10 Piece Band

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10 Piece Band
Automania Gazette & Review
Welcome to Automania in Historic
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Midwest’s
largest FREE family automotive event!
2010 marks many significant changes as
we move to a three day weekend event.
Friday, June 11th features our Downtown
Sioux Falls Preview Night where we will
close off three blocks on Phillips Avenue
between 10th and 13th. This evening is an
introduction to our special guests, sponsors and invitation only cars, where they
will be displayed and of course a FREE
rock ‘n’ roll concert featuring the Main
Avenue Warehouse, a
2010
10 piece band featuring songs from the
late ‘60s into the early ‘70s, i.e. Chicago,
Tower of Power, etc., and featuring a lot
of brass.
Friday’s Preview Night is also a perfect
opportunity to meet George Barris ‘The
King of Kustomizers’, featuring some of
his famous creations such as the ‘Doc’
Hudson from Disney’s popular movie
Cars and the ‘Batmobile’ car from the
‘60s hit movie Batman. The ‘Doc’ Hudson is the actual car that Paul Newman
drove and was used to create the animated car for the movie! George will be
on hand from 6pm until 9pm to
meet, greet and sign autographs. Also, between 50
and 75 specialty cars
will be on display
that evening just to
wet your appetite
for the main
event on Saturday. Restaurants
and bars will be
open on the
Page 3
streets with delectable food and beverages for sale. Sponsors and product
venders will be set up downtown as well.
Specialty Auto Auctions will be on hand
displaying a couple of specialty cars that
will go up for sale to the highest bidder on
Saturday, June 12th at our new Classic Car
Auction, sponsored by Frankman Motor
Company. That evening they will be accepting consignments for the sale and/or registering bidders for those who want to
sell their current toy or to buy a
new toy because it created
that new spark! Over 150 cars
are expected to cross the block
on Saturday with the sale starting at 9:30am. Bill Lev will be
on hand from Lev Promotions
Friday night looking for
additional venders for
our new Swap
Meet and Flea
Market. With
over 150
venders already
signed up, this
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 4
proves to be a great area for those of
you who enjoy buying and selling parts,
memorabilia, antiques and collectibles.
Sponsored by Sturdevant’s Auto Parts.
There will be inside and outside spaces
available Saturday and Sunday. There are
no admission charges to the Classic Car
Auction, Swap Meet or Flea Market events
as with Automania, they are part of our
overall event and are FREE to the public.
Please come Downtown Friday evening
and experience a taste of Automania’s cars
and rock ‘n’ roll!
Saturday the 12th is the MAIN FREE
event held at the Historic Sioux Empire
Fairgrounds and we are expecting well
over one thousand cars to be on display!
Registered and non-registered car entrants may start entering at 9am. Please
enter at 12th Street and Lyons Avenue to
receive directions from our greeting committee to park your car. Saturday delivers
a little bit of Car Heaven for all Automaniacs. With over 30 food venders, 75 specialty product venders, Classic Car
Auction, a huge Swap Meet and Antique
Flea Market, Saturday may not be long
enough to see and enjoy it all! Pro touring
cars, muscle cars, hot rods, sports cars,
antique cars, Corvettes and imports,
monster trucks, race cars, luxury boats,
luxury motorhomes, custom motorcycles,
all for your viewing pleasure. Pure Car
Heaven!
Five exciting rock ‘n’ roll bands starting at 11am and playing until 9pm all for
FREE! 11am The Troublemakers - classic
rock ‘n’ roll; 12pm & 4pm The Rock &
Roll Revue - ‘50s & ‘60s; 2pm Surfin Safaris - the ‘60s all over again; 4:30pm
Main Avenue Warehouse - a 10 piece
Chicago style band featuring a lot of
brass. Then at 7:15pm Mitch Ryder and
the Detroit Wheels will hit the stage with
hits like “Good Golly Miss Molly”,
“Devil With A Blue Dress On” and many
more! Mitch has not played in the Sioux
Falls metro area before! A FREE classic
rock ‘n’ roll day!
Special guests like George Barris, creator of many customs such as: The Monkeymobile, The Batmobiles, ‘Doc’
Hudson and The Dick Tracy car. George
is still known to crawl under a car with a
wrench in his hand, a very talented national car guy that you will want to meet!
