The MC5 at Terra Shirma

Soulful Detroit Forum: Open Forum: The MC5 at Terra Shirma
Top of pageBottom of page   By mhc ( - on Monday, June 24, 2002 - 02:55 am:

Hi Ralph, I got the impression from something you said in "The Terra Shirma Story" that work on the 5's "Kick Out The Jams" LP was done at you studio. Did I read right? I've often wondered where that record was mixed ('cause I think it sounds fantastic).

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Monday, June 24, 2002 - 03:30 am:

I don't think the track was recorded at Tera Shirma, but the vocals were done there. I assume TS mixed it also but I can't say for sure.

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhc ( - on Monday, June 24, 2002 - 03:21 pm:

Thanks Ralph; I thought that vocal sounded like it was recorded in a studio..

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Monday, June 24, 2002 - 03:24 pm:

You're welcome mhc. Wish I could be more specific in what took place but I guess it's just too many years back.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ed Wolfrum ( - on Monday, June 24, 2002 - 11:02 pm:

As I understand it Brian Dombrowski did the remote session, Danny started the post production at United and then was book up and we could not finish it. Terra-Shirma had some time available and the job went there for the overdub and the clean up of the "Kick out the Jams....." line. I think it came back to Danny to finish the mix, but again I am not sure.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Monday, June 24, 2002 - 11:08 pm:

Thanks for the attempt at clarification Ed.

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhc ( - on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 06:24 pm:

Thanks guys.. You shed some light for me. I feel like I know more that I did before: some of the vocals were done in post-production, the record was mixed locally in Detroit.. Cool.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 07:12 pm:

Here is some MC-5 triva for you mhc. They were probably the first to somewhat openly smoke weed in Studio B. They were in for vocal overdubs and would be using the 2nd floor vocal booth. To get to the catwalk to cross from the upstairs offices to the control room, one had to walk through the vocal booth.I was on my way from my office to the control room and when I entered the vocal booth there was the singer sitting on the floor smokeing a J. I think we both kind of surprised each other. I crossed to the control room and for some reason, Telma Hopkins was with me but a couple of minutes behind me. When she got to the control room she said " Ralph, someone is smoking weed around here ". I must have caught a contact buzz because I laughed.

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhc ( - on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 02:40 am:

Wow.. It could've been worse though: Remember, the White Panther Manifesto called for "Rock and Roll, Dope, and F*ck#ng In the Streets!". At least you caught them doing something where they had their clothes on..

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 03:15 am:

Yeah Marshall...the rest of the mayhem was reserved for when the Funkedelic came into record.

Top of pageBottom of page   By ErikT.O. ( - on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 10:03 am:

Hey Ralph, tell us about recording with Funkadelic!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( - on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 02:35 pm:

Ditto to Erik's request Ralph ... and Ed as well. Specifically the "Free Your Mind ..." album, which was recorded at Ralph's Place and I believe that Ed Wolfrum was the engineer on that one, so it would be great to hear from both.

There have been persistent rumors that most of the album was done in one session while the band was under the influence of LSD, the lone exception being "Eulogy and Light" which took an earlier b-side "open our eyes" played backwards with GC laying down a rap written by Ernie Harris over the top.

Another wide-spread assumption is that Funkadelic did all their own lead vocals on that album, so I'm also assuming that other than GC, the Parliaments were not there. Any recollections would be great particularly since this album was recognized as one of the greatest guitar albums of the 20th century by guitar player magazine.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 03:22 pm:

I'm not sure who the engineer was on the sessions but I don't think it was Ed Wolfrum. He would have been at United Sound around this time I believe. So that would leave either Milan Bogdan or my brother Russ, and for some reason i think it was Milan. There isn't much I can add to what I already mentioned in the Tera Shirma story. If you're familiar with the ( I believe ) 19th century artist Breugle ( sp ) and his work you would have an idea of these sessions. In fact the sessions would have been great material for a painting.On the surface it appeared to be pure chaos. From what I remember, more than musicians were present. Women etc....The entire floor space of the studio was used and this was a considerable amount of space. In the midst of all this was George Clinton directing all that was going on and what at first appeared chaotic was in reality something completely different.I had known George for several years before all of this and it was at this time that I realized that the guy I first met one night at Golden World wearing a sport coat and tie was without question a musical genius.I knew that first day in the studio that he was on to something. Whether or not they were all tripping on acid, I can't say. That might have been just good press, but I thnk Breugle would have loved it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( - on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 10:13 pm:

Good Press - LOL, times have changed. Thanks for the response Ralph. Milam & Ed are listed as the producers on their second album. Milam, Ed, Your Bro & Bryan Dombroski are listed as the engineers on the first album. Of course you're listed on that album jacket as well as your studio in good sized print. That's the one to primarily feature Babbitt, Coffey, Monette & Andrew Smith on most tracks (except for Music for My Mother which was done at an earlier time). Still sounds to me like Eddie Hazel is on a couple of tracks, that could've been over dubbed. As The Babbitt has mentioned, the albums credits: Ed Hazel, Bill Nelson, Tawl Ross, Tiki Fulwood & Mickey Atkins, three of whom may not have played a note on the lp (Tawl, Tiki & Mickey).

