page 5-wystan stevens
page 6-looking back
Number 16 Page Three
February 10, 1974
Dylan: A 1o
underbelly of the rock
By DAN BIDDLE
Throw my ticket out the window.
ON THE AFTERNOON of Febru-
ary 2, 1974, a carpet of light snow
covers the great flat industrial
reaches of Southeastern Michigan.
The mercury at Willow Run Airport
registers an abusive 22 degrees, and
the Huron River heaves gently under
a new ice layer and quads of tem-
pestuous children on skates.
As Bob Dylan and his glittering en-
tourage fly over foam-flecked Lake
Erie, the world's first dead lake, the
well-fed young people- of Southfield
and Ann Arbor struggle out of bed
and face the afternoon sun.
Crisler Arena sits on Stadium
Boulevard in Ann Arbor, like a giant
stomach waiting to digest Dylan, the
Band, and 13,800 other people.
The concert's advance publicity has
not been excellent. In a Friday morn-
ing story, The Daily reported that
the concert's Detroit promoters were
involved in a massive scalping ring
that violated the show contract and
effectively prevented the best tick-
ets from reaching bona fide ticket
buyers. The promoters denied the
charges; whichrwere based on sever-
al near-identical accounts from tic-
Dylan himself, recluse minstrel of
the previous decade, is not yet in the
stomach, but he is in the throat. He
sits in a dressing room, protected
from his vehement fans by three
thickly - muscled gentlement who
wear blue "Tour '74" buttons.
And what is Mr. Dylan doing is his
dressing room? Dressing, we are told.
Hours later we will learn that he
was "dressing" in a dull brown suit
and a white shirt buttoned to the
neck without a tie.'
THE REAL ACTION, however, is in
the room next door. In the
mind's eye, Dylan can be seen put-
ting on his pants and deodorizing his
armpits as several uneasy people en-
ter the adjacent conference room.
Assorted UAC-Daystar officials and
a pair of reporters follow the notor-
ious Peter Andrews, who is not real-
ly such a bad guy but has the look
of a sleepless rat.
People in Ann Arbor know of An-
drews as a heavy in the local rock
music business, but those who fol-
He looks nervous, probably because
Graham has spent the last two hours
questioning him about the matter of
Graham, dressed to kill in penny
loafers and a decrepit windbreaker,
listens to the allegations.
Graham softens and launches into
a vignette of the "dirty but honest"
"We are like honest Mafiosi," he
says. "We all have our own areas,
you know what I mean?" His wash-
cloth face convulses in a fresco of
"Maybe I misjudged Bageris," says Graham. I gotta
say it, there's a little hanky-panky going on here. No,
no, I better say it right: Somebody's fuckin' around
with this concert."
vv,:> -"r:" ". :r:,::"::};Am va v:"vY"a--".A"Y:.-A^".":.".x: vvf.nswamie mem s
ok at the
from the chair. "Sure! I think we're
in the dirtiest business there is!
But Bob is my man."
Bageris sits spider-like, limbs
folded, saying nothing. He glares at
the reporters. They glare back. As
Easthope, Andrews, and Graham
battle over the ethics of rock and
roll promotion, a long-haired fellow
with another "Tour '74" button cross-
es the back of the room and enters
Dylan's dressing room with a huge
acrylic portrait of the man who is
known backstage as Him.
This provokes laughter among
some of the assembled conferees, but
soon it is realized that this is a pa-
rade route. The hairy gentleman is
followed by handmaidens.
The handmaidens are young wo-
men with sculpted hips and breasts
falling out of silk blouses. Noses held
high, they pass into His dressing
room carrying gifts: plates of cut
fruit, bottles of champagne and bas-
kets of mixed nuts.
Graham explains: "We gotta run a
tight show. This guy won't go on
stage unless he's got fresh-cut lem-
ons for his lemonade. Gotta keep
him happy . . . Annie, where are 'da
Annie, who wears glitter-crusted
eyelids and no shirt to speak of,
tosses a wink at Bageris and runs
out into the hallway.