Relax, bring the entire family and stroll
the eighty acres, bring a lawn chair, enjoy
the sites, sounds and all the wonderful
specialty venders, the Classic Car Auction,
Swap Meet and Antique Flea Market. We
have cars coming from as far away as
Florida! WOW! This is a FREE event!
2010
The concerts will be held in the main
area at the far west end of the grounds
opposite the grandstand! As you stroll the
grounds, please visit with all the venders
as they and the sponsors have made this
event FREE. Do not be afraid to tell
them thanks!
Parking for the general public will be
to the north of the fairgrounds and in the
huge blacktopped lot to the northeast.
When you arrive to enjoy the day, please
take the Madison Exit off I-29 and go
one block east. All parking is FREE, the
entrance will be off the blacktopped lot
in the southwestern corner. A more detailed schedule of events and times can
be found at: Automaniasiouxfalls.com. If
you would like to register your car, sell
your car, be a vender or part of the swap
meet, there are links to all on this site!
Please remember that we will be giving
back the Project Automania 2010 to the
John Sweeney family late afternoon,
KELOLAND TV will be doing a live
broadcast. This is a 1962 Corvette that
was not touched for 35 years and has
been brought back to life in a ground-up
restoration thanks to the 25 businesses
that gave their time, money and services
to successfully complete the restoration!
For you sports fans perhaps a personal
visit with NBA star Mike Miller will interest you. Mike will be on hand for a personal meet and greet with the gang from
Cliff Avenue Restorations. Mike has a Lincoln Continental Convertible with suicide
doors that has been slammed to the ground,
blacked out and just plain looks neat! Ennis
Lund and his crew have provided the fussy
finishing details on the Mike Miller car!
Automania Gazette & Review
Please plan on visiting with them as they
will be showing 10 high quality nut and
bolt restored cars and trucks just west of
the grandstand. We promise you nonstop
excitement from the minute you enter the
grounds until the minute you leave! Bring
your friends and your family to one spectacular FREE, fun-filled family weekend!
On Sunday the 13th, plan on riding or
driving to J&L Harley Davidson! A pancake breakfast from 8:30am until 10am in
the parking lot just west of the main building! Enjoy the beautiful facility, gift shop
and the huge selection of bikes on display
and for sale! From J&L you have a choice
to visit our NEW What’s In Their Garage
Tour we have several locations to visit that
offer different private collections, different
tastes and tons of automobilia. If you did
not have a chance to meet George Barris
on Saturday, he will be at the Garage Stop
in Brandon, The Ritz II (Larry Olson), the
‘Doc’ Hudson will also be on display. All
the stops will be a cruise style, you may
go with your friends, by yourself, you may
go to all of them or just a couple. There
is no format other than they all offer a
unique look at the collections. See classic
‘30s and ‘40s, possibly the largest personal collection of restored Fords in the
Midwest, to an exotic, rare foreign car
display. Also, one of the largest one-off
street rods and personalized classic car
collection, a restoration shop and restorations in progress. One of the largest collections of high performance Corvettes
and muscle cars offered for sale in our
area, to one of the finest memorabilia
collections for sale and on display! A
FREE weekend of Car Heaven.
>
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 8
2010
Automania Gazette & Review
On display at Automania
by Chicago Classic Cars
HIS CUTTING EDGE
HOLLYWOOD CUSTOM CAR
CREATIONS “SPEAK FOR
THEMSELVES”
George Barris is known to millions of
car enthusiasts and collectors around the
globe, has been involved in making cars
for Hollywood film, television and the
music industry since the early 1950’s. The
age of the Hot Rod had arrived by then
and George Barris and his brother Sam
(now deceased) were called upon again,
and again, to thrill and dazzle us with
their outrageous and cutting edge car creations. Films such as Hot Rod Girl, Hot
Rod Rumble, Cool Hot Rod, and of course
the ultimate 50’s low rider film from
Warner Bros., James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause, which launched Barris into
the big time.
In the 1960’s, Barris was already the ultimate Movie Star car kustomizer. The
biggest stars and musicians in Hollywood
lined up at the studio in North Hollywood to have George create and kustomize their cars. John Wayne, Elvis
Presley, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra,
Dean Martin, The Beach Boys, Sonny &
Cher, Sean Connery, Jerry Lewis, Bob
Hope & Bing Crosby golf cars and many
more.
