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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Keeps It All In the Family

Of the Oakland Press

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Robert Levon Been is one of very few rockers who has his dad on the road with him.

But the 28-year-old's father -- Michael Been, former frontman of The Call -- isn't a chaperone. He's part of the crew, mixing the trio's P.A. sound.

"I used to worry about it, like I thought I wouldn't be able to have as much fun or I'd be self-conscious," says the younger Been. "Then I kinda realized he actually gets into more trouble than I do.

"The old rock 'n' rollers can drink you under the table and actually have more strength than you ever will. We're just pretending to be rock stars; they're the real thing."

Been and his BRMC mates certainly up the rock quotient on their new album, "Baby 81." Following 2005's more acoustic, ruminative "Howl," "Baby 81" celebrates the return of drummer Nick Jago after a brief split with plenty of volume and energy. It's the way the group sounds naturally, and Been says BRMC is taking pains to make sure the differences that caused Jago to leave are held at bay.

"We go kind of day by day," he says. "We just remember to allow people to kind of be themselves and be crazy and screw things up for everyone and that's OK 'cause the tables turn and it'll be your turn to do that -- tomorrow, probably. We're all gonna have our moments and we've kind of learned to accept that about each other.

"But we wouldn't except any of it if it weren't for the music. We all believe in what we're doing above and beyond anything else."

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Cobbs perform at 8 p.m. Friday (May 25th) at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $20. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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