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 01:29 am:

Ed...maybe you can shed some light on the engineering issue. Talk to us son.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 01:31 am:

I just re-read your above posting Ed. Maybe that answers all my questions.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ed Wolfrum ( - on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 02:22 pm:

Regarding the "Free your Mind Album" I did all the recording on that at United other than the vocal overdubs. By that time Milan had left for GM Recording, over on the East Side (Now "THE DISC") and many of the overdubs were done there, as we were heavily booked at United at the time. I ended up doing the mix on the project at United.

The First TWO Funkadelic projects bounced between United and Terra Shirma with Russ and Milan there, and Danny and me at United. All of the Funkadelic sessions were as could be expected...OFF THE WALL.

George bounced talent between both Funkadelic and Parlament for all the sessions so you never knew who he was going to bring in. We also did many of the Parlament sessions at United. I have a 7.5 ips copy of a Parlament project I did for Revlot at that time which, to my knowledge has never been released. That stuff was very tame compared to Funkadelic but with the same personel.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Ian W ( - on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:04 pm:

Ed, you're getting us very excited with the thought of unreleased Revilot material! Tell us more!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 01:28 pm:

Yeah, I'm with Ian, please tell us more. Excuse my ignorance Ed but what exactly is a 7.5 ips project. Again, thanks for responding. Maybe the project was grounded by the issues with The Parliaments, Revilot, Motown & Golden World.

I remember a rap GC laid down around '83 on a tune entitled Nubian Nut that spoke of "United Sound, where all the funkateers like to boogie down".

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 02:04 pm:

A 7.5 or what was called a seven and a half was a quick mix of what was completed in the studio on a given day,usualy for the benifit of the producer so he could take the song with him to study. 7.5 denotes the tape speed which was 71/2 IPS ( inches per second ).This was the forerunner to taking home a cassette.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 02:43 pm:

Ed;in addition to your other work, I'd like to thank you for your work on the "Funkadelic Live at Meadowbrook" project. The fact that you captured audio of that quality on a Revox 2-track and 8 input mixer boggles my mind and is amazing. Any chance you remember what you combined to get 5 instruments and 6 or 7 vocal mikes into "8 in"? Also, in the liner notes you mention recording another gig a year or so earlier; has that tape surfaced? Do you remember where the recording took place or any major differences in the music? Boy, Ed's gonna need a Funkadelic thread pretty soon.
Steve K.

Top of pageBottom of page   By mhc ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 03:22 pm:

I think it's cool that a thread about the MC5 has turned into a discussion about Funkadelic because G. Clinton has always acknowledged that the 5 were an influence on him and his groups' direction in the late '60s. There's a kinship between the two bands.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph ( - on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 03:43 pm:

Half the time Marshall, I'm never sure where any given thread will lead to. It's always interesting though.

Top of pageBottom of page   By ErikT.O. ( - on Monday, July 01, 2002 - 07:18 pm:

Well here's an anecdotal connection- in Rob Bowman's liner notes for 'Music For My Mother' he wrote the 2 bands bumped into each other in an airport and said kinship was acknowledged...

Top of pageBottom of page   By Joe Dabbs ( - on Tuesday, July 02, 2002 - 08:33 pm:

Hi all! Speaking of the Funkadelics, I was on the track "Hit it and Quit It". I had just dropped into United Sound for some reason or other, and George Clinton grabbed me and a few other people to add hand claps. I never listened to the finished product (I believe it was on Maggot Brain) but I sure remember the session!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Rich ( - on Wednesday, July 03, 2002 - 02:48 pm:

Hey Joe, Hit it and Quit it was on Maggot Brain and both the song and album are considered to be classics. Hit it ... was released as a single as well. Detail hounds here, any you'd like to share ... many here would be glad to read.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( - on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 02:38 am:

Hey since this is sort of an MC5 thread ...I talked to Becky Tyner today, and she said that Norton Records is about to release a Gino Washington single on which her husband, the late Rob Tyner is singing backup. Gino remembers that it was Rob, and had his name written on the tape.

They sent it to Becky to see if she could recognize Rob's voice -- she said it was very Rob-like, with certain idiosyncracies of his, but that she couldn't be absolutely sure.

She said the song sounds great and it's even a very Rob-like song.

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