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November 28, 1984 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-11-28

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ARTS
Wednesday, November 28, 1984

Page 5

The MichiganDaily

Ark revue needs some changin'

By Joseph Kraus
Phil Marcus Esser, Charle Lattimer,
and Barbara Bredius are three
veterans of the Detroit folk scene who
in recent months have been presenting
their Bob Dylan Revue across central
Michigan.
Why do the show?
"This show was an accidnet," ex-
plained Esser from the stage. He went
on to explain that the three had put the
act together for a show in May at
Rosedale Park, and when it went over
well they took it on the road.
Why Dylan?
If you have to ask you'll never know.
The trio selected heavily from
Dylan's folk periods, that is from his
first three albums and his 1976 release
Blood on the Tracks, but didn't limit
themselves exclusively to those.
Their arrangements were
varied-some quite daring-but not all
of them worked.
With no more than Esser on guitar
and Richard Bailey on synthesizer and
piano, the show became a vocal
smorgasbord. All three have strong
voices and they're capable of har-
monizing well, although they were off
on a few occasions.
The biggest single problem with the
show was Bailey's synthesizer. It's dif-
ficult to tell whether it was his fault or
his instrument's, but his sound was so
syrupy and saccharine that it took off
the edge that has to exist in a Dylan
song.
To do him credit, Bailey was quite
strong on piano, which he seemed to
prefer playing. In fact, at one point in
the show Esser joked that Bailey was a
pianist whom they had pressed into
service on synthesizer. Frankly, it
didn't sound like he was joking.
Without the synthesizer (keeping the
piano though) and without one or two
arrangements that seemed designed
for the night club circuit ("Love Minus

Zero, No Limit" and "Just Like a
Woman") the show was pretty good.
The best number of the night was
"The Hour When the Ship Comes In"
done in a pepped up, high-spirited
fashion with tambourines and a quick
beat.
"All Along the Watchtower" and
"The Times They Are A Changin"'
were two that showed the three had
really paid their dues on the folk scene.
With strong harmonies and a good sen-
se of what each could do, they struck a
balance between showcasing them-
selves and holding onto the song's in-
tegrity .
Strangely enough, many of the best
songs of the night were Dylan's
rockers, dressed up as folk songs. "Like
a Rolling Stone" would have been very
strong if Esser hadn't broken a string
and Lattimer not forgotten a verse.
They also did "Subterranean Homesick
Blues" alternating first verses, then
phrases and finally single words
without losing step!
So far as putting the show together,
the biggest flaw (after that syn-
thesizer) was the over emphasis on the
early folk pieces. While they did include
"Sweetheart Like You" and "License
to Kill' from 1984's Infidels, they skip-
ped many of the more recent and under-
respected classics that might have
given the show a few suprise punches.
(That's not to imply that the early folk
pieces aren't great, just that they were
the more predictable selections in this
setting.)
The three might have been helped by
a larger stage as well. While most per-
formers who come to the Ark grow
slowly more at ease by simply playing
so close to their audience, the three
showed their "ease" on stage by run-
ning through rehearsed (or at least
redone) routines of cutdowns of one
another.
In all, it was a good night of music,
but it might have been better.

The Bob Dylan Revue featuring folksters Barbara Bredius, Charlie Latimer,
and Phil Marcus Esser arrived at The Ark on Sunday.

Fruit of the dune
Policeman Sting portrays the evil Feyd-Rautha of House Harkonnen in the
soon-to-be-released Dino De Laurentis/David Lynch film, "Dune."

#4
"
"
"

.00*0

Frankie relaxes in Detroit

By Richard Williams
Frankie Goes to Hollywood came to
Detroit instead. Was it another British
invasion comparable to that of their
fellow Livepool mates, the Beatles, who
landed on our shores 20 years ago? I
should think not, although I had just
come into the world (not Hollywood
but in California, so I was close) and I
honestly have no recollection of the
Beatles till I was about 9 and I was
listening to my pappa's copy of
"Revolver." But I have seen reruns of
Ed Sullivan show and man, those girls
went utterly crazy over those moptop-.
ped lads.
"Relax", Frankies's first single, has
sold more copies than any other single
in British history (somewhere around 6
million - way more than any Beatle
single). This is a big deal, right? Well,
sort of. Having super-duper producer
Trevor Horn and marketing genius
manager, Paul Morley, won't do you
any harm. They have created a
phenomenon. Proclaiming "sex and
horror" as the new gods hits home in
1984. Hey! Frankie knows what's going
on.
So here we are at glorious St. An-
drew's Hall the day after Thanksgiving.
The show has been sold out for about
two weeks I find out. AND I'm sup-
posed to be covering it for this
newspaper. So I go through hell dealing
with St. Andrew's just to get tickets and
I still have to wait for 20 minutes in the
glorious cold to get inside.
Welcome to the pleasuredome.
Frankie says scream for the band
because you love 'em. So the mice
scream (and so do a bunch of Old
people, there with their mate out for a
date, and of course the usual contingent
of suburban JAPS, but surprisingly
lacking in number on this joyous oc-
casion; must have been home with the
folks muching on holiday leftovers,
yumm). So the new Beatles are dding a
version of "War" (not "The War Song
stupid) and it sounds pretty good.
It proves they CAN play live even
Subakdbe ta
Tke
4 ~fitEkI " t

with their reliance on technology. It's
as strong as the vinyl version, which I
picked up this summer in London,
because, hey, even I love a good trend.
And I could swear that's Mr. Horn
playing the keyboards for the boys. It
looked like him but strangely he acted
like the Paul Schaffer of new wave.
Strange indeed!
A coupla songs later they do "Relax"
and the fans go wild. It also sounds
pretty good. Hey this might be alright!
But I ate my words. The rest of the
show went downhill.
More chanting from both the band
and the crowd. And that weenie lead
singer Holly and his whiny talking
voice telling us "Detroit, home of
Motown." Like duh, man. And the
back up singer Paul (and dancer, too)
with his swaying ass, taking off most of
his clothes and acting like one of the
Village Peiple. THAT'S IT! Sudden
realization. FRANKIE IS MORE

LIKE THE Village People than The
Beatles. After all, the Beatles never
made no disco hit.
So they played some more songs.
They even played "Relax" again. I
HATE when bands do that. They had
enough material. They did "Born to
Run" and it was bad, but they had
leather jackets just like the Boss, wow!
Quite honestly they seemed sincere and
seemed to actually have a good time.
(he guitarist smiled the whole show, no
shit! Must be some kind of record).
But can we be sure???
Most people seemed to like it. But I
shouldn't generalize. But hey, we wit-
nessed soon-to-be legends. I mean if
that outrageous Boy George can sell
records, then Frankie can too. Because
sex and horror are the new gods. And
America will eat it up. Mommies will
like it. Because mommies like gay boys
nowadays.
So you've been dying to find out about

the opening act, right? Well I'm not
going to tell you. But Frankie says,
"Richard, tell The Michigan Daily
readers" so I have to. It was the Great
Imposters. Four (count 'em) tran-
svestites telling nasty jokes and doing
nasty impressions of Tina Turner, Cher
and other lovelys. It was boring.
So I left the pleasuredome without too
much pleasure. When I walked out af-
ter the show, a friend asked me what I
thought of the show. All I could say
was, "Frankie says Bela Lugosi's
Dead."

*3 0 THIS ENTIRE AD GOOD FOR
*3TWO TICKETS AT $3.00 EACH. "
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