A Predestination In Time – The SRC with Katie Grace, Magic Bag, Ferndale 2012

September 28, 2012

A Predestination In Time – The SRC with Katie Grace, Magic Bag, Ferndale 2012

While I may have entertained thoughts of
ingesting more LSD during the ride up Woodward Avenue north to Ferndale, such
impulses were soon quelled by four-dimensional pixies bouncing on the seats
around me while whispering in jabberwocky. Even as my flashbacks intensified, I
lit a cigarette as a celebratory tribute to my arrival, watching my exhaled
smoke envelope the acrobatic creatures in various hues of colour.
“Enjoy the show,” my driver smiled as he
open my door. I exited the Lincoln, and found myself exactly in front of my
destination, the Magic Bag in Ferndale.
Lysergic manifestations pulsated to life as
I looked about the street. Mesmerized by elaborate formations taking shape on
the sidewalk, I watched the SRC’s first album cover spring to life on the
concrete in front of the building. As my driver pulled away from the curb, the
breeze of traffic swirled the mini-universe around me with a refreshing misty
I was digging this! My time-tripping and
transitory lysergic hallucinations were becoming alternative realities and the
excitement this afforded was addicting. My flashbacks were the perfect sign,
and even my intuition told me that this night at the SRC reunion would be
It was still a few hours til showtime and
the venue was not yet open, yet I was drawn to the entrance by colourful
visuals of sound spilling out from the crevasses in the glass doors. As I
pressed my face close and peeked through, my vision wound its way through the
lobby til it found a group of musicians on the stage. Excited, I recognized the
guitar of Steve Lyman as I heard “Checkmate” blasting forth. This was it—the
SRC at sound-check! Bless my good fortune! I quickly resolved to see more and
wandered around the block towards the back of the club, letting the music be my
Ever since I was a kid, I would hang out
with my older sister near the backstage entrance of music venues. She had found
that often this would guarantee not just meeting the band, but even getting
free admission. As I turned the block and continued a short distance, I came to
an alley of sorts. Looking to my left, I noticed the theatre door slightly
ajar. I stepped closer, and as the sound grew in euphoric sensation I slipped
past the door and into the club.
I selected a seat a few rows back from
center stage, sat back, and let my senses enjoy a fairly private sound-check
performance by one of the top five Detroit-area bands to ever grace the Grande
Ballroom stage.
This was already far above what I had
anticipated, and my expectations for this evening were as high as I was!
“Checkmate” wrapped up, followed by “Heatwave” and excerpts of “The Angel
Song.” The band then flew in into a fuzzy version of “One Simple Task,” with
“Black Sheep” weaving throughout the spaces of this utopian euphony…. This
was freekin’ far-out! It had been far too long since I had been digging on the
SRC. They had represented of the Motor-City counter-culture since the sixties.
I believed they had played a defining role in the evolution of the Detroit
Music scene from black and white to glorious psychedelic colour.
When sound-check ended, I took my copy of
the newest SRC poster over to the band members for them to sign. As I walked
through the hall, the poster’s colours and patterns kept spilling out and
splattering onto the floor, no matter how steady I tried to hold it. Acid
flashbacks—they’re such a wonderful gift! However, I was still able to
maintain, and presented the poster to the lead vocalist, Scott Richardson, to
autograph. Upon his signing, we spoke of some past shows. Our conversation
eventually drifted to that of time travel. I inquired as to the method he
utilized, as mine was LSD. He smiled. “Moving forward or backward through the
time stream is accomplished by meditative discipline, and the journey itself
can be realized in less time than the blinking of a shaman’s eye!”
“Oh, that’s right. After all, we all are
traveling through time and space to one degree or another.” I liked Scott. It
had been quite a while since I had seen him at the Birmingham Palladium, when I
was in my early teens. He had always had a way with people, and his warm
personality was evident both on and off the stage. Snap, snap went my camera…
Scott called Steve Lyman over to where we
were talking. “Steve, Mischa would like your signature on her poster.” This
introduction made it easy for me to get the entire band to sign.
There was a lull prior to the show,
offering me a chance to enjoy a cigarette. However, when I reentered the club,
I noticed not a soul at the SRC merchandise counter, and concert-goers were
asking around as to who was selling the merchandise. Spontaneously, I said
“That’s me!” I sat myself behind the table, arranged the items in proper
display, and presto! An instant representative of SRC marketing, I began
One thing about being at the merchandise
table is that I was able to converse with and enjoy nearly all who came into
the venue. It seemed that every soul who came in had a spirited story to tell
of the Detroit music scene. Everything and everyone was covered, from the
Grande days to Hastings Ballroom, Virgin Dawn and the whereabouts of Ray Gunn,
to Frijid Pink and their unmatched ultra-sonic wall of fuzz-guitar. I finally
met my pen-pal Kevin Fry, radio ace Doug Podell, and the ever vivacious
Retro-Kimmer. This was way cool!
This was groovy. I spoke with Steve Farmer
and Rick Lober of the original Amboy Dukes. According to Farmer, “The shows
where we shared the bill with the SRC were always the best!” The SRC were one
of the bands that represented the essence of the Grande Ballroom; they, along
with their peers, were instrumental in defining the sound of the era.
Their legend had begun at the Hideout as
the Fugitives, with the Gang as their rockin’ collaborators. The Gang evolved
into the Amboy Dukes and the Fugitives into the SRC. Both bands formed the core
and spirit of the first golden age of Psychedelia. Their influences were to
spread across the globe.
As I continued to converse with the people
at the merchandise table, I barely noticed that the first act had begun
playing. However, by her third song Katie Grace was rocking out an amazing
performance that definitely had my attention, and by her final number the crowd
was on their feet with a standing ovation. Her show was well above what I or
others had possibly imagined. I had come tonight to see the SRC, and was now a
converted fan of Katie Grace and her unique brand of folk rockin’ music!
Martha (sister to the Quackenbush brothers)
came up and introduced herself during intermission, and she and I became
instant friends. The interlude between bands seemed to fly by, with everyone
picking up items and exchanging rock stories talking about the glory of “What
is Detroit!” when a shout went up and the SRC graced the stage amidst a fury of
applause. This was the band that was here for us tonight, carrying on the spirit
of the Grande Ballroom.
They opened their set with an anthem
dedicated to all the rebels of society, “Black Sheep.” This was the sound of
the counter-culture that had rebelled against the dehumanization of industry
and establishment conformity. In perfect timing, Katie Grace showed up at the
counter and offered to take over selling the merchandise of both bands. Martha
and I then made our way to the front of the stage. I was now up close, front
and center, enjoying the SRC, and was once again rocking out to the sound that
had sealed their place in music history!
The audience resounded in a unison of
shouts and cheers . The applause was near deafening, even as the final notes of
Black Sheep faded into that nether-land of space-time eternity. This unquestionably
had fired up the crowd, and the band made use of this energy to launch into….
End of Part 1 – (Stay tuned for Part 2)
Story is an excerpt from, The Incredible
Adventures of Mischa

Read part 2

Column made by Michele Dawn Saint Thomas /
© Copyright
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2012
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *