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Hear the Beach Boys sing ‘Good Vibrations’ without the music
05:56 pm




“Wilson’s instinctive talents for mixing sounds could most nearly equate to those of the old painters whose special secret was in the blending of their oils. And what is most amazing about all outstanding creative artists is that they are using only those basic materials which are freely available to everyone else.”—Derek Taylor, music business publicist

Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” reportedly cost somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000 in mid-60s dollars (That would be between $360,000 and $550,000 today). Laid down with the finest studio musicians in Hollywood—known, of course, as the Wrecking Crew—the sessions used over 90 hours of magnetic recording tape. It was at the time the largest sum of money ever spent on a single song. The whole of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album had cost $70,000 ($510,000 in today’s terms), which itself was considered an unusually high cost for a longplayer.

Although I was planning to write up something about the recording history of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” after getting lost in the weeds of the incredibly authoritative and detailed Wikipedia page—which I highly recommend—I decided that this just wasn’t possible. I’ll simply send you there for the exhaustive history. No point in giving the making of a masterpiece short shrift. I did notice a few bits of minutiae in the entry however, which might prove of interest to our readers who like the Beach Boys but who are not absolute Beach Boys fanatics, because they will already know this stuff.

First off, there was no “proper” stereo version of “Good Vibrations.” The reason for this is was the loss of the multitrack tapes of the vocals, which were probably tossed out by Capitol Records. In 2012 a stereo/mono release of Smiley Smile included a Brian Wilson-approved stereo mix for the first time, when a technology invented by Irish engineer Dr. Derry Fitzgerald was used to separate each instrument and each voice, allowing for a “stereo extraction” remix for the first time from the mono master. (You can watch a video about Dr. Fitzgerald’s work on “Good Vibrations” here.)

Here is that 2012 stereo mix. I’d never heard it before. It’s pretty neat.

And then I found THIS:

You feel privileged for having heard that, now don’t you? I know I sure do.

Second, in the part about the marketing of the single, it describes the various promotional films relating to “Good Vibrations” made in 1966, like the Monkees-esque romp shot in a Los Angeles fire house by future famed cinematographer Caleb Deschanel.

Read more after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
I survived the most ridiculous and righteous conflagration of rock in human history, Part 4
02:15 pm



Problemo Man, one of 39 bands that existed for just 10 minutes last Saturday in Cleveland. Photo credit: Ken Blaze
In the city of Cleveland there exists an ambitious musical project called Lottery League. The project has happened four times since 2008. It involves hundreds of local musicians; it is both an index of the city’s tight-knit musical scene and a mechanism fostering continuation of the exact same quality. It has become a key part of the fabric of the musical life of the city.

For those who don’t know, here’s how it works. Every couple of years the self-anointed “Council of Chiefs” (originally Jae Kristoff, Mike James, Edward Ángel Sotelo, Nate Scheible, and John Delzoppo) do their damndest to secure commitments from roughly 150 musicians who agree to get their names tossed into a literal hopper—in front of an audience of hundreds on a chilly February evening, the names are drawn in a random order and somewhere around 35 new combos are created from the list of 150 musicians. No band can include members that have been in a band together before (lengthy musical CVs must be submitted beforehand) and every band has to have a drummer. Aside from that, you get what you get. If your band has three bassists, then that’s your Iron Chef menu of ingredients to work with.

All 35 bands are then sent away to convene, rehearse, compose, and so on. All bands must come up with a a concept and a name, compose exactly 10 minutes of original music (no covers allowed), and generate a handbill that serves as a statement of identity. All bands are given roughly 10 weeks to hone their material in preparation for a vast omnibus concert in mid-April, in which every single band struts their stuff, one after the other. The massive event is aptly called The Big Show, because it lasts around 12 hours.

Lottery League 2016 poster. Art by Jake Kelly. Click for a larger view.
The Lottery League has gone down in 2008, 2010, 2013, and—just a couple days ago, on April 16, 2016. The first two iterations of The Big Show took place at the venerable Beachland Ballroom in picturesque Waterloo neighborhood of Cleveland, but in 2013 the Lottery League secured the spacious confines of the Agora Ballroom Theater and Ballroom near Downtown.