The 1960’s were also the Barris years
for dominating TV shows with his cars.
The Munsters, Beverly Hillbillies, My
Mother the Car, Mannix and hundreds of
TV specials were just a few of the Barris
projects that have generated millions of
images and toy models of America’s best
loved cars. However, the most famous TV
Hollywood car in all the world (even to
this day) is the 1960’s TV Batmobile, created for one of the most beloved TV series of our time – Batman, with Adam
West and Burt Ward.
For the last 45 years, Barris has been at
the forefront of the FILM and
TV auto creation business. He
has created vehicles for
movies such as the Warner
Bros. Batman films, Rock Star,
starring Mark Wahlberg, the
recent James Dean movie,
Race with Destiny, starring
Casper Van Dien and Robert
Mitchum, The New Beverly
Hillbillies, The Little Rascals,
The Flintstones, Willie Wonka, Dick
Tracy, etc. More recently Barris
was called in for the cars in the
film xXx, starring Vin Diesel.
He also made cars for the
TV shows Knight Rider,
Starsky & Hutch and The
Dukes of Hazzard and
George and his cars have appeared on such TV shows as the Drew
Carey Show, The Man Show,
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 10
2010
Automania Gazette & Review
We are nurturing and
developing ties to family
entertainment with
continued support of
car enthusiasts and
encouraging interest
towards youth.
Thank you for attending
Automania 2009 and we
are extremely excited for the
new changes for 2010!
Looking forward to seeing
you there!
Donny & Marie
Show, CNN, Today
Show, Biography,
Nick & Jessica Variety Hour, ABC Extreme Home Edition,
The Hot Rod TV
Show, Nickelodeon“The Prince of
Rides”, Disney
Channel-“Wish
Upon a Star”, Monster
Garage, Spike TV-“Ride with Funk Master
Flex”, Speed Channel-“Car Crazy”, The
Auto Channel, “Overhaulin”, TV Land’s
Top 10 Cars, Discovery Channel-“The
Kustomizer”, “America’s Got Talent”,
“Biker Built-Off”, “Girls Next Door” &
many more.
Barris cars have also inspired today’s
musicians. His famous Dragula dragster
he built for Grandpa of The Munsters was
the influence for Rob Zombie’s hit CD titled Dragula. Artists from Eddy Vedder
to Kid Rock have used his cars in videos
and on stage as props at their concerts.
Barris’ creativity exploded with the
Limited Production cars such as: the Barrister, Titan, and Bugazzi. The cars were
designed and manufactured for various
celebrities from basic USA manufactured
vehicles.
Also Barris wrote, starred, directed
and Executive Produced featured films
such as: Disco Fever, SuperVan, Mag Wheels,
The VAN, Smokey and the Hotwire Gang,
The Junkman and the original Gone in 60
Seconds.
Finally, George Barris sat down and
wrote the first of many coffee table art
books; Barris TV and Movie Cars (Motorbooks International) sharing all of his career through the photos, designs,
thoughts, secrets, and stories of the most
famous cars in history and their owners.
So many were sold that it is out of print.
Two more series of books were also written; Barris Cars of the 50’s and 60’s, Barris Kustom Techniques of the 50’s Volume
1-4, Barris Big Book and Cars of the Stars.
George has received numerous awards
& tributes for his 50 years on the cutting
edge of the car & design scene from Hot
Rod Magazine, Meguiar’s Treasurer of the
Hobby Award, Mequiar’s Car Crazy
Award, Lifetime Achievement Award from
Petersen Auto Museum, Car & Driver,
Auto Weekly, Hot Rod Hero Award from
GoodGuys Rod & Custom Association,
Sci-Fi Movie Saturn Award presented by
Peter Fonda, Hall of Fame Award from
Mattel Hot Wheels, honored by Ford at
the 2001 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance,
five time winner and Charter member of
the Hall of Fame at the Grand National
Roadster Show, Gears Magazine George
Barris article by Louise Ann Noeth
awarded the International Automotive
Media Award, honored at the Valley International Film Festival with the Hollywood Wheels in Motion Award & recipient
in 2006 of the Lifetime Achievement Award
by the Friars Club of Beverly Hills. In
2007, George was honored with an exhibit
(continued to page 14)
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 14
2010
from oil
changes
to major
repairs
on most
vehicles
(continued from page 10)
of his life in the 1950’s at the NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, CA.
