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May 08, 1974 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-05-08

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Wednesday, May 8, 1974


Page Five

Blues musician recalls past

A behavorial scientist would
have a field day with Terry
Tate, Ann Arbor's Mad Monk of
Music. His name has been ban-
died about in musical circles
and olice blotters since he ar-
rived in this city well known
for its colorful characters.
He came to Ann Arbor eight
years ago to play music. Since
then he has -dmost become a lo-
cal legend. Strange stories of his
esc-rmdes, both fact and fallacy,
grew up around him and his ca-
reer. More often than not, the
stories were true.
His appearance at age 30
seems cold and hard, a reflec-
tion of numerous experiences.
His brown hair is short now,
exposing one gold earring on
his left ear. When he smiles one
can see the glimmer of his gold
tooth, a prized nossession.
Terry Tate will soon be gone.
He is prenaring to leave Ann
Arbor for California in an at-
tempt to be heard by more and
He bought his first acoustic
guitar when he was 19.
"I heard Joan Baez playing
the guitar and singing 'Silver
Dagger' and I liked it so I went
out and bought a guitar, and
taught myself how to play it."
Terry now plays more blues
harmonica than guitar. He re-
members seeing Bob Dylan
playing guitar, harp and sing-
ing and was again inspired.
"About six months after I
bought the guitar I bought a
harp and a harp rack and
taught myself how to play."
Looking back on his early in-
terest in music he says, "I
liked to sing and I was just a
stoned - out exhibitionist. It

gave me the chance to expose
moyself in front of people.
Ie went on to say, "playing
music is like sex, doing "it" in
front of people. Doing it by
myself is like massturbating."
His present style of music is
varied i- favors hles although
he does some of country and
rock and roll.
" 'What I play is what I can
identify with now."
As for his stage presence
and desire to play music in pub-
lic he says, "what I'm doing
now is the exhibitionist in me. I
have to do it. If I go for long
periods of time without doing
it, I Jist got into trouble. I just
freak myself out of my head if
I don't exhibit myself."
Terry has a history of bizarre
behavior. Stories of his experi-
ences became exaggerated in
the telling and retelling.
On June 29, 1969, he remem-
bers the d-'te well, Terry was
playing in West Park with his
band at a free concert.
"I was wearing a suit made
from the American flag that a
friend had made. It was single
stitched on a sewing machine,
it was a really nice suit but
really weak.
"I was really high and exag-
gerating my moves, which you
have to do anyway when you
play. I was just dancing and
playing when my pants split
and just fell away from me,
"It was too late to do any-
thing so I incorporated it into
my act, ripping the pants off
as well as my shirt and boots,
and the whole time the band
kept playing."
He was arrested a few days
later. He remembers John Sin-
clair (of Rainbow People fame)

and Abbie Hoffman to have
been at his arraignment.
The case was eventually
thrown out of court.
Beneath his hard exterior
is a sensitive man. tie has a
wife and two small children and
is a loyal f ither and friend.
Three yesrs ago he wrote his
first and only song.
He recites some lyrics:
"It ain't easy, I never said it
was but the. yellow brick road
keeps leading back, back to
the Wizard of Oz."
"I don't know where I got
the idea of thinking about the
yellow brick road. I'm sure that
it must be some kind of bizarre
religious connotation, relating
the yellow brick road to the Wiz-
ard of Oz to a god figure or a
father figure."
Terry says that he will prob-
ably never be a concert musi-
"It bothers me to play in
places where people can't
dance, because I can dance.
Everyone on stage is moving
and there's this energy force go-
ing out and then it's sucked up
by the people.
"If you see someone jump
up and dance, it's a rush. It's a
testimonial to what you're do-
As Terry Tate prepares to
move west, he defines his de-
"The only reward I'm waiting
for it money. I'd like to be able
to support myself and my fami-
His ambitions are clear, to
be able to make a living at
what he likes to do and does
best, play music.

Daily Photo by TOM GOTTLIEB
Terry Tat'

Michigan Daily

'Up From Paradise'
..Miller's Genesis

If you missed the production of Arthur
Miller's Up From Paradise in the Power
Center during finals week, you missed
a very interesting theatrical experience.
Miller took Milton's Paradise Lost and
the book of Genesis, lent an ear to
Shakespeare, Greek tragedy and Jesus
Christ Superstar and created Up From
Paradise. And W o o d y Allen, Norman
Mailer and Sigmund Freud had to be
among his muses.
Up From Paradise retells the story of
the first several chapters of Genesis:
God creates Adam and Eve, Adam and
Eve eat the apple and are exiled from
Eden, Cain kills Abel. But this version
uses smusic, slides, a narrator and de-
vices of the modern stage.
On the surface it is a religious story
-God and Lucifer have big parts. But
Miller, like Milton, uses the religious
story to explore what is basically a very
dramatic situation: man, woman, God
and Lucifer all confronting each other.
In this version Eve eats the apple
because she wants to know why she
doesn't have a penis. Cain rapes his
mother, Eve, in the climax of the ac-
tion, and Eve is sexually attracted to
Lucifer. The sexual interplay is com-
plete when we realize that Lucifer is
God's libido.
But more than anything else this is
a work about salvation-the title hints
at this. To go up from paradise sounds
rough-Eden is a tough act to follow.
The final scene shows the first family
of mankind suffering, despairing and
separated from God, but ready to work
their-and our-way back up to paradise"
It is a play with very weighty content

indeed. But it is a musical with songs,
jokes and some exellent dancing. The
songs--particulatrly a hallalujah chorus
sung a I atandel and southern gospel
chorus--and jokes made this production
very entertaining.
But the songs and one-liners clashed
with the intense drama and serious con-
tent. Like Paradise Lost, it is about us-
and everybody knows that a paper on
humor in Milton is a very short paper,
Although it is in the style of Jesus Christ
Superstar, it just doesn't have the same
campish a p p e a 1. And the songs just
aren't as good.
What held the songs and content to-
gether was the mechanics of the pro-
duction. The simple set had gray blocks
for rocks, a green floor for grass, and
projected slides of galaxies and colors
for the physical and emotional settiig.
Miller narrated the production ,friom
the side of the stage and the sextet of
mostly woodwinds occupied the rear of
the stage. This plus the small number
of actors combined to produce an effect
very similar to a Greek tragedy. God
even appears ex machina several times.
The music and narration didn't inter-
rupt the flow of the action but func-
tioned as sort of chorus, furthering and
commencing on the action.
As was to be expected, the acting seas
marvelous. Larry Marsh-all as lcifer
was the mosst outstanding, but evil ut-
ways was more attractive. Bob Biagham1i
did a fine job as an omnipresent God
whoa likes p a r s I e y and Iamb. Allan
Nicols as Adam joked like Woody Allen
and suffered like Norman Mailer, and
Kimberly Farr as Eve was the arche-
typal woman,
It was an excellent production of a
fine, if somewhat too eclectic, work.
Arthur Miller is one Michigan graduate
we should be proud of,

Lucifer and Eve talk as God looks on.

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