It was a time that changed all of our lives. None of us were the same after it. It was a very intense few months that seems more like years in retrospect. It definately laid the foundation for the Flint Music scene. It is the reason the Flint scene is so eclectic. We did it with virtually no money. None of us were rich kids-although some people thought I was rich 'cos I made a vinyl EP. Hell, I got the money for it painting fences mowing lawns and helping my Dad clean a Bonaza resturant at nights.
My parents would bring us food and Robitussin DM. They wondered why we always requested that and why we always had the flu. At one point, people were calling it the Oatmeal house 'cos we were living off of oatmeal most of the time. I think we locked the door about 10 times during my stay there. People would come and go as they pleased. Dave (skateboard Dave) Campbell didn't pay any rent but often slept under the dining room table, which was my request and reaction to everyone else getting cats; Dave was my cat.
Kenny Roberts, Phil Hines,Blair Jones and his girlfriend Rebecca, had just moved into the house. I was attending DeWaters Art Center at Mott. I would talk to anyone who looked like they were into New Music. One day, Phil came along at Mott on his Skateboard and I starting talking to him. I was living in Lapeer at the time with my parents and where I went to high school (I was born in Flint but my parents moved to Lapeer when I was 10 and to Lum when I was 5). Anyway, I would carry around all this Punk/New Music literature, IE, Fanzines Catalogs, etc. in my backpack. I showed Phil all of this stuff. It was something that he later explained to some people at the Woodbridge House, had changed his outlook on what was possible. I told Phil I was looking for a place to live in Flint and he invited me to move in to the Avon House.
At first it was sort of tame but then everyone started with alot of Acid and such. Our first few parties were rather boring but I started inviting everyone I saw that looked the least bit cool over and soon people started knowing house as the place to go to 'cos there were no places for us to go. The odd hall party and Merlin's retreat. That was about it-maybe the copa (but that was before they had a "punk night" so as a result of this the scene starting growing). Our first party had about 10 people at it. Later, it got to be insane as more and more people showed up.
The first time I met Brad Morely, he had brought like 15 people with him to one of the Avon Parties and Sue Baker dared me to be really rude to him. So I was like " What the hell are you doing here?" and Brad was like "we can leave if you want us to"-typical Morely fashion. Later on, Morely and I became great friends and laughed about it.
As far as the music went, I had quite a few just strange records. Kenny had his stuff and Phil his stuff which became the basis for the early Anarchy radio Shows and a traceable foundation for the Flint Music Scene even today. Tina from Merlin's moved into the house and Sport Mike Hood her boyfriend and now husband was around alot. When Kenny quit Anarchy Sport took over and Sport had the very best record collection-extremely eclectic. Where as Phil's dedication to hardcore and punk fueled the influx of all the kids coming up, it was Kenny, Sport, and my dedication to all the experimental music that shaped the uniqueness of the Flint music scene.
Had we not had this mix of the 4 of us plus people like Blair, the two Brads from Godspeed, the Carmen Anisworth crowd, Bruce, Tim, etc. and Dan McGraw's Flushing crowd, things would not be like they are now in the Flint scene. They just would not be.Had it just been Phil and Blair with the Hardcore and Speed Metal stuff well it would have just taken that direction and fell into the mediocrity of other scenes. Had it just me Kenny, Sport, and I with the experimental stuff well we would not have gotten the crowds. Had Flint be a bigger city, everything would have been more segregated like say in Detroit, New York, LA, SF, etc. etc.. Had we all had money, things would have been a lot different. What we all did we did with virtually no cash to start with. It was scraping to do it all.
After Avon house and a failed attempt to move to LA, I spent a year living in what is now Buckham Alley Theater(or was). I slept on a door with a bunch of sleeping bags to be near the scene cos my parents lived in Lapeer and it was very hard to get work in the 80s in Michigan. Actually, we tried to form a club in the basement of that building as well called The Reality Crisis Center. We had one show and were shut down. It was so cold that night before Christmas Eve that the next morning my parents came to pick me up for Christmas I could not lock the door myself-my hands were frozen and had to have my dad lock it. We had a lot of bands the night before-Godspeed Dissonance, Generic Society and the very first appearance of Bloody Coup with Andy singing. You know the future of all of that, I am sure.
Seriously, when I look at scenes like Seattle for instance and look the sameness of it all as compared to the wealth of talent and originally of the Flint scene it sickens me. All the even one-off projects and bands that have been in Flint so much great music unnoticed by the rest of the world. Only reason Seattle made a ripple was because of the geography and perceived beauty of the Pacific Northwest and all the richy rich people who moved there and could fund it all. Had Flint had the same type of thing going on, we would have made waves instead of ripples. It's purely a matter of geography and the ecomonics created by geography or what people precieve as asthetically pleasing geography. But then again the lack of finacing and such was also pry a factor in the amount of originality that comes out of Flint-hardship and all playing a factor in creativity,etc.