Grande Ballroom

Detroit was a hotbed of rock music creativity in the late sixties and early seventies, and the Grande Ballroom played dream-come-true venue and de-rigueur stop for new and already popular bands. Chosen Few, on the bill for opening night, was a casualty of the early days of rock competition as were the Ann Arbor-born Rationals and Stooges. Detroit-local MC5, the Grande's de-facto house band, however, is credited with kicking peace-and-love up a notch and out to pasture, and Procul Harum, The Who, Pink Floyd and Jefferson Airplane passed through and added heartland-of-America to burgeoning fan bases. The brainchild of Larry Feldman and Russ Gibbs, the Grande enjoyed the special talent of Gary Grimshaw, who, with Detroit native Carl Lundgren, designed wonderful, wild posters for the shows. The music, like Grimshaw, eventually migrated westward, and the Grande's success spawned competition from teen to serious rock clubs. The Grande remains, however, an important marker in the era's musical development.

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