My Memories in “The D”
by Mark Kassa
Born at Detroit Memorial Hospital and promoting this city since the 80’s. While the national media was writing negative articles, I’ve always put in a positive light, recognizing the innovation, music and amazing talent that’s come from here! I attended Musicians Institute in 1990 I was nicknamed “Doctor Detroit” because I wore my Bob Probert Red Wings Jersey and Bill Laimbeer Pistons jersey onstage many times (The Pistons beat the Lakers and Portland to win back to back titles at the time) and my binders were covered with Detroit Lions and Red Wings stickers.
Detroit Red Wings
Attending games with my dad and brother at Olympia Stadium.
Witnessing the first Red Wings victory (against the NY Islanders) at Joe Louis Arena with my dad and brother.
Bill Lochead scores on Dan Bouchard to beat the Atlanta Flames in the best of 3 series at Olympia Stadium.
Reed Larson’s #28 100+ mph slapshot and Vaclav Nedomansky #20- my 2 favorite players!
Terry Harper tossing me a puck over the glass during pre-game warm ups. It meant so much as a little kid.
Marcel Dionne’s amazing scoring.
Dennis Polonich – The little man who packed a huge punch.
Watching a fuzzy looking Hockey Night in Canada on Channel 9, Don Cherry, Ron McLean and Peter Puck 😎
Ted Lindsay starting a fight in an old timers game.
Watching Steve Yzerman develop into one of the greatest players ever.
The Bruise Brothers.
Bob Probert fixing his helmet in the middle of fights and getting stronger the longer the fights went on.
Sergei Federov scoring 5 goals in a game.
Bob Probert beating up Tie Domi in the rematch in Madison Square Garden NY.
The Russian Five.
Darren McCarty pummeling Claude Lemieux.
Probert vs Semenko, Probert vs Crowder, Probert vs Domi, Probert vs Grimson, etc, etc, etc.
The amazing Yzerman goal in Chicago in the 80’s.
The Vladinator, Konstantinov
Steve Yzerman’s double overtime goal vs St Louis.
7 goals against Colorado (6 on Patrick Roy) in game 7.
Yzerman shooting the puck off Roy’s back and into the goal in game 2 of the conference finals.
Roy holding his glove up in the air while the puck sat in the crease and got put in by Shanahan.
THE 1997 Stanley Cup Victory- Finally!!
Larionov and Fetisov holding the cup skating a victory lap.
The 1998 Vlady being pushed around the ice in a wheelchair with the Stanley Cup in his lap.
Chris Osgood’s goal.
Dominic Hasek winning the cup.
Watching Pavel Datsyuk ridiculous hockey skills!
Being at game 6 in Pittsburgh in 2008, sitting right behind the net when Hossa’s shot slid across the crease and missed and the the Wings won the cup.
Having the entire team sign my Fender special edition Detroit Red Wings Guitar (#4 of 100).
Attending an old timers game and getting Shawn Burr’s jersey right from him and having Dennis Polonich and Marcel Dionne autograph it too
Attending the Red Wings Stanley Cup party at the Fox Theater in 1998 and meeting the team
Attending the Red Wings Stanley Cup party at the Sound Board Theater after they won the cup in 2008 and having the team autograph my Fender Limited Edition Detroit Red Wings Telecaster
Enjoying a Sunday ballgame at Tiger Stadium with my family.
Watching The Bird- Mark Fidrych.
Trammel and Whitaker.
Bruce Kim hits a game winning home run at Tiger Stadium against the Yankees at a game The Bird was pitching
The gold glove third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez.
Aurelio Lopez (Senor Smoke!) coming in for long relief and Fernando Hernandez finishing out the game in short relief.
Home runs hitting the 2nd deck in right field.
John Wockenfuss flapping his hand on the bat and standing awkwardly waiting for the pitch.
Steve Kemp making cirlces with his bat waiting for the pitch.
Richie Hebner – the grave digger.
The 1984 Word Series win vs the Padres.
Kirk Gibson upper deck homer vs Rich “Goose” Gossage.
Catching a home run ball in warm ups from Reggie Jackson.
The Bleacher Creatures.
Tigers vs Chicago White Sox- 2nd game of a double header cancelled because the “Disco Sucks” promotion goes wrong in between games. They blew up the disco records in the middle of the field and started a riot so they had to cancel the 2nd game.
Milt Wilcox almost throws a perfect game at Comiskey Park against the Chicago White Sox until Jerry Hairston pinch hit a single with two outs in the 9th inning
The Bad Boys dominating the league.
Going to Pistons Toga Night at The Pontiac Silverdome.
Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson.
Back to Back Champions (really should have been 3, Laimbeer never fouled Kareem).
Isaiah getting hammered by Karl Malone, getting over 40 stitches and coming back to play.
