Almost exactly five years ago we flew in to Ann Arbor from Chicago for a show at the same venue with an evening flight after-show to Toronto. I recognised this fact whilst on the plane looking out somewhere over cloudy Kalamazoo. My one and only experience of Kalamazoo. We landed at Willow Run airport, a dozen miles to the East of Ann Arbor and whilst taxiing, spotted a Coyote standing, surveying the wild open spaces available within the airfield confines. A beautiful animal and a canid native to North America, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen one before.
Deplaned (I use this word with reluctance) and into our proper car, we sped off to Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan. Did you know? – in the 60’s and 70’s, Ann Arbor became a focal point for political activism and served as a hub for the civil-rights movement and anti-Vietnam War movement, as well as various student factions. It certainly has a student town feel about it today. The campus and fraternity houses are pretty spectacular (just like in the movies), as seen through English eyes.
Mike and I took a brief stroll along the streets with the primary objective of photographing the frontage of the venue. This we achieved with ease, bumping into the odd unsuspecting, slightly shocked ticket holder for tonight’s show. On the few occasions any of us actually get recognised, it’s always a pleasant and polite affair, a quick handshake and a thank you, we really meet some very nice people. Then I suppose if you want to get recognised – I thought to myself – stand out front of the venue an hour before doors open. We wandered on and found a vinyl store and proceeded to search for one of William Onyeabor’s records. None were forthcoming so I took a snap or two.
Bob’s touring legacy lives on…….!