The first time I saw the Grande (before Russ painted it), it was being used as a storage place (I think a mattress company was renting it). There were crates and pallets stacked around it. The basement was full of wooden barrels and boxes of roller-skates Sometime in the late 50s one of the Grande reincarnations had been a roller-skating rink.

They'd built a bunch of shoe bins/wells in the coat check area to hold the skates... I remember quite a few "after hour" stoner/skating parties with several different bands and party people (including the Who and throngs of groupies)-  They'd all roller skate and get whacked out til dawn.

And an attic over the stage was filled with old props and music stands from the big band days. Under the stage were hundreds of old lobby cards and posters about the bands and special dinners and balls -- all of which disappeared over the years.

Wish I would have saved them. Worse, the coat-check room still had hundreds of those brass GRANDE check tags on most of the hooks (and shoe wells for the sakes). Heard those are worth some $$$$ now.

Oh well. Someone else told me that saw one of the gargoyles (on the grande walls) for sale on Ebay. I'd love one of them.


 2nd pix. (two guys by door)  That's me at about age 16-17 (with red hair).   Not sure who's with me.


4th. pix.  (one guy in white shirt on stage).   Pretty sure that's Steve Winwood of Traffic.  He always used a Martin Guitar like that.

Grande concession...   Guy in black t-shirt is John Moffet, (who quit the Grande to become a Hare Krishna).   Not sure who the other person is.

Band on stage with vox and apex amps Not sure, but I remember the red-haired bass player with the dotted shirt.  Pretty sure it was a local band.  Drummer had a great voice (but only if he was singing, otherwise he had a bad stutter.  He once told me he could sing because he already knew the words... but stuttered when he was talking because he didn't know what he was going to say. Sort of interesting....).

Band with striped jackets.  Not sure.  But doubt that any band from Detroit had jackets like that.

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