Showing posts with label Grande Ballroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grande Ballroom. Show all posts



Scott R sent me this photo of "The Chosen Few". (Photos of TCF are really hard to find) This band was on the line up of the very first Grande Ballroom gig in October 1966 with the MC5 as the headliner and the Wha? opening.

Card Graphic by Dick Rosemont (Thanks Dick!)

It has been more than an interesting time for me with tons of new connections and opportunities coming my way. One of the best things to happen of recent is I began working with Scott Richardson (thanks Patti Quatro!) fabulous and handsome lead singer of SRC fame. Scott has provides me with all kinds of historical puzzle pieces to the story of Michigan Rock History. (understatement of the western world...)

See Heather's Gallery on James' website gallery HERE

Met James via Rock Photographer Heather Harris and Facebook and a lot of mutual friends. James is such a wonderful guy and so sweet to me. He sent me photos of his Raw Power Gold Record and made my whole day happy! Read the story about his gold record and see the photos HERE

(photo James Marshall)


Various Members of TCF
*Scott Richardson (V)
*James Williamson (G)
*Ron Asheton (B) The Prime Movers
*Kip Phillips (B)
*Richard Simpson (G)
*Stan Salusky (?) D

(Late 1965 - December, 1966)
While James was recently on tour with Iggy and the Stooges in Australia. I wrote and asked him if he would give me a short story on his involvement with TCF and he happily sent it over today... I loved this story and am sure my readers and James' fans will dig it too. thank you JW xxooK

White Fender Jaguar (not James') waiting for pic

James Williamson's Story on "The Chosen Few"

Hi Kim,

I was only in the Chosen Few for a short time. I co-founded the band with Scott Richardson, who I met at a Birmingham coffee shop is I recall correctly. He was from near the Pontiac area and we hit it off since both (of us) were into Beatles, Stones, etc.

So we jammed a little and ended up recruiting the other guys in the band...Richard Simmons (2nd guitar), Kip Phillips (bass), Stan Salusky (sp?...on drums)...I was the lead guitar and Scott was on vocals...

I think we only played a couple of live shows while I was in the band. The first was at a high school dance and the 2nd might have been at a frat party in Ann Arbor. After that I was sent away to Juvie for being "incorrigible" meaning that I wouldn't cut my hair and do what I was told to do.

Of course the first day in Juvie (juvenile detention) they buzz cut my hair, so I might have done things differently in hind sight, but anyway, that was the way it was. From there I was sent to boarding school in upstate NY...and thus the Coba Seas subsequent recent release.

I played a While Jaguar (probably 1964-66) that I had conned my mom into buying me once I could play ok. Loved that guitar and could play all the surf songs on it perfectly...(just got another one recently ...sunburst)...

I had the White Jag until I traded it along with my SG for my Cherryburst Les Paul Custom (1969) which I later recorded Raw Power (and Kill City ) with. Iggy knew the music store owner so he brokered the deal (so naturally I got screwed royally)...really wish I hadn't traded those guitars, but what else could I do...the Les Paul was the perfect guitar for the Stooges.

Anyway, it was during one of my vacation returns from boarding school that I got together with my old band mates from the Chosen Few and went up to their gig at a Frat Party in Ann Arbor...

Kip Phillips was going off to college and so a new bass player named Ron Asheton was in the band. I was impressed at how long Ron's hair was and that he barely looked at the audience...just played into his amp with his back to the audience. That night was the first night I met Ronnie.

Ron Asheton

Iggy was there too that night and it was also the first time I met him as well. I had brought my White Fender Jaguar with me and during a break, I played some of my original songs for him. He said he liked them, but it was hard to tell.

Surely, he's told me how frenetic he remembers them being and that that impression was a lasting one for him and something he remembered when he finally asked me to join the Stooges in late 1970/early 71'...the rest is well documented....James

Gary Grimshaw poster art

From Scott Richardson:


Thanks so much to you and James for your info regarding 'THE CHOSEN FEW'. I did meet James in Birmingham though I thought it was at a record store where we were both checking out disks and the amazing beatnik blonde clerk, 'Fran'..

In any case James & I connected and began a whirlwind drive to form our band. Kip, Richard and Stan came from a group called 'THE FIVE GRAND' who I saw at The Michigan State Fair in a battle of the bands.

All three of them plus James and I had an instant chemistry that just felt right. My recollection is that there was one gig at a Catholic School in Pontiac before James left that had Ron Asheton on bass.

Reason that came about was we were scouted by two managers, Ron Richardson, (no relation) and Jeep Holland, both based in Ann Arbor. I hitch hiked to meet Jeep at Discount Records. He managed the store but wasn't there when I arrived. Instead I met a dude named Jim Osterberg who was stocking records, and told me to hang out till Jeep returned. Jim also was the drummer for the Prime Movers blues band at this time.

I an eternally grateful to him for picking up the phone and calling his friend bassist Ron Asheton. Twenty minutes later, Ron, Scott Asheton and Dave Alexander showed up. Jeep however, did not.

The four of us walked across the quadrangle to Ron Richardson's apartment and there THE CHOSEN FEW PT. 2 was born. Richard moved to lead guitar after James left. Al Wilson became our rhythm guitarist and Ron Asheton played bass.

