Kick out the jams at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom

And Let Me Be Who I Am by Derek Farr

And Let Me Be Who I Am by Derek Farr

“Let me be who I am, and let me kick out the jams”
-The MC5

The Detroit Metro Times recently shared that $5 million could net you Detroit’s historic Grande Ballroom:

The abandoned Grande Ballroom is up for sale for a hefty $5,000,000, according to a listing on Jim Shaffer and Associates Realtors that went online this week. The old-school music hall was a hub for classic and psychedelic rock bands in the 1960s until it closed in 1972. Since then, it has sat looming like a fading memory of a bygone era.

Back in the days of sex, drugs, and, rock ‘n’ roll, the ballroom hosted acts like Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, and even John Coltrane and Sun Ra. MC5 became regulars on the stage and recorded its 1969 debut album Kick Out the Jams there, and in recent years a mural of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-nominated band’s guitarist Wayne Kramer was painted on the side of the building.

You can read a lot more about the Grande Ballroom on this website & watch the awesome documentary Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom on the Detroit Public Television Facebook page!

Derek took this shot of the mural on the Grande a couple of years ago. See TONS more in his excellent Detroit gallery on Flickr.

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4 thoughts on “Kick out the jams at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom

  1. MC5 are from Lincoln Park where I live. They might have helped put ol’ Lincoln Park on the map … ha ha. Them and Bob Seger, who lived here as a youngster before moving to Ann Arbor.

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      1. That is interesting. I usually hear John Sinclair’s name mentioned in conjunction with the annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, but I’m guessing now that marijuana is legal in Michigan, the Hash Bash is not as big of a deal (after all, even the AG attended this year).

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  2. It’s still a big deal and he was there this year. He has also recited Beat-style poetry along with music for years. Here’s a video of a performance I set up for him 5 or so years ago. He’s joined by (left to right) Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Drew Howard, Wayne Craycraft, a drummer who emailed him (shoot your shot folks), and Billy Davis. Madcat & Drew are longtime Michigan legends and Billy Davis used to hang with Hendrix!

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