Detroit Swag-o-mania

Some of nature's more beautiful moments in Detroit are created by the spring and autumn fogs that rise over the city. The autumn fog season arrived in Detroit today, rolling in around 7 AM and with burn-off, shown here, starting around 10 AM. Ship horns are calling out to each other all over the Straits of the Detroit.

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DISCUSSING ALL THINGS DETROIT-WINDSOR SINCE 1999

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  1. #26
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    Saw Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan sometime in the mid-late 70's. Saw many Wings games also, including an "oldtimers" reunion including Mr. Howe, who was honored that particular night.

    Cole Brothers Circus comes to mind, as well as a Neil Diamond concert.

  2. #27

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    Back in 1973-4 (?), a girl I know from high school and who was interested in me invited me to Olympia to see the Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" tour's Detroit stop.

    I wasn't really interested in the gal, and I didn't want to lead her on, so I declined.

    In retrospect, I should have been a jerk.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56packman View Post
    I rode the Grand River bus to Olympia in 1975 to audition for the Junior Red Wings to become the organist for the Jr. Wings games. I didn't have a driver's licence yet. I didn't get the gig (which was a volunteer position) but a good friend (who was better than me, and better suited to the job) got the gig and I went to several games with him, watching from the side of the press box, where the organ console was located. There was a white Rodgers (electronic) theatre organ console on one side of the press box and a Hammond B-3 on the other side, both had deep cigarette burns to the consoles where Art Quatro would set his burning fags when he had to play suddenly. I met Lincon Cavalari and the head electrician of the building--his name escapes me now, but they were a fine, professional group of men that ran Olympia.
    As a customer I saw Red Wing games there, it was superior to the Joke Lewis arena from a sightline perspective, and the cheapes seats in the top balcony were still close to the action. I also saw the Harlem Globetrotters there.
    56packman, you mentioned Art Quatro. I remember he played a melody after the Wings would score, everyone called it the Red Wings Polka. I always wondered if that was his original or if it was some other tune. I also heard there was a recording of the Red Wings Polka, I'd love to have a copy of that for sure. I'm really happy that they have brought back the organist for some of the games at the Joe. I hate the canned music.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by eno View Post
    I had the same reaction as a previous poster about the steep steps in the balcony. One wrong step and you got 2 minutes off for delay of game. I went to about a dozen Red Wing games over the years. The most memorable were the Stanley Cup playoff games against the Black Hawks with Bobby Hull being shadowed by Howie Young. I also saw the Ice Capades and roller derby games there too.

    It was a lousy place for concerts. I can't believe they would sell seats behind the stage, but they did. I went to my first RnR concert there to see the Animals tho' Herman's Hermits were the headliners. There was still an element of yelling, screaming girls for the Hermits so I left after the second number. Also saw Frank Zappa and the Mothers when he had former Turtles, Flo & Eddie, in the band. Saw Cream's farewell concert tour there too.
    That was actually Bryan Bugsy Watson who was assigned to shadow Bobby Hull in the playoffs. My fathers company had four seats in the front row behind the net. Dad and his coworkers were at the game where Hull finally had enough of Watson and popped him in the head with his stick, drawing some blood. All the fans became enraged at Hull for this. Back in those days the glass behind the net was much lower, so you could stand on your seat and pull yourself up on the glass to yell at the players. My dad and his friends jumped up on the glass and were really giving it to Hull verbally, when suddenly he swung his stick at them. No one got hit, they just jumped back somewhat startled at what had just happened. Also in those days, the visiting team walked through the lobby to get to the ice from their dressing room with only a wooden railing and a few ushers separating them from the fans. So after the intermission, my dad's group is standing next to the wooden rail as the Black Hawks were coming back out, and Hull starts to walk right towards them. They first thought he was going to swing his stick at them again. Instead he apologized for swinging his stick at them earlier. Hull was a class act.

  5. #30
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    I saw a lot of Red Wings games at Olympia Stadium during my high school years ('68-69 and '69-70 seasons). I would drive my younger brother down to the Olympia, park in the Northwestern field parking lot and purchase standing room tickets. As soon as they let the standees into the building, we would run for "the world's longest escalator" and try to claim our favorite spot in the balcony.

