Gallery: John Sinclair, Don Was and Ann Delisi Inducted Into Detroit's 'Legends Plaza'

July 22, 2023, 6:26 PM by  Allan Lengel

Don Was dips his hands in the cement.

Poet, political activist and writer John Sinclar, musician and producer Don Was and WDET radio host Ann Delisi dipped their hands into a slab of wet cement on a warm Saturday afternoon for their induction into "Legends Plaza" outside the Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown Detroit.

Their handprints and signatures will join those of other notables including Mary Wilson, Al Kaline, Bill Bonds, Barry Sanders and Willie Horton.

In 2011, the Detroit Historical Society began memorializing the handprints of people who have left a mark locally. 

After dipping their hands in cement, a small crowd listened to the trio talk about radio, music and other matters. Sinclair was not shy about offering his sharp opinions on politics and educational institutions he attended.  Don Was, aka Don Fagenson, talked about his love of music and radio and working with major artists. 

Was, an Oak Park native, was one of the founders of the band Was (Not Was) with fellow Oak Parker David Was, aka David Weiss. He's been a record producer for notables including Bonnie Raitt, Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Elton John. Delisi, as a radio host, has interviewed people including David Bowie, Iggy Pop and White House photographer Pete Souza. 

Sinclair, who now lives near downtown Detroit, was the manager of the Detroit rock band MC5 and became one of the founding members of the White Panthers, a militant, anti-racist organization. The Flint native helped found the Ann Arbor Sun, an underground paper in the mid-1960s. He served nearly three years in prison for marijuana possession and was freed in 1971. He famously challenged the legality of the government's warrantless wiretapping and ultimately prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. 

Was and Ann Delisi co-host a show on Fridays at 10 p.m. on WDET (101.9 FM) called Don Was Motor City Playlist. Delisi also hosts a show, Ann Delisi’s Essential Music, on Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sinclair has an Internet radio station, He said Saturday the key to a good radio show is to never play bad songs. 

John Sinclair put his signature in the slab of cement.

WDET's Ann Delisi dips her hands in the cement.

John Sinclair weighs in

Don Was speaking.

John Sinclair

Don Was with Dave Mesrey


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