Tuesday, September 22, 2009

vintage detroit monthly ad of the day

Vintage Ad #925: Romantic Dining Under a Painting of Smoking Dogs Playing Poker

You've been waiting all day for this. A nice, romantic dinner with your beloved, where love is in the air as you gingerly tear into a rack of meaty pork ribs. Neither of you will care if sweet BBQ sauce drips onto your chic blouse or comfy sportcoat—it's being together in the moment that matters. Your relationship is sealed under the gaze of smoking dogs playing poker.

The painting may be gone, but Tunnel Bar-B-Q carries on.

Detroit Monthly ran the same review of TBQ for years: "For many Yanks, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is a long driveway to this rib shack. Big meaty ribs, oversized salads and diet-shattering desserts. The decor is Early Franchise."

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Also in the June 1986 issue of Detroit Monthly:

* A profile of longtime WJR morning host J.P. McCarthy, a Detroit radio institution from the early 1960s until his death in 1995. McCarthy was usually on in the car at the start of long roadtrips—he always talked about his golf game. Other elements I remember: "Gee, I Didn't Know That!" (spoken like an old radio jingle), the gong for Farmer Jack savings time, the electronic music for "Computer Kickoff" (a syndicated preview of that week's football matches), and Paul Harvey advertising one product or another. He also hosted the station's main interview program, Focus.

As "the great voice of the Great Lakes", WJR was the classic full service radio station—strong news department, local personalities, thematic music programming (usually Patterns in Music or Kaleidoscope in our car), and a healthy sports lineup (Red Wings, Tigers, Wolverines). Now it's just another right-leaning talk radio station. Reruns of McCarthy's lesser golf conversations would be finer listening than thirty seconds combined of current station stalwarts Rush, Sean and Dr. Laura.

* Several features related to the fifth edition of the Detroit Grand Prix, highlighting costs ($25,000 for a corporate suite at the Renaissance Centre, anyone?), drivers who earned millions, and a photo spread of very 1980s spectator fashion.

* A newcomers guide for residents moving to the Detroit area, including "loony landmarks" (the giant Uniroyal tire on I-94 by the airport and the oil tank painted like a baseball on I-75 near the Rouge River that was later turned into a basketball) and "native customs" (regional quirks like party stores, street name pronunciations, deep potholes, Chaldeans, etc).

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Sidenote: at some point during 1985-86, the magazine changed its name from Monthly Detroit to Detroit Monthly. Why bother?

Shameless Self-Promotion Department: Over on Torontoist, snapshots of North York in the 1960s, and where to celebrate your stunning Shakespearian performance in the 1980s. - JB

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