I Love Detroit July 2008 by Rob Moss
In the days before computerized information flow, most Detroit performers’ awareness of any interest in their musical output from the 1960s or 1970s, anywhere in the world, was almost non-existent. Most had given up the dream of stardom or notoriety, and had selected alternative forms of employment. To be suddenly informed by a white man with a funny accent decades later, that a song, or songs, they had recorded in their teens or early twenties and completely forgotten about, were now popular with people from a different culture, several thousand miles away, for many, was a totally confusing revelation. The conversation was almost always the same. “You say my record is a hit in the UK?”
“No, but it is popular on a certain scene over there.”
“Oh, so everyone has bought my record?”
“No, because not many people have got it. It’s not available and difficult to find. Lots of people want it though, and will pay large amounts of money to buy it.”
“So, if it’s that popular, it must be a hit right?”
“No…” and so it continues until a stalemate of confusion dissolves into mutual misunderstanding. Over the years many of these same entertainers have actually visited Britain, or countries in mainland Europe, to perform, without ever really understanding the nether world of rare soul appreciation that they have entered. Many find it almost incomprehensible that people would want them to perform songs that didn’t achieve any significant sales figures or popular appeal at the time of release. By insisting on this practice however, the few truly informed and inspired promoters in UK, who have any sense or understanding, ensure that real devotees get what they want, and that we are all spared the inevitable and inferior versions of ‘Stand by me’, ‘Up on the roof ‘, ‘A change is gonna come’ and ...
note from the soul source team - sorry but all Robs non-current articles are now clipped due to a future book release - watch out for news of that!