CBGB Film Fest: ‘Louder than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story’

Posted on: October 17th, 2013 at 11:01 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: CBGB.com

The “greatest untold story in Rock & Roll history,” the Grande Ballroom was the epicenter of the Detroit rock music scene in the late 1960s. Louder than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story directed by Detroit native Tony D’Annunzio, chronicles the history of the venue, along with the gritty and raw bands who played there.

Designed in 1928, the Grande started out by hosting retail businesses on the ground floor, with a large dance hall upstairs. In 1966, a high school teacher and local DJ named Russ Gibb acquired the Grande. Inspired by a visit to the famous Fillmore Theater in San Francisco, Gibb decided to bring this new, live sound to Detroit.

Local group the MC5 became the house band, constantly kicking out the jams. Other bands were brought in from San Francisco, Europe and all over the US. On any given night, you could see at least three or four extremely diverse bands, such as Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf, The Who and Iggy Pop. Others who played at the Grande include Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Jeff Beck, Procol Harum, Cream, John Coltrane and Sun Ra.

The Grande became known as the “hippie center of Detroit,” due to the wild music, groovy advertising and trippy liquid light projections on the walls.

The Grande closed in 1972. As of this year, it has remained inactive and open to redevelopment.

Check out the facebook page for the film, which has some amazing archival photos and posters.

Recent Stories

Chinatown Garment Industry Hanging by a Thread

Once a hub of manufacturing for the city’s garment industry, there are only a few remaining factories in Chinatown from a peak in the hundreds. The localized industry, which once employed thousands of immigrant women and men, sparked an area restaurant boom in the 1970s. Yet, began to decline in the late 1980s when manufacturers started […]

Residents Unite Against Developer Plans to Swap Park for Parking on LES Waterfront

Residents on the Lower East Side waterfront may soon lose more publicly accessible outdoor space. The developer of a new super-tall plans to reduce a children’s playground to a parking lot. As excavation work commences on Chetrit Group’s 70-story, twin-towered development at 265 South Street, tenants in the adjacent building – Lands End II – […]

Chinatown Homeless Murder Suspect Still Awaiting Trial

More than two years since the horrific murder of four homeless men in Chinatown, the suspect has yet to be held accountable for the crimes. In the early morning hours of October 5, 2019 Randy Santos stalked, then allegedly bludgeoned to death Cheun Kwok, Anthony Manson, Florencio Moran and Nazario Vasqez-Villegas while asleep on the streets. In […]

Excavation Begins for 70-Story South Street Towers

Cranes, and plywood, and pile-drivers, oh my! Such is the story down on the Lower East Side waterfront. Department of Buildings on April 12 issued official approval to the Chetrit Group to begin foundation activities for its dual 70-story tower at 265 South. A month later, the big trucks are mobilized. While excavation is now […]

For 7th Year Running, Greek Jewish Festival Returns to Broome Street this Weekend

After a more subdued outing last year, the Greek Jewish Festival this spring is on the rebound, pulling out the stops. It returns on Sunday for another go-round. Founded by Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street seven years ago, the event celebrates the culture and traditions of the Greek Jewish community. Years past saw crowds […]