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Sonic's Rendezvous Band

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More famous after Fred “Sonic” Smith’s death than when they were when he was alive, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band has attained legendary status in the pantheon of Michigan rock.

They existed from 1975-80 and during that time issued just one 45, the monumental City Slang, original copies of which now change hands for hundreds of dollars. They barely played outside their home state, yet their impact is still felt today, in bands from Stockholm to Seattle to Sydney, and all points in between.

Sonic’s Rendezvous Band arose, phoenix-like, from the ashes of four of the Motor City’s finest proponents of high-energy rock - the MC5, the Stooges, the Rationals, and the Up. The members steadfastly refused to bank on their illustrious pasts. They insisted on a more original kind of expression - hardly a guarantee of steady employment for a local band in the mid-to-late ’70s.

Scott Morgan was the instigator of the first version of the band. He and Fred “Sonic” Smith called it the Orchids, for one low-key show on a blizzard-swept Detroit night. Several line-ups later and they settled in comfortably with (ex-Stooges) drummer Scott “Rock Action” Asheton and Gary Rasmussen (The Up) on bass.

Bloodied but unbowed by the implosion of his former band, the rabble-rousing MC5, “Sonic” was fast evolving past his roots in Berry/Stones drive into a guitarist/songwriter/singer of unmatched emotional directness and power. Morgan, former Rationals’ blue-eyed soul-brother supreme. was arguably the finest American rock singer around and no slouch as a songwriter and guitarist.

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