An autobiographical word at this juncture. I used to be a resident of New York, and I’m now a resident of Cleveland, and the 2010 version of Lottery League played a key role in my decision to relocate. It should go without saying that I have strong feelings about Lottery League. I love Lottery League.

Queen of Hell or actually, Heavenly Queen
It’s my perception that the people in the rock scene in Cleveland know each other tolerably well—some of them have been slogging it out together in the indie rock underground for some years now. It’s an advantage of a city of Cleveland’s size over, say, New York, which has so many more musicians working in it that, paradoxically, an event like Lottery League either wouldn’t work or would lack the same salience, as there are 30 different “scenes” that aren’t connected to each other in any way. In Cleveland you can conceive of an event that successfully involves a significant cross-section of a specific rock scene, the punk/hardcore scene and the experimental rock scene.

If you’ve done the math, four years of Lottery League have resulted in the creation of roughly 140 short-term, mostly temporary, bands, and something about the allotted time of 10 minutes and the unlikelihood of a repeat performance has resulted in some marvelous conceptual creations that only happened a single time, a bit like a surprise party for a friend. There’s an emphasis on shenanigans, mayhem, and showmanship. The curious nature of the project has led to unusual band names that would never get chosen for a project of longer duration. Examples include: Swayze All Over, Gandhi SS, Hot Dignity, Dehumidifier vs. Humidifier, Mohammed Cartoon, Jean-Claude Goddamn, Snuggle Prophet, Melted Face Constitutional, Fuck Is the New Black, Waaaaay Better Than Ezra, 38% Special, World War V, Sausage Pilot, Robosexual, Hut Hut Hike, and SCMODS.

In Cleveland, among certain circles, if a phrase with a curious ring by happenstance materializes, it’s always a defensible rejoinder to say, “Hey, that’s a Lottery League name.” Someone in the group will get the reference. The idea of a Lottery League-sized name or, more to the point, a Lottery League-sized idea, has entered the city’s particular musical ozone layer.

Good. Photo credit: Jen Hearn
It’s worth noting that although Lottery League is conceived as a one-off, a handful of bands have leaped from that confined space into, erm, “real life,” most notably Hiram-Maxim, who put out an album last year from Aqualamb Records (and were written up in VICE), but also Queen of Hell, How to Stay Alive in the Woods, Dinosaur Coffin, and Isle of Eyelids, among others.

In past years the opinion has been voiced that Lottery League was a touch too insular, a touch too GenX, a touch too focused on rock. In fact, the turnover within LL has been impressive, and I know for a fact that the Chiefs have worked to broaden the profile a little bit, and it was noticeable that the 2016 iteration was a little younger and a little more diverse in musical terms than in previous incarnations. Among the instruments seen onstage were an accordion, two cellos, two trombones, a harp, and a koto (I may have missed some) and even if the majority of the bands hewed to an austere Kraftwerkishness or a funky/jazzy groove, there were instances of the opposite as well, with acts bringing their most jaw-dropping versions of rap (These Swords Are Real), opera (Fugitive Howler), gagaku (Way of the Warrior) and Kurt Weill-esque tomfoolery (High Class Carnival).

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Fanny: The Great Lost Female Rock Group of the 1970s
01:40 pm



Years before the Runaways or the Go-Go’s, there was pioneering “chick rock” band, Fanny. Fanny was formed in 1969 by teenaged guitarist-singer June Millington, with her sister Jean and drummer Alice de Buhr, as “Wild Honey.” When Nickey Barclay, a keyboard player who toured with Joe Cocker’s infamous “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” group joined them, the band was renamed “Fanny.” In the UK, where the word means “vagina” and not “butt” like it does in the USA, Fanny were thought to be quite outrageous by radio programmers. More outrageous than I think they intended.

Along with Suzi Quatro’s early band, The Pleasure Seekers and before them, Genya Ravan’s girl group Goldie & the Gingerbreads, Fanny was among the very first real female rock groups signed to a major label (Reprise Records, the artists first label started by Frank Sinatra, who was the “Chairman of the Board”). They worked with famed producer Richard Perry (Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, etc) and later Todd Rundgren. They recorded at the Beatles’ Apple Studios and backed Barbra Streisand on her Barbra Joan Streisand album. They toured opening up for huge 70s acts like Slade, Jethro Tull and Humble Pie, but sadly, they are little more than a gender pioneer footnote today.

