By virtue of who they were, Sonic’s Rendezvous were legendary long before anyone outside their hometown ever heard them, The veritable Detroit-scene supergroup consisted of Scott Morgan (ex-Rationals), Gary Rasmussen (the Up), Scott Asheton (Stooges) and Fred Sonic Smith (MC5). Officially, the band’s recorded output consists of a single song, the long-rare mono/stereo 45 “City Slang.” Unofficially, they made a pointed resurgence in the mid-’80s Michigan-worship years, first on a 1985 self-titled bootleg (a lo-fi dub of the original 45, followed by lower-fi live cuts that fail to disguise the fact that, yeah, SRB were worth the hoopla all along).
The split LP with Ron Asheton’s Destroy All Monsters again resurrects “City Slang” from the 45 (also reissued elsewhere on a facsimile bootleg single), but with clean, sharp sound, as mean as the original. The side also includes a studio instrumental that was obviously intended for vocals and suffers for their absence, and a pair of live tunes on a par with the prior LP. An ’89 bootleg (Strikes Like Lightning) culled from numerous ’78-’79 gigs varies in sound quality, but the songs and performances are inarguably the best yet, with a fury and interplay only hinted at on the earlier material.
Nearly a decade later, Scott Morgan resurfaced with a somewhat well-received local 45 of Seger/Springsteen commercialism, on which the band consists of SRB minus Sonic (by then Mr. Patti Smith, with his wife’s awful comeback LP in the offing). The subsequent Rock Action follows tradition by beginning with the 45 A-side (closing with its flip), spending the time between touring through Detroit soul of the sort associated with Mitch Ryder. Thankfully, flamboyant hack vocalist Kathy Deschaine (the fourth bandmember, the fifth wheel) is relegated to a minor role; nevertheless, the LP elicits a dulled demo feel, lacking the kinetic electricity conjured by the former band even on the crummiest archival bootlegs.