Renaissance of local recordings
recalls era of the Stooges, MC5
By KEITH TOSOLT
There was a time during the late six-
ties when Ann Arbor was an important
center of rock and roll music. The MC5,
who blasted out a new definition of the
term "high energy," lived commune-
style in a house on Hill St. under the
guidance of John Sinclair. Iggy learned
his first stage moves while playing area
high school gigs with the Stooges. And,
of course, everyone knows by now that
Bob Seger hails from Ann Arbor..
A strong recording scene, headed by
the old As Studios, sprung up around
this musical community. It was under
the production of Jeep Holland that the
Rationals recorded their version of
"Respect," a successful hit single
around the Detroit area in 19%6.
Other groups such as the SRC recor-
ded there, as well.
TODAY, recording activity in Ann
Arbor is being revitalized, and one for-
ce behind this creative resurgence is a
triad of music businesses coordinated
by local entrepreneur Al Nalli. Nalli's
operation tries to provide a comprehen-
sive service to the musician at every
level of the business.
Equipment is handled by two music
stores, through which Ted Nugent gets
all his gear (the store received album
credits on Nugent's Double Live Gon-
zo). Ashley Street Talent, Inc. is a
booking agency which secures gigs for
several local bands. The management
affairs are the concern of Al Nalli
Productions, guiding the recording and
performing careers of Brownsville
Station, a lasting Ann Arbor rock in-
stitution, and Blackfoot, a recent ad-
dition to their roster.
THE RECORDING project currently
underway in Nalli's studio is an album
by Blackfoot on Atlantic Records. The
sessions are being conducted in Nalli's
eight-track demo-studio located in the
basement of his music store annex on
downtown Ashley Street. Referred to as
"Subterranean Studios," the demo
studio is a large main room with un=-
finished white walls and rough concrete
support pillars. The control room con-
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A delightfully modern comedy by George Cukor that seems to become more
contemporary with each showing. Starring Katherine and Spencer (the best
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JUDY HOLIDAY is great as the jealous but sincere wife who starts the whole
thing off. .
SAT: THE SEDUCTION OF MIMI
taining the mixing and eight-track
recording equipment is run by co-
producer Henry Weck, who goes by the
name of "H-Bomb" when he drums for
The studio appears to be crude, but
has only been kept so for acoustical
purposes. "The rooms down there are
live sounding. We can get a big drum
sound, better bass and guitar sounds,
the whole bit," says Ricky Medlocke,
lead vocalist and guitarist with Black
foot. "Our first two albums had the
regular studio compressed sound and
were just real dry. The production and
sounds could have been a lot better and
that's what we're going for here."
TO HELP achieve this goal, the
recording sessions are being taped with
a 24-track mobile recording unit. The
unit, usually used for live remote
recordings, is a customized motorhome
outfitted with the standard 24 channel
mixing board, JBL studio monitor
speakers, and racks of accessory
equipment such as limiters, devices
which cut tff thedecibel level at any
given intensity. A closed circuit TV
system allows the engineers to watch
The particular mobile unit involved
in this project is owned by Artissan
Recorders, Inc., which works in con-
junction with Criteria Studios in Miami,
and is being operated by Peter Yianilos
and Bill Myers. The previous work by
this sound team includes a live cut on
Heart's latest album, and other live
work with the Outlaws, Weather
Report, the Commodores, and a
Crosby, Stills, and Nash project,
currently being remixed for release.
This is the company's first situation
where the recording hasn't been live.
if your place of worship is interested in
announcing its services in the Daily please
ISLAMIC ACTIVITIES IN ANN ARBOR
International Muslim House
407 N. Ingalls, Ann Arbor
Five Daily Prayers-Friday prayer
Study circles every Sunday.
Arabic at 2:00; English at 4:00.
Everybody is welcome.
For information call 665-6772.
"THIS ALBUM is a very, very impo
tant one for us," says Medlock
"That's why we're spending so muc
time on it. When it comes out of her
it's going to be done right." The reco.
ding sessions will last three week
during which 12 to 14 tracks will b
layed down. Some overdubs will b
done here, but the final mix will b
completed at another facility.
"Every band these days, sooner
later, has got to come down to the fa
that they have to pop some kind
single in order to make it. Right no
we're going for a hit but staying har
rock," asserts Medlocke. The singl
Blackfoot is aiming for might b
"Train, Train," a rearrangement of
tune written by Rick's grandfather an
bluegrass musician Shorty Medlock
or a beefed-up version of Spirit's "I Go
a Line on You.
Medlocke and the other members
Blackfoot (drummer Jackson Spire
guitarist Charlie Hargrett, and bassi
Greg Walker) hail from Jacksonvil
Fla. They formed in 1969, sharing th
local club circuit with a band titled Th
One Per Cent that would later becom
known as Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1971
Medlocke joined up with the lat
vocalist Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist
Allen Collins and Gary Rossingto
playing drums and singing wit
Skynyrd for a little over a year.
WALKER ALSO 'played bass wit
them, staying long enough to work on
recording session which has bee
ultimately released as part o
Skynyrd's First ... And Last, an an
thology following the air disaster whic
struck the band last year. Medlocke ca
be heard as vocalist on two tunes, i
cluding the ballad "Seasons," which h
wrote. Another song from those origina
sessions, "One More Time," was i
cluded on the previous Skynyrd albu
The Blackfoot project and a new ef
fort from Brownsville Station ,ar
scheduled by Nalli for January release
with tours to follow in March. A singl
by local funk group Crowd Pleasers i
to be released November first on' th
Westbound label. fA hot rock and rol
single. from the band Mugsy is slate
for the near future.
This increase in recording activity
on the part of Nalli and other studio
around town, may again create th
aura of a rich musical scene that An
Arbor enjoyed in the late sixties
providing the atmosphere and respur
ces for the serious, demaridin
7:00 & 9:00
OLD ARCH AUD
The University of Michigan School of Music
H. ROBERT REYNOLDS, conducting
If you would like more information about upcoming
events, fill this portion out, clip, and mail to:
BAND OFFICE (Attn.: Mailings)
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ,
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
St., Apt. No.
, City, State Zip.
T\IVE1SITY JvfUSICAL cOCIETY presents'"""""""
Lami n, 4usie and Danee onerif
Yamahiko Karyo is one of Japan's best known is made possible by the cooperation of the
performers on the Shamisen, a three-string Univ. Center for Japanese Studies, the Univ.
lute. She appears with Yamada Chie and School of Music and the Japan Foundation.
Nishikawa Yachiyo in a rare opportunity to General admission tickets are $4 at Burton
enjoy singing, dance and instrumental music Tower, Sat. 9-12; Mon. 9-4:30 and at the
of 18th and 19th century Japan. The concert box office which opens at 7. Phone 665-
Flonday, ZNovember 6 at 8:30