Troy, MI - Dec. 1, 2010 - The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Charity Preview takes place at Detroit's Cobo Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, and will once again serve as the black-tie gala that is one of the top single-night fundraising events in the nation. For 2011, it will feature yet another hometown favorite with national ties: Detroit's own, The Rockets.
Legendary hometown rock band, The Rockets perform at NAIAS Charity Preview fresh from a year that featured a Distinguished Achievement Award at the Detroit Music Awards, an opening performance for the J. Geils Band this summer at a sold-out DTE Music Theater, and a triumphant headlining at Detroit's Fillmore last month. The Rockets previous-11-year, six-album rock 'n' roll journey earned them solid credibility in the music industry as a roof-raising live band when headlining or opening for bands such as KISS, ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, The Who and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, and drew the attention of The Kinks, Blondie, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.
"Charity Preview is about raising money for children in need in our community," said Barron Meade, Chairman, 2011 NAIAS. "Having the Rockets perform at our Charity Preview drives home that sense of community, passion and spirit the event illustrates. Charity Preview is about a celebration of the Motor City; the Rockets are tremendous ambassadors of this city's musical heritage and our hard-working culture."
Formed in 1972 by former Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels bandmates guitarist Jimmy McCarty and drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, the Rockets took off locally as mainstays of Detroit radio between 1979-83. Three of the group's albums - "Rockets," "No Ballads" and "Back Talk" - hit the Billboard 200 chart between 1979-81 while "Can't Sleep" and "Desire" hit Billboard in the Hot Hundred singles chart. Over that time, songs such as "Turn Up the Radio," "Oh Well" (a Top 40 national hit), "Takin' It Back" and "Rollin' By the Record Machine" were popular Motor City anthems. However, years of non-stop touring prompted a farewell live album recorded at the Royal Oak Music Theater and a final show at a sold-out then-Pine Knob Music Theater took place in 1983.
Based on encouragement from fans and music industry insiders alike, The Rockets have fired up the engines again with a series of reunion activities that created more than just memories. McCarty and Badanjeck are joined by a formidable team of veterans including vocalist Jim Edwards, bassist Marvin Conrad, and Danny Taylor on keyboards, and are readying new material for an upcoming release.
Since its inception in 1976, Charity Preview has raised more than $82 million for children's charities in metro Detroit, over $37 million of which was raised in the last seven years alone. Medical treatment, clothing and support services for local kids in need all are made possible through the purchase of Charity Preview tickets.
Tickets for the 2011 NAIAS Charity Preview can be purchased at www.charitypreview.com. Beneficiaries of the Charity Preview include: Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan; Boys Hope Girls Hope of Detroit; The Children's Center; Judson Center; The Detroit Institute for Children; Think Detroit PAL; March of Dimes; The Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation; and the DADA Charitable Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
(Photos courtesy of Ken Settle.)