Fanny were nothing short of incredible, as you will hear, but they never made it as big as they should have. It’s unfair.

David Bowie, in a 1999 Rolling Stone interview, said of the group:

“One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were one of the finest… rock bands of their time, in about 1973. They were extraordinary: They wrote everything, they played like motherfuckers, they were just colossal and wonderful. They’re as important as anybody else who’s ever been, ever; it just wasn’t their time. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done”

More Fanny after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Who are You??? That time Keith Moon OD’d onstage and was replaced by a member of the audience
10:02 am



It’s like a Boy’s Own story. You’re at a concert with your best friend, watching your favorite band, when the drummer collapses on stage. The call goes out, “Is there a drummer in the house?” Next thing you know, your buddy has pushed you into the spotlight and there you are playing the drums with your rock star heroes.

This actually happened to one Scot Halpin when he turned up to see his favorite band The Who open their Quadrophenia tour at the 14,000 seater Cow Palace in Daly City, San Francisco, back in November of 1973. Halpin and his buddy arrived twelve hours before the concert was set to begin. They wanted to ensure they had the best seats in the house up near the front of the stage. This was to prove fortuitous for both Halpin and for the band themselves, for an hour into The Who’s gig—during “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in fact—Keith Moon passed out at his drums and was carried off the stage.

The house lights came up. Guitarist Pete Townshend announced:

“We’re just gonna revive our drummer by punching him in the stomach. He’s out cold. I think he’s gone and eaten something he shouldn’t have eaten. It’s your foreign food. The horrible truth is that without him, we aren’t a group.”

There was a thirty-minute intermission while Moon was revived backstage with “a cold shower.” The Who returned to the stage and resumed playing. But not for long. Moon collapsed again and this time he he could not be revived so easily.
Moon the Loon.
It was later discovered what had actually transpired: Moon had ingested a massive quantity of veterinary tranquilizers, which he then washed down with his customary bottle or two of brandy. The rest of the band: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle carried on performing—Daltrey filling-in for Keith’s drums with a tambourine. It wasn’t exactly working. Townshend once more stepped toward the mic and asked:

“Can anybody play the drums? I mean someone good!”

This was the moment when Halpin’s buddy started yelling at the stage crew that yes, his friend was a drummer and boy could he play. Which was true up to a point. Halpin could play but was out of practice as he hadn’t picked up his sticks in nearly a year.

What happened next surprised both band and audience and has become the stuff of legend. Concert promoter, Bill Graham approached Halpin and pulled him up onto the stage.

“Graham just looked at me and said, ‘Can you do it?’ And I said ‘Yes,’ straight out. Townshend and Daltrey look around and they’re as surprised as I am, because Graham put me up there.”

A roadie then gave Halpin a shot of Moon’s brandy.

“Then I got really focused, and Townshend said to me, ‘I’m going to lead you. I’m going to cue you.’”

Townshend introduced him simply as “Scot” and launched into a couple of blues standards “Smokestack Lightning” and “Spoonful.” Halpin acquitted himself well. He kept good time and followed Townshend’s lead. Next up was the Who’s “Naked Eye” which proved far more tricky with its contrasting tempos. Halpin kept his cool and managed a steady beat throughout.
Scot Halpin fills for Moon with The Who.
It was the band’s last number. Halpin deservedly took his bow alongside Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle. Backstage they thanked “...the skinny kid from the audience for stepping to the plate” but who “didn’t hang around long after the show.”

“They were very angry with Keith and sort of fighting among themselves,” Halpin said. “It was the opening date on their ‘Quadrophenia’ tour, and they were saying, ‘Why couldn’t he wait until after the show (if he wanted to get high)?”

Daltrey, who’d begun drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle at that point, told the substitute they’d pay him $1,000 for his efforts, and a roadie gave him a tour jacket on the spot. “Then everyone split,” Halpin said. “My friend and I both had long drives ahead of us, so we loaded up on all the free food that was put out for the band, and we both headed for home.”

In the meantime, someone stole the tour jacket that Halpin had just received as a gift.

Halpin received favorable mention in the next day’s Chronicle review. He received a nice letter from the band but no money - not that it mattered.

The event was commemorated by Rolling Stone magazine who honored Halpin with “Pick-Up Player of the Year 1973.”  Interviewed at the time, Halpin praised The Who’s stamina, saying:

“I only played three numbers and I was dead.”

