Pioneer Report: The Power Of Black Merda’s Place In Rock History

Photo Courtesy Of Vc L. Veasey

1968 was a significant year to debut as a Rock band of African descent. Coming off the heels of the 1967 Detroit Riots (confrontation between Black residents and the police) into the 1968 Detroit Riots (after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), you can hear that trance of heavy, rhythmic energy in Black Merda’s music.  With the backstory of the the Vietnam War going on and the Peace and Love movement slowly coming to an end, Black Merda helped to ignite the soundtrack of a prolific era while representing what was considered to be the first all Black Funk-Psychedelic-Rock bands. 

Pioneers are usually the ones who shift things into something new but often don’t get the credit they deserve. When I discovered Black Merda’s discography I knew right away that they were apart of that legendary club that uprooted new grounds. What they created can not be denied if you research the evidence upon their musical timeline. From their humble beginnings that include session work with iconic recording artists to carving their own identity in the forefront of a whole new Rock era, let’s get to know know Black Merda through the testimony of VC L Veasey.

Photo Courtesy Of Vc L. Veasey

Samantha Hollins: Where is Black Merda from?

Vc L. Veasey: We’re from Detroit, M.I. but I and two others in the band were born in Mississippi…but grew up in Michigan; this Detroit area.

Samantha Hollins: Name each band member and the instrument/role they played in the band.

Vc L. Veasey: Me, VC Lamont Veasey aka VC L The Mighty V! Veasey: Guitar, bass, lead and background vocals.

Anthony (Wolf) Hawkins: lead guitar, lead and background vocals.

Charles (Charlie-Hawk) Hawkins: lead guitar, rhythm guitar, lead and background vocals.

Tyrone “Snake” Hite (deceased): drums, lead and background vocals. We were all songwriters.

Samantha Hollins: What year was your band established?

Vc L. Veasey: 1968…but before that Anthony Hawkins and I performed as a duo called Impact in 1959 and the early 1960s. I played rhythm guitar; Anthony played lead guitar. We also had a band called The Impact Band and Singers.

Samantha Hollins: When was the 1st time you fell in love with Rock ‘n’ Roll?

Vc L. Veasey: When I discovered Jimi Hendrix!

Samantha Hollins: Were you signed to any record labels, management deals or agencies?

Vc L. Veasey: We were signed with Chess Records in 1969 and our self-titled Black Merda album was released in 1970.

Photo Courtesy Of Vc L. Veasey

Samantha Hollins: What was your debut song, hit song or the song that your core fans will identify you with? 

Vc L. Veasey: “Cynthy Ruth” on our self-titled Black Merda Album. I think it was also released as a single.

Samantha Hollins: Oh, how I would have loved to have witnessed a Black Merda show! When did your band last rock together?

Vc L. Veasey: Late 1970s.

Samantha Hollins: What prominent venues or events has your band played?

Vc L. Veasey: The Apollo Theater in New York, The Winter Blast Festivals in Detroit, M.I….This was during mid to late 1960s.

Samantha Hollins: Tell us about the game changing role your band impacted in the Rock genre/sub Rock genre?

Vc L. Veasey: That’s a good question! We played Black Rock during a time when many Black bands weren’t. We were Psychfunk Rock but with lyrical messages addressing all the bad shit that was going on during Civil Rights Movement and protest movements.

Samantha Hollins: Where can your fans find your discography, band info or any websites to stay informed about your history or forthcoming projects? 

Vc L. Veasey: They should type Black Merda into Google and they should see many write ups on Black Merda.

Samantha Hollins: Inject your sage wisdom into the new generation of rockers.

Vc L. Veasey: If you’re gonna rock, rock with some wisdom and good spirit!

Samantha Hollins: Thank you Vc L. Veasey for sharing your prominent history with the Culture Rock Griot. 

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