Artist Bios

Doug Podell, Emcee. Afternoon Personality, 3p 7p 94.7 WCSX, Detroit’s Classic Rock. The “Doc of Rock”, Doug Podell, didn't go to medical school, but he's earned his doctorate in rock and roll. A long time veteran of Detroit radio, Doug is a native of Detroit's East side and a walking dictionary of rock music. As host of the rockin’ popular Comcast TV Show, Rock900, Doug remains on the cutting edge of the music revolution!


Mark Farner, Headliner, Vocals, Guitar. As lead vocalist, lead guitarist and principle songwriter, Mark Farner is the engine that took the original Grand Funk Railroad, one of rock music’s most successful groups, to the top of the charts. Mark’s passionate delivery, his powerhouse vocals, fiery guitar playing, and his irresistible charisma illuminate the stage. With 30 million records sold (12 RIAA Certified Platinum and 15 Certified Gold albums), Mark Farner is “Some Kind of Wonderful.“


Drew Abbott, Guitar. Best known for his work with Bob Seger, Drew rocketed to fame as lead guitarist for the Silver Bullet Band. Abbott appears on top Seger albums, including the iconic Live Bullet, Night Moves, Stranger in Town, Against the Wind, and more. Abbot’s friendship with Dick Wagner goes back to the early days of the Grande Ballroom. Drew’s band, Third Power opened the show for the Frost on the night of their historic live recording of Rock and Roll Music at the Grande in 1968.


The Accidentals, String & Percussion Trio. Two girls, thirteen instruments, over six hundred live shows, thousands of fans... just graduated high school! Katie Larson and Savannah Buist of The Accidentals, with Michael Dause on percussion, are described by Jonathan Frahm of Yahoo Voices as “one of the most ground-breaking musical experiences one might just have in a lifetime. If you’re looking for a new indie folk rock band to get into, you couldn’t do much better than The Accidentals.” 


Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, Drums, was the 16 year old drummer for Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, where he hammered out one of the great drum breaks in the history of rock, “Devil With A Blue Dress.” Bee has toured and recorded with Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper, Dr. John, Bob Seger, Nils Lofgren, the Romantics, the Rockets, and provided the backbeat for legendary tracks including Edgar Winter’s “Free Ride” and Dick Wagner/Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare.” “I’d like to express my admiration for Dick Wagner. We grew up together, playing in our first bands, Mitch Ryder and The Frost. A truly gifted artist, Dick became a top notch songwriter with many hits. I had the pleasure of recording again with Dick on his song, “Motor City Music,” to support Brother Al’s mission to feed Detroit’s homeless. Dick would be proud to see his friends getting together to play his music and donating to the children. THE TRAIN KEPT A ROLLIN’…    


Joe Bass, Bass, an esteemed member of the Dick Wagner Band, has played bass for over 40 years, has shared the stage with Brad Whitford, Derek St. Holmes, Mark Farner, Arthur Brown and Kingdom Come, and Brian Howe of Bad Company, among others. A broadly talented musician and singer, Joe has opened shows for Nazareth, Rik Emmett, Great White, Paul Rogers, Sammy Hagar, Erik Burden and the Animals, Todd Rundgren, The Cars, Scorpions, and Mitch Ryder.


Jean Beauvoir, Lead Vocals, Guitar. Jean’s broad-based career began at 13. By his mid-teens, he found fame in NYC as bass player for The Plasmatics. He went on to become a multi-platinum artist, producer, and songwriter, working with KISS, The Ramones, N’Sync, Lionel Richie, The Pretenders, the Eurythmics, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, and more. Jean’s songs have been featured in films for Sylvester Stallone, Steven King, Wes Craven, among others. If that’s not enough, Jean also served as CEO of Steven Van Zandt’s media and entertainment company, Renegade Nation.


Jimmie Bones, Keyboards, is the rootsy blues and soul influenced piano and organ player in Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band. Since 1995, Bones has been Rock’s full time keyboardist, contributing backing vocals and harmonica as well as co-writing songs with Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker. Jimmie Bones has also recorded with Hank Williams Jr. Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Billy Gibbons, Beth Hart, Dick Wagner, Howling Diablos, and Ty Stone, to name only a few.