    We would go all the way down the far right balcony aisle (along the wall) where it widened out slightly at the bottom to create a space big enough for two. We had an unobstructed view nearly straight down to the ice and we didn't interfere with anyone else's view.

    Beginning in 1975, I worked in the same General Motors engineering department as Art Quatro. He was supposedly the only GM employee to ever purchase a Cadillac Limousine using the employee discount. His musician son Mike was branching out into concert promotion and buying made more sense than continually renting a limo.

  6. #31
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    Yeah Downriviera, I usually confuse Howie Young For Bryan Watson. What was Howie Young famous for?

  7. #32

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    I remember the Ice Capades and some sort of circus event at Olympia as well as the Harlem Globetrotters. I saw a lot of Red Wing games including Game 6 of the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals, in which the Canadians clinched the cup on a disputed goal in overtime. I was devastated because had the Wings won, my uncle's company would have engraved the cup and I would have gotten to see it. On that night after the game, I met my childhood football hero, the Lion's Terry Barr, crossing Grand River after the game.

    And, on Sept 6, 1964 I saw my first concert there. It was this quartet.
    From Liverpool.

    Bob Jared

  8. #33
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    As a youngster I remember the escalator, and people would slide their beers down the middle part between the two escalotors Then they installed astroturf and the beer races stopped. I also remember the haze that hung in the rafters from all the smoke.

    I also remember my dad taking me through the concourse between periods where the players had to cross the concourse to get from the ice to the locker rooms. The visitors had to do likewise, but I remember an accordian style wall would block the passageway until they were across.

    My first trip to the Old Red Barn was for the Ice-Capades (or something) featuring Herbie the Love-Bug. I was terrified of his blinking eye/headlights. Several Wings games later, I saw Eddie Giacamon shut-out the Atlanta Flames one night 8-0 amidst the "Ed-die Ed-die" chants coming from the Mezzanine. I too, attended the last game ever played there, and people were walking out with chairs. I still have my program.

    I also remembering listening to Tommy Hearns fighting at Olympia on the radio.

    I was working down the street @Gd. River & the Blvd when the old building finally came down. We drove by, walked around to the back, and looked into the half demolished building. The front of the building and roof were still intact, so was the lime green paint with the Winged Wheels on the facing of the upper deck behind where the nets once stood. We grabbed a couple bricks but left them at our house on Archdale when we moved.



    Now for the exciting part.

    Several years ago, at Hirt's in Eastern Market, there was a panoramic picture of the inside of Olympia Stadium. The picture had extensive damage, as it was probably left behind when the Wings moved out. It is 2' wide by 38" across, shows the flags hanging from the rafters, (as well as that haze), bunting lining the entire facing of the upper deck, and shows the packed stadium from 'behind the net.' Every spectator is dressed in a suit and wearing a hat, except for the women, who are wearing dresses and hats. The loudspeakers and lights shine brightly directly above the ring. In goldleaf, at the bottom "First Boxing Show" "Johnny Risko of Cleveland vs. Tom Heeney of New Zealand" "Heeney took the decision in ten rounds." This picture hangs about 3 feet from my keyboard. I bought it for 25 bucks and alot of the picture is "stuck" to the glass frame, giving the picture an eerie 3-D effect. It's probably a week before the first hockey game, and maybe hung in Mr. Norris' or even Jack Adams office.

    A similar picture, only enlarged, hangs to the right of the entrance on the river side of JLA, and shows the same panoramic view, only for a hockey game. Sadly, the picture is blocked by the Pro-shop so it's kinds hard to find.

  9. #34
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    Does anyone remember the Red Wings game where there was a disputed goal ( aganist the Wings ) and the crowd beat up the goal judge who awarded it to the other team? This was around the mid-60's and the game was televised.

  10. #35
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    Saw Yes and Kiss (78' & 79'). Also saw the Harlem Globetrotters there as a tyke which inspired me to stay off the streets and pursue a career shootin hoop. Dint pan out.

  11. #36
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    Roller Derby on Friday nights.This was late 60s-early 70s.It was lame,seemed as fixed as WWF?WWE?,whatever.But is was cheap and fun to watch the people in the stands yelling their hearts out for the Bombers or theT-Birds.

