The Mummp Rocked Northland

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

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 2 "The Byrds"

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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Best Albums of 2018 - Two Views

For the 10th consecutive year, Larry Van Cleve and I have selected what we feel are the finest albums released during the past year. As usual, our lists are quite different; and although we did agree on a few things, it's always fun to check out the stuff we didn't hear, or ignored, the first time around that made the other's list.

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Band Canyon 1 "The Beginning"

By late August of 1964, it was apparent to some area businessmen that there was money to be made catering to the teenage rock and roll scene. The onset of Beatlemania, and the subsequent British Invasion bands that followed, had inspired the formation of young bands all across the state. The impact of this was clearly shown during the summer months of 1964 at the Battle of the Bands competitions held at the Roll-Air outdoor skating rink on State Park Drive in Bay City.

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Springsteen Pt. 8 - On Broadway

Bruce Springsteen had played benefits over the years for causes he believed in such as Vietnam Veterans, Amnesty International and opposition to nuclear energy, but he had always refrained from endorsing candidates for political office. This changed in 2004 when he became involved in the Vote for Change Tour with John Mellencamp, the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, the Dave Matthews Band, John Fogerty, and Jackson Browne.

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Springsteen Pt. 7 - The Rising

The new songs that Bruce Springsteen was writing in 1995 were set in his adopted home of California, and the music was minimal and the melodies uncomplicated. He felt that the austere rhythms and arrangements defined how the characters in the songs were and how they expressed themselves. The title of his new album, "The Ghost of Tom Joad", was taken from one of the main characters in John Ford's film adaptation of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. It was the story of the Joad's, an Oklahoma family, who, during the Great Depression in the 1930's, lose their farm and become migrant workers who journey to California looking for work and opportunity for the family members.

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