Barris has been profiled in Vanity Fair,
Rolling Stone, Robb Report, Maxim, Arena,
Gear, BBC-Jet Set (UK), VSD (Paris), 4W
(Argentina), Motor Magazine (Sweden),
VW Magazine (France), EMMY Magazine for the Academy of Television Arts and
Science and many more.
George has judged at: Pebble Beach
Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Meadow Brook Concours
d’Elegance, Rodeo Concours d’Elegance, Silverado Concours d’Elegance, RM Classic
Cars 25th Anniversary Event-Chatham
Concours, El Dorado Concours d’Elegance,
Niello Concours at Serrano and the Las
Vegas Concours d’Elegance.
His cars and personal appearances are
legendary at many World of Wheels, Autoramas, car cruises, rod and custom
shows throughout the USA, Canada and
Sweden for the past 60 years.
Honored as a feature automotive designer at the World’s Fair in Osaka,
Japan, New York City, USA and Toronto,
Canada.
Motor Trend magazine cover proclaimed, “George Barris changed the
face of Detroit.” His kustomizing creations such as; Aero-dynamic body with
low silhouette designs, chopped fastback
roof lines, full fade-away fenders with a
body molded into one piece, French
headlights, rolled front & rear body pans.
Lee Iaccoca with Ford retained Barris
to tour the Ford Custom Car Caravan and
to build many of their international show
concept vehicles.
Another marketing value was to fabricate kustomizing do-it-yourself bolt on
parts for dealers to make available for
their customers ala Barris Kustom. The
monetary instrument was that the customer could have his unique Barris parts
installed by the dealer in any USA town
and Canada.
The Barris family works together and
with his daughter, Joji, son, Brett and
Grandson, Jared (and our family 4 lb.
mascot, “The Gladiator”) oversees the
merchandising, marketing and website of
Barris memorabilia.
In 2007, George Barris was honored to
have the street where his shop is located,
named George Barris Place “King of the
Kustomizers” as an historical monument
in Los Angeles, CA.
Barris Kustom Ind. 10811 Riverside
Drive, North Hollywood, CA 91602.
Phone (818) 984-1314.
www.Barris.com
>
CUSTOMIZING LEGEND
GEORGE BARRIS KUSTOMIZES
2010 CAMARO SS
Back in early April legendary car kustomizer George Barris unveiled his latest
creation--a kustomized 2010 Camaro 2SS
RS dubbed “Spirit” at Community
Chevrolet in Burbank, CA. The VIP
event was highlighted by Barris driving
the first kustom 2010 Camaro into the
dealership and it was parked next to the
Automania Gazette & Review
Phone
605.338.5045
5200 W. 8th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Jerry J .
owner
famed 1966 Batmobile he created for the
two superheroes. Several celebrities were
on hand including John Schneider, Joe
Mantegna, James Pitt of Avatar fame,
Claudia Wells of Back-to-the-Future fame,
Jay Leno, Cindy Margolis, Bo Derek and
many others.
Driven by a never ending passion to
kustomize automobiles, George Barris of
Barris Kustoms in North Hollywood, CA
was pleased and excited more than ever,
to jump into this project last year and to
head the team that designed and produced one of the hottest and longawaited ‘kustom’ Chevrolets in history.
This highly anticipated kustom Chevrolet Camaro represents a quantum shift in
the availability of kustom vehicles from
arguably the most famous kustom vehicle
design house in the world! “Barris Kustoms has entered into a new chapter by
delivering affordable kustom vehicles direct to the dealer showroom”, say George
Barris founder of Barris Kustoms.
George Barris immediately saw incredible potential of the new 2010 Chevrolet
Camaro as a kustom canvas.
According to Barris Kustom’s
spokesperson, Edward Lozzi, “there are
25 verbal orders placed at least” for the
Spirit, making this Camaro rather unique.
The “Spirit” Camaro is the newest vehicle from the Barris Kustom vehicle design house which has entered a new
chapter by building affordable kustom vehicles sold directly threw dealerships. The
Barris Camaro features a kustom painted
hood with Deep Pearl & Metallic accents,
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 70
2010
WHAT’S IN YOUR GARAGE!
ur
rs Garage To
Spomer Moto
, MN
Worthington
Or should we say, “What’s in Their
Garage?” On Sunday, June 13th we provide a glimpse into the past, present and
future of automobiles. We understand
everyone's tastes are different as well as
their collections and that is why we’re so
proud to be showing many fine collections of rare ‘30s and ‘40s cars, classic,
muscle and exotic European cars. There is
something for everyone!