More on the night Moon the Loon was replaced by a member of the audience, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Meet ‘Iron Virgin’: The Scottish glam rock band that time forgot
09:42 am



Iron Virgin, a Scottish glam band formed in 1972
Iron Virgin, a Scottish glam rock band formed in 1972.
Back in 1973, riding high on his work with Thin Lizzy, Decca records sent out producer Nick Tauber off in search of a hot act to help them promote their other label called Deram Records (which put out David Bowie’s first self-titled album a year after it was established in 1967). Tauber ended up in Scotland and happened to catch a gig from Edinburgh-area band, Iron Virgin. Tauber signed the band to Deram and got them into the studio to record.

Iron Virgin was making a pretty good name for themselves before Tauber found them by playing Slade and Bowie covers, as well as their own original music all around Scotland. They dressed like their idols - decked out in sky-high platform boots and makeup. The band’s vocalist, Stuart Harper (now a high-end tie designer, pictured with the nifty “NO ENTRY” chastity belt codpiece above), made most of their stage clothes which consisted of embellished leotards, tights, and jumpsuits. Because it isn’t really “glam rock” unless your genitals are being strangled to death by something shiny and tight. 1973 was shaping up to be a pretty great year for Iron Virgin, who had only been around for about a year before Tauber “discovered” them.
Iron Virgin
Iron Virgin posing for their lives in their homemade “American Football” uniforms, as well as glammed-up Scottish tartan duds made by their vocalist Stuart Harper, early 1973/1974.
Iron Virgin single for
The single for the super-catchy Iron Virgin track, ‘Rebels Rule.’
According to an interview from 2014 with Iron Virgin guitarist Gordon Nicol, when they went into the studio with Tauber, they were “told” that they would be recording a cover of “Jet” originally recorded in 1973 by Paul McCartney and Wings for the album, Band on the Run. In addition to “Jet,” Iron Virgin also recorded a version of Rick Derringer’s “Teenage Love Affair” (from Derringer’s 1973 album, All American Boy), and a cover of the 1972 song “Shake that Fat” by Jo Jo Gunne (a band comprised of former members of Spirit), as well as three original songs, “Ain’t No Clown,” “Midnight Hitcher,” and the fist-pumping, T. Rex-y anthem, “Rebel Rules.”

Although the band enjoyed some success with their cover of “Jet” (which Deram released as a single in February of 1974), it was eclipsed by McCartney’s version that was released as a single that very same month - effectively delivering a death-blow to the up-and-coming band who would disband without ever recording again. Speaking of recordings, any physical copies of Iron Virgin vinyl are extremely rare and when they turn up, are pricey and highly-sought-after by collectors. In 2007, Rave Up Records reissued all six Iron Virgin singles on 12” vinyl, which swiftly sold out. The track “Rebel Rules” can be found on the great 2003 compilation of obscure glam released between the years 1973 and 1975, Velvet Tinmine. I’ve posted audio of all the Iron Virgin recordings I could dig up, which I coincidentally think you will really dig, below.

The name Iron Virgin is now taken by “the ultimate Iron Maiden tribute band.”

Iron Virgin, ‘Rebels Rule’
More Iron Virgin after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Amazing Venom, Motörhead, and DEVO masks!
09:23 am



SikRik Masks recently released a new full-head latex mask of the demon from the cover of Venom’sBlack Metal LP.

Black Metal was named the “68th best British album of all time” by Kerrang! readers, but, more importantly, was one of the primary influences on what was to become the infamous Norwegian Black Metal music scene. For me personally, when I was a young punk purist, Venom were one of the few metal bands that appealed to my “punk rock sensibilities”—probably because they were a bit more sloppy than virtuosic. And I’ve always been a sucker for fun cartoonish satanism. Anyway, Black Metal remains one of my favorite metal records to this day, and the latex representation of it’s cover done by SikRik is dead-on.


Motörhead and DEVO masks after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Newly unearthed video: My Bloody Valentine destroy DC’s 9:30 Club, 1989
10:54 am



Yesterday the Facebook page for Band of Susans coughed up some remarkable footage from more than two decades ago. It’s a video lasting an hour and 24 minutes of Band of Susans and My Bloody Valentine playing the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., on June 6, 1989.