Muruga Booker, Percussion, is an American drummer, percussionist, composer, recording artist, inventor, and uncanonical Greek Orthodox priest. Muruga joined Dick Wagner for some fiery (literally on fire!) early gigs with the Bossmen. In 1969, Muruga played drums with Tim Hardin at the Woodstock Festival, where he met Yogi Swami Satchidananda, who anointed him with the name Muruga. He went on to record and tour with Weather Report and George Clinton, and became an official P-Funk All Star. He joined the Rainforest Band with Jerry Garcia, performing with on the Grammy nominated album, Blues from the Rain Forest. An inventor and painter, Muruga invented the nada drum, a variation of the talking drum.


John Bradshaw, Author, Speaker, has been called, “America’s leading personal growth expert.” The author of five New York Times bestsellers, Bradshaw On: The Family, Healing the Shame That Binds You, Homecoming, Creating Love, and Family Secrets, Bradshaw pioneered the concept of the “Inner Child” and brought the term “dysfunctional family” into the mainstream. He has created and hosted four nationally broadcast PBS television series based on his books and has touched millions of lives through his work. Bradshaw speaks of his friend, Dick Wagner: “Richard Wagner was totally original. He created some of the most poignant songs I’ve ever heard. I used them in my “inner child” workshops with an attendance of an estimated half million people. We spent a lot of time over the years probing our lives and had a “deep soul connection.” We will never see the likes of him again.”


Paul Brown, Keyboards, B3. Our supremely talented 2016 Musical Director is a double Grammy nominated songwriter, producer, and keyboardist. “The common threads I bring to everything I do are passion, positive energy and absolute commitment,” says Brown, whose award-winning resume ranges from producing and co-writing heralded albums by soul-blues legends Bobby Rush and Ann Peebles to performances with Al Green, George Clinton, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, Darlene Love, The Waterboys, and more. Paul’s been a close friend of Dick Wagner and a valued member of the Dick Wagner Band. Paul contributed his B3 and piano brilliance to Wagner’s last two recordings, “I’ve Seen It All,” and “In the Beginning.” We musicians and Dick Wagner family thank you, Paul, for taking on this massive and majestic job as our musical director.


Dennis Burr, Guitar, has been a “go to” guitarist and pedal steel player since the late ‘60s. He has played with regional and national touring bands, the most recent being a three year stint in the Dick Wagner Band. A 2005 winner of the Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding R&B Instrumentalist 2005, Burr has played with Motor City Women and Detroit Express. A consummate pro who has recorded many records and commercials, Dennis considers his time with “the Maestro” a highlight in his long career.


Maryann Cotton, (Singer, née Jackie Patino), is a young Danish singer and songwriter that the European press has called, “The new generation of shock rock.” A huge Dick Wagner fan since he was 4 years old, Maryann met his dream producer/guitar player, and the Maestro became a fan: “He has the talent, discipline, passion, and good looks to bring my songs to life. Maryann Cotton is a young man poised to become a genuine rock star, and I am a true believer.” Wagner has written a modern day concept album for Maryann: Chester Rose, The Legend Begins, including songs co-written with the young rocker. Watch for their album in 2015.


Marshall Crenshaw, Vocals, Guitar, has been in show business for most of his life, written or co-written some hit songs, appeared in a couple of movies, has a nice family, and is in pretty good shape for his age. My connection to Dick Wagner is, I’m sorry to say, not a personal one. I always hoped that I’d cross paths with him at some point, but it never happened. Back during the heyday of The Frost, he was a towering figure to me and my peer group of aspiring Rock musos in the Detroit area. I saw the band dozens of times and never got tired of them. He certainly played with tons of passion and finesse. Seeing him go out into the world later on and put his stamp on all kinds of iconic Popular Music was inspiring.


Dennis Dunaway, Bassist, is a founding member and bassist with the original Alice Cooper group. The band broke their first hit, “I’m Eighteen,” in 1971 and earned six platinum albums during their tenure together. Dennis co-wrote classics “Under My Wheels, “School’s Out and “Billion Dollar Babies.” In 2011, the Alice Cooper group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2014, the iconic “School’s Out” single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2015, Dennis released his critically acclaimed memoir, “Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs.” Dennis continues to write, record, and perform live with his bands, Blue Coupe and The Snake Charmers.


