Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10.8.13 Hero of the Day: Don Dorshimer

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.




Name: Don Dorshimer
Age: was 56
Occupation: owner, The Orbit Room
Last Seen: Grand Rapids, MI
Awarded For: bringing rock to Grand Rapids


If it weren't for Don Dorshimer, Grand Rapids wouldn't have as many rock concerts coming to town.

Dorshimer was the man who turned an old movie theatre on the campus of what used to be Eastbrook Mall into one of Grand Rapids' hottest concert venues. In the 1980's, he purchased the old twinplex and flipped it into what was then Club Eastbrook and some years later, the much-hipper-sounding The Orbit Room.

Today, The Orbit Room can fit in 1,700 patrons and alongside The Intersection, is an exclusive place to catch a concert.

It seems that every rock fan in Grand Rapids has had their own connection to The Orbit Room. I've seen Clutch (twice), Taproot (twice), Mushroomhead, Five Finger Death Punch and a few others there. I've even met one of the guys from Mushroomhead and even all four members of Taproot there.

I've seen 5FDP twice in GR; the first time was at The Orbit Room, where I met lead singer Ivan Moody. However, their next gig here was at the Deltaplex. Sadly, I didn't get to see any of the members or any of the bands in person. Unlike bigger venues like the Deltaplex or Van Andel Arena, The Orbit Room - and the Intersection too - are intimate and where true rock fans can come out and meet their favorite artists in person. For the first 20 years of my life, I was pissed that I was stuck in northern Michigan, where we were lucky to have *a* concert during the summertime in the 1990's. But for the past 11 years, I've been privileged to be just down the road from The Orbit Room.

Sadly, Grand Rapids is in shock over the passing of Don Dorshimer, who died suddenly on Saturday at age 56. His cause of death is unknown at the time. Just a day after his passing, Five Finger Death Punch played there (and I decided not to go due to my very busy schedule these days), which would have been a great celebration of his life.

Don loved rock 'n roll and it showed. The Orbit Room is probably one of the best hard rock and metal venues out there and they even hosted several local band competitions there over the years, such as Aris' Rock Search. He also owned several Subway Restaurants and was even one of the founders of Val-Du-Lakes, a concert venue near Muskegon.

From the bottom of my heart, a true rock fan, Don, my devil horns are up in the air for you.
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