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Splatt Gallery's History of Michigan Concert Posters
Volume Thirteen - 1977
The 1977 calendar from WABX-FM radio in Detroit, Michigan.
“Take Funk to Heaven in ‘77”, a slogan for the new year. The P-Funk Earth Tour, with the spectacular landing of the mothership had kicked off in New Orleans on October 27, 1976 and would continue throughout 1977. The fifth show of the tour, in Houston, Texas on Halloween 1976 was videotaped and would finally be released on DVD some twenty years later. Two upcoming shows, in Los Angeles and Oakland, California on January 19 and 21, 1977 would be recorded and released as a double live album in May 1977. The album came with a poster and the iron-on T-shirt transfer shown above.
Xerox art by Jim Shaw, formerly of Destroy All Monsters, published in the January 1977 issue of Lightworks art magazine. Shaw and Mike Kelley left the group in the summer of 1976, possibly as late as August, to move to California to pursue their individual art careers, setting the stage for the next incarnation of DAM.
Long-time readers may recall that we were enamored by Sproton Layer, the Ann Arbor band of the Miller brothers in 1969/1970. Roger Miller will later form the band Mission of Burma, but the roots of that post-punk classic were in a heady psychedelic stoner ground that Roger and his younger twin brothers Larry and Ben had cultivated in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a sophisticated package of music and artwork based on the brothers’ fully realized concept of a “Toke Mythology”. Even the band name was an obscure pot reference.

Unappreciated at the time, the brothers moved on, with Roger pursuing the path that would lead him to Boston, Massachusetts, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and Mission of Burma, while Larry and Ben remained in Ann Arbor, forming short-lived bands Brainal Unit and Marsh Crabbitts & his Clapfold Platune (whom we found on a 1972 Gary Grimshaw poster for the People’s Ballroom).

Larry and Ben’s next venture was a “dada-psychedelic noise band” called Empool, whose logo is shown above.

After Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley left for California, the remaining members of Destroy All Monsters, Carey Loren and Niagara, began hanging out at Empool’s rehearsals. Although the musical styles of the two bands were different, they shared the same free-form aesthetic and Loren and Niagara asked if Empool would work on some songs that they had written. The Miller brothers considered DAM’s extremely simple “garage punk” as a fun relief and they also appreciated that Loren and Niagara pretty much left them to do whatever they wanted with the tunes.

Thus, a second phase of Destroy All Monsters was created for a short time, consisting of Loren and Niagara with Larry and Ben Miller. Like DAM, Empool did not have many live performances due to a lack of receptive venues, but they did a lot of recording. Decades later, some of those recordings were released and a sample of Empool’s sound is linked below.

Empool - DOES do did done (1976/1977)

A full-page Capitol Records ad for Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” album in the January 1977 issue of CREEM magazine. The issue also had a very favorable review of the record, written by Air-Wreck Genheimer.
Following a New Year’s Eve show, Eddie Kendricks stayed on for two more days, January 1-2, 1977 at O.J.’s Lounge in Pontiac, Michigan.
Poster, presumably by Freddie Brooks, with photo by CREEM magazine’s JoAnn Uhelszki for the Sonic’s Rendezvous Band’s first shows of the new year, at the Roadhouse near Ann Arbor, Michigan, on January 5, 1977 and over the weekend on the 7th and the 8th.
An ad for the Anchor Inn, a seedy joint way out in the boondocks near Pinckney, Michigan that was a combined rock and roll bar and strip club, with the Rockets appearing on January 7-8, 1977, followed by Salem Witchcraft on January 9th.
Newspaper ad for a brief re-appearance of Radio King & his Court of Rhythm, at Second Chance in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 7-8, 1977.
Newspaper ad with Sirius Trixon & his Motor City Bad Boys at Max’s in New York City, January 7-8, 1977.
The Detroit band Flirt were featured in the “New Bands” section of the January 1977 issue of Rock Scene magazine, published out of Bethany, Connecticut. The concert database has their first shows as being a six-night gig at the 3 of Us Lounge in Detroit, January 11-16, 1977.

