Saturday, June 22, 2024

Dodge Main: Dodge Main 1996


"Dodge Main" was a band made up of Detroit and Ann Arbor musicians from the old days. The band was a loose and variable collection of players, but each lineup and project that Dodge Main did was


notable and worthy. In the early '90s Patrick Boissel began a crusade to resurrect the late 60's-early 70's Detroit Sound through a series of reissues and new releases of obscure live performances, outtakes and other material, doing for the MC5, the Rationals, the Up, and John Sinclair what had already been done by Revenge and Skydog Records for the Stooges. Patrick managed Alive and Total Energy Records, offshoots of Bomp! Records, the label created by Greg and Suzy Shaw in 1974.

Song selection was a mix of new originals and old standards. The MC5 songs that we did were "Future/Now", written by Rob Tyner, and "Over and Over", written by Fred Smith - both from the great "High Time" album. I think Wayne wanted to do the other guy's songs as a tribute to them - may they rest in peace. Wayne chose "I-94" as the Radio Birdman song, and the Jimmy Cliff tune

"The Harder They Come".
Because Scott Morgan was there, we did "City Slang". I suggested that we do the Stooges tune "I Got A Right". Some songs were written on the spot, others in my motel room. The new originals were Wayne's "Citizen Of Time", my newly penned "Fire Comin" and a co-write, "Better Than That". I also contributed "100 Fools". The band rehearsed minimally, and the songs went to tape with very little preparation. The entire album was done in less than 5 days. Wayne told me that the album, and the group, was going to be called "Dodge Main" - named after the huge, abandoned Chrysler assembly plant in Hamtramck, the burned out heart of north central Detroit.

Various line-ups under the name "Dodge Main" have gotten together for occasional live performances since then. The first, in February '97, was a benefit concert at the State Theatre in Detroit held to help pay fellow Detroit musician Greasy Carlisi's medical bills incurred following a heart attack. The band played free, and we paid our own expenses getting to Detroit for the show. The lineup was Wayne and

myself, with Dennis Thompson and Gary Rasmussen on drums and bass, respectively; and Scott Morgan (American musician, singer, and songwriter, best known for his work with the Rationals and Sonic's Rendezvous Band. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan) on guitar and vocals. Now this, truly, was an all-star Michigan lineup ! We rehearsed at Dan Hurley's house, in his basement. Wayne had brought  his Stratocaster, but Dan pulled out a beautiful mid-60's Epiphone Wilshire that had once belonged to Wayne. I guess Dan had been keeping it since the old days, and it was a happy sight to see it back in the hands of Wayne Kramer. With only the one brief rehearsal, the show was rough and chaotic, but the energy level was high and the crowd of about 2000 people lost their minds.

The second show was a gig at the Euclid Tavern in Cleveland, in conjunction with the release of the paperback version of Please Kill Me, the oral history of punk by "Legs" McNeil and Gillian McCain. After a book reading at the R&R Hall of Fame museum, the gig went down, this time with Scott Asheton from the Stooges on drums. It was at this show that the band hit its full potential, causing a

near riot in the tiny, packed club. Despite Gary Rasmussen repeatedly complaining about my guitar volume, I had a great night. We were joined on stage for the last four songs by a very loose Jimmy Zero, guitarist for the Cleveland legends The Dead Boys. Tapes of this show were reviewed by Wayne and Don Was. Because the performance was so wild, and in retrospect, historically significant, there were tentative plans to produce and release a recording from them. But the tapes remained unreleased in the archives of Muscletone Records - and for all I know, they may still be there.



Wayne Kramer opened on Radio Birdman's Australian reformation tour of January 1996. During the

tour he and Deniz had discussed the idea of working together. Patrick Boissel from Alive Records had been trying to organize a Motor City supergroup recording for years. The following July when both Deniz' and Wayne's schedules lined up, Boissel booked a small studio in North Hollywood. There was no preparation or planning for this record whatsoever. With Wayne's expert rhythm section and gallons of coffee, Dodge Main was cranked out in just 4 days.

