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Remembering the Grande Ballroom

October 2, 2006

Russ talks about the old days and the 40th anniversary of the Grande Ballroom concert that is being held October the 7th, 2006, at the Royal Oak Music Theater, in Michigan, with Big Brother and the Holding CO., Canned Heat, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, the Third Power featuring Drew Abbott and the original announcer Dave Miller.


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39 Comment(s)

Cheers!

--by Brian on 10/3/06   Lives: Dearborn  

I am under the age of 60 therefore I don't remember the Grande Ballroom.

--by I WENT TO KENILWORHT PUB on 10/3/06   Lives: Dearborn  

Uncle Russ, love your message. I went to the Grande Ballroom for almost 2 years every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. When I could not get any frieds to come with me I went alone-beginning of the woman's liberation. I had lots of pictures of myself from previous weeks flashed on the walls. You could always tell when I had been there-the bottoms of my feet were black. Thanks for the great memories.

--by Trish then Crandall on 10/3/06   Lives: USA  

Thanks for bringing the music to the people all those years ago. While I now reside in So Cal, my heart is still in the Motor City. Each time I come home for a visit, I can feel it in my bones. That sure was a time!

--by c.criner on 10/4/06   Lives: USA  

Boy.....just hearing the name Bob Talbert makes me wish for the old days!

--by MISSIN' MONDAY MOANIN'!! on 10/4/06   Lives: Dearborn  

Being from Toledo, I had the opportunity to visit Detroit often in the late 60s/early 70s for many of your shows, Mr Gibb, and always had a blast. And though I only ever made it to the Grande once (01/25/70), it remains a very vivid memory: the Free John Sinclair Benefit. I am in Chicago now, but I am not letting that keep me from being in Royal Oak Saturday! Thanks for being cool, and for staying cool, "Uncle" Russ!

--by Randy M Foley on 10/4/06   Lives: USA  

I met Sheila at a Canned Heat concert back in 1967 I believe. She was bumming spare change. She still does and we have been married 36 yrs +. Hope to see some old friends at the show. (Hope I recognize them ) Still crazy after all these years. Thanks for the memories.

--by Jim & Sheila Shields on 10/6/06   Lives: Michigan  

Russ, I attended the 40th reunion at the Royla Oak music theatre. I was disappointed that you did not say more while up on stage. Reading all of the stores on your site, the freepress, wcsx site really brought back some good memories. I even received a free ticket to the show from the Free Press for me memories. I was hopping to hear at least a few inside tidbits from your memories. Too bad it would have been good to hear. The bands were really good. That femal signer for Big Brother did a great job. Janis Jopplin never would show her legs like she did. Sorry about the limo, I heard your line when you walked in. Maybe for the 50th?

--by Tom Savage on 10/9/06   Lives: Dearborn  

Saturday, August 2, 1969
I was the bass player of The Chip Stevens Blues Band; the opening act for Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, and Sky.
After our set and Sky, I meandered up to Tony Ray, the stage manager?, behind the mixing board, stage left. He had a heatset on as Cocker was into his set. I asked him what he was listening to;pulls the headset away, and says I can have the next song. He gives me the headset, and Cocker breaks into "A Little Help From My Friends"; I got to watch Cocker and the Grease Band perform that song live from 15 feet away in perfectly mixed stereo.
Oh, that will happen again!
I noticed a reel to reel tape recorder running during the performance. Do you still have the tapes?

--by George Price on 10/9/06   Lives: USA  

Since it played a very significant role in my youth, I'm sorry I wasn't in town to make the anniversary. I sincerely believe the connections we all felt was magical. I know that the music formed much of my ability to continue to feel close to all humankind. I have no hate for anyone and try to see the best in all people. Some may say I never grew up, but I believe I grew closer to God.

--by allison on 10/9/06   Lives: Detroit area  

Hi Russ had a great time at the grande reuion, saw a lot of my friends from the grande days.There was a lovely lady, that came up to me in the lobby. With all the excitement of all going,I forgot her name,forgive me.She told me, that she and her friend Michelle came to the grande in the early beging. I would like her to call me if she finds this message. CALL ME AT 734 722-3999 OR MY CELL 734 890-1114 ROCK ON STEVE KOTT.

