This trashiness was linked to Detroit. In their March 1970 editorial “The Michigan Scene Today,” Barry Kramer, “Deday” LaRene, and Dave Marsh wrote: “It was rock and roll music which first drew us out of our intellectual covens and suburban shells” because “life in Detroit is profoundly anti-intellectual” since its “institutions are industrial and businesslike.” This setting, according to the editorial, gave birth to a youth culture defined not by visions of gentle harmony, but by a more tough-minded, realistic sensibility.
Marsh felt that Detroit was an especially potent site for this powerful force. In Detroit, the music “had to be hard and high energy, too, because the very nature of the city was, and is, dead-set against the Rockicrucian Spirit, and all its implications.” For Marsh, the Motor City “was as anti-metaphysical as the cars that are so aptly its symbol,” but because of this gritty setting, it produced a powerful sensibility that moved between realism and idealism in the search for both countercultural and commercial success
Both quotes taken from Michael J. Kramer’s “Can’t Forget the Motor City” – Creem Magazine, Rock Music, Detroit Identity, Mass Consumerism, and the Counterculture (which was reprinted in rockcritics back in 2003, and will eventually show up back here on the main site as well). I note that Kramer’s piece is cited in Devon Powers’s book, which may be the source of her referring to Creem‘s “anti-intellectual” approach?
Cf. Richard Riegel’s illuminating comment in part 1 of this topic.