Isaiah playing injured vs the Lakers.
Joe Dumars losing his father during the 1990 finals and the Portland fans showing such class.
Laimbeer fouling out vs Portland and bowing to the crowd on his way off the court.
2004 surprise title win vs The Lakers.
The Palace, one of the best arenas
Billy Sims jumping over the pile of players at the 1 yard line.
Barry Sanders- most electrifying player of all time.
Chris Spielman- all heart!
Having season tickets at the Silverdome and witnessing Barry’s amazing runs.
Attending the playoff game in 1991 when Erik Kramer played like Joe Montana vs Dallas, loudest I have ever heard any sporting event.
The Pontiac Silverdome- wildest stadium in all of sports.
Watching the Lions win a string of games every time they needed to save Wayne Fontes job.
Mel Gray- the most underrated Detroit Lion of all time
1991 Lions comeback vs the Minnesota Vikings – 3 touchdowns in 4th quarter to win 24-20.
Herman Moore’s amazing catches.
Monday Night Football vs The Bears at Ford Field- one of the loudest crowds ever.
My first concert- Triumph and Foghat at Joe Louis Arena
Stevie Ray Vaughan at Meadowbrook- He came out playing a white strat with silver pickups playing “Scuttle Buttin'”. That show changed my life! James Cotton blues band opened the show
Robin Trower at Chene Park in 1987. Amazing ambience when it got dark and all the boats pulled up around the back of the stage and Robin went into Bridge of Sighs and blew me away! The vibe was amazing!
Meeting Stevie Ray Vaughan at Sam’s Jams and having him autograph my guitar magazine with his photo on the cover along with my white strat.
Santana at the Fox Theater in Detroit in mid-winter in the 90’s. Legendary!
Playing our first show with Robin Trower in 2008 at The Royal Oak Music Theater..a moment I will never forget!
Playing at the DTE Energy Center the first time as support for CCR. A month before the show my brother mentioned that if the Stanley Cup Finals went 7 games and the Red Wings were in it, it would be the same night as the concert. And of course it wound up the same night. As soon as our set finished I rushed offstage to the dressing room to watch the end of the game.
Recording with the legendary George Clinton at the historic United Sound Studios in Detroit. George was the coolest cat on the planet.
Recording Videos for my songs “Shake Your Detroit Right” and “Funky People” with George Clinton at the historic Masonic Temple Theater in Detroit, MI
Recording at Ghetto Recorders with Jim Diamond on analog reel to reel. It was an old chicken processing plant and had some serious character.
Recording with Andy Vargas (lead vocalist for Santana) and legendary drummer Dennis Chambers and the crowd that showed up at the studio while we were recording.
Recording Videos at the Jack White Theater inside the Masonic Temple in Detroit with Andy Vargas and Dennis Chambers for the Slight Return Vicious Tides album
Having legendary Funk Brother Dennis Coffey play on our recording.
Watching Tony “T Money” Green lay down an amazing bass line for our song “Shake Your Detroit Right” at Ghetto Recorders.
Interviewing George Clinton for my TV Show “Welcome To The D” at United Sound Studios in Detroit.
Recording with Jack Endino and Chris Hanzsek in Seattle
Playing at Sound Check for Robin Trower and having his manager Laurie Brace come out to listen to us and say “You guys are the only band to ever get me to come out and listen during a soundcheck, I love what I hear”.
Sitting in the front row center for Stevie Ray Vaughan at Pine Knob.
Watching Robin Trower’s show from the stage, right after we finished our set.
Watching our set from the Royal Oak Music Theater on Comcast On Demand Concert.tv, listed right in between The Scorpions and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Getting my WRIF D.R.E.A.D Card.
The “Dick The Bruiser Band”.
“The Beat” with Doug Podell.
The 80’s Detroit Rock Bands on the cusp of fame
Attending Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA and wearing so much Detroit gear (especially my Bob Probert and Bill Laimbeer jerseys) that I was dubbed “Dr Detroit”.
Business in Detroit- working at K&G Food Mart at the corner of Linwood and Davison for over 30 years
Talking High School football every week with Detroit Central Trailblazers Coach Woody Thomas- who also coached NFL Star Antonio Gates
Watching Mayor Coleman Young give a key to the city to Saddam Hussein! Later delivered to him in Iraq by Father Yasso
Running the “United Youth 2000” basketball program at Detroit Loyola High School with Coach Robert Brown
Working with Focus Hope on Linwood
Volunteering at St Dominic’s Soup Kitchen in Detroit
Watching all the great bands at Alvin’s on Cass- including Tower of Power, Scott Henderson, Thornetta Davis and the Chisel Brothers
Meeting Freeman Hendrix when he ran for mayor of Detroit