restricted access The Rationals
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257 S teve Correll had called me and asked me to play something over the phone. I knew two songs, so I played those into the mouthpiece. We had a band. We tried to back up Bob Seger, but everyone knew it would end up two different groups. Too much talent. We knew he worked at Wild’s Men’s Wear, so we went there and introduced ourselves. He invited us to join him and Tom Ralston, Ann Arbor’s version of Mitch Mitchell. Bob was into Bobby Jameson and how he was such a big star he got a ticker-tape parade down Broadway. His eye was on the prize and he had the chops to pull it off.We got a gig inspired by local instrumental gods the Renegades to play on a flatbed truck in front of Kline’s Department Store. We played at Forsythe and some parties, but after “Apache” we started running out of ideas. Steve’s parents sent him to military school, so while he was gone I recruited Terry Trabandt and Bill Figg. When Steve came back, it was a four piece. His brother called us the Rationals so we stuck with it. Steve was left-handed, so he just turned a right-handed guitar upside down and played it with the strings still strung right-handed. It made for some wicked inversions that were impossible to copy for a right-hander. His father was a trumpet The Rationals Scott Morgan The Rationals. © Leni Sinclair Collection. 258 deTroıT rocks The ’60 s player and his mother a music teacher, so he had the right background. His mom and mine had grown up together south of Ann Arbor, and their families were both German and ran farm implement stores. Looking back through my mom’s history, I found out the Germans were the best farmers and followed the “walnut trail” from New York and Pennsylvania to Canada and eventually Michigan. Walnut trees grew in limestone soil, which made for the best farmland. Steve was born shortly before me at the same hospital, so finding him was the beginning of my band career. We met an older guy named Bob Pretzfelder, who had a whole set of drums. He died in an auto accident after Steve left for military school. My guitar teacher had shown me Terry Trabandt’s junior high photo and suggested I get in touch with him about working together, so I did, and we started jamming. That’s when I met Bill Figg. He had a set of drums, so he, Terry, and I started jamming. When Steve came home, we talked Terry into playing bass, and now we had a fourpiece band. We made some tapes with local DJs Ted Heuzel and Don “Z” Zemanski. We knew we would have to sing and write songs like the Beatles so we made some pathetic attempts at Liverpudlian, Scouseaccented material.Looking back,it was pretty stupid when you realize the Beatles loved American music. We needed a manager,so we talked Jeep into it.That was really the beginning of our success. He put up with our amateur music for one single, “Gave My Love”/“Look What You’re Doing (to Me Baby),” in 1965. Then he introduced us to soul. Taking his advice was the best move we ever made. There is something about soul music that makes people feel good, particularly girls, which we could get behind immediately. We covered Eddie Holland’s “Leaving Here,” which Holland-Dozier-Holland had written for Jackie Wilson. Everyone thought it was a hit. Even Iggy, who worked at Discount Records and hid all the copies. Deon Jackson played B3 organ and bongos on it, and I played harmonica with Steve on my Rickenbacker twelve-string on “Respect.” It wasn’t a hit for anyone. When we covered Otis Redding’s “Respect” as a B side to the surefire “Leaving Here,” the DJs promptly flipped it over to the B side in favor of “Respect.” I had only heard Otis on “Fa Fa Fa,” but when I heard him do “Respect,” I heard the future. We followed that with our own “Feelin’ Lost” with Bob Seger producing and Iggy on bass drum. The flip side was Deon Jackson’s “Little Girls Cry.” Also not a hit. But the next one was. We had moved to a bigger house on Seventh Street, and my grandmother Bena had given me a Mercury Monterrey. I was...


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