Author Leo Early – Dearborn Music book signing – Saturday October 1

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Arcadia – History Press publishing has been so excited about the online pre-order success of The Grande Ballroom – Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace that they have arranged a pre-release book signing in partnership with Dearborn Music.

On Saturday October 1 from 2 to 4 P.M. we will have some of the first copies hot off the presses. Dearborn Music now has the distinction of being the first retailer anywhere to have the book in stock. Online retailers will not ship until the official publication date of October 3. This is an opportunity to get a first pressing copy autographed by yours truly.

This will be a lot of fun for me as Dearborn is my hometown and Dearborn Music is where I built my first record collection and where I continue to shop today. I believe I have spent enough at Dearborn Music to qualify to be a minor shareholder!

Hope to see you there !

Leo

Dearborn Music
Address: 22501 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48124

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Leo Early on Ann Delisi’s Essential Music – WDET 9-24-16

Ann DelisiCatch author Leo Early talking about “The Grande Ballroom Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace” on Ann Delisi’s Essential Music show, WDET FM 101.9 Detroit Saturday September 24 – 11 A.M. to 2 P.M.

“Ann is one of Detroit’s most respected and knowledgeable music radio hosts, a true champion of Detroit music. It is very much an honor for me to chat about the Grande with such a talent.” – Leo Early

 

For our friends out of town, the show is streamable via the internet:

WDET Ann Delisi – Essential Music

WDET Live internet stream

Internet Streaming Options

 

For more.. get the book!

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The Grande Ballroom – Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace

leo early

After 12 years of toil, dozens of interviews, countless library hours and plenty of travel,  I am pleased to finally announce the release of my book, “The Grande Ballroom – Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace.” Much thanks to all the Grande faithful who helped me get to this point. To all the principals, patrons and performers, I hope this offering is a reflective glimpse into the entire 88 year history of the building that you will all enjoy.

Leo Early 2016

“In the 1920’s, a jewel of Detroit entertainment arose on the west side – the Grande Ballroom. The venue flourished under the ownership of infamous gambler Harry Weitzman and management of dance scion Paul Strasburg. The advent of rock n’ roll pushed the ballroom into hard times, but in 1966, a local schoolteacher and disc jockey Russ Gibb resurrected it with the promise of live rock music.The new psychedelic ballroom style attracted scores of suburban baby boomers and helped launch the careers of local legends like the MC5, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. Soon the ballroom’s prestige attracted international acts like the Cream, the Who and the Jeff Beck group. Detroit Music expert Leo Early celebrates this beloved venue.”

Publication date October 3, 2016 with two (2) ways to order:

1 – Amazon pre-order  (Amazon ships directly you immediately on October 3rd)

2 – At the Grande 50th event I will be signing a LIMITED number of copies for event attendees. You must have a ticket to enter this event. (Box office)

You may reserve purchase one of these Grande 50th copies which must be picked up in person. I will be happy to personalize a copy expressly for you. Orders are processed via Paypal which accepts most credit cards here:





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Cover photo by Tom Weschler

Press Release

The Grande Ballroom – Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace Facebook group – Discuss the book!

The Grande Ballroom – Detroit’s Rock n Roll Palace – Fan/Book page

The Friends of the Grande Facebook page – Grass roots activism

Leoearly.com – Author Page

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On the Floor 1968 – The Grande Ballroom

Not every image of the 100’s I collected for the book was good enough to published. There are of course, many shots of the talent on stage taken throughout the years. However there are precious few that were taken with a camera pointed 180 degrees opposite. This is a favorite…

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Grande crowd 1968 Courtesy Jeep Holland Estate

 

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Wayne Cochran – Grande Ballroom 1968

The regulars that Friday night in June of ’68 thought that perhaps a wedding band had gotten lost and was now setting up on the stage of the Grande. The polished shoes and tuxedos sure didn’t look promising and some folks started to leave.  A few were snickering and laughing at the horn section of what appeared to be a Las Vegas lounge act.  They chuckled only until the opening horn blast of the road tested Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders … Jaws suddenly hit the floor.

Having burned up the Southern chitlin’ circuit for years, Cochran had, in the previous year, already been to Detroit where he had earned the respect of the Soul Set at the 20 Grand.  There even Motown’s Smokey Robinson was counted among his admirers.  At the Grande the audience became unhinged and danced along with the blued eyed soul man’s rhythm and blues revue the rest of the night.

Here are some pictures from Ruth Hoffman that did not make the book.

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For more.. get the book!

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Part VII: Two If by Sea ’68

Beginning in late ’67 Russ Gibb began to work with out of town agents to book a number of British bands. By 1968 a prime example was the Jeff Beck Group featuring Rod Stewart. Here is a photo of the band that did not make the book from Grande regular Ruth Hoffman.

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For more.. get the book!

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Grande Ballroom History Tour and Excursion Charter sells out

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Wow! The Grande Ballroom History Tour and Excursion Charter has sold out!

1 Driver + 1 Author + 39 courageous Grande fanatics in one super cool charter coach! This is going to be a lot of fun. I don’t know of another example of such a large group of music fans traveling en masse to the Grande Ballroom!

 

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Tim Buckley – Grande 1967

“One of the first acts to be featured from beyond the Midwest region was Tim Buckley, a favorite of Grande audiences and Uncle Russ.”

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For more.. get the book!

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Grande Artifact 96v – The Vase

Some images and captures did not make the book. One in particular was “the Grande Vase” Artifact 96v. There were apparently a number of these installed throughout the building. Russ Gibb explained. “One night two kids had gotten too drunk or high and rolled it down the main steps smashing it to pieces. I took the pieces home in a box, glued them together and made a planter out of it!”

Grande Vase - Russ Gibb Collection

Grande Vase – Russ Gibb Collection

NOTE: In my previous blog post photo of lightshow artist Clyde Blair  you can see one of these vases in the lower right hand corner of this capture (note the handles):

Clyde Blair

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For more.. get the book!

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Grande Partners and Staff

“In the book I’ve documented a number of partners and staff from the Grande. These are the workers and volunteers that made the Grande run and each show an experience.” – Leo Early

Clyde Blair – Light show artist (photo:Clyde Blair collection)

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Note: In background the original 1920’s Grande curtain and handcrafted wooden chair. Examples of a day when such extravagance was feasible.

 

 

 

 

For more.. get the book!

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Part VI: Give the People What They Want

“”Give the People What They Want” is an old showbiz adage. The start of 1967 saw Russ Gibb seeking to learn the tastes of his audiences and to book accordingly.”

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“As a means to increase attendance, free passes were laid on those that looked groovy enough. “Straights didn’t get any.”

For more.. get the book!

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