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by softailrider View Post
    Does anyone remember the Red Wings game where there was a disputed goal ( aganist the Wings ) and the crowd beat up the goal judge who awarded it to the other team? This was around the mid-60's and the game was televised.

    Check post #32 above - I think that I remember hearing about it the next day. Also forgot to mention; interesting that the Cup was clinched during last week of April back in those days!

  13. #38
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    Downrivera--the Organ you are hearing now at Joe Louis arena is the same Art Quatro braned (cigarette burned) Hammond B-3 that was in Olympia. It was moved from Olympia to Joe lewis when the team moved. .My friend Dave is playing for the Red Wing games now and it is definately a blast from the past. We went through this whole thing is sport events where the baby boomers became the majority, and cried if you took the rock and roll pacifier out of their mouth, so baseball and hocky got DJs, spinning the same crap you couldn't escape on commercial radio, and had heard thousands of times in your life already. The great thing about a good live musician instead of a DJ is that when something happens on the ice (or field) and there is an opportunity to make a joke out of it by choosing a particular song. The live musician can see the opportunity and within a couple seconds be playing the song. The DJs can't react that fast because they have to search and call up the tune they are thinking about, and in comedy--timing is everything. 11 seconds later and it's just not as funny.
    Last edited by 56packman; December-02-09 at 09:55 AM.

  14. #39
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    I have vague memories of the Olympia being torn down (I was born in '77) -- when did that happen? I gather it was sometime during the 1980s.

  15. #40
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    1986, iirc.

  16. #41
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    Yes, that seems about right. When I was going to Bates, our bus route took us by the demolition. I remember the old folks feeling sad, but us kids didn't have any lived memories of going there.

    Very sad! I'm sorry it was allowed to happen -- would have loved to see it for myself.

  17. #42
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    In 1977 I went to Chicago Stadium, a larger, much nicer version of Olympia, situated away from downtown, as Olympia was. It was very deluxe--when you walked into Olympia the lobby off of Grand River or the west entrance was very plain, utilitarian, just bumpy plaster walls painted with a wainscot. Chicago stadium had an alabaster stone walled lobby with a huge ticket booth made from the same stone, with Deco-ish reliefs of athletes. But the siren song of "more money" was heard in Chicago and the stadium came down, to be replaced by the United Center, which lacks the soul and rabble-rousing acoustics the stadium had. To see a Blackhawks game there was an otherworldly experience--the din of an excited crowd built into something fierce.

  18. #43
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    Like a lot of you my Olympia memories include the Bruiser. I did go to the Bruiser-Karras match. I have a distinct memory of both guys going into 3-point stances at opposite corners. Also the Bruiser&Shiek &they starting fighting outside the ring before the match got started & both were disqualified. Talk about an angry crowd. Also remember when Bruiser was supposed to fight Red Bastien & was a no show because his flight from Chicago was canceled due to snow. I have a framed black&white photo of the arena circa 1963 that I bought at an art festival in Birmingham a few years ago. The marquee advertises Wings-Maple Leafs playoff tkts.

  19. #44
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    I don't know if the link will work, but the term Olympia returned 75 photos at the Reuther's Virtual Motor City Collection. Lots of interior shots.
    http://dlxs.lib.wayne.edu/cgi/i/imag...05;viewid=6705

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by softailrider View Post
    Does anyone remember the Red Wings game where there was a disputed goal ( aganist the Wings ) and the crowd beat up the goal judge who awarded it to the other team? This was around the mid-60's and the game was televised.
    The game you are referring to was in New York against the Rangers. The Rangers new GM, Emile 'The Cat" Francis was seated in the crowd and got into it with the goal judge over a disputed goal. The crowd was actually going after Francis and did not know who he was. The Ranger players saw this and jumped over the glass to help Francis.

    The other disputed goal mentioned was at the Olympia in 1966. I was just a kid and was there with my dad. I still have nightmares about that goal. In overtime, the Canadians Henri Richard fell as he was breaking to the net. He clearly knocked the puck in with his gloved hand. Instantly I was up out of my seat giving the washout sign for no goal and was expecting to see referee Frank Udvari do the same. The Montreal players all jumped off the bench and the next thing you know they had the Cup in their grimey hands. I was in tears while the rest of the fans seated by us were in disbelief. No replay back then. As we were walking to our car in the parking lot I saw a guy with a ladder leaned up against the outside wall of the Olympia. He was looking into the Canadians locker room through the vent. He motioned for me to come up, and I could see the players laughing and spraying champaign. I've hated the Montreal Canadians ever since, and enjoyed it throughly when years later we humiliated the Canadians on their home ice with a shellacking that caused goalie Patrick Roy to quit the team. I hadn't felt that upset about a loss again until last spring when the Penguins beat us in game 7 for the Cup.

