DODGE MAIN

In the early '90s Patrick Boissel from Alive Records began a crusade to resurrect the Detroit Sound through a series of reissues and new releases of obscure live performances, out takes, and other material, doing for the MC5, the Rationals, the Up, and John Sinclair what had already been done by Revenge Records for the Stooges.

 

Patrick had the idea of forming a "Detroit Super Group" of surviving players who were still active in music. Deniz and Wayne Kramer were asked to lead the effort. Both were keen on the idea of working together and agreed. Having just finished a tour of Australia with Wayne opening for the newly reformed Radio Birdman, they had got to know each other and gain a solid appreciation of each other's style. Wayne had even jammed with Birdman on TV Eye in Melbourne.

 

Deniz went on tour with The Deniz Tek Group, spending a month in Italy. Less than a week after that tour finished he flew to LA to record. On arriving, he was pleased to find that Scott Morgan from the Rationals and Sonics Rendezvous Band, who happened to be in town, had been recruited to do much of the singing. Paul Ill played bass and Brock Avery played drums and percussion. Both are from the Wayne Kramer Band.

 

Recording was done at a small studio in West Hollywood called the Music Box. It was in a dangerous area, the engineer telling the story of a shootout on the opposite street corner just a week before.

 

Some songs were written on the spot, others in Deniz' motel room. MC5, Birdman, and Sonics Rendezvous standards were chosen. The band rehearsed minimally, and the songs went to tape with very little preparation. The entire album was done in less than 5 days.

 

Self titled, Dodge Main was released by Alive later in 1996 to rave reviews, even getting a 4 star treatment in Rolling Stone magazine. The name "Dodge Main" had been suggested by Wayne, after the now defunct automobile assembly plant in central Detroit.

 

Dodge Main has gotten together for two live shows since then. The first, in February '97, was a benefit concert at the State Theatre in Detroit held to heLP pay a fellow Detroit musician's medical bills incurred following heart attack. The band played free, and paid their own expenses. The line-up included Dennis Thompson on drums and Gary Rasmussen on bass. The show was rough and chaotic, but the energy level was high and the crowd of about 2000 people went off.

 

The second show was a gig at the Euclid Tavern in Cleveland, in conjunction with the release of the paperback version of Please Kill Me, the oral history of punk by McNeil and McCain. After a book reading at the R&R Hall of Fame museum, the gig went down, this time with Scotty Asheton from the Stooges on drums. It was at this show that the band hit it's full potential, causing a near riot in the tiny, packed club. They were joined on stage for the last four songs by Jimmy Zero, guitarist for the Cleveland legends the Dead Boys. Tapes of this show have been reviewed by Wayne and Don Was, with tentative plans to produce and release a recording from them.

 

There are loose plans for Dodge Main to get together again and record a second album...unconfirmed at the moment. After the last gig the band was stoked and wants to keep that line-up going. They will probably perform again, when and where we least expect it.