Michigan Rock in the 1960s: Green’s Pavilion, Devil’s Lake
Green's Pavilion...WOW...what a place for Rock & Roll.
Back in the '60s TONS of the best rock artists played there: Bob Seger, Freddie & The Dreamers, Roy Orbison, Yardbirds, Amboy Dukes, Del Shannon, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Mindbenders, Frankie Avalon, Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, Dave Clark 5, Animals, Four Seasons...and oh, so MANY more.
It began as the Lakeview Dance Pavilion in 1914, located within Lakeview Park. Other activities in the park included an arcade, merry-go-round, mini golf, and shuffleboard. The dance pavilion immediately began luring in big name acts from the 1910s through the 1950s... until big band & swing music got pushed aside for Rock & Roll.
In 1955 it was bought by O.E. Green, who saw the writing on the wall and began his quest to turn it into a venue where the teens could hear their favorite Rock acts of the day. It burned down in 1963, only to be rebuilt as the "Devil's Lake Pavilion". The last rock group to perform there was Joey Dee & The Starliters (of “Peppermint Twist” fame) before it was devastated by a tornado in 1965. The band performed less than 24 hours earlier before the tornado hit. Green again rebuilt the pavilion, this time dubbing it "Green's Pavilion."
From then on, its reputation as one of THE places to go was solidified. I played there myself around 1968 when I was bassist in a local rock band....and then it closed down around 1973. What an awesome time and place it was.
It was eventually turned into an IGA and Jerry’s Pavilion Market.
Lately it’s been a post office. A sad finish for such an iconic place.
Check out the photos below, showing the old pavilion and many other Devil's Lake shots, going all the way back to 1909!
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