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Rock 'n' roll benefit to help Grande Ballroom legend

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Pete Townsend. Joe Walsh. Rod Stewart.

Names all set in rock 'n' roll history. All of those musicians worked closely with a man whose name you may not recognize – Tom Wright – a photographer from Texas who took his talents on the road with some of music’s biggest names. But Wright found a second home in Detroit thanks to the legendary Grande Ballroom and a friendship 50 years in the making.

“A lot of people don’t know who Tom Wright was, he was the real manager of the Grande Ballroom, although I get a lot of the credit,” said Russ Gibb, former radio DJ & founder of the Grande Ballroom. “But it was thanks to Tom who brought the big British acts to the stage.”

Acts like The Faces, Led Zepplin and The Who – who played their rock opera “Tommy” for the first time in the United States in Detroit – a show that helped put the Grande on the map.

“Tom was the person who kept it going, he helped me and now it’s my turn to help him,” Gibb said.

Wright’s health has been declining and with medical bills stacking up, Gibb is stepping in to help raise money to cover expenses for his friend and former partner. That’s how the Tom Wright Benefit was born.

“If we can raise money to help alleviate some of those costs that’s what we want to do,” Gibb said. “Tom was never greedy with money and was so generous with other people and bands – it’s payback time for a man who helped shape the music industry in Detroit, the U.S. and Europe."

Classic rock station 94.7 WCSX is presenting The Tom Wright Benefit Concert and auction at the Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield, April 30.

The rock memerobillia going up for auction will make your jaw drop.

Pete Townsend autographed microphone. Ted Nugent, Kid Rock autographed guitar. Photo’s signed by Rod Steward, Joe Walsh, Roger Daltry and much more.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15. Auction closes at 10 p.m. The first 94 people through the door will get a free benefit poster made by Carl Lundgren. 

Concert line up:
8 p.m.:  White Shag
9 p.m.:  The Beggars
10 p.m.: Scott Morgan with The Sights
11 p.m.: Critical Bill
Midnight:  Vinnie from Sponge
Can’t make it the benefit? Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/bzmqf49t