Opening around 1974 as Todd’s Sway Lounge, owned and operated by couple/business partners Bobby Calvert & Dan Campbell, this east side venue was a LGBTQ friendly establishment that started booking bands following the success of Bookie’s by the late 1980/early 1981. According to Scott Campbell, the owners were concerned about booking too many bands and ruining the establishment for its gay patrons.

The band often had a mix of DJs, dance nights and then rock acts. Todd’s also became important in the evolution of electronic music and techno in Detroit. Also, as times evolved, as punk gave way to hardcore and then metal and hairbands, Todd’s would book a range of local and national acts ranging The Feisty Cadavers to The Trash Brats to Cannibal Corpse. After closing as Todd’s in 1992, it reopened for about a year as the Marquee before closing again in 1993.

Calvert died of AIDS at the age of 42 in 1986.

In 2015, a Todd’s reunion took place and was written up for the Metro Times.

A partial schedule of shows is available the Concert Database website.

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9 thoughts on “Todd’s

  1. My sister was a bartender there. Scott demaeght was also a bartender both up and downstairs. I was there for a wedding between a Billy Bull and Michael Otto. My sister and Marla were the flower girls. Lol. They came out dancing with nearly shaved heads, They had someone who was a Russian orthodox priest do the vows up on the stage. Bill and Michael jumped over a broom. Then everyone started dancing. Lol…I can tell more stories. Gotta love the 80s.

  2. I used to go to Todd’s for the music and dancing at least once a week. One night I went there by myself and was scanning the crowd for a dance partner and my attention was caught by a beautiful girl at the bar who was looking at me. We danced and hit it off and began dating and we’re married 6 months later. I asked my wife why she was looking at me that night and she said that I was the only normal person in the bar. I was also the luckiest!

  3. I used to schedule my classes at Wayne State around my Todd’s nights. I never took any early classes on Tuesdays or Fridays!

  4. So here I am a suburban blue collar kid in my 3rd year at College for creative studies/ 1985, with limited life experiences. My CCS friends were always talking about Todds; THursday nights. So I started going with them. It was an amazing dark dingy, freaky, escapist hole of a place. If I recall correctly the beer was cheap until 10:00 and we took great advantage of the cheap beer. There was an eclectic cross section of people: punks, skin heads, high fashion goth, LGBQ, antisocial angry people. hot chicks, and other CCS people. As far as I know my school mates were all straight guys but we would tear it up together on the dance floor. I’ll never forget those years 1985-1987. I’d love to doit again

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