Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Grande Vision

Gary Grimshaw's Exhibition of '60s rock posters coming to InsideOut

Al Parker - July 30th, 2012  

While much of America was grooving to the sultry “Summer of Love” sounds in 1967, Detroit was cranking out gritty, raw, pounding music from its epicenter, The Grande Ballroom.

“The Grande Ballroom era is potentially the greatest untold story in rock and roll history,” says Tony D’Annunzio, a native Detroit filmmaker whose documentary film “Louder Than Love” pays tribute to the Grande era. “With everything Detroit has been through in the last several decades, I wanted to let folks know that aside from the automobile industry, the city has some amazing musical history which helped shape American pop culture.”

Almost 50 years ago, in late 1960s, the Grande helped to debut some of America’s most iconic rock bands including the MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, and Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, who influenced and inspired bands all over the U.S.

Legendary acts such as Led Zeppelin, Cream, B.B. King, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd and the Who played the Grande main stage on a regular basis.

AN ARTIST’S VIEW

Another talented artist who played a vital role in the success of the Grande Ballroom is Gary Grimshaw who designed dozens of colorful posters for the concerts.

Several of Grimshaw’s colorful works will be on display at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1 at the InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City. It’s a chance to raise a glass of LMawby’s “Detroit” to honor Grimshaw’s new limited edition design, a signed and number silkscreen print entitled “The Grande Bands.” This work pays homage to the great musical groups that performed at the historic Detroit venue.

“When I started the (film) project, it was about the music,” explains D’Annunzio. “But as I went along, I realized it was really about the culture that was being built. And a huge part of that was Gary Grimshaw’s art. It screams the ‘60s. He was friends with Rob Tyner (singer for the MC5). He wasn’t a musician, but he used his talents to support the music.”

Born in Detroit in 1946, Grimshaw graduated from nearby Lincoln Park High School. He’s been creating artwork since the age of 20 – that’s 66 years of continuously producing music-related graphic artwork.

“Gary and Rob were just hanging out when Russ Gibb called and wanted a poster,” recalls Laura Grimshaw, Gary’s wife. (Gibb was an influential WABX-FM disc jockey and concert promoter.) “Rob handed the phone to Gary and said ‘Grimshaw, This is for you.’ That first poster, with the flying seagull, was done overnight.”

As he continued to produce the eye-grabbing posters, Grimshaw’s reputation grew steadily as the Grande Ballroom artist and later as the MC5 artist.

“I’ve been trying to get people outside of Detroit to realize the importance Gary Grimshaw had (to the Grande),” says D’Annunzio. “These poster artists gave us a creative edge. It was so profound.”

WHITE PANTHER

Grimshaw was part of a collective of promoters, intellectuals, poets, artists and musicians. As a Vietnam vet, he was an antiwar activist and a key player in the White Panther Party, working to reform unfair laws and unjust incarcerations. His work appeared in newspapers, magazines, concert posters, record album covers.

“Gary’s artwork is so amazing,” says D’Annunzio. “Even the letters are rich, voluptuous, sexy and kind of risqué. To do what he did with the lettering in that psychedelic feel. And it was all done at a time with limited resources, no computers, all by hand, primitive by today’s standards. Everything was done from an experimental vantage point.”

For “Louder Than Love” D’Annunzio amassed more than 60 hours of interviews with artists and other insiders from The Grande’s heyday including musical icons B.B. King, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Scott Morgan, Mark Farner, Tom Morello, Wayne Kramer, Lemmy, Ted Nugent, Henry Rollins, Don Was, Slash, Dick Wagner, and James Williamson.

He also collected more than 500 never-before-seen archival photos -- taken by professional photographers and fans -- of performers such as The Who, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Cream, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck Group, MC5, Traffic, and Iron Butterfly.

“We have incredible 8mm film of The Who performing “Tommy” for the first time, including an audio recording by Pete Townsend explaining “Tommy” to The Grande audience. Both have never been seen or heard in any documentary,” says D’Annunzio.

After his Grande years, Grimshaw moved west and worked as an associate art director at the rock and roll magazine CREEM and in San Francisco as art director of Art Rock Gallery.

Over the years, his work has been shown at the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Toledo Art Museum, the College for Creative Studies, the Flint Institute of Arts, and the Eastern Michigan University premier art gallery.

Grimshaw and his wife Laura spent 14 years in San Francisco and Oakland, California, where he continued to create art. For a few years they owned a little art shop called PaperSong.

In 2004 they moved to a home in the Woodbridge Historic District in Detroit, coming full circle to the neighborhood where Grimshaw spent his very influential twenties and produced such a great body of classic ‘60s art.

Despite battling health problems, Grimshaw continues to work, now with repurposed images of earlier creations. Several of his classic Grimshaw designs have received an electronic restoration with new colors for a new purpose.

He began the practice years ago when he restored a flyer that was originally a mimeographed work – black ink on colored paper. He created a digital file, boldly colored it and now “Love-in Detroit” is one of his most popular images.

For more on Grimshaw and his work, visit garygrimshaw.com. For info on the Aug. 1 event, contact Susan Adams at (248) 302-1331 or detroiturbandesignstudio@yahoo.com

 
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