Posted August 27, 2017 at 07:04 AM | Updated August 27, 2017 at 07:09 AM
Alice Cooper performs at Rock the Rapids in Grand Rapids, 2011 | MLive.com file photo
By John Serba | email@example.com
Detroit has one of the country’s proudest rock ‘n’ roll histories. This is outside the city’s obvious significant and great musical contributions via Motown, techno and hip-hop – we’re talking guitars, bass, drums and attitude. Apt for the Motor City, its rock is identified via automobile terminology – garage rock, a defiant, sometimes noisy, riff-driven sound rooted in blue-collar aesthetics.
Sure, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco are touted among the U.S.’ greatest cities for rock ‘n’ roll, but that’s almost by default – they’re population epicenters rich with culture by sheer size. For quality over quantity, Detroit is easily one of the richest epicenters of rock music, ever. From To back this undeniable assertion, here’s a rundown of Detroit’s rock history, from The Stooges to The Coop to The White Stripes.
It’s one of the birthplaces of punk
First, Detroit is one of the epicenters of punk rock. Mabye the city is the birthplace of punk, but that’s a point we could argue long into the night over too many six-packs of Stroh’s. Nevertheless, two of the genre’s sonic pillars emerged from the Motor City music scene – two bands without whom the Ramones might not exist, two bands that would leave an indelible mark on music forever.
Iggy Pop performing in Ann Arbor, 2011 | MLive.com file photo
NO FUN: The Stooges were young, loud, ugly, sloppy, angry, raw and trashed, all elements exquisitely represented by Iggy Pop, who’s an easy finalist for greatest rock frontman of all time. They shoved everything right in your face, and didn’t give a… darn.
From its Detroit-via-Ann Arbor garage, the band produced the disaffected noise of their generation: artfully primitive, stripped down to the essentials of chords, beats and emotions. Released between 1969 and 1973, “The Stooges,” “Fun House” and “Raw Power” comprise a proto-punk holy trinity rivaled by none. The Stooges were never Detroit’s most popular or commercially successful band. But they’re certainly Detroit’s most influential.
KICK OUT THE JAMS: The Motor City 5 aligned their crashing chords with radical political movements – punctuated by the defiant deployment of a particular 12-letter obscenity – to become one of the most incendiary live acts of the time, and possibly all time. That’s why breakthrough debut record “Kick Out the Jams” was recorded live at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom.
(Note: video contains adult language.)