The Tour begins at J&L Harley David-
Automania Gazette & Review
son, 2601 West 60th Street in Sioux Falls,
Sunday morning with a pancake breakfast from 8am until 10:30am. On display,
(besides one of the largest Harley showrooms in the Midwest), will be the Elvis
Presley Harley Davidson! A 1976 with
documented ownership by Elvis Presley.
Rare? You bet! This Harley is brought to
us by the Geisler Family who have entertained travelers for generations at the Pioneer Auto Museum. This bike has never
been shown outside of the Museum. We
sincerely appreciate the efforts of Pioneer
Auto Museum as they bring the Harley to
Automania to be on display.
We know the Automaniac’s enjoy
cruising with their friends, and what better opportunity is there to share that thrill
than to cruise to any of our seven garage
stops! You can visit just one or take in all
seven and in any order. They will be open
from 10am, most are in the Sioux Falls
metro area, including stops in Brandon,
Beresford, Dell Rapids, Harrisburg and
one of the largest displays of memorabilia in period settings will be open for
your pleasure at Spomer Classic’s in Worthington, MN.
1967 Ford Mustang Convertible. Owned by Al Bowden of Sioux Falls. All work performed by
Jason Dearduff at Jasons Restorations. First of its kind drivetrain... a LS2 transplant that includes
fuel injection, 6 speed trans., & GM 12 bolt differential.
There were no instructions for this build... all custom install!
30 Years
Combined Experience Lifetime National Warranty
Sioux Falls, SD
Hours: M-F 8:30am - 5:30pm
“Customer Service is Our #1 Goal”
Mobile Video
Remote Starts
Spoilers & Wings
Commercial &
Residential Tinting
WINDOW FILM
George Barris will be available once
again at Larry Olson’s Ritz II in Brandon,
along with the ‘Doc’ Hudson from the
movie Cars! Larry will be answering
questions and opening his personal collection up for viewing! Bowman’s Real
Rod Shop will give people insights as to
the building of a custom car. Terry
Schulte of Executive Touch/Schulte Subaru
has an extensive collection of European
exotic cars and rare muscle that will be
open for viewing and your questions will
be answered! Jerry’s Corvettes and Collectables will open their showroom Sunday
and show off late model muscle in the
form of a huge selection of Corvettes
and Camaros. They also feature the
570hp 2010 Grand Sport that they built on
site! A nice selection of nostalgic cars
and muscle are also on hand! Westergaards Rod and Custom will provide a
look into the building of several projects
that are in the works and completed.
Please stop into Spomer Classics in Worthington, MN! View one of the largest
collections of automotive and implement
signs, classic automobiles and memorabilia! Revisit the roaring ‘30s at Joe and
Elaine Floyd’s mostly Ford collection. A
stunning collection of ‘30s - ‘50s Fords!
Enjoy the passion and share your
thoughts with your friends and family!
We thank you for taking the time to share
ours!
>
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 72
ELVIS PRESLEY’S
1976 HARLEY-DAVIDSON
ELECTRA GLIDE
A piece of Elvis history that may be the
purest embodiment of the King’s final
moment as a true rock star: a Red, White
and chrome 1976 Harley-Davidson Electra
Glide 1200 motorcycle.
It’s claimed that Elvis was riding this bike
during the last night of his life. Also that
Elvis rode it on the Super 8 film. Thought
to be his last motorcycle, his last ride before his death & his favorite motorcycle.
With only 1,200 miles. The title is still
in the name Elvis A. Presley. Featured as
one of the many unique antique cycles in
the motorcycle room at Pioneer Auto Show
in Murdo, SD.
Shop: 605-582-3082
2010
Elvis often had the
bike shipped from
Memphis to California
to ride.
Elvis purchased this
motorcycle in 1976
from “Harley-Davidson
West” in Marina Del
Ray, CA. Recently restored in 2006 with
the help of Cornerstone Cycles, P.D.Q.
Upholstery, Diamond
Stainless, Precision
Powder Coating and
Custom Paint by Joe
Richardson.
