Forty Years Gone

WILD WEDNESDAYThis 2009 Summer marks the 40th Anniversary of our first “Wild Wednesday” concert at Sherwood Forest on June 25, 1969, two months before “Woodstock” made global headlines.

A nice young man named David Forsmark was kind enough to commemorate our 30th “Wild Wednesday” Anniversary a short ten years ago, helping to craft an extended front page Flint Journal article published on Sunday June 27, 1999.

You can tell from his picture that this David is a very serious person.

Just look–Forsmark Serious

Here is David’s bio from his website, http://www.davidforsmark.com.

“David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan.

David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006.

For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews for the Flint Journal. David was also the popular culture critic for Credo, a weekly newspaper “for Catholic and other Christians” where he became possibly the first Baptist to win 2 Catholic press awards.

His work has also appeared in National Review Online, St. Austin Review and other publications.

David is married to Karen, his high school sweetheart. They have 2 children. Amanda, a Human Biology major at the University of Michigan, is the current reigning “Miss U of M, Flint,” their son Travis, a high school senior, is rated one of the state’s top baseball prospects.

And here’s what David (I call him, “Dave”) wrote ten years ago.

MADE MERRY – AGAIN – SHERWOOD FOREST : HOW IT BEGAN; HOW IT ENDED

10 Gone--Robin Hood

Flint Journal, The (MI) – Sunday, June 27, 1999
Author: David Forsmark, Doug Pullen and Jennifer Walkling

Ted Nugent remembers accidentally shooting a fan with an arrow.

Question Mark – of Question Mark and the Mysterians – remembers being snubbed backstage by Rick Derringer.

Wayne Price remembers convincing Bob Seger to play his signature ballad “Turn the Page” for the first time onstage.

Who’s Wayne Price?

One of thousands of Flint area rock fans who flocked to the region’s answer to Woodstock: Sherwood Forest .

Though it functioned as a community center, dance hall and concert venue for more than 20 years, Don Sherwood ‘s Sherwood Forest in Richfield Township was the happening place in metro Flint in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, part of a burgeoning Michigan rock ‘n’ roll scene where future stars such as Seger, Alice Cooper and Nugent cut their teeth.

10 Years--Sherwood Crowd

But back to Wayne Price.

The Otter Lake resident figures Seger owes him something. It was 1973. Price and his friends from LakeVille High School coaxed the Ann Arbor singer into performing a new ballad about life on the road called “Turn the Page” for the first time at Sherwood Forest .

Price, his brother Jim, and their friends Wendy Maxfield, Paul Vert, Rick Glanton and Tim Owen kept shouting for the song, though most of the audience wanted to hear “Heavy Music.”

Seger heard Price’s pleas, but noted that his saxophone player, who was needed for the intro and ending, was absent. That didn’t stop the insistent teens, even when Seger admitted he’d never performed the song outside a studio. He relented and honored their request.

“He did it live for the first time at Sherwood Forest ,” Price said proudly. “He owes me royalties (for talking him into it). He did it great. It was fantastic.”

10 WW--Seger Sherwood copy

That was the kind of place Sherwood Forest was in the early 1970s. It was too small to attract many of the day’s big names, though some like Blue Oyster Cult did perform there, but big enough to lure some Michigan artists on the verge of breaking nationally.

Sherwood Forest was sort of a bridge between the rock festivals of the late ’60s and amphitheaters like Pine Knob Music Theatre that would become the norm by the late ’70s.

It wasn’t unique, but it was unique to Flint rock fans.

“Quite honestly, there were many venues much like Sherwood Forest ,” Nugent recalled. “The spirit of these gatherings superceded geography and structure. You could play 100 shows a year in Michigan without playing the same place twice, and I personally craved every opportunity.”

Ted Nugent

10 Nugent

Nugent made his mark with Sherwood Forest audiences, figuratively and literally. He was famous for shooting arrows into the air. One hit an audience member. “I remember hitting a girl in the head with an arrow,” he said. “Instead of suing me, she had me sign the arrow!”

The audiences, he said, were something else. “I remember the energy; I remember the ‘uninhibitedness’ and the atmosphere of unadulterated creativity,” the Nuge said.

Clio’s Question Mark, of “96 Tears” fame, had a new version of his band the Mysterians onstage when they opened for Edgar Winter’s White Trash, which included guitarist Rick Derringer.

“It was the first time I’d seen Derringer since the ’60s, when he toured with the McCoys, and he wouldn’t even speak to me,” Question Mark complained.