It’s scarcely an overstatement to say that before yesterday, next to nobody was even aware that this footage existed. The chronologies for Band of Susans and for MBV (as of today) didn’t list the show at all.

The footage was shot by a fan named Chris Metzler. In the summer of 1989 Band of Susans was supporting their second album Love Agenda, which had come out in April. The well-regarded The Word and the Flesh would come out two years later. For their part, MBV had recently jumped from Lazy Records to Creation Records, having released Isn’t Anything and the “You Made Me Realise” 12-inch in 1988. Their crossover breakthrough of Loveless wouldn’t arrive until 1991.

Here’s the comment the band left when the video was posted:

Shot from the floor by the indefatigable Chris Metzler. Overloaded camera mic. (Distortion IS truth.) There may be a future version of this with better audio and possibly some different camera angles. My Bloody Valentine opened for Band Of Susans about a month later at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. One of our all time favorite shows.

The sound is pretty raw—the vocals in particular are almost never audible in any proper way—but the thrash and clangor of the guitar and drums always rings through quite effectively, and of course you can see them playing quite well. The image of Susan Stenger singing lead vocals while wielding an especially large bass guitar dominates the first half of the video.

As they say, “Distortion IS truth.” We await that “future version ... with better audio” but until then, we’ll be happy with this.
Watch the video, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Wild early Funkadelic video for ‘You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks’ will melt your face
12:33 pm



Hole-ee-shit… There’s really not all that much footage in existence of the early years of Funkadelic, but what there is tends to be pretty fucking amazing. And so it’s my pleasure to whip this one on you, dear Dangerous Minds reader, because this short promo film was a totally new one on me as of this early AM. Not only that, it’s for one of my very top favorite Funkadelic tracks, “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks.”

The lead vocalist here is William “Billy Bass” Nelson the original bassist for Funkadelic, and also the first band member to get pissed off enough about money—or lack of it making it into his pocket—to tell George Clinton where to stick it (the first of many, of course). Nelson was originally going to be the group’s guitarist, but opted for the bass post instead when his pal the amazing Eddie Hazel came aboard the Mothership.

According to the Maggot Brain Wikipedia page, the class conscious lyrics of “You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks,” one of the album’s singles, might’ve been inspired by an old folk rhyme first published in Thomas W. Talley’s book Negro Folk Rhymes (Wise or Otherwise) in 1922:

If you and your folks love me and my folks
Like me and my folks love you and your folks
If there ever was folks
That ever ever was poor.


One of the YouTube commenters speculates that this was shot in Bermuda and mentions something about the band causing a stir there by performing naked onstage!

As an added bonus—because I love you, I really, really love you—there are some other primo examples of early Funkadelic on video after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cocteau Twins play their entire ‘Spangle Maker’ EP live in Sweden, 1984
10:47 am



In 1984 Cocteau Twins put out a 12-inch called “The Spangle Maker” that contained within the title track as well as “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops” and “Pepper-Tree.” The release is significant for being the first Cocteau Twins product featuring contributions by Simon Raymonde, who would become an essential part of the band for years to come.

That year also saw the release of the “Aikea-Guinea” 12-inch as well as what is arguably their best album, Treasure, which features such standout numbers as “Ivo,” “Lorelei,” and “Otterley.” (Robin Guthrie didn’t feel so warmly towards the album, however, commenting quite hilariously that “I’ve always detested Treasure. Not because of the record, but because of the vibe at the time, when we were pushed into all that kind of arty-farty pre-Raphaelite bullshit.”)

“The Spangle Maker” 12-inch
“Arty-farty pre-Raphaelite bullshit” or not, it’s not a stretch to speculate that the Twins were at or near the height of their powers in 1984, so how splendid to come across this sweet footage from a gig taped in Örebro, Sweden, on October 25, 1984.

