The Eastown Theatre was located on the east side of Detroit. It opened in 1931 as a movie theatre then in the late 60’s it became a rock music venue. By the 70’s, after some years of disrepair, it had lost some of its charm, but you could still see the beauty in the designs with the use of a blend of Renaissance Revival styles, including Spanish and Italian classic Baroque elements. It featured a 6-foot high lit dome in the auditorium with a gold-gilded ceiling. The lobby featured imported marble with a wide, elegant stairway that flowed to the mezzanine. A fire destroyed part of it in 2010 and several years later it was demolished.
Faces played the Eastown Theatre in Detroit on April 3 and 4, May 1, 2 and 3 and then October 16 and 17 of 1970.
In 1969, Steve Marriott left the group; Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood joined, and the band changed its name to Faces. The Faces first album was released in March of 1970 and it was called “First Step” and it was all rocking rhythm and blues. Such an amazingly brilliant band and so much fun to watch live. The guys had a blast playing on stage and it was always like a party going on..
After one of their shows, when most concert goers had already left, my 2 girlfriends and I were standing on the dance floor area in front of the stage, when Rod Stewart walked up to us! That didn’t seem believable mentioning it years ago and I can’t imagine what people think reading this now. They really didn’t use limos at the time and maybe Stewart got left behind somehow. They used taxis and friends to drive them around.
So Stewart asked us for a ride to his hotel. So, there we all were walking down the street to get to my car, a 1964 blue Mercury Monterey. One fan ran up to Stewart to get an autograph and he gave Rod his parking ticket to sign. He ran away yelling “Rod Stewart signed my ticket”. Then Rod seemed worried and asked what is was that he signed. We told him that it was no big deal. I was afraid to drive because I was drinking wine at the concert, so I had my girlfriend Marg drive, I sat in the front and the other girlfriend sat in the back with Stewart. Marg was a bit nervous driving and while merging onto the expressway, we almost got into an accident, but we got him safely to his hotel.
The next Faces concerts after that, we were remembered and Stewart made sure we got backstage and my girlfriend who drove was welcome to take photos of the band in the dressing room and backstage while they played.
One night, I was late for the concert and drove myself there and while walking into the dressing room area to look for my friends, I saw Ronnie Wood further away on stage testing equipment and I waved and said “Hi” and he said “Hi”. He kept looking and smiling, so I ran up to him and tried to give him a kiss, but we turned our heads at the same time and bumped noses. We both yelled “OW!!” and it really did hurt for a long while. But, we laughed. My one chance to kiss a future Rolling Stone and I failed. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. But he was a really nice and a fun guy then as were all the guys in the band, completely down to earth and no big egos at all. Anyone who reads his Instagram these days knows what I mean. Ronnie is wonderful person.
There were seven Faces shows at the Eastown and one in particular at the Birmingham Palladium in Michigan was really memorable. Faces played the Palladium on April 17th & 18th of 1970. As this was 50 years ago, I’ve done my best research and I’ll say it was April 18, 1970. No one I know can recall the date. My two girlfriends and I were standing on the side of the stage. During the chorus of the song “Three Button Hand me down”, Rod came over to us two or three times and put his microphone up to us and we sang the lyrics “Three button hand me down”. That was crazy cool and so much fun! We sounded pretty good.
After the show there was a party at the home of the local band called Third Power. Third Power was an American psychedelic hard rock band formed in 1969 in Detroit, Michigan. Their lead singer, songwriter and bass guitarist, Jem Targal, is a Facebook friend of mine. I had to verify where that party was, so I messaged him about it and he replied.“That party was at the “Power House” what a night! I believe we had all played at the Palladium, then headed out to our farm to party. So glad you were there too. Thanks for the Memory!”
So, we were on our way to a party. Members of the bands that performed that night, rode in several different cars down the famous Woodward Avenue from Birmingham, through Detroit and other cities.
From the 50’s onward, people would cruise the street, show off their hot rods and join friends at local hamburger joints. Once again I had my girlfriend Marg drive my car and I sat in front seat with another girl. Ronnie Wood sat in the back seat with other friends. In another car that drove by and honked at us, was Rod Stewart. We saw him stick his leg out the window and I recognized his shoe. I think Ronnie yelled something back at him. There we were cruising down Woodward Avenue with “Hot Rod” Stewart in another car and Ronnie “Woody” Wood in mine. (The annual Woodward Dream Cruise which began in 1993 and continues today, is considered the largest single-day automotive event in the world.) But this was the ultimate dream cruise of my memory.