But his other memories of the place are more positive. “It was always great. It was just like a party. There was no competition (between the bands) or anything like that,” he said. “Everybody had a lot of fun.”

march-cover1bb_001

Though Sherwood Forest is long gone, memories of its indoor and outdoor shows, the festival atmosphere, the pond behind the hill where audiences sat, the bands and the audiences still linger.

Its heyday was in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the rules of rock ‘n’ roll concert promoting were being written. Sherwood Forest had begun to feature a series of concerts called Wild Wednesdays, Super Sundays and The Big One that were headlined by acts like Nugent, Seger and Cooper.

ww--Big One concert

They were promoted by Pete Cavanaugh, known to thousands of mid-Michigan rock ‘n’ roll fans then as “Peter C” of WTAC radio. He said the Sherwood Forest concerts became a phenomenon because of the context of the times.

10 Concert PC

“You have to remember that it was only a dozen years from ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ to Woodstock,” Cavanaugh said.

The Wild Frontier

Rock concert promoting was a wild frontier.

“We were making it up as we went along,” Cavanaugh said.

The concerts were a great way to promote some of the progressive rock that WTAC played late at night. The station took over sponsorship of the Wild Wednesday promotions – the name is loosely based on a soft drink – in 1969 and within two years they had become major local events.

According to Cavanaugh, there was no master plan to make Sherwood Forest the state Mecca for rock ‘n’ roll. It happened almost by accident.

“I was approached about throwing some groups together for Wild Wednesday and hosting the program,” Cavanaugh said. “A fellow WTAC announcer, Johnny Irons, and I entered into a partnership agreement wherein we would combine efforts and equally share in all proceeds. Working on Wild Wednesday, we lined-up six local groups and co-headliners The Rationals and Bob Seger.

“When the big day came on June 21, (1971) more than 10,000 turned out at Sherwood Forest . Despite threatening clouds, 4,000 plus rockers paid $2 to attend the 8-’til-midnight concert on the Sherwood patio. Despite the fact that we spent a lot of our time telling advertisers what a good investment WTAC was, we were surprised at this kind of turnout.”

In the wake of that success, Cavanaugh and company had several other Wild Wednesday concerts throughout the summer and learned what worked and what didn’t.

First, they decided to book bands that had enjoyed significant local airplay. And they learned that people loved having seven or eight local bands to round out a ticket that usually included two or three bigger names.

One Super Sunday concert featured a number of Flint and Detroit area bands and was headlined by the Bob Seger System, S.R.C. and The Stooges (featuring the notorious Iggy Pop). Approximately 4,000 rockers attended, and “this represented our first truly major turnout at Sherwood Forest for a ‘rock ‘n’ roll only’ event,” Cavanaugh said.

On the map

But the event Cavanaugh thinks put the Sherwood Forest on the map was the first indoor show in 1969 at the grand opening of the Sherwood lodge, which had been expanded recently.

Cavanaugh knew exactly what band he wanted – notorious Detroit radical rockers MC5, a loud, crude, rock ‘n’ roll band that preached revolution with a evangelical fervor. Their manager, Davison native John Sinclair, helped found the White Panthers, a radical white complement to the Black Panthers. MC5’s music featured anti-police rhetoric and a frequent use of obscenity.

“Promoting concerts was never about ideology for me, or even about the money. I just loved the music,” Cavanaugh insisted. “It was all about the music. They (MC5) were the best live rock ‘n’ roll band I’d ever seen, bar none. But they were also theater, and part of the appeal was that this was a band your parents could really hate.”

10 MC5

Rev. Jack Van Impe MC-5 Endorsement

Rev. Jack Van Impe MC-5 Endorsement

MC-5 –Van Impe Endorsement

The local law enforcement wasn’t wild about them, either. Sinclair was a Davison high school graduate and his encounters with the law and his notorious anti-police statements hadn’t earned him any friends in the department.

The promotional effort packed 2,000 bodies into the hall, but also made Davison Township Police Chief Ed Boyce determined to do something about the “cop-hating dopers who were coming onto his turf,” Cavanaugh said.

Cavanaugh said the concert was everything he’d expected, and he was elated with how things were going. He and Pete Flanders, who had just started at WTAC, decided to go down the road to see how a competing concert sponsored by WTRX was going. The empty parking lot at the Knights of Columbus hall gave them the answer.

They returned to Sherwood Forest to see people streaming out of the lodge with police officers from five suburban departments directing people to their cars.

Cavanaugh found out later that Boyce had assembled his force, waited for MC5 to use a certain obscenity, then burst in and declared the concert over for violating a local obscenity ordinance. But it took the police so long to wade through the crowd, that MC5, most of whom had certain illegal substances on them, ducked out the back door, piled into their van and hit the highway – avoiding arrest, but leaving their equipment behind.