--by Steve Kott on 10/11/06   Lives: Michigan  

Hello Anyone have any Grande pictures or cards or anything else from the grande of intrest please email me at metromusic@yahoo.com.
Does anyone know what happened to Peggy (she worked at Firemill village???) or Diane and Alice Fiebig???

--by Paris Black on 10/12/06   Lives: Detroit area  

yea I have the cocker tapes what do you have???You did not leave contact info????

--by tony ray on 10/12/06   Lives: Michigan  

Jet( President,Elimination Corporation Motorcycle Club Detroit Chapter) 12:00AM on 10/15/06

I really enjoy your stories and web casts.
I think America could use 50 million more like you.
PS, stop using "a Bunch of Marlarkey" maybe a couple .... "Liberal Dukies" or "Sugar Butt cop- outs"

--by Get "hip"gibb on 10/15/06   Lives: Detroit area  

russ,farout!!! grande reunion. my mom sent me a news article just prior to the show. sorry i missed it. would have loved to have seen all the old "freaks" as you once called them. sure do miss doing the radio show with you, wknr-fm. was loads of fun. after touring with parliment funkadelic for aprox 6 yrs. have settled here in san antonio ,tx. have a 22 yr old daughter that works at the pentagon and a 26 yr old daughter that is in the us air force. i ironically work for the san antonio police dept. wow, how things change. regards & peace, tim ryan

--by tim ryan on 10/15/06   Lives: USA  

Hello Anyone have any Grande pictures or cards,Live recordings? anything else from the grande of intrest.I asked before and put in the wrong email address.This is the right one metromusicmag@yahoo.com. Someone emailed about Joe cocker tapes.Please contact me.

--by Danny on 11/2/06   Lives: Detroit area  

Upon hearing of Mike Guido's demise, I found myself here, poking around. I wasn't allowed to go to the Grande "back in the day"...so odd to see names from my past, Tim Ryan, C. Criner...went to school with those 'kids'. I left Dearborn, happily, finally, in 1997; live in the U.P. via Colorado with 22 yr.-old daughter, 17 yr.-old son, and GRANDCHILDREN! Psych./Social Work Degree, Massage Therapist, Licensed Aesthetician; I sell Cremation Products online. Yeah, Tim, you're right...things change! Rock On! honortheloveurns.com

--by KAREN BRAWLEY on 12/6/06   Lives: Michigan  



Hi Russ:

Thanks for the Grande memories and good times.

I have a question for you. The 1968 posters list Pink Floyd and the Who playing at the Grande a day apart. I remember seeing both bands play on the same night ... Pink Floyd followed by the Who. Can you confirm this?

Thanks,

Mimi
Lansing

--by Mimi mimi001110@aol.com; 12:00AM on 2/4/07 on 2/4/07   Lives: Michigan  

Russ and one and all...trying to contact Dave Miller and info appreciated. Heard from him and old computer crashed with info,many thanks. jspiro1234@aol.com

--by Jerry Spiro on 5/3/07   Lives: USA  

did zztop ever play the grande.

--by big tom on 7/29/07   Lives: Detroit area  

Hi Russ
I used to take tickets for You at the Grande for about three yrs and kept a pretty good eye on Gabe & Steve Glantz I think You remember why. I used to be US Mail carrier. I believe I still owe You about $200.00 that you lent Me to buy a 68 Triumph motorcycle.You had given Me about 50 to 75 promo records that I had loaned to Linda Haney our beautiful little coat check girl that she never returned.Lot of memories godd & bad but never to be forgotten. Not many people ever got the chance to meet as many rock stars as we did. Thanks for the memories

Stan Kabat
St Helen Mi 989-389-3207
sdkabat@charter.net

--by stan kabat on 8/17/07   Lives: Michigan  

Hey Mr. Gibb,

I'm sure you remember me, you used to tell me to get a haircut everyday in the halls at Dearborn High. My buddy and classmate Matt King recently contacted you to attend our 25th reunion next year in August. We'll remember to remind you of the date as it approaches. I'm sitting here with your friend Stan Kabat up north listening to your webcasts. We were going to call you but he guessed you'd be in bed by 9:30pm. We'll be in touch.

