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Thread: WABX-Air Aces

  1. #1

    Default WABX-Air Aces

    Can anyone recommend a good book on the Detroit music scene (Grande Ballroom era) that delves into the trailblazing that WABX did for FM radio back then and the music journalists of that era like Barry Kramer, Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, etc.? I know that's a tall order, but a book title or a list of titles would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2


    I'd like to read that book, too.

  3. #3


    Grit, Noise, and Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll by David Carson. If you order it thru my Amazon store, it helps to support my website.

    The story of the great garage-inspired, blue collar Motor City rock 'n' roll bands that exemplified the Detroit rock sound: the MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels, SRC, the Bob Seeger System, Ted Nugentand the Amboy Dukes and Grand Funk Railroad. The first book to chronicle Detroit music of the 1960s and 70s- a pivotal era in rock music.

  4. #4
    diver1369 Guest


    Wouldn't Rockin'Down the Dial be a better fit for gman's request?

  5. #5


    I suspect Rockin' Down The Dial is out of print. I had a copy on back order for about 3 months at my local bookstore.....

  6. #6


    Long Live Dave Dixon!!

  7. #7


    Dave Dixon: A true character. Music aficionado. Perhaps not politically correct. Missed by many, including me.

  8. #8

  9. #9


    If above link doesn't load properly refresh it and it will load.

  10. #10


    While at a car show/swap meet on sunday I saw a vendor wearing a WABX jersey.Having been too young to hear the AIR ACES first hand I have always wondered what it was like back when WABX first came on the air.

  11. #11


    Are you sure that t-shirt was for the old Detroit WABX and not this one?

  12. #12


    It was for Detroits 99 AND 1/2 WABX. I was around when you could get them new and somewhere I have some bumper stickers from back then.The site you sent looks interesting. Have to see if the Indiana girls are like the Riff ROCK GIRLS

  13. #13


    Thanks for the suggestions guys! I hadn't thought of Rockin' Down the Dial, but I was already thinking about picking up a copy of GRIT, NOISE AND REVOLUTION: THE BIRTH OF DETROIT ROCK 'N' ROLL.

  14. #14


    I was never good at saving stuff over the years like baseball cards, etc. but I'd love to have a mint condition 'ABX Secret Decoder Ring. I did manage to save my token/poker chip from Goose Lake.

  15. #15


    I have an original, well worn WABX t-shirt. My husband got it for helping to move the new transmitter to the top of the David Stott Tower.

  16. #16


    Detroit radio at its best.
    Attachment 2390

  17. #17


    Rockin' Down the Dial is available through dealers listed on Amazon, Alibris and other web sites.

  18. #18


    Rockin' Down The Dial is out of print. Amazon says that more are coming, but the last time I spoke with the publisher they only had a few on hand, with no plans for another reprinting. Same deal with Kiska's Soupy To Nuts book, from the same publisher. It was their biggest seller, but they are letting it go OOP too.

  19. #19

    Default Skidway's Link

    I took a quick at Skidway's link to a doctoral dissertation by Jason Schmit(probably unpublished) that anyone interested in Detroit R&R history from the 60's should check out.
    It's an over 200 page PDF file entitled "LIKE THE LAST 30 YEARS NEVER HAPPENED: UNDERSTANDING DETROIT ROCK MUSIC THROUGH ORAL HISTORY'. It was a dissertation submitted at Bowling Green in summer of 2008.
    maybe I'll print it out at work and give it a good read. Thanks Skidway!

    Oh, here's the link again:

  20. #20


    Yeah, I've been reading it and it sounds like it might be pretty good. You can't beat the price. Oh yeah, I ordered "Grit, Noise, and Revolution" from your Amazon store Ed. Anything I can do to help. I've browsed your site before and it's a must read for boomers who grew up in Metro Detroit. Excellent site.

  21. #21


    "Grit Noise and Revolution" is a great read. It really gives you a feel of what Detroit was like before all the playlists were created somewhere in Texas. Back then, local rockers could hit big in Detroit because the DJ's has some choice (sometimes a lot of choice) over what they played. Now a days, it is guaranteed you only hear "corporate rock" or classic rock that is threadbare from being overplayed. No breaking through on the local airways any more. Of course the internet is allowing musicians to break out in a different way.

    I didn't mean to preach, but "Grit Noise and Revolution" is a real eye opener.

    I also read "Rockin Down the Dial". It added a lot more detail, and was well written and entertaining. It supplied even more detail about how the radios were run. And it underscored that the overview from "Grit Noise and Revolution" was correct. Great reads!

    In the Garwood thread, I have a link to song I wrote that was inspired by these books. The words go something like this:

    Baby you remember when the air was free?
    the DJ's playing music just what they please.
    The playlist not decided in some foreign city
    Capitalism tends toward monopoly.
    Start a revolution! ....

  22. #22


    I was an intern at ABX in 1980...Alan Stagg, mornings Jon Bailey, John O'Leary, Rhonda Hart, Tiodd Fowler and a woman that came on at 10. I think she was originally from California...drove a VW Beetle...the bitchiest woman I ever met lol We were in the 3rd floor of an office building at 8 & Coolidge.

  23. #23


    Quote Originally Posted by RickBeall View Post
    "Grit Noise and Revolution" is a great read.
    I just finished the Chapter entitled, "The Village is Burning", which details how Mitch Ryder got started. Now we're getting to the meaty part of the book. I understand the earlier chapters were laying the groundwork and giving all the early R&B and Rock pioneers their due, but it made for hard reading at times because I was constantly flipping back and forth to try and keep the names and relationships straight. David Carson has definitely done his homework and he's written a top-notch history of Detroit's music scene.

  24. #24


    Are there any airchecks/tapes of WABX out there, ca. '68-'70? It'd be strange if nobody had any....

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default david stott the station of your wildest dreams

    I was friends with the chief engineer at abx Jim Paffenbarger. At that time it was on top of the stott bldg circa 1975. For those that remember there was a station spot where an elderly man promoted "..wabx the station of your wildest dreams"... he was in fact one of the elevator operators at the stott bldg_ sadly Jim took his own life several years ago
    Last edited by ziggyselbin; July-29-09 at 07:07 PM. Reason: add

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