Rob Tyner (MC-5)/Chief Ed Boyce (Cop)

Rob Tyner (MC-5)/Chief Ed Boyce (Cop)

After Boyce and Cavanaugh vented their tempers, the two men got together to work out a practical arrangement. The Davison Township Police Department would provide officers for security – paid for by Cavanaugh – and it would be written into all artists’ contracts that no one would use the a certain four-letter word in the future.

The incident helped give Sherwood Forest a notorious enough reputation to make it the cool place to be among rebellious-minded teenagers. And despite the fact that it led to better security arrangements with the local police and got them involved in a positive way, that reputation also sowed the seeds of trouble with neighbors and an ambitious county sheriff.

How it ended

So, why would a venue that regularly attracted more than 10,000 fans to outdoor concerts and crowds of 2,000 for indoor shows cease operations?

Cavanaugh lists two reasons: The controversy surrounding Sherwood Forest ; and the changing nature of the rock ‘n’ roll business.

It was Sherwood himself who pulled the plug on Wild Wednesday. “We did catch some flak. We were accused of things,” he said. “I just felt, do I want to get jump on and spend all my time at the courthouse? Not especially.”

The concerts generated complaints from neighbors who didn’t like the traffic or the noise. The most vocal of these, according to Flint Journal reports at the time, was orchard owner George Masters, whose property was adjacent to Sherwood ‘s.

Among the more sensational charges Masters made were that he found used hypodermic needles in his mailbox, and that truckloads of beer were being delivered on concert nights, despite the fact that Sherwood did not have a liquor license.

Masters downplays the stories now, which he called wild rumors, and declined to be quoted for this story.

Cavanaugh suspects these rumors, and others that involved open sexual activity, were fallout from Woodstock and an active rumor mill.

“I’m pretty sure I would have noticed naked women running around,” he laughed.

Cavanaugh admitted that the rock counter culture was at a low point by 1973. Some nationally reported incidents of violence at other venues and young people’s switch from marijuana to hard drugs made concert promoters a little uneasy.

New lows

But the controversy reached new lows when newly elected Genesee County Sheriff John P. O’Brien decided to mount a raid on Wild Wednesday on Aug. 1, 1973.

Note From Peter C.—The following events described in the Journal were deleted from the published “Local DJ” due to space limitations, but are included in the new, free, online version in Chapters 46 “Honest Ambition” and 47 “Pussy Cheer” .

Click http://petercavanaugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/honest-ambition/

In what Cavanaugh views as a stunt designed to build the resume of a recently elected sheriff, O’Brien, with TV cameras in tow, planned a drug bust at Sherwood Forest . It went awry when an undercover cop fired shots into the air after a crowd surrounded him.

“Suddenly, the intruding bystanders were set-upon by guys with radios, pummeled to the ground and handcuffed. Sheriff O’ Brien materialized with TV crews taping away,” Cavanaugh said.

“Words were thrown in anger and then fists, followed by rocks and bottles.

“He and his deputies ran to their cars and shot up the driveway toward Richfield Road. He stopped at the entrance-gate and ordered it closed. He sealed-off the site and issued an emergency radio call for all available reenforcements to join him in quelling the ‘rioting at Sherwood Forest .’ He summoned the Michigan State Police and police from surrounding counties. He was going to ‘march right in and clean-out the whole crowd’ as soon as help arrived.

“Ed Boyce and I reached the entrance first. It was hard telling which one of us was more angry. Chief Boyce had not been informed of the drug bust, and the county sheriff was on his turf, Cavanaugh explained.

After arguments and legal activity, Cavanaugh and Flint attorney Stewart Newblatt met with O’Brien and hammered out an agreement that the sheriff’s department would send undercover detectives to future concerts, that Chief Boyce would be kept informed and that a sign would be posted warning that “Dealers would be dealt with” by the police.

A short solution

But that agreement did not even last for one concert.

After more angry meetings, according to Cavanaugh, agreements were reached where legally, nothing had changed at Sherwood Forest .

By then, the business of rock ‘n’ roll had changed. Artists fees were soaring, agencies were snapping up the big acts and demanding higher guarantees. And many of the Sherwood Forest mainstays were starting to get known nationally.

“Bob Seger was now playing regularly throughout all of the Midwest and had developed a strong following in Florida and Texas. Ted Nugent was appearing throughout the entire country. Alice Cooper and Frijid Pink were international,” Cavanaugh said. “I was grabbing occasional dates on new national talent by spotting them early and booking them far in advance before the rest of the world caught on. Other than that, rock ‘n’ roll had become quite corporate.”

The last Wild Wednesday was June 26, 1974. During that concert, someone called in a report of an overdose at the concert, and the ambulance was involved in a traffic accident in which two people were killed.

