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August 26, 2008



For what's worth, the host appearing briefly at the show is the late pioneering freeform FM DJ Dave Dixon. I'm too young to have heard his original broadcast, but old enough to have experienced his revival for public radio WDET in the 80s. I remember spotting him at a concert during this time and complimenting him on his show. He gave me a business card and I treated it like a Willy Wonka ticket.

For a less sentimental take, try this link:



There's no way this is real. That guy is straight out of The Wedding Singer. No one was ever THAT eighties, were they? (Autoharping 60's nostalgia notwithstanding.)


um, I'm confused. Is this guy the singer for MC5? Really? I was torn between "this guy fronted a band that tore Detroit a new one" and "wonder where I can get a cherried-out autoharp like the one he's playing" There was a song in there too, I think.

Lupica not logged in

That is indeed Rob Tyner, vocalist of the MC5. If you've managed to see the MC5 doc "A True Testimonial", it's included there.

Webhamster Henry

M O R E A U T O H A R P !

fatty jubbo

I know a guy who embalmed Rob Tyner. No tall tale, either...he really did!


I has a fever, and the only cure is more autoharp!


In other news, he is likely under 40 in that clip. Yikes!


I wore those same dorky, half as big as your face, glasses in the 80's. Completely fucked my public persona for the whole decade. In retrospect, I would rather have gone without the improved vision.


there are no kicking out the jams in this video...

Mark Allen

It's Leslie Hall, in drag.


The only thing that saved me from abject sadness while watching this was that I kept thinking he meant Fred Grandy. Now that I am writing this it occurs to me that that is even sadder. This is why I listen to less rock these days.


He is singing about the Grande Ballroom. Where the best and brightest played in the 60s in Detroit.
And for what its worth I used to see him around town and he carried himself with the appropriate rock star swagger.


Right, "swagger." This is exactly the point. What good is a swagger when you're an adult?


y'all are too cynical...there's nothing wrong with this bit, pure honesty, not a bad crafted song...perhaps the threads are a little (ok, a lot) tacky, whatever...


I'm not saying the issue is Rob Tyner in particular but rather that rock, for me at least, is just too much about posturing. Is there another form of music where haircuts, for example take such precedence? or the length of the guitar strap to the exclusion of the playing of the instrument? or posture in the literal high school phys. ed. sense? So that once you're bald and the chiropractor has suggested that you should stand up straight and as a result you need to shorten the guitar strap, all the sudden the same music played by the same person is somehow not as good.
I suppose there is a way in which the style can become substance, but it's a whole lot of very similar substance.


Dave Dixon was a true progressive radio pioneer in Detroit. His style was a delicious mix of substance and sarcasm, always fueled by a genuine love of music in all forms. Sadly, he passed away several years ago but those of us who lived in The Motor City and were lucky enough to hear his work still know him in our heads and hearts.


Dixon was good on radio, but very haughty, stubborn, and weird, especially in his later years, no idea why. He'd stand in a corner at parties and smoke huge joints by himself, maybe talking to two or three out of a hundred partygoers. His middle-aged voice sounded like Captain Beefheart's speaking voice by that point. This TV show was definitely a low point for him (and arguably, something Tyner should not have done--at least in the manner he did it). At the time, Tyner's solo LP was quite a good work, and deserved greater notice.

me too

bartleby's point makes sense: most rock posturing onstage is stagecraft ONLY, not a reflection of the playing skill required to create the music. At a Residents concert once, the guitarist was shredding (as the goony metal nerds might say) sonically and amazingly, but the visual appearance of his playing was as subtle as someone knitting a many bands exaggerate in ridiculous ways, but obviously the Residents, masters of deception, ironically do not. And the Tyner clip was as embarassing when it was new as it is now. People should check out video of his band performances from a couple of years or so before he died--they're great, and they rock quite well.

Brian Turner

Well, as the poster of the clip, I did not intend anything to be perceived as embarrassing, I found it quite beautiful and applaud Tyner for making a dramatic turn off from his usual rock-arena-god persona to present something like this on TV. I found it pretty remarkable. Everything's open for interpretation, I guess.

Troy Turner

pretty damned cool, methinks.

yeah no really

After seeing this, perhaps I'll pick up an mc5 record.


I love this. Made my week. Thanks for posting it!!


That's not the late Rob Tyner. It's the late Andrea Dworkin.

Nic Dalton

I found this very heartfelt and a good song - Rob looking back on his glory days with the band. Making comments about his 'looks' (especially since it's the 80s when it seemed no one got away with looking cool) is plain immature.

Thanks for posting! Lord knows how I stumbled upon it!

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