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Interview:
Books, Albums Keep Mitch Ryder's Focus Rockin'
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Iconic Detroit rocker Mitch Ryder is giving fans plenty to read, and hear, in the coming year.

Ryder is the subject of a newly published biography, “It Was All Right: Mitch Ryder’s Life in Music,” by James A. Mitchell.

Meanwhile, he has his own autobiography, “A Common Fault,” that he’s just finishing and hopes to have out in December. And there’s music — a new album, “You Deserve My Art,” in Europe, and an American album that Ryder’s in the midst of recording at Pearl Sound in Canton.

“It’s not like I rolled over and died; I’ve just kept plugging away at it,” says Ryder, 63, who was born William Levise, Jr., in Hamtramck and was one of Detroit’s first rock ‘n’ roll starts with mid-’60s hits such as “Jenny Jenny/C.C. Rider,” “Devil With a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Sock It to Me Baby.”

“I’m hoping that good quality work and good songs and continuous touring is what’s gonna do it for me — if not make me famous again at least let me survive ‘til I die, doing music instead of having to give it up and do anything else. What could I do?”

Ryder, who sat for 40 hours of interviews with Mitchell, says he’s happy with “It Was All Right,” which was published by Wayne Statue University Press. “It’s a pretty capable book,” he notes. “There’s nothing wrong. It’s a good, strong writing style. It presents a clear picture. I think it’s a necessary read to bring some balance.

“It’s a road map into the insanity of the autobiography.”

Ryder says “A Common Fault,” which will be published by the California-based Cool Titles press, will be more detailed and revealing. “It goes way into depth about where I was at in my drug usage, my alcohol intake, my behavior, my frame of mind, the personalities and characters of all the different band members, important people that came in and out of my life. None of that’s covered in the other book.

“Both books are necessary reads, I think. One can’t exist without the other, and by the time mine comes out, the whole story will be all the way out there.”



Mitch Ryder performs at 8 p.m. Saturday (March 22) at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $40 and $25, with $75 Gold Circle seats. An interview with Ryder will precede his performance. Call (734) 668-8463 or visit www.michtheater.org.

Web Site: www.michtheater.org

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