Gene Fiero, Bass. From the dawn of The Beatles, I’ve been amazed how music took me away. Seeing Dick Wagner and the Frost gave me that same feeling, amazed with Dick’s total grasp of his language of music. As a musician and audio engineer, I have been inspired by Dick and his person. I’ve been workin for a livin in local bands like Laybrinth, The Whiz Kids, Not Afraid, and Shades of Blue. A few years at Nalli Music Annex and then my own studio, Single Sound Recording Service. My humble thanks to Dick and Suzie for the opportunity to play along.


Micki Free, Guitar, Vocals, is a Grammy Winner & Five Time Native American Music Award Winner. A mixed blood Comanche-Cherokee Native American, Micki was discovered at 17 and managed by Gene Simmons of KISS. Micki was guitarist with multi-platinum R&B sensation Shalamar and won his first Grammy for a song he wrote for "Beverly Hills Cop." Free has worked with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, Bill Wyman, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Shalamar, Little Steven Van Zandt, Prince, Billy Gibbons, Carlos Santana, Cheap Trick, and more. Together, Micki Free and Jean Beauvoir perform as Beauvoir-Free. “Micki Free is a multi-talented maker of mad machinations in a most mesmerizing manner. Mercy! Get it on, Micki!” — THE REV. BILLY F. GIBBONS, ZZ TOP


The Frost: Donny Hartman, Lead Vocals & Guitar, Bobby Rigg, Drums Dick Wagner’s wildly popular band of the late 1960s, the Frost, blew minds and hearts at the Grande Ballroom. In Dick’s own words, “The Frost was a trip to heaven on power chords and three-part harmonies.” Dick himself describes his bandmates: “Donny Hartman was always a great presence in front of a live audience. His completely relaxed and humorous attitude, combined with a gravely bluesy voice that could hit a stratospheric falsetto at any given moment, made Donny a star with the Frost audience. A true world-class rocker, Donny could command a stage and steal a show and be out fishing for bass at five the very next morning.” “Bobby Rigg was a great rock drummer. He was legendary for his drum solos and completely unique groove. Bobby made dynamic use of a double bass drum kit, leaving the audience breathless night after night.” A prelude to Dick’s songwriting success with Alice Cooper and others, Dick’s early Frost tunes endure with sophisticated harmonies, unexpected chord progressions, and dazzling orchestrations. Dick adds, “It’s all about the songs in the end... I had tried to utilize my instincts and love of classical music in “orchestrating” the music of The Frost. That thought process set us apart and gave us a unique approach to Rock and Roll.”


Sandy Gennaro, Drums, has toured and recorded with Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Pat Travers Band, Blackjack with Michael Bolton, Johnny Winter, Bo Diddley Robin Gibb, The Monkees, Joe Lynn Turner, Lou Christie, Derek St. Holmes and more. Gennaro is a frequent and favorite counselor at David Fishof's Rock and Roll Fantasy Camps. As an author, Sandy has written for Modern Drummer Magazine and is the creator of "Drum Basics" (DVD/Book-Alfred Publications) and "Contemporary Rock Styles for the Drums" (CD/Book-Hal Leonard Publ). Sandy created the music business program at The Collective in NYC, where he taught master classes and private students.


Glenn Giordano, Drums, is an esteemed member of the Dick Wagner Band. As a young man drawn to pocket players like Gadd, Percaro and Purdie, Giordano became known for his groove and pocket. Continuing his studies at Berklee College of Music, Giordano was picked up by a Godspell troupe and began touring. He landed eventually in Detroit and toured with R & B artists Lady Sunshine, Alberta Adams, and Thornetta Davis. Touring with the Carnival Cruise Lines, he honed his chops in a variety of music genres. As Wagner once said from the stage, ‘When Glenn locks in a groove, it can’t be unlocked.’


