For fans of Radio Birdman, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, The Stooges, The HellacoptersLiving up to its title,
“Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” is a cross-generational project from 2002 thatbrings to life Ann Arbor & Detroit’s rock legacy through a combination ofsome of its keyprotagonists. Scott Morgan, who leads the band at the core of the record, Powertrane, goes back to mid ‘60s days,toThe Rationals, who ruled the local teen scene alongside the likes of Bob Seger & The Last Heard.Scott is one of the great white soul singers. In the ‘70s, he fronted the seminalSonic’s RendezvousBand, alongside Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5 and Scott Asheton of The Stooges.Deniz Tek, guest for the entire show, is an Ann Arbor native who spent most of the ‘70s in Sydneyand led the mightyRadio Birdman.Birdman invested Australia with its love of all things AnnArbor/Detroit, and had themselves a huge influence on successive generations internationally.
Ron Asheton,the special guest who appears playing guitar on the handful of Stooges tunes here isthe man who played on them originally, the great and sadly now late guitar innovator who was atthe core ofThe Stooges’huge influence across of the ‘70s and beyond. Ron’s phenomenalappearances with Powertrane and Deniz got him back in the saddle and no doubt inspired Iggy toget Ron and brother Scott “Rock Action” Asheton back onside and reform The Stooges in 2003.Representing the younger generation are Powertrane’s rhythm sectionAndrew “Box” Tayloronbass, who instigated the band’s shows with Tek & Asheton, andAndy Frost, a great drummer whowas mentored by Scott Asheton. Frost sadly passed away in 2010. Additionally, local identitiesRobert GillespieandHiawatha Baileyare present.
Robert Gillespie is Powertrane’sregular leadguitarist, a long time sideman for original white R&B belter Mitch Rider and a former member of RobTyner’s new MC5 in the late ‘70s. Hiawatha, who sings a couple of the Stooges covers,was aStooges roadie back in the day and later front manof local punk-rockers The Cult Heroes in the late‘70s and ‘80s.In addition to the Stooges material, the album includes a selection of tunes spanning Scott Morgan’scareer from Sonic’s Rendezvous through to records he made with Nicke Anderson of Sweden’sDetroit-obsessedHellacoptersas theHydromatics, the brilliant Rob Tyner/Robert Gillespie co-write“Taboo”, and a bunch of songs from Tek’s illustrious career, including a possibly definitive “WhatGives?”, a “Smith & Wesson Blues” that swings like anout of control train on a winding track, andintense versions of a couple of his post-Birdman tracks, “Outside” and “Blood From A Stone”.
Originally released on CD only by Real O-Mind Records in 2002, this is one of thegreatlive albums.As a measure of the Detroit/Sydney connection in the high-energy rock world, it’s probably bettereven better than the monolithic 1981 recording “The First & The Last” by RadioBirdman/Stooges/MC5 supergroup New Race. Yes, it really is that great, and now it’s availablewithextra tracks and on vinyl to boot!