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Song Shop Saloon Tribe 1976-82

The Song Shop is now an Islamic Center (Picture Cir.2001)


Also, Dennis Pruss sent these excellent pictures in 2008

Dave Snow says: 
"In the early seventies the Song Shop was owned by Eleanor Maher the widow of alcoholic Detroit cop (ret'd) Bill Maher. The floor inside the bar had a big chip missing where Bill drew his gun on an imaginary intruder and it went off. Eleanor for some reason was renting studios (I paid 20 bucks for my first one. At the time Roy Castleberry, Tom Karsiotis and David Opatik had a sign painting business up there in spite of the lack of heat and the only other tenant was Indian Joe,a drinking pal of many. The spaces at that time had already been occupied by Gordie Newton, Mike Knight and others. The bar was open 10-4 Mon.-Fri. and flat soapy beer was 25 cents a glass. The Song Shop crowd of about 10 regulars included Joe Shlick, Al Saperstein, Indian Joe ,Mike Scneider Weird Tom with the beard who Eleanor was supporting, Quinn Smith and wife Madeleine ,Dennis Soper and a few others. There was no heat, no music and the only thing worse than the beer was the food. When Bill White bought the place it lost a lot of charm, but the music brought a whole crew together that was unmatched. Bob Sestok will remember the joint I'l bet, but most of that crowd is long gone. Anybody like to list the 10 guys or so that had an Impromptu Wake for Bobby McDonald there shirtless?...

...Great to hear Grimshaws take on the lure of downtown. For me it was Plum street and the fifth estate office and of course the paper that ,with the EVO opened up a scene that reading Aldous Huxley and William Burroughs had made me curious about. Living in the Mumford High area we used to take the Hamilton bus downtown and walk to Plum street, usually passing the Lester Hotel and always wonderig about the hookers we heard operated out of there. The other stop was Mixed Media, and I remember Robin Sommers behind the counter years before I ever met him. What a place! everything you needed but the drugs. Bought my first Ornette album there and that led to The Strata Gallery where years later Ornette knocked me out with his VIOLIN playing of all things. I remember meeting the Guitarist for Big Brother at the full circle bookstore after mixed media closed, but like Gary said it was the museum for me that was the big draw.(no pun intended) I was on the young end of the whole scene but I moved down to Cass and canfield in 1969 and stayed 20 years in the neighborhood. Because my pals tended to be older I grew up down there with the stories of the minor key, the living end and I did go many times to the Chessmate, even saw the Blues Magoos there HA! From the Chessmate to the Grande the corridor was always represented. Hope this stirs up some memories to draw more people into this discussion."