City Slang: The Rockets return, but no Jim McCarty

December 11, 2013


’70s hard rockers The Rockets will return for a show at the Fillmore on December 28, but original guitarist Jim McCarty won’t be joining them.

Citizen Zero and Horse Cave Trio also play. The ranks of the new Rockets includes original Rockets drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, along with lead singer Jim Edwards, keyboardist Danny Taylor, and new members Joey Gaydos (lead guitar), Phil “Greasy” Carlisi (guitar) and Mike Marshall (bass).

In addition, the Rockets will be releasing a new four-track EP, Greetings from Detroit. General admission is $20 and doors are at 7pm. All ages are welcome.


It’s an interesting development; the Rockets reunion initially occurred just a few years ago when McCarty, Badanjek and Edwards had been performing together as the Hell Drivers, and they decided to switch names to boost interest. They went away for a while, McCarty working with Cactus and Badanjek with the Howling Diablos.

So is this band, left with just Johnny Bee, a legitimate version of the Rockets? What do you think?

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  • Johnny Spark

    Absolutely – Johnny wrote the songs. The Rockets drive was driven by Johnny ‘s strong rhythm foundation accompanied by strong vocals is the drive of the Rockets. Dave on vocals is a proven compliment. The other players are some of Detroit’s finest so they are going to be Pure Detroit Energy. Jimmy will no doubt be missed, but the only lose will be his.

  • Jim Megerian

    It is and always will be Bee’s band. He is responsible for their driving groove and is the primary songwriter. How can it not be his? McCarty will be missed, but he was not nesessarily the primary guitarist in the original lineup. All of the “new guys” are pros and are worthy.

  • Eddie Brandenburg

    I hope they go farther than ever before but I cant see it happening without the great Rock n Roll vocals of Dave Gillbert.Jim is a great singer but nobody had the Rock n Roll scream down like Dave.I cant see them coming close to replacing McCarty n Robbins,those are 2 of the greatest guitar players still and the way they played together was amazing.Dennis Robbins is still known as one of the best slide guitar players ever,just ask Warren Hayes.I wish all them the best and the new guys are great players to!!!!!!!

  • hadda nuff

    Really…. McCarty was a original as far back as the beginning.