The Rockets ~ I Got To Move ~ (1977) Vinyl LP Edition
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Published on Jul 26, 2012
This was recorded from an original 1977 version LP vinyl record that I own and was originally still sealed and never played until 12 June 2012. Yes,I opened the LP and played it so that I could convert it to an MP3. Having said this,the LP has only been played just the one time and will probably remain that way. What you hear is a crisp clear superb mint recording.
The Rockets:The Rockets were formed in 1972 by former Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels members Johnny "Bee" Bandajek and Jim McCarty. Vocals and drums were handled by Bandajek, McCarty was on lead guitar, John Fraga was on bass and Marc Marcano was on keyboards. Johnny Bee was the driving force and primary songwriter for the Rockets.
In the early days, The Rockets paid their dues playing gigs at venues such as, The Rainbow Room in Detroit, The People's Ballroom in Ann Arbor, and The Rock 'N Roll Farm in Wayne, Michigan.
The band took on a new sound in 1976 when David Gilbert was brought in by new manager Gary Lazar, who also managed Detroit RCA Victor recording artist Dan Schafer, to take over vocals from Johnny Bee and Donnie Backus took over on keyboards. Gilbert had fronted several bands and was the lead singer for Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes in 1971, touring with them for a year and a half before forming Shadow which led to a record deal with RSO.
The Rockets made five studio albums produced several minor hits including a rocking rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well".
Always a popular group in Detroit, and Michigan, The Rockets had gotten some attention outside of the state, but never really got the big break to become a true national act. The first album, Love Transfusion, was released in 1977. It failed to produce any hits. The 1979 self-titled release featured the hits, "Oh Well" and "Turn Up The Radio". This record also featured on bass, David Hood, one of the "Swampers" from the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama. Muscle Shoals was mentioned in Lynyrd Skynyrd's southern rock anthem "Sweet Home Alabama". Also, this Rockets album was dedicated to Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines, who all perished in Skynyrd's infamous 1977 plane crash. The third attempt came (with the addition of a new bass player, Dan Keylon) in 1980 with "No Ballads", "Desire" was a popular tune from this album. Next came the Back Talk album in '81 (with another new bass player, Bobby Haralson) and then finally Rocket Roll in 1982. "Rollin' By The Record Machine" from this release was the last hit for the band. The final release, Live Rockets, was recorded on December 26 & 29, 1982 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre near Detroit.
The Rockets performed for their last two shows at Pine Knob near Detroit on August 28 & 29, 1983. The band splintered and the members all went their separate ways. Bandajek, McCarty and the rest went on to other projects. Gilbert played in several bands and learned the trade of Dryvit. David Gilbert was 49 when he died of liver cancer in 2001. Dennis Robbins went on to become a solo artist signed to Giant Records in the 90's and a multi-platinum hit songwriter, co-writing numerous songs such as "Two Of A Kind (Working On A Full House)", "Get Me To The Church On Cumberland Road", "Do You Love Me (Just Say Yes)", "Too Much Month At The End Of The Money", and more.
Bobby Neil Haralson died in the nineties. John Fraga, bassist, died September 27, 2010 at 69 (born July 1, 1941).
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