10--Last '74 Concert

“The story was not that an opponent of the shows or even a prankster was responsible for the deaths,” Cavanaugh recounted bitterly, “but that Wild Wednesday had killed two people. That was kind of the last straw. We all just went on to other things.”

Sherwood pulled the plug himself.

Pulling the plug

The troubles clouded other activities there. “It just was too much hassle,” said Sherwood . “We could be having a birthday party for a 12-year-old and here comes the police responding to a complaint.”

Six years later, he sold the property and moved to the Mackinaw City area.

New owners tried adding life to Sherwood Forest with a dinner theater in the lodge, but the building was destroyed by fire in 1989, and the site was virtually abandoned.

Last fall, Cavanaugh visited the site with John Smith, a longtime friend and former DJ here.

“It was such a gray day that it seemed like a scene from depressing black-and-white Bergman film,” Smith remembered. “The road just tapers off into nowhere, and not only are the buildings gone, there are shallow pits where they once stood – like some kind of Carthagian destruction has taken place. We were told that sand was mined from there for a while. There is just nothing left.

Entrance to Sherwood Forest 2009

Entrance to Sherwood Forest 2009

Sherwood Forest Patio Stage 2009

Sherwood Forest Patio Stage 2009

Sherwood Forest Concert Grounds 2009

Sherwood Forest Concert Grounds 2009

Behind the Richfield Township Hall, however, where rancorous meetings were held about the ” Sherwood Forest problem,” stands the statue of Robin Hood that greeted so many concert goers. “I think somebody claimed it as a trophy,” Smith said.

“They lost a good thing,” rued Sherwood , who now runs a carriage museum on Mackinac Island. “There never has been anything like it since in Flint and there probably never will be.”

58 Responses to “Forty Years Gone”

  1. Peter C. Cavanaugh’s Blog Says:

    […] summer is the 40th Anniversary of the first “Wild Wednesday” rock concert at Sherwood Forest in Genesee County, Michigan. The exact date was June 21, 1969. […]

    • Ellen Says:

      I think we should have a reunion sometime!!! Don’t forget to “Like” the new “Sherwood Forest, Davison MI” Facebook page and share a story or post a picture! We went from 0 to 84 “Likes” in only 4 days!!! I know there are many more out there!

  2. flash Says:

    Great post!

  3. Karen Cushamn Says:

    Thanks for all the memories of my teenage years and the time I spent at Sherwood Forest. It almost brings a tear to my eye to think about it now. I have the time of my life there. Thanks again

  4. linda inloes Says:

    Hey is anyone still out there? Some friends and I were talking about Sherwood Forest. Was just wondering if anyone has an address for the forest?

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      Sherwood Forest, a single point in time and space, remains a memory. Its original address was adjacent to 10251 Richfield Road in Davison. It is now completely overgrown with trees and brush and all that remains of the old lodge is a small cement platform. But I understand some Davison teens still party under the summer stars on the old Sherwood Forest grounds, hidden in the hedges and comfortably bathed in ghostly moonlight.

      • Ellen Says:

        I remember it well – well…maybe a little fuzzy…
        I loved Sherwood Forest. Had some of the best times of my young life there. I agree with the “single point in time and space” part. Well put :) The first year my friends and I weren’t old enough to go. He lived three doors down from Sherwood’s on Richfield Rd. We walked back through his neighbor’s apple orchard to stand at the fence and watch and listen to the outdoor concerts. The next year we were able to attend and did at almost every event. Several years ago we bought part of our friends’ 200+ acre old commune near Gainesville, Florida. Long before we came here there were a couple of outdoor concerts in 70/71. As I understand it Country Joe McDonald as well as local Bo Diddley played here. People here of like mindedness and history :) Love the memories of Sherwood! Thanks for all of the historical details.
        Peace!
        -Ellen

      • Ellen Says:

        http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sherwood-Forest-Davison-MI/

        I made a Facebook page for Sherwood. Please feel free to visit and make any comments and post any photos you may have…

        Thanks.
        Ellen

  5. Cindy Goodrich Says:

    This was a GREAT memory re-freshener. I remember these days as though it was just yesterday. So much fun! I never seen any real trouble. We were all there for the music & enviroment, all laid back. When we left, we’d talk about it all week & how KOOL it was. We couldn’t hardly wait until the following Wednesday. It was a real shame when it was shut down, so disappointing. We all felt CRUSHED! What were we going to do now? Those politications get involved, wanting to get their names out there in the headlines, make a name for themselves. Wanting to get them votes. Trying to make themselves out as Heros. They were the trouble makers, blowing things out of proportion. (I’m still letting off steam!). There were some Great groups that played. Alot of locals. Why wasn’t there any mention of Grand Funk Railroad? Our own Home Grown. Being close to 60yrs old, I’d be the 1st in line if they were to have it happen again, with all my friends with me. Great times, parties, friendships….