THE JAWS OF the men in the room
continue to pump, until finally
Graham agrees to make a plea to the
audience for help in handling "ticket
discrepancies" at the end of the
show. Easthope and the rest of the
Ann Arbor contingent demand a
thorough questioning of Bamboo em-
ployes. Graham reiterates his faith:
"On my son--" he raises his right
hand-"on the tlife of my son, I
swear to you that I trust this man."
low him into the room make Pete
look like a flyweight in a greasy
The legendary Bill Graham, a man
with a voice like a Bronx butcher and
a face like a washcloth, erupts
through the door.
"I don't know who you are,
motherfuckers," Graham hollers,
pointing a menacing finger at the re-
porters. "But you're saying some bad
shit about my man, and I'm gonna
throw you out of this building be-
fore you can turn your head around."
His "man" is Robert "Bob" Bager-
is, Detroit's number one rock pro-
moter. It is said that Bageris, presi-
dent of Bamboo Enterprises, is to De-
troit rock as Graham is to the na-
tion's rock: the boss.
Bageris looks like an aging Rick
Nelson. Like many other young peo-
ple of Southfield, Bageris wears
styled hair and a Miami Beach cop-
pertone tan worn atop third degree
implicit trust. "I got me a man in
Philly, a man in Montreal, a man in
St. Louis. My man in Detroit is this
man right here, Bob is my Detroit
man, I trust him. He's never done
ENTER THOMAS EASTIOPE, the
feisty assistant vice president
for student services at the University,
and a slayer of the dragons who
would control the student dollar.
"Mr. Graham," Easthope begins.
"Please, BILL is my name. Call me
Easthope clearly has not arrived to
exchange cordialities. "Mr. Graham,"
he repeats, "the kids here aren't go-
ing to take this kind of thing much
longer. You know what I'm talking
about. If you really believe in this
business, you better clean it up if you
ever want to come back to this town,
'cause your people are runnin' a dirty
Graham sticks out his arms and
legs simultaneously, almost falling
He points to Bageris.
Easthope, now up on his hind legs,
counterattacks: "On my SIX chil-
dren, I swear to you that this guy's
lettin' these kids get ripped off!"
Two hours later, halfway through
the concert, Graham is a changed
man. "I didn't believe you guys at
first," he says. "But you're right,
something funny is goin' on here. I
looked out there at the kids during
the first set, and I saw 'dis big
hole, like 80 seats, nobody sittin' in
'em. I thought, this is a sellout, some-
thing's gotta be wrong."
"Maybe I misjudged this guy (Ba-
geris) ", says Graham. "I gotta say it,
there's a little hanky-panky goin'
on here. No, no, I better say it right:
Somebody's fuckin' around with this
concert. It's like you eat a good
meal, but there's one little fishbone
caught in your mouth."
Backstage, Bageris repeats his de-
nials of any wrongdoing: "Sure,
there's problems with ticket-scalp-
Doily Photo by TOM GOTTLIEB
ers everywhere, but I resent you try-
ing to fix that at the expense of my
name. I had nothing to do with it."
When Dylan emerges from his
dressing room for the final set, the
thickly-muscled guards form a pha-
lanx and bulldoze people out of the
way as he walks toward the stage.
As he mounts the stairs, he appears
to smile. This is some comfort, as he
does not smile once on the stage
during the entire show.
AFTER THE ENCORE, Bill Graham
walks acros3 the stage, takes off
his fedora and asks for attention as
the applause fades:
"I have one announcement to
make. Will everyone who had any
problems getting the right tickets
please come to either side of the
stage? We've had some ticket dis-
crepancies. This is the first of 16
cities in which we've had a heavy
amount of ticket scalping, and with
everybody's help, we can find the
people who know how it was done."
Drivin' hard, ivin'
fast and workin'
the ine at Ford
By JON CRANE
= WAS LUCKY. I didn't see the fac-
tories when I first came to town.
I didn't see the paper mills and the
warehouses. I didn't see much of
anything when I first came to Mon-
roe. We came late at night and we
We drove up in a 1970 Camaro with
a two-barrel 350 V8, a respectable
car by Monroe factory-worker stan-
Driving was a friend of mine from
school named Patrick Murphy. Pat
was born in Monroe and grew up
alongside most of the guys I had
come out here to study. He was for-
tunate enough, however, to attend a.
college-preparatory Catholic high
school instead of the factory-prepar-
atory public high school that most
Monroe boys go to. Anyway, he knows
the town and its people and was a
great help in establishing contacts.
