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The Rockets at the Token Lounge, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Saturday, December 30, 2017

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As a kind of Detroit music institution, the Rockets have been an amorphous band.

Over its 45 off-and-on years, the group has been through some 17 members, all playing favorites such as “Turn Up The Radio,” “Desire,” “Rollin’ By The Record Machine” and its version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.” The good news is that the group, after a three-year hiatus, returned to action again this summer and has some big plans ahead for the new year...

• Frontman Jim Edwards says that the Rockets reactivated because drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, the sole founding member left in the lineup, “still wants to write songs -- still IS writing songs.” Edwards, 55, is also happy with the current lineup, which includes new guitarist Garrett Bielaniec. “It really takes a long time to get the right guys in the band to actually represent the Rockets the way it should be done,” Edwards explains. “The rhythm section has been the same for a couple of years and Garrett was an instant hit with the crowd and he plays the songs the way they should be played.”

• The Rockets’ last recording, an EP called “Greetings From Detroit,” came out during 2013, and Edwards says the group is working on new material though has no firm release plans yet. “We have a couple of new songs, maybe four, that people have never heard that we’re going to put in the set,” the singer promises. “We definitely always have the idea (of recording) going, so we’ll see once we feel we have enough stuff.”

• Edwards, who’s been part of the Rockets since 2010, says that while much is made about who’s in or not in the band, its relevance is primarily linked to the music. “The focus is about the songs, and that’s kind of what’s kept me comfortable putting up with any questions about me not being an original member,” he notes. “It’s more about the songs than anything else, and people always have a good time once they get there and see the band and go ‘OK, now I get it.’ The Rockets made a huge change from album to album -- different sounds, different producers. The band is constantly changing, but what doesn’t change is the songs are still there and people constantly want to hear them.”

If You Go:

• The Rockets, Johnny Spark & the Boys and Hey You

• Saturday, Dec. 30. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• The Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Road, Westland.

• Tickets are $10-$30.

• Visit tokenlounge.com.

Web Site: www.tokenlounge.com

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