Lead singer Rockee Re Marx (aka Rockee Berlin) is credited with backing vocals on Bob Seger’s song “Katmandu”, credited as “Stoney & Rocky”, sharing the duty with Shaun “Stoney” Murphy. With her bassist husband Skid, the couple were also involved with the bands Medusa and The Kurbstone Beauteaze, a group we enjoyed following over their too-brief career. With the dissolution of the Beauteaze, singer De De Troit moved to California and started the band U.X.A.

Skid will also pull double-duty as the bassist for the Seatbelts, a band that will form late in the year.

Poster/flyer for the Dogs at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, California, January 12-14, 1977.
Newspaper ad for another benefit party for the Fifth Estate newspaper in Detroit, Michigan with entertainment provided by the band Shadowfax on January 13, 1977.
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band started off the year with four shows at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan on January 13-14, 1977 and January 16-17. Seger’s manager Punch Andrews told the story that area promoters balked at the idea of booking Seger at the arena “too soon”(to his September 1975 shows that produced the “Live Bullet” album?), so they found a guy who had never promoted a concert before and sold out four shows, “and could have done six!” The shows were on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday, oddly leaving the arena vacant on a Saturday night.
Newspaper ad for Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan on January 14, 1977, the second of four shows.
This logo for the Silver Bullet Band, of two bushy haired women, clad only in an ammo belt, riding a rather large phallic silver bullet appears to have made its debut for the band’s 1977 tour.

The tour was in support of the album “Night Moves”, which had been released in October 1976. The tour would consist of around 70 shows, lasting the entire year with breaks only in February, June, and September. It would also include their first shows outside of the US and Canada, with nine shows in Germany, France, and the UK.

Although in 1976 the band performed a few more shows than in 1977, the majority of the 1976 shows were as an opening act, touring with KISS and Blue Oyster Cult, and also opening for Queen, the Doobie Brothers, and Black Sabbath, among others. The strangest pairing may have been opening for Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons in Champaign, Illinois in October 1976.

By contrast, in 1977, after a few early shows opening for Foghat and Black Sabbath, every show, starting at the beginning of March, was headlined as Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, other than at some festivals and series shows such as the Super Bowl of Rock and the World Series of Rock.

This poster for Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band at Cobo Arena in Detroit, January 13-14, 1977 and January 16-17, is almost certainly one of those “commemorative” posters, made after the event.

The hometown kick-off of the 1977 touring year was very nicely reviewed by John Laycock in a Detroit newspaper:

“When Bob Seger stepped on the stage at Cobo Arena Thursday night he became Detroit’s Two Million Dollar Man. That’s a conservative estimate of the money Detroit area rock and rollers have spent on their home-town-boy in the last 12 months.

“Bob’s show at Pontiac’s Chromedome in the summer drew, they claim, 68,000, which is good for close to a half-million dollars. His four shows at Cobo, spread out to Monday, are pushing toward 48,000 attendance, worth at least $330,000.

“The Live Bullet album has sold 225,000 copies in the Detroit region alone, adding another million to the pot. Night Moves, the new one, is well over 100,000, which means well over $400,000.

“All that cash doesn’t end up in Seger’s pocket, of course. Far from it. In rock and roll finance, the performer is last in line. And there are plenty of lean years to forget. “I’ve got 12 years of bills,” Bob’s long-time manager Punch Andrews jokes.”

An ad for the Mojo Boogie Band at the Anchor Inn in Pinckney, Michigan, January 13-15, 1977, with Salem Witchcraft on the 16th.
An ad for Tribe at the University of Michigan campus in Dearborn, Michigan on January 14, 1977. The jazz collective founded in 1972 by Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison, which included Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney, Ron Brooks, Charles Moore, Doug Hammond, among others, was nearing the end of their five-year run. An anthology album called “Message From The Tribe” was released in 1996 – here are a few tracks:

Message from the Tribe - Vibes from the Tribe (1972-1977)

Message from the Tribe – Beneficent (1972-1977)

Message from the Tribe - Farewell to the Welfare (1972-1977)

The first fruit of the labors from David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s self-imposed exile in France and later Berlin, Germany was Bowie’s album “Low” which was released on January 14, 1977. Iggy’s album “The Idiot” would follow on March 18th.
A full-page Warner Bros. Records ad, with beautifully sharp color, for the second album by Bootsy’s Rubber Band, “Ahh...The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!” which was released on January 15, 1977. It was the first P-Funk release to hit #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Soul Albums chart.

