By Ian Perrotta
If it’s been a while since you last went to Paycheck’s, it might be time to go again.
The legendary establishment on Caniff, which helped launch some of Detroit’s most well-known bands – including The White Stripes – is currently undergoing a revival process that intends to bring the bar back to its glory days.
“I want to bring awareness to the rich history of Paycheck’s,” says Toni Callwood, the venue’s booking agent. “So many bands got their starts there, have played there. I want to see people get excited to play at Paycheck’s.”
With one of the best sound systems in the city and a brand new lighting rig, it’s no surprise that Callwood hopes to recreate the days when Paycheck’s was a destination rather than an afterthought. And rather than compete with other venues in the area, she says that with the strength of the city’s music scene and walkability of the city, Hamtramck could become a destination spot.
“It’s an easily accessible city and everything is in close proximity,” she says. “It’s a great place for people to go.”
The revival at Paycheck’s began yesterday (April 22) with Stiv Deville Productions’ first incarnation of Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide. The event, which will run every Thursday, has no cover charge and features Hamtramck’s own DJ Top Kat, goods from the arts and crafts group the Wonder Women, and, of course, some of the best rock and roll the city has to offer. As an added bonus, PBRs are just $1.50 – the same price they are throughout the week.
Tonight (April 23) the event is White Heat, which is billed as “a night of experimental hee-haw.” It will feature Robin Parrent (Violent Ear), Bat Masterson, Trash Camera, and Sheefy McFly. Themes for future Friday nights vary, but one upcoming highlight is May 7, when a benefit for former Hamtramck resident Bootsey X is planned.
Tomorrow (April 24) marks the beginning of a rotating-themed night that will feature a line-up of different musical genres every week for just $5. Punk Rock Mayhem kicks things off with the musical stylings of Switchblade Justice, Front of Resistance, and 1st° Arson. Also playing are The Fresh Tones, a two-piece band with a million sounds that you have to see to believe. Upcoming Saturday nights will also feature birthday bashes for Tommy Lee and Joey Ramone.
For those who have an interest in one band but aren’t sure about the rest, Callwood encourages you to come out and enjoy the show. In addition to having a great time, you might even discover a new band you’ve never heard before.
“I’m good at putting bands together that may not have the same sound, but whose fans would like each other,” says Callwood.