  6. petercavanaugh Says:

    Hi, Cindy!

    Actually, although I worked with Mark, Donnie and Mel for many of their earlier years, Grand Funk never actually appeared at Sherwood Forest. Bob Dell headlined them as “Grand Funk Railroad” at Mt. Holly in the summer of ’69. In “Local DJ”, I devote most of a chapter called “Working On The Railroad” about the event. Also, see Michael Moore’s “Wild Wednesday” memories at http://www.wildwednesday.com.

  7. linda inloes Says:

    I was there in 72 for a Bob Seger concert. I was pregnet for my son who is now 37 years old. I remember standing close to the stage and was surprised that Bob was short (not that short but…) because even then he seemed so big. The next time I saw him was in 2007. Amazing. I was wondering if there may be some pictures posted somewhere? I would sure like to have a look back at that concert.

  8. petercavanaugh Says:

    Hmmmm. There are a number of Seger shots scattered throughout http://www.wildwednesday.com and http://www.petercavanaugh.wordpress.com, but I can’t recall any specifically from “Back in ’72.” Linda, you might want to check out “Traveling Man”, the new book on Bob Seger, by Gary Graff, based on rock photographer Tom Weschler’s photos and recollections of Seger’s various performances, particularly in his early career..

  9. James Lay Says:

    I RECENLY VISITED SHERWOOD FOREST SPRING OF 2010. SADNESS WAS ALL I LEFT WITH. I HAD ATTENDED ALL THE WILD WENSDAYS AND SUPPER SUNDAYS AS A YOUNGSTER, AND HAD NEVER EXPERIENCED ANY TROUBLE EXCEPT WHEN THE PIGS CREATED IT. FOUND NO LAND MARKS NOTHING LEFT TO SHOW IT EVER EXISTED. I ONLY SEEN THE TWO GATE TOWERS COVERED IN OLD WEATHERED PLYWOOD SUPPORTING BENT GATES AND A VERY RUSTY CHINE AND LOCK. SHERWOOD FOREST WAS A BIG PART OF MY YOUTH, AND I FEEL THE NEED TO TRY TO COLLECT THINGS FROM THERE SO WHEN MY GENERATION IS GONE, THOSE MEMORIES WON’T BE…JAMES LAY

  10. Gerry O'Brien Says:

    Like the thinning and graying hair on my head, change is inevitable.

  11. Joy Says:

    I attended all the concert there. I remember many times we could’nt get us all in , not enough cash, so some of us stayed all the road and some got in and spare changed everyone. Back then ppl shared everything. I have a friend who has the original Sherwood forest sign. I had a blast there and never seen any trouble. I truly miss those days. I do attend the hippy fest at DTE and the next one is in 5 days. So much fun there. Young and old arrive in all hippy style clothing.

  12. petercavanaugh Says:

    Seeming especially so when one feels like a pair of old socks.

  13. James Lay Says:

    the blog is bizzy lately we must be thinking of days of old.. i know i am. nice to see others have remembered SHERWOOD FOREST.

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      This time of year was right in the middle of our Outdoor Summer Concert Series. That might have something to do with it, along with a lot of POWERFUL Rock ‘n Roll energy coming around again. It is written in the sand — It is whispered in the wind.

      • Ellen Says:

        Last summer there was a “Woodstock 40th Anniversary Revival Concert” in downtown Gainesville, Florida. The venue was a small community outdoor stage and plaza used to holding a couple of hundred folks for free Friday evening concerts – usually local bands. Well, a few locals – some of whom had attended Woodstock – joined together to form a Woodstock Tribute Band. The event was a resounding success. Over 3,000 people showed up! It was GREAT! Many were dressed for the period – we tie-died t-shirts the night before. Our 12 year old (yes had him at the age of 40!) has hair down to his waist and knows a lot about rock & roll and Woodstock (trying to raise him right!) I let him wear my “original” army jacket from way back when! Painted a peace sign on his cheek… Anyway, It was a terrific night to remember. Brought back my memories of Sherwood Forest very much…
        -Ellen

  14. Brian Winch Says:

    I grew up at Sherwood Forest being the youngest roadie for Smack Dab I got to see them all before they became famous. I know at one time the Who were even planning on a vist to see a show but had to change plans due to keith Moon’s accident at the Holiday Inn during his birthday party bash. I know as they were at my mom and dads with my brother Bruce.
    I was in my dads buick in the Holiday Inn parking lot that night with my dad waiting to pick up my brother from the party— He did drive into the Pool we saw it 1st hand!