The first single from the album, “"The Pinocchio Theory", (“the World’s funkiest sing-along”) included the line “Don't fake the funk or your nose'll grow” which inspired George Clinton to later create the character Sir Nose D'voidoffunk.

Bootsy’s Rubber Band – The Pinocchio Theory (1977)

The outside album cover for the second album by Bootsy’s Rubber Band with painting by Mike Bryan, who will also produce a similar style painting for the cover of Marvin Gaye’s 1978 album “Here, My Dear”.
A full-page Capitol Records ad in the January 15, 1977 issue of Billboard magazine with a Bob Seger promo baseball jacket give-away.
A full-page CREEM magazine ad in the January 15, 1977 issue of Billboard magazine with the winners of the 1976 CREEM Readers Poll.
A full-page Elektra Records ad for the fifth studio album by Queen, with tour dates that include three Michigan shows, the first being at Cobo Arena in Detroit on January 18, 1977, followed by Saginaw on the 20th and Kalamazoo on the 22nd. They would return for two more shows at Cobo in November, giving them a total of five Michigan shows in 1977, their most in any year.
An ad for Queen at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan on January 18, 1977, along with a ticket stub, from back when tickets were actually physical manifestations and keeping a properly torn stub was a mini piece of art.
A pair of ads using an illustration by Dennis Preston for Wedsel’s Edsels at Rollerworld Skating in East Lansing, Michigan on January 18, 1977.
A tour-blank poster for the P-Funk Earth Tour by S. Mobley(?). Picking off were they left off at the end of 1976, the show rolled into Inglewood, California on January 19, 1977 and up into Oakland, California on January 21st. Recordings from these two shows were released as the “Live: P-Funk Earth Tour” double album on May 5, 1977.
An ad for Ted Nugent in Lubbock, Texas on January 19, 1977, the second stop of a Texas tour that also included El Paso, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston.
A full-page Chrysalis Records ad touting a Jethro Tull tour which was avoiding large arenas in favor of smaller, more intimate venues, such as the two shows at Masonic Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan on January 19-20, 1977.

Here is a live video from a Tull show three weeks later, back in London, England. From the review of the Detroit show, the set list appears to be pretty similar.

Jethro Tull – Live in London (2/10/77)

Audio bootleg of Jethro Tull at Masonic Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan on January 19, 1977.
An ad for the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia with Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band opening for Foghat on January 20, 1977, and with Ted Nugent opening for Black Sabbath on January 26th.
An ad for the Anchor Inn in Pinckney, Michigan with the band Tantrum appearing January 20-23, 1977. The link below has a live track by Tantrum posted by RD Francis with detailed information about the band and their association to Arthur “The Phantom” Pendragon.

Tantrum – Way Back to the Bone (1974)

A full-page ad in the January 22, 1977 issue of Billboard magazine for Ray Manzarek’s band Nite City, featuring two Detroit musicians, Paul Warren on guitar and drummer Jimmy Hunter. Their debut album is linked below:

Nite City - Nite City (album) (1977)

Poster/ad for Queen at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan on January 22, 1977.
A newspaper ad for Ted Nugent in San Antonio, Texas on January 22, 1977. The show was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, and can be heard in its entirety here:

Ted Nugent - Live.in San Antonio, Texas (1/22/77)

On January 23, 1977, while opening for Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band at Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, Florida, Patti Smith fell off the stage, suffering serious injury with multiple broken neck vertebrae that required several months of rest and recuperation.

