Sunday, December 9, 2012

Al Hellus Remembered


This is a photo of the Plastic Haiku Band. It was the brainchild of Al Hellus, a gifted poet and Bruce Crawley, an incredible bassist/arranger. They teamed with some of the best musicians in mid-Michigan including Mike Brush (keyboards), Shabazz (percussion), John Rickert (horn & vocals), & Tony Ioppollo (drums). They recorded a show @ Delta College in 1998. It was spectacular! My favorite Hellus composition is Dead Dogs & Dope. Hellus shook me up every time I heard him unleash it. This was an epic song that was hilarious yet had a deeper message – a perfect example of Kidding on the Square. I’m forever grateful to Al & Bruce for championing original music and creating a jazz-based genre that was accessible to the masses. He was truly a local gem. Al brought M.L. Liebler to White’s Bar which led to appearances by Country Joe McDonald and John Sinclair. Al & Bruce are gone now but they will not be forgotten by anyone who tuned into our local music scene in the past twenty years. All Hail to the Plastic Haiku Band, one of Saginaw’s lost treasures.

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