KooZ

--by Todd L. Kuzma a.ka. KooZ on 8/20/07   Lives: Detroit area  

So, I'm standing in the bathroom, looking at this 55 yr old face in the mirror, when - from somewhere deep in my memory banks - comes: "This is...... Uncle Russ......on..... W.....KNR.....FM......Detroit." And I'm thinking, "Whatever happened to Uncle Russ ??" And thru the magic of Google, HERE YOU ARE !! I'm saddened to have missed the reunion, but glad to remember you - and some of the best days of my life, back in old DE-troit (now in Bellingham, WA).

--by Ken C. on 11/2/07   Lives: USA  

Really Loved Russ's Radio show and ABX. Memories of The Grande will live forever! Went there tons of times, Best was Stevie Winwood and Traffic,headlining with The Third Power!!

--by Gary Robinson on 7/30/08   Lives: Another country  

Russ,my uncle John Cone was a good friend of yours in Fordson High. I also went to Fordson and played in a number of bands in the area. Of course, as a rocker, I went to the Grande as often as possible. Have many great memories and of course don't remember some things at all! My Uncle and I have spoken about you several times and he was happy to see your web stuff.

--by David Meaker on 2/28/09   Lives: USA  

Mr. Gibb,

My name is Dennis Pinkston, I was the guitarist in a little three piece band called 'The Maxx'. We played your place a couple of times in April of '69. I believe it was The MC5, Pacific Gas & Electric and us one night, and then a couple of weeks later we opened for the movie 'Magical Mystery Tour' that was touring across the country! I'd never opened for a movie before, but if you're going to, that would be good one, yes! Anyway, we played all over Detroit in those days! I don't know how many gigs we did with The MC5, Ted Nugent & The Amboy Dukes, The Bob Seger System, Mitch Ryder, The Frost, Wilson Mower Pursuit, The 3rd Power, Brownsville Station, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry w/ The Woolies (Bob Baldori of The Woolies produced my first little 45 for me when I was 14, out in some old abandoned Motown studio on Livernois Ave.) There was some very good friends of mine The Plain Brown Wrapper, Ormandy, Universal Family and many others; what a great time it was! I live in L.A. these days and people just don't realize how scorchin' hot Detroit was musically back then; I guess you just had to be there! I've read a lot of rock band biographies over the years (Cream, Jeff Beck, The Who, etc.) and The Grande pops up all the time as one of the favorite gigs for those bands as they would come over from England; that's pretty cool! You made history! Anyway, I'm glad to have this opportunity to let you know how much that place meant to so many people out there; (They're still talkin' about it!) It was the time of our lives; and from 'The Maxx', thanks Russ!

--by Dennis Pinkston of 'The Maxx' on 2/28/09   Lives: USA  

Mr. Gibb,

My name is Dennis Pinkston, I was the guitarist in a little three piece band called 'The Maxx'. We played your place a couple of times in April of '69. I believe it was The MC5, Pacific Gas & Electric and us one night, and then a couple of weeks later we opened for the movie 'Magical Mystery Tour' that was touring across the country! I'd never opened for a movie before, but if you're going to, that would be good one, yes! Anyway, we played all over Detroit in those days! I don't know how many gigs we did with The MC5, Ted Nugent & The Amboy Dukes, The Bob Seger System, Mitch Ryder, The Frost, Wilson Mower Pursuit, The 3rd Power, Brownsville Station, Alice Cooper, Chuck Berry w/ The Woolies (Bob Baldori of The Woolies produced my first little 45 for me when I was 14, out in some old abandoned Motown studio on Livernois Ave.) There was some very good friends of mine The Plain Brown Wrapper, Ormandy, Universal Family and many others; what a great time it was! I live in L.A. these days and people just don't realize how scorchin' hot Detroit was musically back then; I guess you just had to be there! I've read a lot of rock band biographies over the years (Cream, Jeff Beck, The Who, etc.) and The Grande pops up all the time as one of the favorite gigs for those bands as they would come over from England; that's pretty cool! You made history! Anyway, I'm glad to have this opportunity to let you know how much that place meant to so many people out there; (They're still talkin' about it!) It was the time of our lives; and from 'The Maxx', thanks Russ!

