"LOUDER THAN LOVE | The Grande Ballroom Story"

Article Contributed by Tony D'Annunzio | Published on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

While the West Coast was groovin' to the sounds of the "Summer of Love" in 1967, Detroit was pumping out a hard-driving, gritty, raw sound that was "Louder Than Love." At the epicenter of this seminal music scene stood The Grande Ballroom, Detroit’s original rock and roll palace. "LOUDER THAN LOVE: The Grande Ballroom Story," a new film by producer/director Tony D’Annunzio, relates the story of the hallowed halls that started it all, as told by the artists and fans who helped fuel The Grande phenomenon.

"LOUDER THAN LOVE: The Grande Ballroom Story" will make its world premiere on Apr. 5, 2012 at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Upcoming screenings include the Moving Pictures Film Series at the Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI (Apr. 9, 2012); Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (Apr. 12 – 15, 2012); Nashville Film Festival (Apr. 19-25, 2012); and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in May 2012; with more dates in the works.

“The Grande Ballroom era is potentially the greatest untold story in rock and roll history,” says D’Annunzio, a Detroit native. “With everything Detroit has been through in the last several decades, I wanted to let folks know that aside from the automobile industry, the city has some amazing history which helped shape American pop culture.”

In the late 1960s, The Grande served as the launch pad for some of America’s most iconic rock bands including MC5, Iggy and The Stooges, and Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes, who influenced local Detroit musicians and inspired bands from all over the U.S. and Great Britain.

Legendary acts like Led Zeppelin, Cream, B.B. King, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd and The Who graced The Grande main stage on a regular basis.

Using a Sony 24P HDCAM, D’Annunzio amassed more than 60 hours of interviews with artists and other insiders from The Grande’s heyday including musical icons B.B. King, Alice Cooper, Roger Daltrey, Scott Morgan, Mark Farner, Tom Morello, Wayne Kramer, Lemmy, Ted Nugent, Henry Rollins, Don Was, Slash, Dick Wagner, and James Williamson. He also collected over 500 never-before-seen archival photos–taken by professional photographers and fans–of performers such as The Who, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Cream, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck Group, MC5, Traffic, and Iron Butterfly.

“We have incredible 8mm film of The Who performing “Tommy” for the first time, including an audio recording by Pete Townshend explaining “Tommy” to The Grande audience. Both have never been seen or heard in any documentary,” D’Annunzio notes.

"LOUDER THAN LOVE-The Grande Ballroom Story" trailer from Tony D'Annunzio on Vimeo.

The movie soundtrack presents 20 original recordings from some of Detroit’s greatest rock and roll bands including MC5, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Amboy Dukes, The Up, Frost, The Rationals, Savage Grace, Jagged Edge, Wilson Mower Pursuit, Detroit, and Frigid Pink, and a brand new song written and performed by Dick Wagner appropriated titled “Motor City Music.”

D’Annunzio has logged over 22 years experience in the broadcast network television industry, working for every major broadcast company at the technical and/or production management level including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, CNN, MTV,VH1, Discovery, NFL Films, MSNBC. “LOUDER THAN LOVE: The Grande Ballroom Story” is his first independent film as a producer and director.

LOUDER THAN LOVE: The Grande Ballroom Story” runs 74 minutes. The film was made possible in part by sponsors Reverend Guitars, Metro Times and the National Guitar Museum.