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      Hey, Brian! Thanks for checking in! Are you still in the Cleveland area? What’s happening with Bruce? For those who don’t know him, Bruce is an extraordinarily gifted guitar player, himself. I was watching Liz Winstead last night with Joy Behar and was thinking about Liz (creator of “The Daily Show”) producing that VH1 segment up in Flint back in ’98. Your brother was MOST helpful and was there for the whole shoot at various locations, including Atwood Stadium. Bruce even had some pictures taken AT the Holiday Inn the day and night of the party which were used in the final edit. Wait! That was a DOZEN years ago! I had just had my quadruple heart bypass four months earlier when I scaled a locked eight foot gate gate for the “pool” shot. Be CAREFUL???? HELL, NO! WAS VH1! My wife Eileen is still pissed. Rock ‘n Rule!

      Peter C.

  15. Mike Todd Says:

    You guys are seriuosly trippin me out! SMACK DAB??? SHERWOOD FOREST???? I attended every show, inside or out. Mitch Ryder was my fav, and I remember “flying low” to see Bloodrock get BOOed off the stage for refusing to do the death trip stuff everyone was hearing on the radio. Mr Seager also faced an angry crowd, when he did a solo acoustic show. One of my good friends at the time, Jerry Cronley, was the younger brother of the drummer for the Brownsville Station boys, T.J. Cronley. I hung out with the Smack Dab guys and became their roadie for long enough to experiance many cool shows, not to exclude opening for KISS on the first leg of their first tour at the Nordic Ice Arena. Yo Pete, you might remember my older brother Woody??

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      Hi, Mike!

      Thanks for checking in!

      Wow, the name “Woody Todd” sure rings a bell. Brownsville Station was one of the finest groups to ever come out of the Midwest. Smack Dab was great to work with. Dan West, the drummer, used to hang out at WTAC with me while I was doing the “WTAC Underground Show” at night. Dan also participated in a TV pilot we ALMOST got on Channel 5 (WNEM-TV) back in ’70. Dan’s older brother, Dave West, owned West Laboratories and built equipment for Grand Funk, Dick Wagner, Bob Seger and all the rest. I was just speaking with Dave over the weekend. The Nordic Ice Arena. HAH! Haven’t thought about that for a while. Rock ‘n Rule! Peter C.

  16. Woody Todd Says:

    Those were the days ! I was going with my first wife,drove a ’65 Nova and worked the night shift at a Mobile station on Pierson Rd.,across from Wallis drine in resturant. One night I fueled the van of Ted Nugent,and the Amboy Dukes

  17. Woody Todd Says:

    As an addendo,I remember driving around with my best girl,listening to Peter “C” and all the great fun we had,while listening to WTAC

  18. Ellen Says:

    Boy, as soon as I heard your voice on the WTAC interview last night it was a huge flashback!!!

  19. JD Says:

    As past president of Sigma Pi Delta (Flint Jr. College) we put on gigs at Sherwood Forrest and a place called Genesee Hall (I believe) in 1969. Segar played for us a couple of times at each location (free of charge) Most of the time it was small gigs, 250-300 drunk college students. We would charge 5.00 per head and all the beer you could drink. Now we are all drunk boomers. Any Sigma’s out there?

    JD

  20. Rick Stevers Says:

    Hi Pete, Long time no see. How have you been, still into the music thing? You can check out the new band @ http://www.myspace.com/frijidpinknow The new CD was released 3 weeks ago in the UK. Give me a call, I’m in the book. Rick

  21. Tim Ewald Says:

    What a cool place in time. I was at the Wild Wednesday with Montrose, Seger and Spooky tooth. I also went to a couple of Super Sundays. Was any video ever shot at any of these shows?? My Brother and I were on the side of the stage when Montrose was playing… Thanks for the memories.. W.T.A.C and Peter C. Rocked!!

    • J. Lay Says:

      TIM, I also was there. WHAT A LINE UP, Montrose ( with Sammy Haggar the red rocker), Seger and Spooky Tooth(with Gary Wright the Dream Weaver). You couldn’t find a line-up anywhere else then at Sherwood forest. I remember one show I was at the rain came and they almost stopped the show. To my luck I stuck around and they moved the ones who stayed into the reception hall. Where I sat 10 feet from TED NUGENT performing. These things I remember even through the “HAZE” that seemed to hang over all who attended these shows. THANK YOU SHERWOOD FOREST for the times I recall the best of my youth. J. Lay

    • Ellen Says:

      One of the members of our facebook page has posted some audio tape that was made at Sherwood. There is some of Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. Look in the photos – some of the thumbnails appear as a black rectangle where a photo would normally be and some have a photo with an arrow thing on it. They have amazing quality considering… Enjoy :)

      Here’s a link to the first one.