The above illustration, by artist Brian Walsby, accompanied an article by Legs McNeil about helping Smith with her recovery and learning that she has some pretty powerful medicine, with additional Walsby cartoon panels, linked below:

Poster/ad for Ted Nugent in Jackson, Mississippi on January 25, 1977.
Poster for John Lee Hooker at Antone’s in Austin, Texas, January 25-29, 1977.
An ad for the Rockets at the Roadhouse outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan with a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday gig, January 26, 1977 and January 28th and 29th.
Newspaper ad for the Spinners at the Speakeasy (formerly Dirty Helen’s) in Detroit, Michigan, January 27-30,1977, the band’s longest Michigan engagement.
An ad for the Anchor Inn in Pinckney, Michigan featuring Zooster, January 27-30, 1977. Upcoming shows included Roxx February 1-2, and Canned Heat with Salem Witchcraft on February 6th.
Poster/ad for KISS with Uriah Heep at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan for two shows, January 27-28, 1977, a third show was added for the 29th.
An ad for KISS with Uriah Heep at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan, adding the third show, January 27-29, 1977.
The third KISS show of the three night run at Cobo Arena, on January 29, 1977, was video-taped and can be seen here:

KISS – Live in Detroit, Michigan (1/29/77)
An ad for Dr. Leo Speer’s Sure Thing night club in Ypsilanti, Michigan with Salem Witchcraft performing January 28-29, 1977. The doctor’s son Benny, of Benny & the Jets, tells us “the Sure Thing (previously known as Bimbos) was a former grocery store. To give you an idea of how big it was, it still had the automatic front doors”.
An ad for the Palomino in N. Hollywood, California with an appearance by the new Commander Cody Band, January 28-29, 1977. Also of interest is an appearance by the poet Charles Bukowski at the Golden Bear on January 30th.
A tour schedule for The Spinners which kicked off with a show in Albion, Michigan on January 29, 1977. Additional Michigan shows included two shows at the Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, June 25th and 26th.
A Casablanca Records ad from January 30, 1977 showing George Clinton fitting in quite well with label-mates KISS.
An ad for the Starwood in Hollywood, California with the Dogs appearing on January 31, 1977 and on February 1st, to be followed by Van Halen.
The front cover of the February 1977 issue of CREEM magazine with illustration of Peter Frampton by Gary Ciccarelli.
Diana Ross released a live album of her highly successful Broadway show from June 1976 and took the show on the road, with six nights at the Ford Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan, February 1-6, 1977. She also presented the show as a 90-minute television special which aired in March of 1977, and which is linked below:

Diana Ross - An Evening With Diana Ross (TV show) (March 1977)

Poster/ad for Diana Ross at the Ford Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan, February 1-6, 1977.
Newspaper ads with Mugsy at Second Chance in Ann Arbor, Michigan and with the Rockets at the Roadhouse again with their Wednesday, Friday and Saturday shows, February 2, 1977, and on the 4th and the 5th.
At some point during the Rockets’ six nights at the Roadhouse in late January/early February 1977, they were joined onstage for a few jams by vocalist Dave Gilbert. Gilbert, like the other band members of the now defunct New Order, were filtering back to Michigan from Los Angeles, California, but Gilbert went back to LA after the Roadhouse show to promote a new band he had just formed called Wolfticket. Looking further ahead, he’ll be back.
Have not found audio yet, but here is the sleeve for the only known single by Dave Gilbert’s short-lived band, Wolfticket, released in 1977. The disc’s labels are as minimal as this front cover (back cover is blank), only listing the song titles “Just Might be a Rich Man” b/w “Can’t Stand It”.

The 1979 compilation album “W4 Homegrown”, which includes the Wolfticket track “Rich Man”, provides a list of seven musicians, with Gilbert on vocals, and a three-piece horn section with ties to other Detroit recording artists, comprised of Gary Kwek, George Troia, and Gordon Stump.

The bass, drums, and guitar core seem to be unique to this record, including guitarist Steve Finly who also produced the track and brought a sibling “M”(?) in on drums.

A pair of ads for two shows in Virginia with Bob Seger opening for Black Sabbath, in Norfolk on February 2, 1977 and in Salem/Roanoke on February 5th. In the reviews for each show both favored Seger.
Volume Thirteen - 1977 - continues - HERE
A modified front cover of the Berkeley Barb newspaper in Berkeley, California with coverage of the Funkadelic show at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California on January 21, 1977. Portions of this show, along with the show at the Forum in Inglewood two nights earlier, were released as the double album “Live: P-Funk Earth Tour”.