Presley became a
motorcycle enthusiast
as soon as his finances
permitted. Upon earning his first advance
from Sun Records, he
purchased a 125cc
Harley Hummer,
which was maintained
by local mechanic and
future tuner Jerry
Branch. When Presley earned a bonus
for switching to
RCA Records, he
graduated from the diminutive Hummer
to a larger, 883cc 1956 Harley-Davidson
Model K. His reputation as a dyed-inthe-wool Hog fan, became established
when he and the bike appeared on the
May 1956 cover of the Harley-Davidson
publication Enthusiast.
In the 1964 Paramount Pictures release
Roustabout, Elvis rode an innocuous Honda
350 Superhawk, a choice which sought to
place him in the demographic idealized
by the manufacturer’s famous slogan,
“You meet the nicest people on a
Honda”.
“Elvis loved Harleys that were big and
close to the ground,” explained Ron Elliott, who maintained Elvis’ fleet of bikes.
Presley’s bike purchases were often impulsive and evidenced by a certain
Automania Gazette & Review
Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. Following a series of concerts in Fayetteville,
NC, in August 1976, he stopped in Memphis before heading to his Palm Springs
home. While in Palm Spring, he purchased a 1976 Electra Glide on August 11
and headed to San Antonio, TX on August 26th for more performances. The
Harley was painted Elvis Blue with stenciled gear sprockets, creating a subtle
pattern on the saddlebags and tank.
Throughout Presley’s long career, motorcycles were a constant. A symbol of
escape, freedom and ultimate independence, in many ways, bikes represented to
Elvis the same qualities his music represented to a generation.
The Blue Electra Glide Elvis purchased
in August 1976 is one of the rare Elvis
owned motorcycles not on display at
Graceland and few details are known
about its history. David Geisler, a collector who operates the Pioneer Auto Show
in Murdo, SD, traded several cars for
Elvis’ Harley in 1982. The bike is currently on display there among over 250
vintage cars and motorcycles.
www.pioneerautoshow.com
>
Pioneer Auto Show,
your friend by the
side of the road,
Dave Geisler.
Pioneer Auto is
located at I-90 &
US 83, Murdo, SD
57559. Phone
605-669-2691.
WWW.IISLYHOTRODS.COM
[email protected]
Hotrods and Muscle cars by Kevin Bowman
1011 7th Ave. N. Brandon, SD • II Sly Hotrods has changed to Bowman Real Hotrods. New name, but same GREAT owner and team.
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 100
2010
Automania Gazette & Review
Mitch Ryder
and the Detroit Wheels
High Octane, turbo, high performance...
Super charged MITCH RYDER & The Detroit Wheels didn’t need
to hail from the Motor City for those adjectives to be tossed their way,
but it was certainly appropriate that they called Motown home. It was
Mitch and The Wheels who served as the musical bridge between the
Motown soul factory and the high energy, take no prisoners rock ‘n’ roll
that would roar out of Detroit via Iggy & The Stooges, MC5, Ted Nugent and Bob Seger.
With Ryder, it wasn’t attitude or public outrage or politics that generated
the charge you could simply hear it in the music. Ryder hit during the mid’60s when AM radio was going through a golden era courtesy of Motown,
Stax, the British Invasion, Aretha, JB, and any number of garage band one-hit wonders. But
no one on the radio then could match Mitch and company for pure visceral excitement, no
one else could make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and a wild-eyed gleam creep
into your eyes because you just know that SOMETHING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.
The explosive quality was there from the very start. Listen to the way the chords introducing “Jenny Take A Ride” are chomping at the bit to swoop down into the double-time midsection, or how John Badanjek’s thundering bass drum trigger’s the ecstatic roll that kicks off
“Devil With A Blue Dress On”. And the Wheels must have known what they had witness the
confidence, even cockiness of telegraphing their punch forever on “Little Latin Lupe Lu”,
building expectations to fever pitch before hammering down the riff with Jim McCarty’s lead
lick trailing behind. And nailing it big time. One punch, KO, Mike Tyson style.
The records worked because they perfectly captured the kinetic frenzy of the live performances that had been the group’s stock in trade since they first joined forces in Detroit early
in 1964. Born William Levise, Jr., Ryder was performing as Billy Lee in a high school band
called Tempest before turning heads in a black Detroit soul club called the Village. At 17, he
Automania in Historic Sioux Falls • Visit us at www.AutomaniaSiouxFalls.com
Page 102
2010
MAY 8 • 10:00AM • HARTFORD, SD. The Kaiser Collection.
