Roseville’s musical history honored in library display

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 11, 2015


ROSEVILLE — Local bands, musicians and musical acts like the Tidal Waves, Amy Decker, the Epidemics and Blues Condition are all getting another day in the sun with a memorabilia display at the Roseville Public Library.

The display, put together by Wendy Clem, highlights musicians with some connection to Roseville from a variety of genres going back to the 1960s. Clem said the artists highlighted range in age today from their 20s to their 70s, and the display features everything from playbills to records to music magazines to instructions for bands playing at shows.

“I have some fliers,” Clem said. “For example, the Tidal Waves opened for the Dave Clark Five, which was a British band from the Beatles era. It has all the information on them showing up; it has stage directions on where to park the van and unload equipment, and the order everyone will be appearing on-stage before the Dave Clark Five comes on.”

Clem said she originally got the idea to put the display together some months ago while visiting an open house in Lincoln Park that honored the 50th anniversary of hometown rock band the MC5.

“I approached our library and said, ‘Why don’t we do something to honor the people who are Michigan-Roseville musicians,’ and that kind of opened the door for a discussion,” she said.

Clem grew up in Roseville in the 1960s and ’70s. She said she wanted to share the “rich history” of music in the area with younger people.

She said she got in touch with musicians and singers from Roseville through the Facebook group “I Grew Up in Roseville” to see if they had any memorabilia they would be willing to put on display, and the reaction was positive.

People who had moved across the country were willing to send things along for the display, Clem said, and she particularly noted that Tidal Waves member Bob Slap drove up to Roseville from his farm in Indiana with a record of local musicians performing and photos from the local TV dance program “Swingin’ Time,” hosted by Robin Seymour. Eastside Music also provided some older instruments and band equipment for the display, Clem added.

She said some of the artists highlighted have gone on to be well-known, most notably rapper Eminem, who went to Roseville Community Schools during his elementary days.

“I’m sure Roseville inspired a few of his lyrics, since he was bullied in school here, unfortunately,” she said.

Library Director Jackie Harvey said she particularly appreciated the items donated by Eastside Music, as they serve as a reminder of where musicians get their start.

“That’s what it reminds me of — that all these people started somewhere, and a lot of these former and current musicians actually started in high school,” Harvey said.

Additionally, Harvey said she found it interesting how many musical performances took place in church basements, a type of venue that she said seems to have fallen away in recent years for secular rock and pop music.

She said reaction to the display has been positive so far, with a number of people coming up and asking questions about it. Harvey said most of them tend to be middle-aged folks familiar with the musical acts or the musicians themselves, while younger people seem interested in the records.

The display is scheduled to be up through the end of January at the western exit to the library, which is located at 29777 Gratiot Ave. Harvey added that anyone interested in putting on a display in the future can contact the library at (586) 445-5407.