Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Grande Vision
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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.


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.”


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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