Fifty Classic Posters From the Grande Ballroom, Detroit: 1966-1969
The great Grande was constructed around 1928, intended to be a place where Detroiters could go dance to the latest sounds of jazz and the Big Bands.
But that's not where its immortal fame came from.
When World War II came to an end, America's music tastes began to change. Rhythm & Blues was becoming more mainstream, pushing out the Big Bands and swing music. Then, in 1955, “Rock Around The Clock” kicked the rock movement into high gear. Nine years later in 1964, the Beatles practically wiped the floor with all other worldwide groups.....but with their massive fame, also came the imitators.
And we loved it all.
This is when the Grande's fame grew to epic proportions. Rock 'n Roll exploded, prodded to greater heights by the onslaught of British groups, and the Grande took advantage. Rock gods from around the globe were brought in to this little corner structure at Grand River & Joy.
Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Byrds, Blue Cheer, Jeff Beck, Yardbirds, Frank Zappa, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Steppenwolf.....and that's just a baker's dozen of the awesome talent that played behind these doors.
Sure, it was a venue for the local bands too, and became a second home to The MC5, Stooges, The Up, The Frost, Amboy Dukes, and others.
The Grande had closed down in the first half of the 60s and was turned into a roller-skating rink and a mattress storage facility. Detroit deejay Russ Gibb took a vacation out to San Francisco, saw The Byrds play at the Fillmore, and (to make a long story short) set out to bring that kind of venue to Detroit. He came across the old Grande and eventually turned it into the mecca as we now remember it.
The Grande closed for good in 1972 and sat for decades deteriorating. To see its crumbling conditions, go HERE to see images from 2013.
The gallery below shows fifty classic Grande Ballroom posters from 1966-1969!
Vintage Grande Ballroom Posters
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