Ray Goodman, Musical Director, Lead Guitarist, Dick Wagner “Remember the Child” Memorial Concert, is a long time member of the Dick Wagner Band and one of the elite musicians who emerged from the Detroit scene in the 1960s. Longtime bandmate Mitch Ryder called Goodman, “One of America’s best guitarists.” While known for his work with Detroit rockers Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, Cub Coda, SRC, and The Dick Wagner Band, Ray’s roots are in R&B, Goodman cites his work with Chicago blues guitar legend Luther Allison as among his favorites. Ray has worked as a studio musician and touring guitarist, and as a studio owner, sound engineer and record producer.


Al Jacquez, Vocals, brings his sonoris voice to the Dick Wagner Band. He began his career singing in the balcony with his church choir, followed by school plays, talent shows, the Junior Light Opera. His rock ‘n’ roll career moved to the forefront when he joined the band, Savage Grace, as lead singer. Al moved into theatrical, industrial film work, and jingles, while showcasing his talents with Guardian Angel, Lightnin,’ and Vantage Point.


Peter Keys, Keyboards, is the keyboard player for legendary rock and roll band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. A cross-genre musical gymnast of Rock and Roll, Blues, Funk, and Soul, Peter has recorded and toured with a wide variety of bands, including P-Funk, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Isaac Hayes, and more. Peter attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass, majoring in piano performance and music production. When he’s not on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd, he’s in the studio cutting records and writing and producing for himself and countless other artists.


Laurie Beebe Lewis, Vocals, As a young musician with her band, “Pitche Blende,” Laurie toured frequently with Dick Wagner & The Frost, Bob Seger, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. Her vocal flexibility took her on a broad-based career, performing with B.B King, the Spinners, big band leader Les Elgart, and “The Buckinghams.” In later years, Laurie became a member of “The New Mamas and the Papas,” touring with original Papas John Phillips & Denny Doherty, as well as with Spanky McFarlane. Laurie was a featured soloist on Dick Wagner's song and video for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, "If I had the Time, I Could Change the World."


Mary McGuire, Guitar, Vocals. Singer/songwriter, McGuire merges elements of folk, rock and pop, often with poignant lyrics and complex harmonies. Her compositions have been used in films, television shows, General Motors commercials and on the celebrated slack radio show Church of the Subgenius.”The first time I heard Only Women Bleed, it was then that Dick taught me not to be afraid to write about the truth, that it is powerful to write about what is real, even if it is painful.”


Pete Mendillo, Drums, began his professional drumming career at 13. His soulful style and rock solid time soon led him to join British blues boogie band, Savoy Brown, followed by traveling the world as drummer for Survivor. Pete’s resume includes drumming for Ann Peebles, Joe Lynn Turner, Joe Lynn Turner, Derek St. Holmes, Jimi Jamison, Black Oak Arkansas, Mad Jack, Alexis Grace, Tommy Tutone, and more. He tours currently with EMI-Nashville artist, Troy Olsen. Pete added his soulful playing to Dick Wagner’s last recorded song, “I’ve Seen it All.”


Scott Morgan, Vocals, Guitar, is an American rock and roll and soul musician, most known for his work with the Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, the Rationals, and the Solution, as well as his solo work. One of the formative bands of the Michigan rock scene, the Rationals were managed by Jeep Holland (also manager of the Bossmen, the Frost, SRC, and founder of A2 Records). The Rationals soulful rendition of Otis Reddings, “Respect,” pre-dated Aretha Franklin’s by a year.  


Kenny Olson, Guitar, is a soulful multi-platinum artist with serious street creds, “Kenny Olson is one of the best rock guitarists on the scene.” (Keith Richards). A founding member of Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band, Olson has also been an esteemed guitarist on the Experience Hendrix Tour. He’s delivered his hot guitar chops, passion, grit and originality to recordings with Metallica, Aerosmith, Billy Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Run-DMC, Chaka Khan, Sheryl Crow, Faith Evans, Les Paul, and many more. Olson’s new baby, The Kenny Olson Cartel, blends a rootsy, old school, Motor City, Detroit rock ‘n’ roll with a funky Motown vibe.


Hal Patino, Bass, is a Grammy nominated bass player, best known for his work with King Diamond. He toured the world with King Diamond for 18 years, recording 10 albums including their top charting and best-selling records. He is currently working with his son Maryann Cotton, as well as on projects with Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee and European guitarist John Norum. As a teenager, Hal saw Dick Wagner live with Alice Cooper on the Welcome to My Nightmare tour in 1975 in Copenhagen; and it was his greatest musical inspiration ever.


