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April 14, 1983 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-14

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The Michigan Daily

Thursday, April 14, 1983
fwith Sleep

Page 5


By Joe Hoppe
T HERE WAS great r
night at Joe's S
Something was just incr
was like on TV. People
friendly, dancing. The at
relaxed and accepting.
Sleepy LaBeef was m
maybe that's why ever
fine. Sleepy LaBeef is tr
and fun to listen and dan
But first things first
Tigers, from Lansing, w
up. Drums, electric bas
and a female singer; the
laden and rockin'. The ri
would occasionally tak
and did a nice yowlin'
Cochran's "Twenty-Flig
there during the last fe'
Hoy" was on the play
raucous, wish I'd have b
the lovely lead belt it o
have, done a great jo
closed with "Teenage
Party" and everybody d
worth seeing some week
At 11:30, Sleepy La
stage - actually he took
Lounge. 'His presern
whelming. The man is 6'
Real big. The whole
and roll/American n
surrounds big Sleepy, a
even larger. Sleepy
rockabilly; he starte
career only three month
Sleepy LaBeef saunt
stage crowded with
upright bass in the co
electric bass on the rig
boom, like a Bo Didle'
was all in black, exce
blood red shirt. Leathe

boots, low-crowned gunfighter's hat
with a brass-studded red band.
)ckin' Tuesday He didn't say much, glad to be there,
tar Lounge. first time in Ann Arbor, and then bigly
edibly right; it boomingly sledgehammeringly tore in-
were smiling, to "Honey Hush." Don't make me
tmosphere was nervous, I'm holding a baseball bat.
Baseball bat nothing, this guy was
aster of it all; taking our heads off with his voice
ything was so alone.
uly a nice guy, Sleepy LaBeef's voice; a friend said
ce to. it filled every nook and cranny of the
t: The Flying bar. It did. Have you ever looked at the
'armed the bar ceiling at Joe's? LaBeef's voice even
s, two guitars, seeped into all those little whorls and
y were energy- sworls. Imagine Johnny Cash a little,
hythm guitarist deeper, a little more enthusiastic, and
e over vocals, real loud. Then you might get Sleepy
cover of Eddie LaBeef's thunderous vocalizations.
ht Rock." I got His voice was filling.
w songs; "Hoy There's a place, right over your
list, wild and heart, at the bottom of your sternum,
een there to see that vibrates when confronted with cer-
ut - she must tain big bass notes and makes you feel
b. The Tigers all hollow. Sleepy LaBeef's voice is able
Beer Drinkin' to do that.
lanced. They're LaBeef is more than a pretty face and
;end. a big voice, though, he's also a fine
Beef took the guitar player. Not a serious guitar
the whole Star player, though, for that would have
e was over- wrecked theatmosphere. He had his
6" 275 lbs, big. licks down, he had the sound, and oc-
rockabilly/rock casionally he'd make a mistake. But
music mythos Sleepy LaBeef would never mess up.
and makes him When something unexpected did hap-
is an original pen, he'd just let the bass carry it for a
d his musical while. Things were casual.
s after Elvis. At one point Sleepy broke a string in
ered up on the the middle of a song; he handed control
piano, drums, of whatever tune they were doing to the
rner, precision drummer, and then just nonchalantly
ht, boom boom fished a string out of his pocket, put on
y gunslinger. He the guitar, tuned it to himself, and jum-
apt for a bright- ped back in headlong. Sleepy LaBeef
r jacket, cowboy can jump into things greatly -

Great moment - Sleepy takes both
hands up off his guitar during some
particularly enthusiastic chorus, waves
them up in the air, brings them plunk
back down and his instrument makes
some bad noises. Oh well, big bear-
shrug, everybody laughs, and into the
next song.
Sleepy picks up a string bass and
slaps on that for awhile. Too bad it
didn't have a shoulder strap; it would
have looked about the same on Sleepy
as the big Gretsch guitar looks on skin-
ny Stray Cat Brian Setzer.
"We're going to play a lot of songs for
you tonight. Some good ones, and some
bad ones." The overwhelming majority
were good; lots of great rockabilly
classics, some country, some obscure
stuff. "Tutti Frutti" was the best song
of the night. Star Lounge owner and
namesake Joe Tiboni was trying to get
Sleepy off the stage for a break; the
band had been going for over an hour;
hot fast and straight. LaBeef said one
more,and introduced it as an old Er-
nest Tubbs waltz. "WOMP BOMP A
LULA A BOMP BAM BOOM!" in an in-
credible gutburst. Fine way to end the
Of the obscurer stuff, "Polk Salad
Annie" with Sleepy doing aligator
chomp chomp chomps stood out.
LaBeef also did a couple of surprising
covers. "We worked with this band at a
concert in Finland," he said, and
proceeded to baritone-croon "Rock
This Town."
A couple numbers later, "Elvira" got
played. "You may wonder why we're
playing this song, well, after the
Hollywood Argyles did it, I was the
second person ever to record it."
"Oobomp a mao mao."

