split from the other two and attempted to form a new group around singer Iggy Pop.
When you can sell out a 15,000 seat venue in just a few hours after announcing a show, there’s not much need for posters or ads, as was the case for the Led Zeppelin concert at the Olympia Stadium in Detroit. Michigan on January 31, 1975. Instead, you might produce a limited edition Matchbox truck.
Led Zeppelin’s 1975 US tour comprised 35 shows from January 18th through March 27th. High quality soundboard bootlegs proliferated from this tour. The most elaborate was the three-volume CD packages from ZLP, Part One and Part Two each had five shows on 15 CD’s, and Part Three had six shows on 19 CD’s. Meanwhile, the Detroit show on January 31, 1975 got the good old cheapo standard-issue bootleg LP cover for an audience recording from King Kong Records.
There was an official “tour-blank” poster for Led Zeppelin’s 1975 US tour, it used a picture of actress Katharine Hepburn from the 1933 movie “Christopher Strong”. The date and venue information would be printed in the black rectangle on the bottom.
The winner of the Ann Arbor SUN’s “Win a Pound of Colombian” contest appeared on the cover of the January 31, 1975 issue. The winner was identified only as a University of Michigan student living in one of the dormitories.
The back cover of the January 31, 1975 issue of the Ann Arbor SUN newspaper, with condolences to everyone who did not win the pound of weed, and a subscription premium of selecting an album from Tribe Records.
A detail of the Tribe Records offer in the January 31, 1975 issue of the Ann Arbor SUN newspaper. Tribe, as a performing and recording jazz collective have been aptly described as “Genius work from the Detroit underground of the 70s”.
Founded in 1972 by trombonist Phil Ranelin and jazz clarinet and saxophonist Wendell Harrison, the group included Marcus Belgrave (trumpet), Harold McKinney (piano), Ron Brooks (bass), Charles Moore (trumpet), Doug Hammond (drums and percussion), among others. The group lasted five years, released over a dozen records, and published a magazine with black awareness and the message "Music is the healing force of the Universe."
Here is the lead-off track from Wendell Harrison & Phillip Ranelin’s album “A Message From The Tribe”, featuring vocalist Jeamel Lee.
Wendell Harrison & Phillip Ranelin – What We Need (1973)
Newspaper ad for Clicker, from Madison, Wisconsin with platform shoes, at Chances Are in Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 31, 1975.
An Arista Records poster/full-page ad for Suzi Quatro’s single “Your Mama Won’t Like Me”, released on January 31, 1975, it would be the title track of her up-coming third studio album. Since it failed to continue her streak of #1 hits it was considered as somewhat of a failure, but like the funky new sound.
Suzi Quatro - Your Mama Won’t Like Me (1975)
A full-page ad for the Grand Funk album “All the Girls in the World Beware!!!” in the February 1975 issue of CREEM magazine.
The month of February 1975 from Stanley Mouse’s 1975 Monster Calendar.
The front and back covers of the first issue of Art Beat magazine, February 1975, with a poster for WJZZ radio in Detroit, Michigan.
An ad for WHNN FM radio serving the Saginaw, Bay City, Midland and Flint, Michigan areas from February 1975.
An ad by an unknown artist for CJOM FM radio in Windsor, Canada from February 1975.
Our annual Bill Utterback illustration of the Playboy All-Star Band in the February 1975 issue of the magazine. There was very little change from the 1974 group, Joni Mitchell replaced Carly Simon for female vocalist, Stevie Wonder was added by the addition of the synthesizer to the instrumentation, the flute was dropped from the instrumentation which meant no more Ian Anderson after a three-year run, Elton John replaced Neil Diamond for male vocalist, and somewhat surprising, Benny Goodman was in the band for his first time, taking over clarinet from Pete Fountain, who had held the position every year since 1963.
All of which goes to show just how ridiculous the selection process worked, but you can’t beat the Utterback illustrations.
The Temptations appeared on the Midnight Special TV show, performing their single “Shakey Ground”, released in February 1975. The song was co-written by Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel, who plays lead guitar on the track, along with Funkadelic bassist Billy Bass Nelson.
The third single from the album “A Song for You”, both the album and the single marked the end of an incredible run of chart toppers. “Shakey Ground was their 15th, and final, #1 on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart. The album was their 14th, and final, #1 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart. Remarkably, all but four of the Temptations’ studio LP’s up to this point reached #1 on the R&B Albums chart, the only ones missing the top were their debut album, a duet LP with the Supremes, and two others that each peaked at #2.
Here is the clip from the Midnight Special:
The Temptations – Shakey Ground (1975)
Gloria Gaynor’s first Michigan appearance, at the Poison Apple in Detroit on February 2, 1975. Her debut album had just been released, it was notable for having the three songs on Side One segue into one another, creating a 19-minute dance track without interruptions between the songs "Honey Bee", "Never Can Say Goodbye", and "Reach Out, I'll Be There". The unique mix was the work of Tom Moulton, credited as the inventor of the 12 inch disco single and known as the "father of the disco mix”.
The long track, known by the title of the middle song “Never Can Say Goodbye” was the first #1 record on the newly created “Disco Action” chart that first appeared in the October 26, 1974 issue of Billboard magazine, the chart was also compiled by Tom Moulton.
Gloria Gaynor – Never Can Say Goodbye (album Side One) (1975)
An ad with the line-up at the Savoy in Detroit, Michigan for the month of February, starting off with Don Preston, February 4-5, 1975. The promoters have confused two musicians into one, Don Preston, the guitar player, worked with Leon Russell, a different Don Preston (born in Flint, Michigan and grew up in Detroit) was the keyboard player for Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. This gig is for Don Preston, the guitar player, who had no association with Zappa.
Art by Kevin Tolman for WABX radio in Detroit, Michigan published in the February 6, 1975 edition of the Fifth Estate newspaper.
Volume Eleven - 1975 - continues - HERE