Grande Ballroom Book Includes Doug’s Early CareerPosted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at 12:36 am by Jim Falkenstein
In October, 2016, Arcadia Publishing and The History Press will release a new book, The Grande Ballroom: Detroit’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Palace, by Leo Early. Mr. Early – who describes himself as a musician, author and preservationist – has called upon all three talents in this loving tribute to the Grande Ballroom, perhaps the definitive chronicle of this important piece of history. But best of all, fans of The Knack and Doug Fieger will be thrilled to know that this publication will include photos and details about his first band, Sky, and his early days on the Detroit music scene.
For our non-Detroit fans (or those too young to remember), the Grande Ballroom originally opened in 1928 as a destination for locals looking to enjoy an evening of jazz or dance to big band music. With the rise of rock and roll, the venue fell into decline until local schoolteacher and disc jockey Russ Gibb (aka “Uncle Russ”) resurrected it in 1966. Envisioning a psychedelic rock venue similar to San Francisco’s Fillmore Theater The Grande Ballroom achieved immortal status in the annals of psychedelic rock history as it attracted scores of suburban baby boomers. Not only did the ballroom launch the careers of local legends like the MC5, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent, but it’s growing prestige attracted international acts like Cream, the Who, The Doors, The Jeff Beck Group Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, and The Grateful Dead.
The Grande closed its doors for the last time in 1972, and has since collapsed into decay. Sadly, it is now among the too-many structures included in the long list of Detroit’s modern ruins. We are grateful that, thanks largely to the work of Mr. Early, this iconic piece of Detroit rock history will never be forgotten.
For more information about the book, go to https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781626197817
If you can’t wait for the book, check out these two links:
TheGrandeBallroom.com Maintained by Leo Early, this is the historic venue’s most comprehensive online site, featuring historic photographs, gig line-ups and a discography of live recordings.
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