As we drove further out into a rural farm area, the radio signals went out and there was no more music.That’s what happened in the old days. I was probably drinking what was left of my Mateus Rose wine from my leather wine boda that I carried like a purse. After a totally rocking Faces concert you just can’t go silent without hearing music, so I figured I’d start singing. I felt I had to keep people entertained because it was my car. What music did I chose? Chuck Berry, who else? As a Jagger/Stones lover, it was a natural choice. I knew most of the lyrics to “Maybelline”and “Memphis Tennessee”. I still remember all the lyrics to “Johnny B. Goode”, so that one had to have been my best. The girl who sat on my right accompanied me with various vocals, guitar sounds and drum beats on the dashboard.
When we finally got to the party and got out of the car, I saw Stewart and Ronnie talking. I saw Ronnie point to me and tell Stewart that I was a good singer. I thought “Oh no please don’t!”. I was embarrassed, like they heard me singing in the shower. Thinking about it now just makes me laugh so hard. I think I forgot Ronnie was in the backseat the whole time. After that, I just wanted to hide and actually did.
All I remember going into the house was that I had found a comfortable sofa and I wondered where my friends and everyone else had gone, then I fell asleep. It was way past my bedtime. As a teen, friends would call my house and ask for me and my mom would say that I went to bed and it was only 9 at night. I loved my sleep and I still do. So, I don’t know where everyone else crashed for the night. I don’t think we drove home in the dark. All I can recall after that is that my girlfriend couldn’t find her very expensive Minolta camera. Everyone was looking for it including all the members of the Faces. Someone finally found it underneath someone’s car.
After 50 years, it’s impossible to recall conversations with people. Certain things stand out in my mind and have for years and I’ll never forget them. Like the time Rod Stewart spoke to me at a party and he said “I like your shoes”. I don’t know what my reply was, probably “Thanks”. I didn’t think he was trying to pick me up, but just being nice and besides, I wasn’t a blonde, which everyone knew he preferred. I really did work very hard to find some cool shoes though. They were like his in a way, red and white leather spectator shoes. They matched my red and white leather jacket.
As time went on more and more people from the concerts were starting to find out which hotels these Faces parties were at. People sitting on the floors in the rooms and in the hallways passing wine bottles and joints around. There were guys, girls, and guys with their girlfriends just waiting to see Stewart and the band in a more personal setting and perhaps get autographs.
I remember so well sitting on the floor in one room with people talking all around me. Then all of a sudden I heard this voice that came out of nowhere and it was Rod Stewart singing the beginning of “My Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder. How beautiful it sounded. What a cool memory that is. Then he appeared in the room and made his exit out the door with a blonde.
On his 2009 album entitled “Soulbook” is the song “My Cherie Amour”. It’s gorgeous! “Soulbook” is his 25th studio album on which he sings classic material from Motown and the soul genre.
My girlfriend, Marg, had many of her photos of Stewart enlarged and she gave them to him and I remember watching him put them in his big red leather carry bag.
Some people might say “You don’t know Diddley”…well, actually I was in the right place at the right time again. In July 1970, Bo Diddley played at the Birmingham Palladium. Before the show started my sister and I were just standing with other people, nowhere near the stage, when all of a sudden Bo Diddley came up to us and asked if we’d escort him to the stage. I think his words went something like “Would you two lovely ladies like to escort me to the stage”. It was very cool. My sister, blonde and 4 years older than me on one side of him and myself with long brown hair on the other. We looked alike, so I think we were a nice choice. It’s a sweet memory.
Some of my very short stories are my favorites and I have to include them. They are a part of the music journey that would keep taking me further down a road that I’m actually still on.
If you’re still reading, you may wonder that if I’m here to write about the enigma behind Pink Floyd’s music and artwork, why am I writing all this about my younger years. (I will write about meeting Pink Floyd and my night as a roadie) I tell how my journey led up it all, and what happened that led me to knowing the answers. It’s to tell how some of the people I met along the way helped me years later. Also, I want to mention the kind people from my past that touched my heart and soul. If people are to believe and trust in me, they should know more about me) But some musicians were total monsters. I’ll tell all that soon.