Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History Of Five Decades Of Rock’n’Roll In America’s Loudest City
by Steve Miller

The rock side of Motor City vividly celebrated

Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History Of Five Decades Of Rock’n’Roll In America’s Loudest City

This book is for anyone who thinks that New York, Los Angeles and possibly Nashville are America’s only musical capitals. After reading Detroit Rock City, you’ll be convinced that Michigan’s automotive metropolis has always outdone any other US hub… and that’s without even looking at the Motown label.

Scenester Steve Miller bases his oral history on a gazillion interviews, not just with the rock stars themselves but, crucially, with the promoters, managers and venue owners who oozed out of the city’s underbelly on a nightly basis. The timespan he covers, from 1965 to 2000, begins with Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and ends, for all intents and purposes, with Jack White; along the way he covers a ferocious cast of characters from the garage, punk and
metal movements, with artists
both major and minor coming
into his sights.

Miller nails interview time
with the obvious stars: Ted
Nugent, Alice Cooper, Iggy
Pop, MC5 and the
aforementioned White – quite
a coup for any rock hack – but
it’s arguably his grilling of
lesser-rans such as Kid Rock,
Insane Clown Posse, Electric
Six, The Gories, The Go and
a plethora of never-heards that
evoke the slimy, intoxicated
scene the best. The only
quibble is with the oral history
format, which is an easy jigsaw
for any author to assemble,
but which fails to deliver
narrative cohesion or any
overarching conclusion. The
reader also has the slightly
tricky task of remembering
who’s who – but that’s
probably subjective. Great job,
Miller.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

(Import) Da Capo | ISBN 9780306820656, 310 pages

Reviewed by Joel McIver
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