Russ Gibb, Detroit DJ, teacher and rock promoter, dies at 87

DETROIT (AP) — Russ Gibb, a Detroit-area rock promoter, radio DJ, teacher and pop culture provocateur, has died at 87.

Andy Fradkin, Gibb’s former student and power of attorney, said Gibb died Tuesday of heart failure at a Garden City hospital. Fradkin says the longtime Dearborn resident suffered from health problems for several years.

Gibb leased Detroit’s former Grande Ballroom and gave Iggy Pop and the Stooges their first major show in 1968, and provided a venue for such major players as Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Who and the Grateful Dead.

One of his best known gambits was as a DJ in 1969, when he entertained rumors about the supposed death of Beatle Paul McCartney. Discussion about the hoax lit up WKNR-AM’s airwaves and helped propel the underground conspiracy into a global phenomenon.