Led Zeppelin: "Roadwork" Visits The Grande

Probably one of the best books about rock 'n' roll you'll ever see.Pete Townshend

Shortly after WKNR's owner, Nellie Knorr, passed away, I got one of those "blue sky" phone calls from "Uncle" Russ Gibb (the latter being chronicled elsewhere in this blog). Among the topics of discussion was Russ' mentioning to me of Tom Wright's terrific photojournal, Roadwork—Rock & Roll Turned Inside Out.

Wright was the official photographer of The Who's first couple of U.S. tours, that group having debuted their Tommy rock opera at Russ' Grande Ballroom in Detroit. When one early tour came to an abrupt end, Tom returned to the Grande to take a turn as its manager. Later, he was instrumental in constructing the buildings for Richard Songer and Russ' Goose Lake International Music Festival (for which I serendipitously served on the film crew). Later, Wright toured with and photographed other rock groups, including Rod Stewart & the Faces.

One very amusing story came out of Wright's stint at the Grande, involving the "The New Yardbirds" (you may know them as Led Zeppelin). Surf over to this National Public Radio site, where you can also hear an interview with Wright. The story I allude to is further down the page and is entitled, Chapter 17: The Grande.