Detroit Rock City
“From the very beginning, the people of Detroit took us in as one of their own. While we were still an opening act in most parts of the country, we were headlining there, and I wanted to write a song about that “.
“Then someone was hit by a car and killed outsider one of our concerts in Charlotte, North Carolina. I found it very strange that somebody on his way to see something that would have been so much fun, something that was such a testament to being alive, would get killed-which is where the song’s car crash intro comes from”.
“The whole song is really about somebody getting ready to go to a concert to have a great time, and ending up dying” Paul Stanley
Welcome to Motorcity
Detroit has a long and rich history associated with rock and roll. In 1954 Hank Ballard & the Midnighters crossed over from the R&B charts to the pop charts with “Work With Me, Annie.” The song nearly broke into the elite top 20 despite being barred from airplay on many stations due to its suggestive lyrics.
Work with me, Ann-ie-e
Let’s get it while the gettin’ is good
(So good, so good, so good, so good)
Annie, please don’t cheat
Give me all my meat, ooo!
So good to me
By 1964, teen clubs around Metro Detroit such as the Fifth Dimension in Ann Arbor and the Hideout off of 8 Mile Road and Harper Road, were a hotbed for young and promising garage rock bands such as The Underdogs, The Fugitives, Unrelated Segments, Terry Knight and the Pack (which featured Don Brewer), ASTIGAFA (which featured a young Marshall Crenshaw), The Lords (featuring a young Ted Nugent)
During the heyday of the Hideout in 1965, Doug Brown and the Omens, financed by Del Shannon, cut Bob Seger’s first known official recording “TGIF”/”First Girl.” Bob Seger would later form his band known as The Last Heard while Brown produced Seger’s regional blockbuster albums “East Side Story,” and “Heavy Music.”
She’s my lady from south of Detroit
And we met quite a few years ago
I remember her beauty,
her taste and her charms
Oh, how could I forget
holding her in my arms
Detroit became well known for its rock & roll prowess. The city was also immortalized during this time by such songs as:
He laughed at accidental sirens – That broke the evening gloom – The police had warned of repercussions – They followed none too soon – A trickle of strangers – Were all that were left to die – Panic in Detroit – I asked for an autograph – He wanted to stay home. – I wish someone would phone – Panic in Detroit
The Grande Ballroom is a historic live music venue located at 8952 Grand River Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. The building was designed by Detroit engineer and architect Charles N. Agree in 1928 and originally served as a multi-purpose building, hosting retail business on the first floor and a large dance hall upstairs
In 1966 the Grande was acquired by Dearborn, Michigan, high school teacher and local radio DJ Russ Gibb. Gibb was inspired by visiting San Francisco’s Fillmore Theater, and envisioned a similar venue in Detroit for the new psychedelic music and a resource for local teenagers.
Since Gibb closed the Grande as a rock venue in 1972, the building has rarely been used and has fallen into a state of extreme disrepair.