--by Dennis Pinkston of 'The Maxx' on 3/3/09   Lives: USA  

Hi to Uncle Russ! I remember you collecting tickets sigtting on your Harley Hog. 17 year old me thought you were a real tough guy (you old softie you). To all the "hippies" on the Cass Corridor, the "Co-Op Kids", the Fifth Estate kids (Tommye W, Cathy W, Peter W), Jack F and Susie, here's a shout out, where are you?? I lived on Hancock with a guy named Gunner and four other roommates. Never forget the first time I saw Janis. The Grande was a magic place, always alive in my memory, which is still o.k. even at my advanced age. Loved this whole scene, glad I was alive to be part of it. Linda Calder

--by Linda Calder Hornsby on 3/30/09   Lives: Detroit area  

Russ, I always had great times at your ballroom & Dave Miller aka: Chicken Man. or someting like that. Did you have anything to do with the Grande Riviara, I can't remember. The music you brought to DETROIT fored me to go to the 1st. annualy Rock & Roll revival May 30th & 31st 1969 at the State Fair Grounds. 40 yrs. ago in a few days. Thanks for the memeries!!!

--by ted wing on 5/25/09   Lives: USA  

The Grande permanently scrambled my neurons back in '67. Well, maybe it was a combination of the Grande and other things. Anyway, I have a lot of Grande/Russ/WKNR/Detroit rock remembrances posted at http://floydslips.blogspot.com. Stop on by!

--by Chris Morton on 6/3/09   Lives: USA  

Great site!

I am trying to get in contact with Tony Ray.

Tony, if you are reading this could you please email me at babazoso@yahoo.com?

--by Eric on 7/8/09   Lives: USA  

I went to OCC & had a sculpture class w/ Crazy Dave Miller. I think he was a Canadian. Didn't he do something called the Funky Chicken or am I the crazy one. Anyway He was a nice guy.

--by Ray Bane on 2/23/10   Lives: USA  

where is dave miller now? just wondering..
and as always
peace and love.
sal

--by salsscrib2000@yahoo.com on 7/12/10   Lives: Detroit area  

Hi Russ,
It was wonderful to see you at the Magic Bag last Friday for the DVD Benefit. Do you remember me from Triumph Detroit (1964...) we went to lunch one day and you shared your idea of opening a ballroom like the Fillmore and then it happened... My best count is that I was at the Grande between 150 and 160 times. Compared to music in today's world, the music scene of the mid to late 60s in Detroit was simply incomprehensible. Thank you for all that you did.

PS One of the bloggers up above talked about you taking tickets while seated on a Harley. My recollection is that it was a Lime Green BSA?????

--by Rob Lootens on 7/27/10   Lives: Detroit area  

My brothers and I worked for Steve and Gabe Glantz for several years. We started at the Grande, moved onto the Eastown Theater, did the Michigan Palace as well. So many memories, so much music. Russell Menenberg

--by Russell Menenberg on 8/29/10   Lives: USA  

does anyone know where tim ryan is???
i was close friends with him in the late 60's
but lost track.please post thanx

--by gary on 8/31/10   Lives: Michigan  

Was it the Grande Ball Room that had the bathtub in it?

--by katie on 2/17/11   Lives: Detroit area  

being seated on the floor about ten feet from the stage for the cream in 1968. i was 15 years old, must have been 120 degrees in the joint. one of the highlights of my life. still have vivid memories if the incense and that cool light above the stage.also saw the steve miller blues band with boz scaggs the first time they were there, maybe 20 people in the place.

--by brian on 1/30/13   Lives: Detroit area  

Hey Uncle Russ, I remember you sitting on a green Triumph taking tickets in a boy scout outfit. That long ramp was a trip. My buddy Dave Smith worked the cloak room my job was to get him high without him knowing it.

--by Dan Walker on 12/20/14   Lives: USA  

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