Dr. J's Blog

Rock and Roll History, News & Views

The Mummp Rocked Northland

 by Gary Johnson

Even though it was one of Michigan's largest and most uniquely designed teen clubs, the Mummp was in operation for just under two years. Located in the Northland Center, the nation's first large-scale shopping mall, the venue was originally the home of a summer stock theater. Encased in a large tent under a futuristic, Buckminster Fuller-designed geodesic dome and featuring a revolving stage that presented many of the finest Michigan bands of the 1960s, the Mummp quickly became a hotspot for Detroit-area teens.

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Michigan Connections: JFK and The Beatles

by Gary Johnson

The commonly held belief regarding the connection between John F. Kennedy and The Beatles is that America was in mourning following JFK's assassination in November of 1963, and The Beatles came on the scene in early 1964 and helped lift the veil of sadness that had enveloped the country. There is a great deal of truth in that, but I believe there is a lot more to the story, including some interesting Michigan connections.

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Band Canyon Pt. 2: The Byrds

by Gary Johnson

The most important historical performance at Band Canyon occurred less than three weeks after the teen nightclub opened in July of 1965. During the previous month, The Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man" single gave birth to the folk-rock genre and had the distinction of topping the charts in both the United States and England. It also had the effect of vaulting the young California-based group into the rarefied position of being referred to as "America's answer to the Beatles". The band's appearance in Bay City was part of their first national tour, a 26-day series of gigs in mostly Midwestern states including Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. The Byrds arrival at Band Canyon on July 22nd was noteworthy as well because it was the band's first and only show in Michigan on their inaugural tour.

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