“Oh, you really trying to kick up some dirt,” Detroit's Eddie Fowlkes says with a laugh. We’ve been talking for 20 minutes, and I've just inquired if it caused a rift between himself, Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson when the U.K. press decided to run with the "Belleville Three" branding. He's right to point out that it’s the first mention of Belleville since we sat down. “It didn’t cause a rift for me because I knew where I stand. I mean, everybody knows,” he answers. How, then, did Fowlkes, who identifies as the domino that set Detroit techno into motion, get edged out of the equation—and essentially become a footnote in the very book he helped to write?
“I didn’t get along with Derrick May’s manager [at the time], Neil Rushton,” he explains. “Neil Rushton was an asshole, and Juan said he didn’t trust him. Somehow it came [back to him] that it was me said that, but it wasn’t.” Saunderson had just scored a huge hit with “Big Fun” and “you can’t be bigger than Juan in Detroit at this time.” So, with an ax to grind and the media at his fingertips, Rushton brought The Belleville Three into being. “Everything happened here,” Eddie declares, gazing at downtown Detroit from where we’re perched in Hart Plaza. “So that’s where the European press has got it wrong.”