On that mini-tour of Scandinavia, Cocteau Twins would play Stockholm, Helsinki, and Oslo later the same week. Those places would all get full concerts, but for some reason their fans in Örebro were treated to a tidy 20-minute set of only five songs.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘The Mecca of Hip’: Essential doc on Detroit venue where the Stooges & MC5 made their marks
10:32 am



Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story

“Detroit made you good.” –Alice Cooper

Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story is a must-see film for anyone who gives a shit about the history of rock-n-roll and ‘60s counter culture. The tale of the Grande Ballroom, the legendary Detroit venue, is one that’s needed to be told for some time. Hell, just for the fact that the Stooges and MC5 made their marks there is reason enough, but the ballroom was also a popular stop on the touring circuit, with some of the biggest acts of the period gracing its stage. Through archival footage and photographs, plus new interviews with those who were there (many of whom have since passed on), first time producer/director and Detroit native Tony D’Annunzio lays out how it all went down, making us wish we could’ve been there to see it. As a Detroiter, I was often beaming with pride as I watched the documentary, despite the fact that I was only a couple of years old when the Grande closed its doors.

The Grande Ballroom is a building that drew artists of all sorts into its vortex, and is still revered by those who set foot in it. It’s a venue where bands had to give their absolute best in order to impress Detroit audiences. It’s a place that—like Alice says—made you good.
Opening night
Outside the Grande on opening night, October 7th, 1966 (photo: Emile Bacilla)

Designed in the Moorish/Art Deco style and located on Detroit’s west side, the Grande Ballroom opened in 1928. The venue hosted big bands and was a mecca for dancing couples for decades (it could hold as many as 1,500 boppers), but by the early ‘60s, times had changed significantly and the Grande closed its doors. Fast forward to 1966: Detroit area DJ and school teacher Russ Gibb was attending a Byrds concert in San Francisco at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West, an updated dance hall. Inspired by the sounds and sights (he was especially blown away by the psychedelic light show) of the city’s burgeoning counter-culture scene, Gibb was determined to bring what he experienced to Detroit. After investigating several locations, he settled on the shuttered Grande Ballroom. Much like it had been during its initial heyday, the Grande would once again become the place to be.

Grande Ballroom poster
Poster art: Gary Grimshaw

Local band MC5 performed as part of the opening festivities at the Grande Ballroom, which took place on October 7th and 8th, 1966. Russ Gibb had his friend Gary Grimshaw design the poster, and Grimshaw would continue to create advertisements for Grande events. His artwork is now synonymous with the psychedelic ‘60s. Leni Sinclair, wife of MC5 manager, John Sinclair, was part of the crew responsible for the light shows, but she is best known for the photographs she took at the Grande, as well as her films of the the Stooges and MC5. Many of the images she captured are now iconic.
Back In The USA cover
Cover of the second MC5 album, ‘Back in the USA’ (1970). Photo snapped by Leni Sinclair backstage at the Grande.

Other area rock acts that honed their chops at the Grande include the Amboy Dukes, the Spike Drivers, SRC, and the Rationals. Bands that made appearances at the Grande while on tour include the Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, the Mothers of Invention, Sly and the Family Stone, Howlin’ Wolf, the Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, and the Who. Tom Wright, who managed the Who at the time and would later oversee the Grande, said that he “had never seen the Who try harder” than during their 1968 show at the ballroom.
The Who
The Who (photo: Tom Weschler)
Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page, The Yardbirds
Iggy Stooge/Iggy Pop, The Stooges (photo: Leni Sinclair)
Wayne Kramer
Wayne Kramer, MC5 (photo: Charlie Auringer)

Unlike the “peace and love” hippie outfits that made up the bulk of the San Francisco scene, the Detroit bands were raw and gritty. One such act was more associated with the Grande Ballroom than any other, and that was the all-powerful MC5. Known for their explosive performances, the band became a staple of the venue. The 5 were keenly aware they would have to work hard to earn the love of the blue collar Detroit audiences, and incorporated the Detroit work ethic of the city’s auto workers into their act. Every group that shared the stage with the 5 learned they too had to bring it, which subsequently made them up their game—or risk leaving the place hanging their collective head in shame. In addition to being on the bill for the ballroom’s 1966 opening, other notable happenings in MC5 history took place inside the building: It’s where they recorded their debut album, the seminal live LP, Kick Out The Jams (1969), and where they played their final show the night the Grande closed for good, New Year’s Eve, 1972.

Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story has had a successful worldwide run on the festival circuit since the documentary premiered in 2012, and received a low-key video release last year. Producer/director Tony D’Annunzio has inked a deal with distributor MVD Entertainment Group, which will soon give the film the wide release it has always deserved.

After the jump, Dangerous Minds asks Tony D’Annunzio some questions about his film…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
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