||By 1967, the City of Detroit was known everywhere that grass grows as Motown, the home of some of the greatest music ever produced. Starting, more or less, in that year, Detroit became the fountainhead of a new Rock music scene, one that had every bit of the energy, but not exactly the same success as Motown. Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, Wayne Kramer, Ted Nugent, Shaun Murphy, Alice Cooper, Dick Wagner and even The Knacks Doug Fieger are all survivors of this period in American music.
The Detroit bands that sprang up in the late 60s were the next big regional sound after the California/San Francisco music explosion. Record executives fell over each other coming to Detroit to sign bands as fast as they could bands like the MC5, The Stooges, Amboy Dukes, SRC, The Sky, Third Power, Brownsville Station, Frigid Pink, The Frost, Teegarden & Wanwinkle and SavageGrace.
One of the most exciting bands of the period, neglectfully left unsigned by any record company,was the Wilson Mower Pursuit. Fronted by an unbelievably exciting female singer, Stoney Murphy, a brilliant lead guitarist, Paul Koschtial, known to thousands of regional fans back then as Wheatgerm, rhythm guitarist and vocalist, Rick The Lion Stahl, who also was one of the band's principal songwriters, the exotic Jo Bedo, the bands other female performer, on bass guitar, and the electrifying Steve Boughton on drums, the Pursuit was one of the most energetic and versatile bands of that late 60s Detroit rocknroll community.
I was an observer then, later a part-time equipment manager, and finally the bands official artist. I saw the Pursuit perform in dozens of venues, and outperform dozens of local, and even nationally known acts, in the few years they existed. This was a band that wasnt intimidated by opening for the mighty MC5, which they did many times. The Pursuit had their own loyal cadre of fans then, leading to an ability to headline shows all over Michigan. No one who lived in those days of musical madness can forget the energy and talent that poured out of the Pursuit. No one who ever saw the Pursuit will ever forget the legendary hour long instrumental boogie that usually formed their closing set.
In the end the band chose to play their final two gigs at two of their more familiar Detroit area rock venues, Something Different and The Silverbell Hideout. Bill Julius, one of the roadies, fortunately decided to make a tape recording of the final Silverbell show.
This is that recording. Although imperfect by todays standards, limited by the kind of equipment available, and the last-minute nature of the recording itself, it nevertheless captures the power and professional talent of five Detroit musicians, playing their last night out.
I stood in the audience that night. Although the crowd seemed a little sparse, in comparison to the energy coming off the stage, I was terrifically excited. At the same time I felt a certain sadness that this compelling band of musicians, who had such a promising talent, and were my friends as well, would never perform together again. I was eighteen when this show happened. The MC5 were already passing from the local scene, the Beatles had broken up and I remember being pissed that the Pursuit would soon be gone. Almost everything of any importance in my life was yet to happen, and still, I thought a huge chapter of my life was closing.
So for those of you who were there, and even those of you who werent, but understand and appreciate what was happening in Detroit music in the late 60s, this is a rare, lost gem indeed.
- Norm Lyle, Detroit, Michigan, March 2003