"I'm taking you over to Sally's",
said Pat as we pulled into town, "It's
the, only place that's open this late
on a Thursday night."
Sally's is a dim-lit topless bar and
grill on the West side of Monroe. Its
five high-school age waitresses take
turns dancing to a jukebox, cheered
on by the moans and yells of the all-
male clientele. Sally, a tough old
dame, in leather and high heels,
keeps order and tends bar.
The loudest and most raucous
cheerers that night were very drunk,
very muscular, blue-denimed, young
factory workers. I nudged Pat, then
pointed to the blue-denims.
Pat looked over at them then turn-
ed back and whispered, "Yeah, those
are the'guys you're looking for. The
blond, on the far right, 'drives the
'vette, we saw out front. One of the
other guys has a nice 'vette too. We'll
probably see them later on tonight at
Monroe, but these men also possess
an overpowering tendency for escap-
ism. They drink and drive with'com-
plete abandonment. They sincerely
believe that they will indeed split for
the coast as soon as they get the
bread together or the next time the
boss tells them off. And their whole
after hours existence is led with a
ferocious nihilistic-speedway Inten-
Obviously, these overpowering and
opposing forces result in fierce in-
ner conflict. The battlegrounds and
weapons in these conflicts are the
massive roaring, chunks of die-cast,
v8 steel, the 'hot cars.' Both master
and slave, the car could take its
driver far away with a squeal of rub-
ber and a puff of noxious fumes, but
instead it usually takes him to work.
This is how most young Monroe
factory workers resolve the conflict,
by trying to play both games at
once. The country roads leading out
to the Ford factories are the most
popular racing strips, not because
they are the most challenging
stretches of asphalt but because they
lead to a paycheck. The Monroe fac-
tory worker needs the exhiliration of
a high-speed brush with death be-
fore and after facing the reality of
earning a living, in much the same
way that office workers need a cup
of coffee, every morning.
Eventually this suicidal work-all-
day and drink-all-night schedule is
too much for them to take. So like
their fathers before them they trade
in their "wheels" for a down pay-
ment on a station wagon, and be-
come a responsible hardworking
member of the silent majority. And
on those rare occasions when that
desire to escape cannot be suppres-
sed, the old Monroe factory worker
Daily Photo by TOM GOTTLIEB
I told the girl that we were in a
hurry but that I would like to talk
to her for an hour or so about Mon-
roe and the factories some other time.
WE TOOK OFF again, screaming
through town in Pat's Camaro.
In no time at all we came upon a
supermarket with a huge parking
lot. Sitting in the parking lot, their
engines growling, were the two Cor-
vettes we had seen at Sally's. They
were kept company by other vehicles,
parked like the Corvettes or cruising
around the lot at five miles per hour.
Occasionally, one of the cruisers
would bull uDnex.t. to a nairked crr
Ford tomorrow night."
And then, vrooooom, the Trans-
Am cruiser was gone, lost in the
night. Perhaps he'd take a few prac-
tice runs at tomorrow's race track.
Maybe he'd just head home. It was
three o'clock. Work starts at eight.
THE YOUNG MONROE factory
worker is the child of an old
Monroe factory worker. He makes
$9,000 a year to his father's $15,000.
He is high school educated or at
least he has a diploma stating that
he is high school educated. He often
has had some sort of run in with
laxed is when I'm driving in my
Mustang." I was back in Sally's talk-
ing to a factory worker. He'd had a
fight with his girlfriend and was go-
ing to pick up one of the dancers
for concilation. "And I'm gonna
spend a lot of time driving that baby
real soon. I'm splitting for the coast
next month as soon as I get the
The waitress with the loose bikini-
bottom latch was standing nearby,
picking up snatches of our conversa-
tion. She was on her break and she
signalled for me to come over.
"Aren't you the dude that just wants
telling me about going to California
for a couple years now. He'll never
go. And when you see a Mustang
parked out front with 351 written
on the side, you know the dude is
driving a 302." She thought for a
second then added, "Oh yeah, and
sometimes they stop talking about
cars long enough to complain about
Yet most of these men are bound
by an overpowering sense of respon-
sibility to their jobs. Missing work
for anything less severe than a bro-
ken limb was cause for self-hatred.
"I felt like such a pussy," one guy