Detroit Rock City

Detroit Rock City is an oral history of Detroit and its music told by the people who were on the stage, in the clubs, the practice rooms, studios, and in the audience, blasting the music out and soaking it up, in every scene from 1967 to today.

From fabled axe men like Ted Nugent, Dick Wagner, and James Williamson jump to Jack White, to pop flashes Suzi Quatro and Andrew W.K., to proto punkers Brother Wayne Kramer and Iggy Pop, Detroit slices the rest of the land with way more than its share of the Rock Pie.

Detroit Rock City is the story that has never before been sprung, a frenzied and schooled account of both past and present, calling in the halcyon days of the Grande Ballroom and the Eastown Theater, where national acts who came thru were made to stand and deliver in the face of the always hard hitting local support acts. It moves on to the Michigan Palace, Bookies Club 870, City Club, Gold Dollar, and Magic Stick – all magical venues in America’s top rock city.

About the Author

Steve Miller is an author and investigative journalist whose works include Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in America’s Loudest City and Murder in Grosse Pointe Park: Privilege, Adultery, and the Killing of Jane Bashara.
Miller began his career as a court and cops reporter at the Dallas Morning News and as a national reporter at the Washington Times. He has worked as a national correspondent for The Daily Beast, People magazine, U.S. News and World Report, and several alternative weeklies including Houston Press and Miami New Times.
Miller is a 2011 winner of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Best in Business award for investigative journalism, which he received as a reporter for Texas Watchdog. He was a 2012 Edgar finalist for his book, Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender.

Reviews:, 5/12/13

“Hands down without a doubt nothing less than simply the all time greatest heavyweight champion Detroit rock ’n’ roll oral history book about Detroit rock ’n’ roll oral history that has ever been written, let alone published.”

Record Collector, June 2013

“This book is for anyone who thinks that New York, Los Angeles and possibly Nashville are America’s only musical capitals. After reading Detroit Rock City, you’ll be convinced that Michigan’s automotive metropolis has always outdone any other US hub…Great job, Miller.”

The Aquarian Weekly, 12/18/2014

“[A] thoroughly enjoyable romp through the history of the city’s amazing rock history…The stories in Detroit Rock City alone make for an hilarious ride, but it is the determination of both a city now in deep decline, and once embroiled in class, race and ideological turmoil that leap from its pages…Detroit Rock City also takes an in-depth look at the most important element of the Detroit scene, its inhabitants.”

Nominated for 2014 Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections

b>, 3/17/14
“Based on dozens of interviews with veteran promoters, leading musicians, and uberfans, Miller’s insightful conversations trace the evolution of the city’s scene from its blues-rock beginnings through its current rock-rap incarnations. Along the way Miller demonstrates that while Detroit’s rock community never got the respect it deserved from its New York and Los Angeles counterparts, no metropolis did more to make American rock music loud, heavy, and primal. ”, 4/30/15
“Just like the city itself, it is gritty, brutally honest, compelling, hilarious, drug-laden and, in equal parts, uplifting and depressing…A superbly enjoyable read for anyone who has an interest in Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review, 7/17/13
“The book reads like sitting at a big round table discussion, chatting with the people who shaped it, worked it, and partied through it, from Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, and Iggy Pop, through the top musical venues of the day, to when Kid Rock still rapped…Steve Miller lets the story flow from the proverbial horse’s mouth, laying out the dialogue into a coherent whole, but largely letting his interviewees tell the story of Detroit rock in their own words.”
Internet Review of Books, 10/12/13
“If you were a proto-punker, a Strat-O-Matic-er, a behind-the-scenes hipster, jammer, punter, guy or doll that made the scene in Bookie’s Club 870, or the Eastown Theater, the City Club, or any of the other venues of vicissitude—if you dug Ted Nugent, Dick Wagner, James Williamson, et al—this book will take you back to those times when your ears still could hear crickets singing their songs, and your mother warning you to not stay out too late.”

Boston Globe, 11/28/13
“This down and dirty oral history…spans 35 years and covers a wide range of artists from the Motor City.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s