By Bob Bauer, UDetroit
Friday August 19th, 2011 is a day my friends and I will never forget. I know it’s a day I’ll always hold close to my heart.
I’ve been around this world for 58 years. I’ve seen a lot, been a lot of places and I’ve done plenty. Some would say I’ve done more than my share. What I am about to tell you is heartfelt, straight from the gut, and the absolute truth. Anything good in this life is worth fighting for. Most of the time it’s painful but the pain is what make the taste of all the “little victories” all the sweeter.
Here’s how it happened: I’ve never been one to follow the crowd as an adult and I’ve always craved the next adventure. I was fortunate enough to break into “Rock Radio” at a time when it was beginning to really take off. In Detroit I was a part of the last “Hurrah!” of historic rocker WABX. I was there almost from the beginning of WLLZ Detroit’s Wheels historic run.
I came down to the Harmonie Park studios to have a look around and see what the Mark and Brian Pastoria, co-owners of UDetroit Cafe had been up to. They showed me around and we talked a bit. They told me all about the great ideas they had for what has become The UDetroit Café and UDetroit.com.
Over recent years it has become important to me to pass on what I’ve witnessed over the years. I have a need to tell the story and pass on what knowledge I have to others, especially as it relates to Detroit and the music scene here. I started working with them.
Enter Theresa Hebert, a wonderful addition to what I bring to the table. She is 24 years old and is a recent graduate of the Michigan State University and she is immensely talented. She started as an intern and now she’s my co-host, producer, and an equal partner. She has opened me up to new music and musical styles, and man can she sing! She helps make the show what it is…“Free & funky…!” We work hard, really hard because we believe in what we’re a part of.
Theresa and I drive about an hour and twenty minutes to the Café each way, five days a week. We talk a lot about what we’re doing and a lot about the music. I try to explain to her what it was like “back in the day”, about who was who and what was what. I’ve told her a hundred stories if I’ve told her one, but this Friday, the experience spoke for itself.
A man like Dave Mason can tell you all about walking into the clubs around London when its patrons are people like Lennon and McCartney, Hendrix and Clapton. Then he can tell you about the time he turned Hendrix on to Bob Dylan and the song “All Along The Watch Tower.” Then he tells about recording the song with Hendrix.
Friday, August 19th we all had “a moment” at The UDetroit Café at Harmonie Park Media Center. With two phone calls Brian managed to get Dave Mason and his band to come down to the UDetroit Café and be on the show with Theresa and I.
When Dave and Mark came in there were hugs, hand shakes and introductions going on…it was an awesome scene. Then, while I’m standing in the back of the house I look up and Rick Derringer just walks right on by like he’s been there all his life! Rick Derringer?! Shut up! We didn’t expect that! For those who don’t know, he’s toured with Cindy Lauper, Steely Dan and Alice Cooper. He’s also the man responsible for discovering Weird Al Yankovic.
I tell people all the time, “you’ve got to come down here and experience this to believe it because you never know who’s going to come in on any given day!” I’m not kidding! Jim McCarty, Johnny Bee, Jimmie Bones, Dave Mason, Mark Farner, Rick Derringer, Spider Web, Marcus Belgrave, Ralphe Armstrong and so on…they all just walk through the door like “What’s going on man?” Theresa gets to hear these people’s stories first hand. It’s an incredible feeling and experience. And I can see her telling all her college buddies stuff like “Yeah, yesterday I was standing at the bar talking to Mark Farner and Rick Derringer and Mark said…” like it’s no big deal…“yep…happens every day.” I’m telling you it trips my trigger big time.
And that brings me to this…friendship and brotherhood. They mean a lot to the gang at Harmonie Park and it’s strong and it runs deep. We’ve got each others backs through thick and thin and we depend on each other. Dave Mason, Mark Farner and Rick Derringer came down to see us because they are friends. They didn’t come down to promote their show. The show had happened the night before. They came down to hang out and play their music and share their stories with old friends.
As the show is going on, I’m standing in the crowd looking at the stage and I’m blown away by it all. It had to be my best moment in 33 years of broadcasting. That includes the 2 Guitar Army shows, the first of which was a live broadcast, along with 27 years of doing The Marathon for Meals food drives.
After the show was over was over Dave and I were standing outside the Café and he looked at me and said “Yeah, that was a moment wasn’t it?” Brother, brother, brother…was it ever!
To hear a live recording of the show, visit UDetroit.com.