DETROIT PROUD: Frank Woodman
Frank Woodman was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut – but today, he calls himself “Detroit Proud.” Frank moved to Metro Detroit in 1976 with his mother. He remembers getting off the train at the glorious Michigan Central train station in Corktown waiting for his grandmother to pick them up. “I always try to imagine the hustle and bustle of travelers back in the day,” says Frank.
And Frank is Detroit Proud with good reason – he’s a registered nurse by day and a Detroit activist and local musician by night. If you’re involved with the local music scene here in Metro Detroit, chances are you’ve probably seen Frank perform one way or another. In 2005, Frank started practicing with his kids and formed the band Woodman. They’d made a few friends in the “scene” and started playing local shows in 2007. After his son went away to college, his daughter Hillary, her boyfriend, and Frank formed the band Ungrateful Daughter and continued to play shows around Metro Detroit.
Today, Frank performs as Caveman Woodman, a “punk and performance art creature,” as he describes it. “I grew up with my mom playing Motown records, while my dad played in local bands,” Frank says, “I’ve always loved music.” He started going to arena rock shows when he was a teenager and in the mid-90s, he dabbled into the local music scene, which is where he loves to be now. Also, every Halloween for the past 5 years, Frank has played in a cover band that has covered such artists as The Sonics, The Cramps, The Mummies, The Troggs, and The Monks.
“I was lucky that the garage rock scene was raging when I first started going to shows at The Gold Dollar, Magic Stick,” Frank says about shows he went to in Metro Detroit at the staple venues around the city. “I went to punk shows at Lily’s and Paychecks and now PJ’s Lager House and The Painted Lady. I’m still amazed at all the amazing music in this town and I try to go to as many shows as possible,” he said.
Frank is inspired by all kind of music and especially appreciates the Metro Detroit bands The White Stripes, The Mighty Hentchmen, The Gories, The Dollrods, The Readies, Danny and the Darleans, Duende!, Oscillating Fan Club, Carjack, Pink Lightning, and Phantom Cats…however, “the list could go on and on and on.” He says that great, new bands are always forming here in the city, great local artists are creating the music scene, and he wants to be a part of it.
If he’s not seeing a local band perform at one of his favorite Metro Detroit venues – or performing himself – you can find Frank giving tours of Detroit with The Detroit Bus Company. “I consider myself to be an ambassador of Detroit City,” says Frank, “I take complete strangers on a bus to my favorite dive bars in Detroit. Show them what’s up and what a great town this is.”
Frank says his favorite place to be in Metro Detroit when he’s not performing, working as a tour guide, or seeing a local artist play, is biking on Belle Isle or in downtown, going to Comerica Park to see his beloved Tigers, or eating at Slow’s BBQ, Green Dot Stables, Supino’s Pizza, Mudgies, Mercury Burger Bar, and Bucharist Grill. “I love Detroit and I feel like it’s the place to be,” Frank adds.
And we couldn’t agree with him more. You can find more information about Frank and his current act, Caveman Woodman, here.