In order to tell you about us, we need to tell you the history of these posters and why you ended up here .The Grande Ballroom (pronounced Gran-dee) 8952 Grand River Avenue (at Beverly), one block south of Joy, Detroit, Michigan Designed by Detroit architect, Charles N. Agree, it was completed and opened in the fall of 1928. As the name implies, it quickly became the jewel of the west side of Detroit. When dances such as the Foxtrot were “in”, thousands of people flocked to the Grande Ballroom every week. It remained extremely successful even through the depression and Second World War. Due to the diverse immigrating population and change in taste, the Grande Ballroom dance floor closed in 1957. In remained largely silent until 1963, when an attorney named Gabe Glantz purchased the property with a vision of returning entertainment to the neighborhood. In 1966, Gabe Glantz connected with a disc jockey named Russ Gibb. Russ had been hosting sock hops and teen dances. An arrangement was forged between Gibb, the promotion man, and Glantz, the building owner to create psychedelic ballrooms. In October 1966, the Grande Ballroom rock era began with the legendary MC5 headlining its first weekend. The Grande was again immediately popular and drew thousands of teenagers from the city and suburbs each weekend. The venue became a regular stop for many local artists. Rockers such as the Rationals, The Frost, Third Power, The Stooges and Ted Nugent all polished their craft on stage. In 1967, the list expanded to national groups like the Fugs, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa and the Mothers. Before long, bookings included British bands like The Who, Cream and Jeff Beck. By the late 1969, Gibb and Glantz’s productions began a transition to ever larger, more lucrative venues. Soon after, the Grande’s mystique quickly faded under several promoters before shutting down in 1972.
The artist, Carl Lundgren
Carl was born on July 12, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. He had an early interest in becoming a fantasy artist and illustrator like Frank Frazetta, his idol. At the age of 18, he was co-chairman of the first multimedia science fiction convention, The Detroit Triple Fan Fair, featuring comics, movies and science fiction. In 1967, Carl met rock poster artist Gary Grimshaw, who was illustrating posters for The Grande Ballroom, run by Russ Gibb. Grimshaw, offered him a job to create some of the posters you see in this collection. In addition, Carl was commissioned to produce posters for other venues such as the Beatles at Olympic Stadium and Bob Segar when he performed at the Oakland Mall in 1968. In 1974, Carl moved to New York City and turned to science fiction and fantasy illustration, painting nearly 300 book covers. Carl became a co-founder of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) and was nominated for a Hugo Award for his illustration work. Carl quit working for the publishing industry in 1987, choosing instead to focus on fine art. In 1993 he wrote and published an autobiography called Carl Lundgren, great artist. He continued to create posters and sold his artwork at various art shows and comic cons. His last poster is the History of The Detroit Tigers produced in 2012.
Current Detroit Rock Poster Owners, Jeff Draft and Nadine Grabowski
Jeff grew up with an admiration for music and comics. During the 1980s, he was a roadie for a local rock band “Dagger”. He also worked for Musicland. During that same time period, Nadine was married to a singer/musician for another rock band. Although the two bands played the same local Detroit and Canadian bars, Jeff and Nadine would not meet until several years later. During the 1990s, Jeff met Carl at a Renaissance Festival art show. An admirer of Carl’s works, Jeff purchased several of Carl’s posters over the years from various art shows and comic cons. During the same time period, Nadine sold crafts at fairs, festivals and craft shows. No longer married to the musician, Nadine’s second and third husbands were artists. Her third husband past away in November, 2011. Jeff and Nadine met in September, 2012 and began a partnership of selling crafts at various shows. In August, 2013, Jeff and Carl met again as they both had craft booths at the Allen Park Street festival. During that weekend a partnership began for Carl to wholesale the posters to Jeff and Nadine to sell at various craft shows. Carl decided to sell his poster business and on April 3, 2014, Jeff and Nadine purchased the rights to print and sell the poster
And that is how you ended up here.
We are committed in keeping the memories of the psychedelic rock era alive through these posters and will continue to offer them for sale to the public. Stay tuned for new and upcoming posters in the future.