In the mid Sixties, Mitch Ryder was rarity – a white guy who successfully captured the essence of R&B but who could rock as well. He was also one of the few American artists who gave those four lads from over the big pond a run for their money on the charts. “Jenny Take a Ride,” “Devil With the Blue Dress,” and “Sock it to Me Baby” were just three examples of this unique sound. Now, Mitch is back on the road as part of the Happy Together tour which is coming to a city near you. He also wrote his autobiography (which we reviewed here). Mitch talks about how music was not his first career choice, about seeing James Brown in concert and how it changed his life, and getting a visit from the Stones during the recording of his first hit song.
Mitch Ryder stormed out of Michigan with the Detroit Wheels scoring mid-60’s hits with “Jenny Take a Ride,” “Devil With the Blue Dress On,” and “Sock it To Me-Baby!” For a shining moment, he was one of the few American artists that could rival the British bands in intensity. But, after the hits dried up, Ryder’s career collapsed in a haze of drugs and shady management deals. He managed to pick himself up and find a whole new adoring audience in Europe.
He’s just written his autobiography, Devils and Blue Dresses – My Wild Ride As a Rock and Roll Legend (Cool Titles), and released a brand new album produced by Don Was called The Promise. Icon Fetch talks with Ryder about doing music his way and the possibility of a musical based on his life. He also tells a great story about how John Lennon saved his life.