LaBeef played for about two and-a.
half hours, he must have done parts of
at least 80 songs (conservative
estimate, he's said to know 6000, and af-
ter seeing him, it's believable).
LaBeef went straight from one song
to another, nonstop, and his band
followed right along. He'd do a chorus,
a verse from another song, the chorus
from the original song, another verse,
something else, and go on and on and
on; sometimes using just one phrase
before switching.
What he was doing was following the
audience response, he could tell what
we liked, and he'd go with those songs,
if people left the dance floor, he'd
try something else. The whole process
for LaBeef to discover good/bad
response might take 30 seconds. Speed
up, slow down, he aimed to please.
The second set, after a brief break,
was mostly country and western.
Sleepy came back as a cowboy, a long-
tall Texan in a ten gallon hat and plaid
sport coat. George Jones songs got
played, and a version of Willie Nelson's
"Blue Eyes Cryin in the Rain" got us all
a bit misty.
Andthen he went back to rockin'.
"Well who haven't we done yet tonight,
Elvis?" So he did some Elvis. Then
Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes," and
Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta
Shakin'." Anyone anybody could name,
and Sleepy tried to get 'em.
The show ended at 2:15, Sleepy was
still going strong, but the bar wasn't
supposed to be open by then.
From here, LaBeef goes across the
country to California, where he'll hook
up with the Blasters and the Stray Cats
and maybe Ricky Nelson for a big West
Coast tour.

Daily Photo by RENEE FREIER
Sleepy LaBeef played rousin' rockabilly at Joe's Wednesday night


baton weilded by Schneider

By Todd B. Levin
S O, YOU missed last Tuesday's Uni-
versity Symphony Orchestra con-
cert with violinist Ruggiero Ricci?
Don't fret: You have a second chance to
hear a legendary classical artist per-
form with a local ensemble when
Alexander Schneider - conductor,
violinist, chamber musician, concert
organizer, devoted teacher and coun-
selor of young musicians - guest con-
ducts the Ann Arbor Chamber Or-
chestra in its final concert of the 1982-83
season this Saturday, at the Michigan
Schneider will conduct the orchestra
in performances of Mozart's Diver-
timento No. 11 in D, K.251 and Hayden's

Symphony No. 95 in C minor. He will
also perform Bach's Concerto for Two
Violins in D minor with Chamber Or-
chestra concert mistress Mary
Catherine Edwards.
I had the opportunity to talk with
Maestro Schneider in New York about
his musical beginnings in 1924 at the
early age of 16.
Schneider shared some memories: I
started in my school orchestra con-
ducting little overtures; the teacher
would conduct through the piece
and then give me the stick and tell
me to do what he just did. At 19 1
started in an opera house watching
the pit orchestra rehearse. I became
friends with the conductor and he let
me start to rehearse operatic over-

tures and so forth.
After almost 60 years of conducting
Schneider has developed strong views
on how a young conductor should begin
training for a serious career: You
must actually play in an orchestra
for five or six years to understand
how-it works together as a group. It
is also a necessity to be able to play
piano well so you can play the scores
to study them. Too many young
conductors think that they can just
take a class in conducting or study
privately. But this won't make you a
good conductor - all it will show
You is how to more like a conductor.
But after training hard to be a
responsible musician, what are a con-
ductor's responsibilities towards the