  22. John Good Says:

    Where was the actual entrance to Sherwood Forest? I live in Richfield Twp. and would love to learn some more about this property.

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      Hi, John! The entrance to Sherwood Forest was on the left side of Richfield Road heading east between Davison Road and Irish Road, adjacent to (east of) property owned at the time by George Masters, a small farm which included an apple orchard. I believe George’s son may still live there and might be in the phone book. The entrance is very hard to spot these days. The last time I was there was more than six years ago, just before I moved to California.

      • Jeff M. Says:

        John, the entrance is on the north side of Richfield Road just east of M-15. I grew up in Richfield township during this time, but was to young to attend the concerts. I do remember hearing the music playing over on Coldwater Road. It’s amazing all of those great bands played so close to my childhood home!! Sure do miss those days.

      • petercavanaugh Says:

        Given the flat terrain, high-powered audio amplification (then in its infancy) and usually warm, windless summer nights, the “sound” would travel a number of concentric miles around Sherwood Forest. We’d be getting reports (and complaints) from pretty much all over. It was almost “radio” without radio. All in all, VERY cool!

  23. Brian Winch Says:

    Pete,
    Jerry Cronley drummed for Smack Dab before the seat was taken over by Dave Neff. Tom Daly played bass till his own Yoko Ono Glenda broke up the band. I still remember sitting in the Burger King on Davision road like a good little brother while Bruce went into the house right next door which was where the West Boys parents lived to visit them, One memory that sticks out was being at Proffers Records in Grand Blanc Mall with Bruce on a Saturday where he gave guitar lessons as his day job when I got to meet his then girlfriend Vicki’s brother. He was in Grand Funk & later with the Silver Bullet band as organ/keyboard player. Craig had this friend with him that day and his friend, this really freaky/scary looking guy with a funny accent named Gene who was going to be playing at the Nordic show. What a line up Kiss, Gary Wright and Smack Dab.Here was this band Kiss just off the road from playing out with the New York Dolls and Gary Wright fans -wow- together. Anyway I remember Bruce telling me I could not let anyone know who he was and then explained it by showing me a Kiss album cover and smiling. I still remember asking my dad why Bruces friends face looked like a jigsaw puzzle from afar as he walked down stairs and got into the running buick sitting there that some had just gotten out of to go inside the lobby, We left shortly after before the police arrived.

    As to the the Moon incident at the Holiday Inn, I know what was said on VH1 but at some record office archive of bills or on a tax return filed, I bet there is a bill paid to Flint Pool Supply that used to be on south Saginaw (by where the old brewery was) in Flint, for fixing the coping that was broken at that Holiday Inn pool that night for the dark 4 door Buick that went swiming in the pool..

    The pictures you refer to were of the gift given Keith for his birthday and if memory serves if was a dark case with a velvet lining with silver glasses and a shaker for mixing drinks like a portable bar. I have lots of memories like that of when I was little that I can never share cause no one would ever believe me! Next time you get to chat with Bruce ask him about our uncle Jack (a trumpet player) from Bayonne and the Godfather movie or of our uncle playing on Carsons 1st shows from New York or the Jack Parr Shows. As dad used to say scummy musicians just run in the family!

  24. petercavanaugh Says:

    Hi, Brian! Thanks for checking in! Your brother was a major part of early Flint Rock & Roll and, as you know, an exceptional player.

  25. Thomas Daly Says:

    Hello Pete
    Tom Daly, bass player from Smack Dab, wishes you all the best. I ended up in Traverse City and spend a lot of time on Mackinaw Island visiting my best friend Sheldon Bennett.

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      Hi, Tom!

      It’s wonderful hearing from you.

      I just spent some time visiting “The Hearst Castle” in San Simeon, which I had not yet had the opportunity to check out.

      Awesome!

      But it’s interesting how he spent so much and I suspect never did get off.

      At least that’s how I see it.

      But, what do I know?

      Rock & RULE!