I feel so proud and grateful that both future hall of famers James and Ronnie came into my life. In the brief time of that band a lot of cool connections happened & a bit of history was made. Scott Richardson


Kim, please also add that Ron Richardson took THE CHOSEN FEW to New York City and later became manager of THE STOOGES. Jeep Holland became manager and producer of the SCOT RICHARD CASE.



Grande Ballroom Detroit Rock Music Landmark on Grand River

One of Detroit's cherished rock 'n' roll landmarks the Grande Ballroom looks destined for the National Register of Historic Places.

After a decade-long quest by a determined group of supporters, the Grande Ballroom is set to make the federal registry, overseen by the National Park Service. It would join at least 18 other music and arts related properties in Detroit already on the list.

Approval would help the property qualify for tax credits, financing and grants — paving the way for restoration of the dilapidated building that was once the epicenter of Detroit's counterculture.

Proponents have just two remaining steps: approval from historical advisory agencies in Detroit and Lansing. They'll make their case with each on Thursday and Friday, and are confident it's all but a done deal.

"Assuming that both boards approve, and there's no public or board objection, it gets sent off to Washington, D.C., where it basically gets certified," said Leo Early, who is spearheading the effort in tandem with Chapel Hill Missionary Baptist Church, which owns the property at Grand River and Joy. "It's not a rubber-stamp process, but the National Park Service (takes its cues) from the state reviews."

Early is author of the 2016 book "The Grande Ballroom: Detroit's Rock 'n' Roll Palace," which chronicles the nearly century-old venue, from its decades of big-band dances and inter-parish socials to its years as a hub of psychedelia and hard rock.

In 1966, schoolteacher and disc jockey Russ Gibb took control of the building, seeking to create a Motor City version of rock venues such as San Francisco's Fillmore. For the next six years, the Grande reigned as Detroit's go-to rock room, hosting the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Who, along with local staples such as the MC5, the Stooges, Alice Cooper and the Frost.  READ FULL STORY ON FREEP




1. Linda Haney at the concession stand

2. Linda Haney

3. Two girls -- one in red pants outfit.   Barb Smith and ??

4. Jimi Hendrix -- probably at Olympia. (he never played the Grande)

5. Linda Haney

6. The Cream at grande   first gig there. Clapton's playing the famous Gibson SB "Fool" guitar, with the painted images of a face and psychedelic swirls on it.  (He broke the neck on it right before the next gig at the grande... I begged him to sell it to me, even offered to trade him a similar Gibson SG... but he'd already given it to George Harrison.  Oh well.  That same guitar sold for over $700,000G last year and wasn't even playable any more.

7. Linda Haney in gray knit dress.

8. Unknown guy that looks like Jack Black.

The unknown guy who looks like Jack Black in picture #8 is Ron Levine who was part of the MC5's family and road crew at that time. thanks Emil!

9. Gary Rasmussen

10. MC 5

11. MC 5

12. Townsend from the WHO playing a nice Gibson SG. - first gig at Grande

13 the Thyme, in front of Cream's Ginger Baker's drums

14. Wayne Kramer-MC5

15. MC5  Mike Davis and Wayne Kramer

16. Barb Smith(?) and pretty girl.  Someone's house.

17. Rob Tyner  MC5

18. MC5

19. Robin Trower

20. Russ Gibb

21. The Rationals

22. That's me (Steven Finly) and ???

23.Steve Winwood with a nice 66 Gibson reverse Firebird (my brother hand a guitar just like that).

24.  The guy is name Doug -- he was the guitar play in my band, the Ball. Linda Haney

25. MC5

26. My band the BALL playing at a BMF dance.  Tom Jerome Youngman on drums.

27. Cream  (first gig).

28. Cream  (first gig).

29. Cream - first gig at Grande, first night.  Clapton wore that CHAPS outfit on the plane from Chicago.... He was wearing them when I picked them up at the airport with my mom's station wagon.

31.Who. -- first Grande gig.

32. Who

33. ?

34. Who

35. Who

36. Who

37. ?

38. Procol Harum. nice Gibson EB2 base...

39.  Not sure... but it's the Masonic Temple.

40. Traffic - Steve Winwood and drummer

41.The Rationals

42. Steve Winwood

43. John Moffet (dark hair) with... ???  Grande concession stand.

44. Robin Trower

45. Cream. First gig at Grande. first night.

46. The Thyme... a local group, I think.

47. Linda Haney and date with Barb Smith and Dennis Thompson in pink

48.Dennis Thompson MC5

49. mystery band??

50. Looks like Robin Trower again... same Gibson Les Paul guitar.  The July 1970 should help id it for sure.


52. Dave Miller

53. ??

54. Who

55. MC5

56. Rationals

57. Dave Miller Emcee

58. The Apostles -- a local group.


FYI on the captions.All the WHO photos are from the Grande-Riviera Theater...4 of the MC5 shots were taken at Masonic Temple when they opened for Hendrix, and 6 MC5 shots are at the Grande...the Hendrix shot is at Masonic Temple...the guy standing by all the posters is Ron Levine, roadie for's not Creedance in the shot mentioned rather, it's Thyme...the mystery band is Odds and Ends...also not captioned is the Apostles...the bass player is Dave Knight from Procol Harum,and the keyboard guy is Matthew Fisher from the same...the Steve Winwood and Robin Trower shots are from the Eastown and a Trower shot from the Grande...and it's not Traffic with drummer ,rather it's Daltry and Moon at the Riviera...the band with a question mark is also the Thyme....that's about it. Hope this helps.
Ron D

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