music and the people he works with on a
daily basis?
A conductor must make music
from the heart. It is not like this as
much anymore. A good conductor
will command absolute respect from
an orchestra and also will enjoy
making music with them and for
other people.
From just our short discussion it
looks like Ann Arbor is in for an evening
of consumate music making. This is
your last chance to hear the Ann Arbor
Chamber Orchestra this year and I
urge you to take advantage of this op-
Tickets for the 8:30 p.m. concert are
$5-10 at the Michigan Theatre box of-
fice. Call 996-0066 for more information.
In an article ('Mikado triumphant')
last Saturday, April 9th, we reported
that the performances of Gilbert and
Sullivan's Production 'Mikado' were on
Friday, Saturday,. and Sunday. We
would like to make a correction: the
right performance dates are Thursday,
Friday, and Saturday (April 14-16). We
are sorry for any inconvenience this
may have caused.


,b D

I °

e e
e e o

The high-tech answer to unemployment

tech industry.
WITH MICHIGAN'S "concentration
of brains," Birch thinks the state can
diversify and succeed, "If you can just
break loose from the automobile club
that's hanging over your head.'
But Harley Shaiken, a research
associate at MIT does not find the com-
parison so favorable for Michigan.
Shaiken says fewer than three per-
cent of Massachusett's unemployed
found jobs in high-technology fields.
"So while jobs were created in high-
technology, they didn't go to those
workers who lost their jobs."
THE SERVICE jobs those workers
found - in restaurants and hotels, do
not permit Massachusett's experience
to be considered a success, according to
"The real issue there is the quality of
the jobs ... instead of programming
software, these jobs are running a cash
register in McDonalds," he says.
Shaiken and others also see little hope
in the Silicon Valley experience, where
there are & small number of highly
skilled jobs, and a large number of low-
paying jobs.
DANIEL LURIA, a research
associate for the United Auto Workers
in Detroit, says the vast majority of the
Silicon Valley jobs can never replace
the lost jobs of a former breadwinner.
In Michigan "we have not yet
debased our labor force to the point
where they are happy to go to work for
$4.50 an hour," Luria says.
Luria also pointed out that just

because a high-tech firm chooses to
come, doesn't mean it will stay around.
Luria cited the example of Atari, Inc.,
which recently laid-off 1,700 of its
workers in Santa Clara, Calif. and tran-
sferred the work to Hong Kong and
Taiwan where labor is cheaper.
BUT LURIA grants that the march of
high-technology firms is not one that
unions can very well oppose, pr-
ticularly at a time when all innovations
are needed just to keep up with foreign
The diversity of high-tech firms, their
relatively small size, and the fact that
they can quickly change what they
produce "obviously means it will be
easier to run away from unions," Luria
Some already have run away from
the state - or decided to stay away -
in favor of such relatively union-free
states as Colorado and Texas.
"AUTOMATION and unions don't
seem to mix right now . . . the facility
here has no unions," says Lou
Svitkovich, chief systems engineer for
a Texas firm with a highly automated
assembly line which makes parts for
printing presses.
But for states such as Michigan, in
the heavy manufacturing heartland, a
large workforce must make a transition.
that is likely to be painful.
"We'll attempt to ease the bleeding
as best we can on our patient, help him
recover, and then help to retrain hm as
best we can for the service industry and
in support jobs for these high-tech in-

dustries," says Edmund James Jr.,
special assistant to the director of
Ohio's Economic Development office.
"IN MICHIGAN one of the biggest
retrainers is the auto industries itself.
Ford Motor Co., which currently has
1,000 robots expects to have 5,000 to
7,000 by 1990, at a base cost of about $250
Ford representatives point out that
displacement by automation represents
only a small part of the need for
retraining compared to the effects of
the bleak economy.
Sheffield, Ala., and San Jose, Calif.,
where Ford expects to close plants later
this year, the company is holding inten-
sive retraining programs in fields
ranging from computers to drafting
and welding.
"ONE THING to bear in mind is that
many of these people have never in
their lives held another job and it's a
big step ... it's bold and it's frightening
for these people, says Ford spokesman
Ed Schneider.
What union reprsentatives and those
working to bring about a high-tech
revolution in the state do agree on is the
fact that high-tech is coming and to
spurn it would be to further erode the
state's ability to compete.
"We're not saying can we go back to
the heyday of the automotive industry.
.. I don't think we can go back, we're
not being offered that alternative,"
says Dale Oxender, head of the Univer-
sity's Center for Molecular Genetics.

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