It's little more than a jam session of tunes old and new from various sources by a group of friends, but what a group of friends to have around! Legendary MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, fellow Detroit music figure of renown Scott Morgan, and Motor City-via-Australian Deniz Tek of Radio

make up Dodge Main, with help from bassist Paul Ill and regular Kramer drummer Brock Avery. With Kramer overseeing production, the result is a hearty celebration of Detroit's rock music history, along with a few surprising but fun detours along the way. The three lead members all tackle main vocals at various points, with the others providing backup as they go. Arguably the originals in all cases should be chased down first, but in the hands of the group everything sounds like they're ready to kick butt and take names, while the new numbers are energetic, great romps.

"City Slang," originally recorded with Morgan in Sonic's Rendezvous Band, sets the tone from the start, Kramer and Tek more than adequately filling the shoes of the departed Fred Smith. He also takes the lead on gloriously loud and in-your-face takes on the MC5's "Future/Now" and the album-concluding

Stooges cover "I Got a Right," Tek and Kramer's guitars as blasting as they need to be. Tek's moments of vocal glory occur with the blasting, tough grooves of "I 94," his spoken word sections on "Fire Comin'," and the short snap of "100 Fools." Kramer, meanwhile, contributes a fantastic solo composition -- "Citizen of Time" -- which could have easily fit on his series of '90s solo albums, burning with righteous anger while the Ill/Avery rhythm section hits a solid swing. His other vocal lead is an inspired winner -- Jimmy Cliff's reggae classic "The Harder They Come," given a distinctly Detroit musical revamp.

Deniz chose the MC5 tracks and Wayne chose the Birdman track. Deniz wrote Fire Comin' in his motel room on the second night, with Paul Ill contributing the middle 8 bars the next day. Wayne had previously written Citizen of Time and the band free jammed behind the simple riff. Better Than That

was co-written by Deniz and Wayne while sitting in the studio with unplugged guitars. I-94 featured fresh lyrics, Deniz being tired of the old ones. Wayne added a ska beat with Brock Avery on African finger drums. The opening track is the Sonic's Rendezvous classic, City Slang, with Scott Morgan from that band on vocals. Scott happened to be in LA and was called over, ending up doing several songs. The City Slang mix is heavy on rhythm guitars. There is a lot of the soloing on this track but it is barely audible, a tribute to the late Fred Smith.

Dodge Main – Dodge Main
Label: Alive Records – ALIVE 0025
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1996
Genre: Rock
Style: Hard Rock



01. City Slang   4:36
02. I.94   2:57
03. Citizen Of Time   3:48
04. Future/Now   3:01
05. Fire Comin'   4:11
06. 100 Fools   2:38
07. The Harder They Come   2:54
08. Over & Over   2:49
09. Better Than That   3:29
10. I Got A Right   3:38


Wayne Kramer - Guitar and Vocals, Lead Vocals on tracks 3, 7  
Deniz Tek - Guitar and Vocals, Lead Vocals on tracks 2, 5, 6  
Scott Morgan - Vocals, Lead Vocals on tracks 1, 4, 8, 9, 10  
Paul Ill - Electric and Acoustic Bass  
Brock Avery - Drums and Percussion



Produced by Wayne Kramer  /  Engineered by Mike Wolf and Jon Newkirk  /  Recorded at Music Box Studio, North Hollywood 1996

Flac Size: 230 MB



  1. I've now taken a close look at Alex Chilton and i have EVERYTHING interesting. There are Like Flies on Sherbert (1979) a masterpiece.
    Bach's Bottom a year later. The rest is not good, only High Priest has some moments.
    Back in time: Big Star all albums as well as 3rd Chilton solo album and Chris Bell i am the cosmos.
    And just discovered a very nice cd:
    THE TYDE ONCE (2001) from L. A.

  2. Thanks Kostas for the Dodge Man have been a big MC5 fan for years so this is a great share

  3. Wow, never heard of this before -- sounds fun!! Thx!

  4. Thanks Kostas!!! I never knew of this at all. See my posts this week for Rick Wakeman project and Fairport vinyl as I mentioned. I steered them over here for more. The Visitors also new to me!! WoW it's my month over here Cheers!