Memorial Day weekend, Detroit City FC hosted a soccer match against FC United of Manchester, England. I witnessed our rabid Northern Guard supporters march the streets of Hamtramck from their Fowling Warehouse pregame hangout to Keyworth Stadium. (No, fowling does not involve chickens; it’s throwing footballs at bowling pins — drinks optional, but recommended.)
Before the match, alternating American and British tunes blasted over the PA. The MC5’s “American Ruse” got me thinking about how some 50 years ago, the band started rocking the Grande Ballroom (see page 32).
It’s sort of fitting Manchester’s first-ever U.S. soccer match was here. After all, emerging British Invasion band The Who premiered its legendary rock opera, Tommy, at the Grande.
Sadly, I never went to the Grande. While my older brother saw Iggy, Alice Cooper, and Frost, my preteen mind couldn’t comprehend why Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me go.
Meanwhile, the British visitors I hung out with during the match had nice things to say about Detroit — even our local beer (Axle’s City Pale Ale). While Detroit’s fans were nice to Manchester’s, the Grande wasn’t always so “nurturing” to visitors. The MC5’s “Kick Out the Jams” was reportedly a warning to out-of-town bands (“Kick out the jams or get the f*** off stage”). I’m sure that The Who held their own quite nicely.
On a more serious note, in this issue we chronicle Detroit Public Schools’ long decline, and a potential new “debtfree” start (page 94). We also explore how several local school districts’ Promise Zones offer free college education (page 46).
We have more global connections, too. There’s a visit with world-renowned bassist Ron Carter, Artist-in-Residence for this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival (page 48), and an art exhibit with a connection to the Planetary Community Chicken. Seriously, it has nothing to do with fowling.