Jerry Goodwin: " As a DJ at WKNR-AM in Detroit in '65 I did regular "record hops" on a weekly basis. I used a band at that time called "Jack and the Misfits." When that band broke up I then picked up "The Motor City Five", a hot rock band that was doing all the greatest rock songs of the day. (Stones, Motown, Chuck Berry, etc.)"
". . . Back in '65 there was no less than 4 "top forty" radio stations in Detroit with 5 or 6 DJ's doing record hops all over the area. The local band scene was huge as well. The bands knew that to hook up with a DJ on a regular basis gave them the opportunity to showcase themselves and build a fan base that would travel all over the Detroit area to see them and when and if a band finally came out with a record their fans would buy it . . . "
" On A Saturday night in '65 at Plymouth High School in Plymouth, Michigan, rock and roll changed forever. The format of the record hops that I did at that time was: I did 20 minutes of records and the band did a 20 minute live set with the band always finishing off the night. On this particular night I intro'd the band and before I could even get off the stage both Wayne and Freddy hit an off key chord and moved toward the speakers creating a cacophonous feedback that absolutely froze me in mid-stride. Rob then stepped up to the mike and started screaming at top volume. About 2000 kids in that gym stopped doing whatever the hell they were doing and stood frozen staring at the stage all (I'm sure) wondering if the world was coming to an end. After about a minute or so all 2000 kids started heading toward the doors as quickly as they could. I don't think it took 10 minutes to clear the place. The MC5 just kept on jamming for the whole 20 minutes while I kept the one security cop from pulling the plug. After the gig we sat in their van smoking a joint and they told me that had been listening to Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Pharoah Sanders and Eric Dolphy and that they wanted to take their music in a different direction. They called what they were doing "Avant rock".
was the first time I had ever heard this term and it made sense. I told
them at the time that I felt they had a long row to hoe in finding venues
for their music but if they just stuck with me and played the hops I would
try to find a club for them to play. We played around the area in the
"Keener Karavan" with some other great
Detroit area bands and finally in '66 Russ Gibb
came back from LA or San Francisco (I don't remember which) with great
stories of the "dance halls" on the west coast. By that time I had shed
my shirt and tie and had become a card carrying, acid taking, long haired
freak doing one of the first "free form" shows on WKNR-FM. Russ was also
moonlighting at the station at the time (he was a fifth grade teacher
during the day) and asked me about finding a "houseband" for his new Grande
Ballroom. It was a perfect time to put Gibb and the MC5 together
and, as they say, the rest is history . . ."