Collector Cars, Carriages, Antiques, Parts & More at auction.
MAY 18 • 11:00AM • SIOUX FALLS, SD. South Dakota’s Greatest
Towyard Auction. East Gate Towing 605-334-3160.
MAY 22 • 10:00AM • LUDINGTON, MI. The Tuttle Collection.
Collector Cars, Gas & Oil Memorabilia at auction.
JUNE 26 • 10:00AM • GRAND RAPIDS, MN. Approx. 300
Collector Cars & Pickups for Project, Parts, Rod or Restore!
JULY 24 • 10:00AM • HAMPDEN, ND. Stationary Gas Engines,
Collector Tractors, Trucks, Antiques & More at auction.
Automania Gazette & Review
AUGUST 14 • 10:00AM • BRITTON, SD. The Skjonsberg
Family Collection. 1935 Harley, Collector Cars, Parts,
Tractors, Gas Engines.
SEPTEMBER 11 • 10:30AM • PORTLAND, IN. The Stauffer V8
Collection. Collector Cars, Pickups, Gas and Oil Memorabilia.
SEPTEMBER 18-19 • 10:00AM • EDEN, SD. The Harry Michlitsch
Collection. Approx. 450 Collector Cars for Rod, Restore, or Parts
along with Fabulous Parts Collection at auction.
SEPTEMBER 25 • 10:00AM • HARDWICK, MN. The Steve and
Yvette VanDerBrink Collection. Collector Tractors, Parts, Collector
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was skilled enough to record an R&B single (“That's The Way It’s Going To
Be/Fool For You”) for the Detroit gospel
label Carrie in 1962 and to start making
gigs fronting The Peps, a black vocal trio.
Levise was appearing with The Peps at
the Village early in 1964 when he ran
across a group that included McCarty,
bassist Earl Elliot, and Badanjek. Together with rhythm guitarist Joe Kubert,
they joined forces as Billy Lee & The
Rivieras and by mid-summer had attracted a fanatical local following that
caught the ear of Motor City DJ Bob
Prince. Prince began booking Lee & The
Rivieras as an opening act at a
club/casino north of Detroit, but their
live performances were so potent that the
unrecorded group was soon headlining
over major Motown artists. Prince then
arranged for The Rivieras to record a
tape in Badanjek’s basement, and that
demo brought 4 Seasons producer Bob
Crewe to a Detroit performance where
The Rivieras opened for The Dave Clark
Five. They torched the hometown audience for 90 minutes, Crewe was hooked,
and in February, 1965, the five Detroit
teenagers relocated to New York City
and bided their time for a few months
playing Greenwich Village clubs for survival money.
The name was the first to go (a conflict
with The Rivieras who recorded “California Sun”), hence the legendary story of
Lee/Levise flipping through the Manhattan phone directory and coming across
the name Mitch Ryder. The Rivieras became The Detroit Wheels and album
cover photos of the band on top of oil
cans or surrounded by discarded tires
punched the automotive image home.
What followed was a wild two-year
ride trough the starmaking machinery of
the record industry that brought them
fame but no fortune and tore the group
apart in the process. Not that the first
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels single, “I Need Help”, exactly set the charts
afire. That waited until late 1965 when
“Jenny Take A Ride!” climbed to #10 as
The Wheels welded Chuck Willis’ “C.C.
Rider” to Little Richard’s “Jenny, Jenny”,
and cannily tossed in an advertisement
for their live show along the way (check
how the backing vocals change to “See
Mitch Ryder” during the second verse).
“Little Latin Lupe Lu” cemented their
commercial appeal when it reached #17
and set the general outline of the band’s
most popular sound- an R&B standard or
two revved up, Wheels-style, with
Mitch’s peerless soul shouting ripping
away over the top.
That approach bordered on becoming
a formula, particularly after “Break
Out”, the first attempt at a bigger,
brassier sound, only made it to #62 and
the ballad “Takin’ All I Can Get” barely
cracked the Top 100. Late in 1966, the
“Devil With A Blue Dress On” & “Good
Golly Miss Molly” medleys exploded
over the airwaves & indelibly stamped the
high energy Mitch Ryder & The Detroit
(continued to page 106)
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Page 106
2010
Automania Gazette & Review
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(continued from page 102)
Wheels sound on anyone within an
earshot as they hit #4 on the charts.