      PC

  26. jeff schulz Says:

    Found this 2013. Best of memories driving down from Bay City M-15 Tuscola rd. Was selected for the Police check car search pulling into one of the wild Wedesdays/ Remember The Dogs opening most of them. a band called 1776, they dressed like Paul Revere. Saw Brownsville, with the Black Bass Player then without, Bob Segar, Saw Ted Nugent shoot Stryrofoam heads used for Wigs off his amps with a bow and arrow! , Ides of March, REO speedwagon with all the tolex stripped off their Marshall Stacks and the wood finished and lacquered. Blue Oyster Occult. Flash 2 times wow they were good…Big stacks of Hiwatt Amps. The Rasberrys in white suits. I think it rained hard and everything moved inside and Flash stole the show from Jo Jo Gunne, who’s singer from SPIRIT, Jay Furguson, was complaining about the PA system. Rusty Day, Did not see MC5 or Stooges at Sherwood Forest but did in Bay City at Delta College. Loved the post about Kiss opening for The New York Dolls. Was there at the IMA for that show. My cousin lives in Clarkston. I live in Chicago for 20 years but will drive up M15 and stop off Richfield Rd again just to reflect. I have spent hours on this site remembering.

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      What a fabulous memory, Jeff! That Delta show was the first time I saw The MC5 & Stooges! It was very cool bringing my own shows in there a few years later. including KISS.

      • Jeff schulz Says:

        Thank you, Peter. the memories are great, and yes, the Jam Band had $$ in equipment but little soul. Did your travels ever take you to the Band Canyon in Bay City on River road? Saw the Stooges there too. A band called “the UP” opened for them. I was 16 in 1969. Iggy was clawing himself, jumping into the crowd…..A group of us went home speachless, back to the bedrooms we lived in at our parents house and could not mention a thing!

      • petercavanaugh Says:

        Did your travels ever take you to the Band Canyon in Bay City on River road?

        I believe I was there after it changed names to “The Fox Lady”, if we’re thinking about the same place. I brought the MC5 there in early ’70.

        One of the best Rock & Roll concerts I ever saw was in 2003 at DTE Theater in Detroit for — IGGY & THE STOOGES! The place was completely sold out. The energy level was beyond belief. Ron Asheton was still on guitar. See — http://www.amazon.com/Iggy-Stooges-Live-Detroit-Pop/dp/B0001DCYOQ/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1364438509&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=Stooges+DTE+2003

        PC

  27. jeff schulz Says:

    Forgot to mention Michael Quatro Jam Band, I think it was raining for that too. He had Mountains of Peavy Amps, which were pretty new to everyone then. Not stacks like Marshalls in the backline,,,,,,Mountains of Peavy Amps

    • petercavanaugh Says:

      Mike Quatro was, of course, Suzie’s brother and primarily known as a booker and promoter. He was also an excellent musician, except I remember clearly standing there with one of our roadies who, in reviewing “The Jam Band’s” performance, said aloud, “Technically perfect – but no fucking soul!”

    • jeff schulz Says:

      Peter, I was in Detroit on Business and drove to my home down in Bay City on Friday I turned off I 75 and drove to Davison then jumped on M15 Northbound. Normally I would visit Sherwood Forest from the North going through Vassar on the way. I found Richfield Rd turned right, East and drove it all the way to the dead end. I could not figure out where Sherwood Forest was on the road but the memories sure jumped out.

  28. petercavanaugh Says:

    Hi, Jeff! — You were going exactly the correct way. The old entrance to Sherwood Forest would have been on your right after you took the right turn onto Richfield Rd. from M-15, about halfway between M-15 and Irish Road. It’s virtually impossible to tell where the entrance was given the fact that most of it has deteriorated and is covered with heavy growth. Glad you gave it a try!

  29. jeff schulz Says:

    Peter,
    Just left Dave West’s house in Okemos. He “Factory Authorized Blue Printed” my 1972 West Avalon amp head signed by Mark Farner. Great stuff. How do I post a picture? I can send you an e mail?

  30. jeff schulz Says:

    Peter,
    I just did a search on Wild Wednesday on EBay and found 2 original posters from A woman in Saginaw……The Blue Oyser Occult show, that I attended, and another with Bob Segar. How do I pursue more of these, even if they are reproductions/ And the patch for wild Wednesday? Fabric. They must be super rare?

  31. petercavanaugh Says:

    The best info source for Wild Wednesday posters would be the original artist, Dennis Preston in East Lansing. You can contact him at artbydenpreston@aol.com. Pete Flanders at Flint’s Musical Memories Record Store also has been tracking those posters and other Sherwood Forest material through the years. He’s at musicalmem@aol.com.

  32. Jim Benish Says:

    Hi Peter, grew up in Flint. Was president of a fraternity (Flint Jr. College). Sigma Pi Delta. We hosted many “keggers” at Sherwood Forest and had crowds as large as 2,000 people. Seger appeared a few times at no charge. Don Sherwood and I became friends and business associates. I’m trying to contact some of my old Frat brothers that might be connected to this site. Also ran for Genesee County Sheriff against corrupt John P O’Brien in the early 70’s. JD@Codefore.com. (Jim Benish)

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