Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Music · Micky Free
. . . .

Micky Free

Rick Coates - August 15th, 2011

Micki Free might be the best guitarist no one has ever heard of -- well
the general public that is. Mention his name to people in the business,
such as Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Bill Wyman of
The Rolling Stones fame and they will all sing his praises. In fact, all
three legends are currently working on projects with Micki Free.
Ask KISS frontman Gene Simmons his thoughts on Micki Free and a smile will
come over him.
“I discovered Micki over 30 years ago when he was a 17-year-old guitarist
playing in a regional rock band from Illinois,” said Simmons. “His band
opened for us and I watched him (Simmons was big on discovering new
musicians in those days, Eddie Van Halen was one of his discoveries) and I
told him after the show that he was going to be a star and if he ever came
to L.A. to give me a call.”
Micki Free will bring his blistering blues guitar and high energy rock and
roll show with him this Friday, August 19, to Leelanau Sands Showroom.
Free decided to become a rock guitarist when at a young age he got to see
the person many consider to be the greatest of all time.
“I was just eight or so and my father was in the military stationed in
Germany and he was given tickets to see Jimi Hendrix; and he gave them to
my oldest sister who took me to the show,” said Free. “We were in the
third row and Hendrix came out in pink bell bottoms and said ‘this song is
for the lady in the front row with the pink panties.’ He busted out into
‘Foxy Lady,’ and at that moment I thought to myself, hell yeah, I gotta be
a guitar player.”

GUITAR PRODIGY
His family eventually moved home near Chicago. In high school, Free honed
his blues and rock guitar chops, eventually forming his own band
Smokehouse, playing shows with Ted Nugent, Rush, REO Speedwagon,and local
favorites Cheap Trick. Free developed a reputation of being a rock and
roll guitar prodigy.
“Meeting Gene Simmons was my big break,” said Free. “I took him up on his
offer and after high school headed out to L.A. and to my surprise Gene
remembered me. We started writing songs together -- it was wild.”
Simmons introduced Free to his then girlfriend Diana Ross.
“Diana liked what she saw and agreed to manage me. I started playing gigs
around L.A. and was developing a following. Diana and Gene arranged for me
to play guitar on Janet Jackson’s first album. Everything seemed to be
coming together for me,” said Free. “Then one day Gene gets a call from
the band Shalamar and they want me to join their band as their guitarist.
My initial thought was to turn them down, they were R&B and I was rock and
blues.”
But Gene Simmons gave Free something else to think about.
“I had never heard of them but they were playing big venues and were
climbing the R&B charts. Gene thought it would be a good move for me,”
said Free. “He put it to me this way: joining Shalamar would be like
getting into a limo every night versus getting into a cab. He was right,
it was the right decision at the time.”
For the next eight years Free toured the world with Shalamar selling out
20,000 seat venues, staying in first class hotels and eating at the best
restaurants. He even won a Grammy. When the group called it quits in 1991,
Free decided to pursue more of his blues and rock aspirations.
In 2002 he released “Black Moon... Black Sun” the first of his two solo
rock albums. His second album released later that year, “Gypsy Cowboy,”
was nominated for seven Native American Awards (Nammys), which named him
“Best Male Artist of the Year” in 2002.

EXPLORING HERITAGE
Part Cherokee, Free decided to take a break from his career in 2003 and
explore his heritage. He moved to Arizona and began learning about his
culture. He mastered the Native American flute and returned to music in
2004.
“Well, the Seminole tribe of Florida had purchased the Hard Rock Cafe and
they called me about being a performer for their opening night ceremonies.
I just assumed they wanted me to play the flute,” said Free. “I was
shocked when they said ‘forget the flute. We want some of that Micki Free
rock and roll,’ I guess I haven’t looked back since.”
While Free’s hard-driving blues rock didn’t hit home right away in the
states, it did over in Europe where he had been in constant demand
including being asked to play on the main stage of one the largest music
festivals in England.
“I was asked to perform four years in a row at the Hard Rock Calling
Festival with close to 100,000 people. I shared the main stage with
Aerosmyth my first year and since then with Paul McCartney, The Police,
Eric Claption, Bruce Springsteen among others,” said Free. “It was an
awesome experience but what was really cool I brought over some Native
American dancers and brought them on stage and the crowd went nuts. I
think for most of them it was the first time they had seen a Native
American in full headdress dancing on the stage.”
Last year he had another musical highlight happen while at the Hard Rock
Calling.
“Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones asked if he could join me on stage,”
said Free. “We hit it off and a lot of the media said we were the hit of
the festival. Bill also said he wanted to perform on my next project so
he will be on my new DVD and CD project coming out this fall.”
Free has a full tour already booked for this fall in Europe and he hopes
that will be the case for him next year in the U.S.
“They are starving for my style of music in Europe. I am getting a feeling
that is starting to be the case here as well.”
Free has surrounded himself with not only talented musicians but the
legendary manager Henry “The Horse” Smith, who was with The Yardbirds, Led
Zeppelin and Aerosmyth. Free’s bandmates include former Cheap Trick
bassist Jon Brant, and drummer Cindy Blackman formerly of the Lenny
Kravitz band and wife of guitar great Eric Clapton.
While most people may not be familiar with Micki Free, he guarantees one
thing if you attend his show at the Leelanau Sands on Friday, August 19,
at 9 p.m., he promises when you leave you will remember him forever.
For details and to purchase tickets go to www.casinos2win.com and to
check out Micki Free visit www.mickifree.com.

 
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