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Friends, colleagues remember rock 'n' roll promoter, DJ Russ Gibb day after his death

Friends celebrate Gibb's two biggest legacies

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Rock 'n' roll promoter and D.J. Russ Gibb died Tuesday, and his loss is still being felt throughout Detroit and the music industry.

Local 4's Jason Colthorp had lunch Wednesday with some of Gibb's former colleagues and friends, who were celebrating two of Gibb's biggest legacies.

Gibb opened the Grande Ballroom on Grand River Avenue, and it quickly became the place for bands to play when they came to Detroit.

It was built in the early 1900s and became a hangout for the Purple Gang in the 1920s. Gibb bought it in 1966 and transformed it in the image of the Fillmore in San Francisco.

In 1969, the Grande became the first venue in America where The Who performed their rock opera, "Tommy."

With the legendary MC5 as the house band, the Grande also hosted other local up-and-comers such as Ted Nugent, Iggy Pop and the Stooges.

You can watch Jason Colthorp's full story in the video posted above.


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