“Joy” with the hard-riffing “I’d Rather
Go To Jail”, Crewe packed Ryder off to
Las Vegas with a big band in tow.
Which was a shame, really, because
the albums kept showing other dimensions of Ryder’s skills as an interpretive
singer. Certainly, tracks like “Shakin
With Linda”, “Shake A Tail Feather”,
“Just A Little Bit”, and “Sticks And
Stones”, fits The Wheels mold to a tee.
But, “I Like It Like That” spotlighted
Ryder’s ability to tone down for the kind
of slow-drag, New Orleans R&B that
emphasized his smooth delivery and immaculate phrasing. And he showed real
signs as a midnight rambler songwriter on
“I Had It Made” (musically, a thinly
veiled rewrite of James Brown’s “Out Of
Sight”) and the intriguing “Baby Jane”,
which sounds like a bizarre but happening cross of Sir Douglas Quintet and Velvet Underground.
It was the only time Ryder recorded
with a bona-fide soul band, “Liberty”
shows it was a two way exchange- Ryder’s
Detroit bred rock ‘n’ roll energy goosed
the musicians just as their innate funkiness moved Ryder’s singing in new directions. But fine, fine music didn’t spell
commercial success, and Ryder returned
home to a reunion with The Wheels
drummer John Badanjek in the shortlived supergroup Detroit, which lasted
just long enough to record one monster
of a heavy duty rock ‘n’ roll album in
1971. “Long Neck Goose” updated the
classic Wheels sound as Ryder digs into
the tune with a ferocious glee (listen to
the screams he hurls off as the song
fades) but the climatic moment was
“Rock N’ Roll” (here in its rarely heard
45 mix), kicked off by a mountainous
guitar riff while Badanjek bounced a cow
bell off your skull at regular intervals. It
was so powerful a performance that Lou
Reed was quoted as saying that was how
the song was supposed to sound and
proved it by recruiting guitarist Steve
Hunter for his Rock N’ Roll Animal
phase after Detroit disintegrated.
Early in 1967, prototypical, riff-rockin
“Sock It To Me-Baby!” became Ryder’s
final Top 10 single, despite being banned
on several stations for being too sexually
suggestive. The brassy “Too Many Fishes
In The Sea” & “Three Little Fishes” reverted to the medley formula, but it was
the final chart entry (at #24) for Mitch
Ryder & The Detroit Wheels because
Crewe’s long running Svengali notions of
(ahem) putting The Wheels in motion
back to Detroit and working with Ryder
as a solo artist were finally bearing fruit.
After a final single (the first credited to
Mitch alone), pairing the syncopated
An embittered Ryder left the active
performing scene then, heading to Denver and working a day job for 5 years and
honing his songwriting skills at night.
After returning to Detroit, he formed a
band and released the confessional, auto-
biographical How I Spent My Vacation
and then Naked But Not Dead on his
own Seeds and Stems label. That helped
trigger a resurgence of European interest
in Ryder and he released several additional albums, Live Talkies, Got Change
For A Million, and Smart Ass, in the
early ‘80s on the German Line label.
He came back to a major American
label for the John Cougar Mellencampproduced Never Kick A Sleeping Dog in
1983, highlighted by a world weary, gritty
version of Prince’s “When You Were
Mine” that cut the original and all others
to shreds. Single tracks, “Bow Wow Wow
Wow” for Was Not Was and a satirical
take on Oliver North called “Good Golly
Ask Ollie”, are his only other domestic
releases since then.
It would be a mistake to consign Mitch
Ryder solely to the past, he’s shown too
much resilience to be counted out. He is
currently enjoying another surge in European popularity & continues to revisit for
live performances. There’s certainly nothing nostalgic about the charged music here,
no one, but no one, ever kicked out the
rockin’ R&B jams better than Mitch Ryder
& The Detroit Wheels. The tragedy is that
mismanagement & show biz machinations
sidetracked a great band & the financial inequity aside, quite possibly prevented
Mitch Ryder from tapping his full potential
as a singer. But all these problems can’t
erase the indelible rush of The Detroit
Wheels shifting into over-drive with that
imitatable, fiery voice flying over the top. >
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