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Flash mob at Grande site to honor Russ Gibb

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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The late Russ Gibb will be remembered, informally, on Sunday, May 5, at the Detroit house of music he built.

A "flash mob" will assemble to celebrate Gibb from 2-4 p.m. on the site of the Grande Ballroom, 8952 Grand River Ave., which he opened in 1966 and operated for six years, bringing in legendary acts such as Led Zeppelin, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Janis Joplin and dozens of others. Gibb passed away on Tuesday April 30, at the age of 87 and was also known as the radio DJ who spread a 1969 rumor that Paul McCartney was dead and as an educator, primarily at Dearborn High School.

The flash mob is being organized by Leo Early, who wrote the definitive "The Grande Ballroom: Detroit's Rock 'n' Roll Palace" and operates thegrandeballroom.com, a web site dedicated to the venue -- which is now part of the National Register of Historical Places. Early calls it an "unofficial, impromptu remembrance...for fellowship and in remembrance of our dear friend." The event is billed as family-friendly and attendees are encouraged to "bring your own bubbles" to blow, in Grande tradition and to "wear bright colors and/or Grande finery." More details are available via the web site.

Gibb's estate is currently finalizing plans for a formal memorial, according to executor Andrew Fradkin.

Web Site: www.thegrandeballroom.com

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