Danny Seraphine, Drums. In 1967, Danny Seraphine was one of the architects of “Chicago Transit Authority,” soon known as “Chicago.” During his 22 year tenure in Chicago, the group charted five No. 1 albums and 21 top ten hits, second only to the Beach Boys and earning 22 gold, 18 platinum, and 8 multi-platinum albums. Honored by Rolling Stone as one of the “All-time Top 100 Drummers,” Danny was also recognized at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards as Songwriter of the Year” for his co-write on Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me.” Before the Maestro Dick Wagner’s untimely passing, Danny Seraphine, Leland Sklar, Mark Farner, and Dick Wagner were in discussions to form a new “Supergroup,” featuring Dick Wagner songs and co-writes between band members.


Derek St. Holmes, (Lead Guitar) is an American rock and roll legend best known as lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player for the Ted Nugent Band. Known equally for his muscular rock vocals as for his resonant and dynamic guitar tones, St. Holmes is a multi-faceted talent and songwriter. In 1981, long-time friends Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes teamed up for the critically acclaimed dual album, Whitford St. Holmes. St. Holmes and Whitford again teamed up in Nashville to record their fiery guitar duels on Dick Wagner’s song, “I’ve Seen It All.” In 2015, Derek and his longtime friend and musical collaborator, Brad Whitford, reunited to record and tour with their band, Whitford St. Holmes.


Robert Wagner, Vocals, has been fronting bands, singing, writing and recording music for 30 years. He’s been influenced by the great British Blues-Rock singers…Robert Plant, Steve Marriott, Rod Stewart and by talents ranging from Sly Stone, Tina Turner, to Alice Cooper. But his biggest influence has always been his Legendary father Dick Wagner! Ever since that fateful day as a teenager in 1975, when Robert walked backstage at The Alice Cooper Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit, he KNEW he wanted to live the Rock-n-Roll life!…but it’s always been about THE MUSIC. Just like his Dad…


Miss Wensday, Vocals, was the first artist signed by Dick Wagner/Susan Michelson’s label, Desert Dreams. Says Wensday, “Dick produced my critically acclaimed 2008 album, Torch Rock, featured on the Grammy Ballot in nine categories. Alice Cooper called me ‘the OTHER girl next door.’ Dick called me ‘the girl singer,’ I called him my producer, my songwriter, my co-writer, my guitar player, my mentor, my friend, my family. We made lots of music, in the studio, onstage, and sitting at the keyboard in his home, beneath his gold and platinum records. The energy between us was spiritual and electric, not just from the cables that connected us, but from the deep creative recesses of our souls, where music is born and made. In the words of Dick’s song, which I sing tonight, “There will never be another, no one in this world will ever do. After You.”


Brad Whitford, Lead Guitar. After attending Berklee School of Music in Boston in the early '70s, Whitford was invited to join Aerosmith, then an up-and-coming local band. Aerosmith went on to become one of the most successful bands of all time, with sales of more than 150 million records. Playing rhythm and lead guitars with Joe Perry, Whitford co-wrote several songs, including his distinctive riffs on "Round and Round," "Nobody's Fault," and "Last Child." Brad's solos are a smoother counterpart to Joe Perry's hard-edged tone, an important ingredient to the identifiable Aerosmith sound. In 1981, Whitford hooked up with Derek St. Holmes to record their album, Whitford/St. Holmes. Honoring Dick Wagner for his lead guitar contributions to Aerosmith, Whitford joined St. Holmes to play dual guitars on Dick Wagner’s last recording, “I’ve Seen It All.” In 2015, Derek and his longtime friend and collaborator, Derek St. Holmes, reunited to record and tour with their band, Whitford St. Holmes.


David Winans II, Vocals, is the senior member of the world famous "Winans Family" gospel group from Detroit, Michigan. David has three Grammy Awards with The Winans Family. As a solo artist, he also has won three Detroit Music Awards, two for "Outstanding Christian Recording" and one for "Outstanding Production" for his band "PI". David is president of David Winans Productions and has over thirty-six years in the music business. He is an accomplished vocalist and musician playing guitar, bass and piano.