“Louder Than Love” – The Grande Ballroom Story

Author: Jim Johnson

“Louder Than Love” is a documentary film produced in Detroit by producer/director Tony D’Annunzio, that explores the vast musical history of the Grande Ballroom.

Originally opened  in 1928, the building housed retail businesses on the first floor and featured a grand ballroom on the second floor on Grand River Avenue north of Grand Blvd. in the city.

In 1966 the Grande was acquired by Dearborn, Michigan, high school teacher and local radio DJ Russ Gibb. Gibb was inspired by visiting San Francisco’s Fillmore Theater, and envisioned a similar venue in Detroit for the new psychedelic music and a resource for local teenagers. Gibb worked closely with Detroit counterculture figure and founding member of the MC5. John Sinclair.

The venue served to introduce and “break” some of Detroit’s most iconic rock legends like, Alice Cooper,  MC5, SRC, Rationals, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Frost, Savage Grace, James Gang, Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes, Teegarden and Vanwinkle snd , of course Bob Seger.

Future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers also frequented the “Grande” in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s.  Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Jeff Beck, Procol Harum, Cream and The Who. The MC5, The Tymes, and The Stooges served as house bands.

In just over 6 months Louder Than Love-The Grande Ballroom Story continues to knockout film festival audiences! 12 Cities, “Best Documentary Award” of the prestigious Las Vegas International Film Festival, “Best Independent Standout Award” at Hell’s Half Mile Movie and Music Festival and 16 consecutive sold out Screenings!

You can visit the docunentary’s website here and it’s Facebook page here.

The Grande Ballroom was closed as a rock venue in 1972 and has been rarely used since and remains in a state of disrepair.  As of today, the building remains open for redevelopment.

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