Much-traveled Michigan bassist Ron Cooke has passed away, his wife Pam announced on Facebook earlier today.
Although replaced by Gary Rasmussen before Sonic’s Rendezvous Band’s "classic" period (the one which produced "City Slang"), bassist W.R. "Ron" Cooke was there from the very earliest days, when Fred "Sonic" Smith was searching for a musical direction following the MC5's 1972 implosion.
Ron is pictured in an early publicity shot at right, and is second from the left.
Cooke was also a member of the Johnny Thunders-Wayne Kramer collision that was Gang War, an idea that the principals agreed looked good on paper but lost direction as old habits took hold.
And Ron had plenty of Detroit rock'n'roll history under his belt before then, most famously with Mitch Ryder's Detroit, whose killer version of Lou Reed's "Rock and Roll" was a classic slice of Motor City Rock Action that even the song's author agreed was "the way the song was MEANT to be played."
Ken Shimamoto talked to Ron from his home in Ann Arbor in early October 2000 as part of the research for this history of SRB. Here are Ron’s verbatim recollections.
Garage rock royalty, King Khan and BBQ, are heading back to Australia in July, to play the sold-out Splendour In The Grass festival and sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney.
They’ll have a new album, “Bad News Boys”, in tow and it will be their first appearance on these shores since their chaotic show at Vivid in Sydney in 2010, after which they were declared by organisers to be "a security threat" and promptly broke up.
Canadian-born King Khan (guitar-vocals) and BBQ aka Mark Sultan (drums-vocals-guitar) have a string of solo and collaborative records to their name and years of touring their off-the-wall show.
Their reformation and new record are as good an excuse as any to take a trip back in the time tunnel to 2008 when Patrick Emery cornered King Khan on the eve of him touring his band, The Shrines...
As they were in 1981. Catherine Croll photo
In 2012, a reformed Sunnyboys delivered arguably the most emotional comeback of any Australian band in living memory. More on that soon. Three years later, they’ve given us the most unlikely of resurrected albums, with a stunning re-issue of their second record, “Individuals”.
Originally released in May 1982 when the band was poised to take the Australian charts by the throat, it sold respectably but ultimately foundered under the weight of massive expectations and a curiously subdued mix.
The discovery of a previously lost rough mix among the estate of their late producer and manager (as well as legendary guitarist), Lobby Loyde, cast a new light on a largely overlooked record. The new version sounds as lively and dynamic as the band’s “Sunnyboys” debut from 1980.