  21. #46
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    56packman,

    If you could get your friend to play the Red Wings Polka, a lot of old time fans would be thrilled.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Downriviera View Post
    I've hated the Montreal Canadians ever since, and enjoyed it throughly when years later we humiliated the Canadians on their home ice with a shellacking that caused goalie Patrick Roy to quit the team.
    I was there for that game; it was the last Red Wings game in the old Forum. After I left the stadium and was walking back to my hotel, I saw Roy come from behind the stadium and head down a side street. I tailed him for a short while and he went to a phone booth, made a brief phone call, then went back up to the main street and hopped in a cab. He had been traded by the time I got back to Detroit.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56packman View Post
    In 1977 I went to Chicago Stadium, a larger, much nicer version of Olympia, situated away from downtown, as Olympia was. It was very deluxe--when you walked into Olympia the lobby off of Grand River or the west entrance was very plain, utilitarian, just bumpy plaster walls painted with a wainscot. Chicago stadium had an alabaster stone walled lobby with a huge ticket booth made from the same stone, with Deco-ish reliefs of athletes. But the siren song of "more money" was heard in Chicago and the stadium came down, to be replaced by the United Center, which lacks the soul and rabble-rousing acoustics the stadium had. To see a Blackhawks game there was an otherworldly experience--the din of an excited crowd built into something fierce.
    I can't remember that much of a difference between the stadiums but you're probably right. I went to the last hockey game in Chicago stadium in 1994 or '95. It was a playoff game and Chicago lost to the Maple Leafs. I sat in the mezzanine, and the steep stairs did remind me of Olympia's - if you fell forward it looked like you would land on the ice. Since it was the last hockey game there, the team had an offer going where you could send in your ticket stub and a check, and they sent back your stub, a framed photo of the interior, taken during the national anthem from your section of the stadium, and a piece of the goal net, all mounted under glass and framed . I still have it, but the ink on the ticket has since faded to the point of being unreadable.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    The 1927 opened Olympia Arena was designed by Detroit Architect C. Howard Crane... who was one of America's most prolific movie palace architects.

    Crane designed about 50 theatres in the Detroit area, including the Fox, State (Fillmore), Detroit Opera House (Capitol), Orchestra Hall, United Artists, Majestic, DIA Theatre, and many others.

    Crane also designed the currently being demolished Lafayette Building, and Columbus Ohio's 45 story Leveque-Lincoln Tower, his tallest commission, and considered one of America's finest Art Deco towers.

    Crane had spent a lot of time visiting the sights of Europe, and his vast repetroire of classic styles in his buildings shows it. Even Olympia's brick exterior had the characteristics of a Romanesque basilica.

    By 1930 his commissions had dried up, and Crane moved to London England, where he designed cinema's throughout the UK, although in a much tamer style than his exotic late 1920's movie palaces in the USA. His greatest work in the UK was London's Earl's Court Convention Center (1937-38), built over railroad track air space.

    Crane died in London in 1952, and is buried there. His grandson C. Howard Crane III is currently living in metro Detroit.
    According to the wiki
    even this building is in danger of being demolished!

    Found this site with some excellent pictures.

    Last edited by Whitehouse; December-02-09 at 08:22 PM.

  25. #50
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    growing up 65 miles from detroit, not having much of a hockey influence around me (i played in the street with a tennis ball and the weekend pick up game at the local arena) i didnt really follow any hockey team. i played more baseball than anything. i didnt watch the lions either...

    i never saw olympia when it was standing and ive only ever been in "the Joe" 3 times. once for Bruce Springsteen (1984 Born in the USA tour), Bryan Adams (1987) and one Red Wings game (19960...

    why was it built with the kink in the one wall? kind of a drunken carpenter day it looks like...

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