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March 24, 1989 - Image 57

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENTERTAINMENT

I

GOING PLACES'

WEEK OF
MARCH 24-30

JEWISH EVENTS

CONFERENCE ON
THE HOLOCAUST
Green Auditorium, Ann
Arbor, the play A
Shayna Maidel, Saturday
and Sunday; films: Au
Renoir Les Enfants, (1429
Hill St.) Tuesday,
Murderers Among Us:
The Simon Wiesenthal
Story, (Angell Hall)
Wednesday, admission.
761-7410.
ISRAEL -
NUMISMATIC
SOCIETY
Temple Beth EL Alpert
Hall, meeting Tuesday
with Peter Machinist
speaking on "The First
Jewish Coins."

SPECIAL EVENTS

THE PALACE
3777 Lapeer Rd., Auburn'
Hills, Detroit Pistons vs.
New Jersey Nets, today;
Pistons vs. Dallas
Mavericks, Monday;
Greater Detroit
Sportfishing Expo,
Thursday through April
2, admission. 377-8600.

David Weiss, second from left, and Don Fagenson, second from right, are flanked by fellow Was (Not Was) band members Sweet Pea Atkinson,
left, and Sir Harry Bowens.

WAS (NOT WAS) IS

Two Oak Park "brothers" and their band
have moved from cult favorites to popular success.

MIKE ROSENBAUM

Staff Writer

hat kind of a
music does Was
(Not Was) play?
Their record
company calls it
"slash music," that is,
``rock/funk/soul."
What kind of music is it?
It's the kind of music which
enthralls critics, confuses
record companies and radio
programmers, excites Euro-
peans and, now, is beginning
to interest Americans.
It's the kind of music that
makes it difficult for a writer
to take notes while the band

VW

is playing in front of him.
Have you ever tried to write
while your pen is begging to
become a drumstick, your
notepad an ersatz drum?
That's what kind of music it
is.
Was (Not Was), an 11-person
performing unit, is centered
around two people, a pair of
former Oak Parkers who
formed the band and write
the songs.
The pair met more than 20
years ago when two naughty
boys met outside a Clinton
Junior High School gym
teacher's office in Oak park.
David Weiss, Don Fagenson
and others had played on
some gymnastics equipment

before class.- When someone
was hurt, the teacher wanted
to know who had been goofing
off.
"Don and I, inveterate liars
even then, decided not to
come forth," explains Weiss.
"But some guy told on us. We
were summoned to the
teacher's office and met out-
side of his office and sort of
struck up a friendship then."
The friends' long-time goal
of making a record did not
happen until 1980. Weiss,
then living in Los Angeles
and working as a jazz critic
for the Los Angeles Herald-
Examiner, was persuaded by
Fagenson, who remained in
Detroit as a producer/musi-

cian, to return home and cut
an album.
"We always wanted to do
it," recalls Fagenson. "We .. .
always thought that we had a
particular direction that was
unique. We just sort of got
sidetracked. We weren't real
organized or real motivated,
I don't think. But in the back
of our minds it was always
that somehow, he'd go out to
Hollywood and work his way
in and I'd do the same thing
here and somehow we'd find
the means to do it. It just kind
of took us a long time."
"I borrowed 400 bucks from
my dad (actor Rube Weiss),"
says Weiss. "We cut two sides,
sent 'em out to a few record

COMEDY

COMEDY CASTLE
2593 Woodward, Berkley,
Mitchell Walters, now
through Saturday; Mark
Schiff, Tuesday through
April 1, admission.
542-9900.

THEATER

HILBERRY AND
BONSTELLE
THEATRES
Wayne St. University,
Detroit, Romeo and
Juliet, Tuesday, April 4,
6 and 11; The Scarlet
Pimpernel, now through
April 15; The Night
Thoreau Spent in Jail,
now through May 13,
admission. 577-2972.
MEADOW BROOK
THEATRE
Oakland University,
Rochester, The Road to
Mecca, now through
Sunday; Quilters,
Thursday through April
23, admission. 377-3300.

--ggskilioakhithothitogetalat—I
'

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

57

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