When some familiar hometown faces at Detroit's legendary Grande Ballroom greeted Clevelander Glenn Schwartz in the spring of '69, he asked whether he could ride back to Ohio with them. Schwartz was then lead guitarist for Pacific Gas and Electric, which was headed for a triumphant return to this town's own underground rock haven, La Cave, after the Grande gig. His roadmates that evening got the first glimpse of a Glenn Schwartz who would surprise and no doubt disappoint many old fans and buddies. The homegrown guitar star, the notorious on- and off-stage wild man who had journeyed to the West Coast to find fame, had found Jesus instead. It had been a foregone conclusion in the national music press that this boy wonder was to succeed Messrs. Jimi and Eric as the next guitar deity. But Schwartz took a solitary road instead, one not necessarily headed toward peaceful regions.
Nowadays, some see Glenn's apocalyptic raving and wild proselytizing as theater; some see him as a truth-teller. And some go in the hope of catching flashes of the superstar that he nearly was. What they'll get is anybody's guess. Glenn demonstrated long ago that he's not about giving the people what they want to hear.