Blind Pig (venue)

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The Blind Pig
The Blind Pig's logo
Location208 S. First Street Ann Arbor, MI
Coordinates42°16′49″N 83°45′05″W / 42.28023°N 83.75126°W / 42.28023; -83.75126Coordinates: 42°16′49″N 83°45′05″W / 42.28023°N 83.75126°W / 42.28023; -83.75126
The Blind Pig in 2010

The Blind Pig is a music venue in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In one popular definition, the name comes from a slang term used to refer to police officers who had been bribed to ignore illegal speakeasy establishments in the days of prohibition.[1]

The club was established as a home for blues musicians, although today it books predominantly 'indie' rock acts and local groups.


The Blind Pig opened in 1971. Tom Isaia and Jerry DelGiudice created it as a European-influenced cafe, complete with espresso/cappuccino, a unique and varied food menu, including home made soups, Italian biscotti, crostini, a full wine and beer list, and top-notch Blues entertainment. The partners renovated an old downtown Ann Arbor building and named the combined cafe/club after illegal after-hours gathering places, referred to by the slang term blind pig, which is another name for a speakeasy. DelGiudice started the still-operating Blind Pig Records recording label in 1975 to showcase music by many of the groups who performed regularly at the club.

Isaia and DelGiudice sold the venue in 1979 to Dave Whitmore,[2] who in turn sold to Roy and Betty Goffett three years later. They doubled the club's space by renovating the rear portion of the building, opening the 8-Ball Saloon on the lower level and moving the stage to the more spacious main floor. The expansion made the venue more conducive to crowd-heavy rock shows and has hosted acts such as Joan Baez, Bo Diddley, George Thorogood, R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs, Sonic Youth, Soul Asylum, Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Nirvana.[3][1]

Since then, the Blind Pig has attracted a steady stream of up-and-coming acts, hosting shows almost every night all year round.


  • In 1989, a then little-known Nirvana performed a sold-out show at the Blind Pig, thanks in large part to Soundgarden, who recommended the band during its sold-out performance a week prior.[1] In a televised MTV interview years later, they cited the Blind Pig as their all-time favorite venue to play.[4] A tribute to the band created by the Goffetts lines a wall by the entrance to the club.
  • The Blind Pig was cited as one of the primary reasons for Ann Arbor's listing as the #7 "Campus Scene That Rocks" in a 2003 RollingStone Magazine feature.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e LeLievre, Roger (August 29, 2010). "History - and some great music over the years - at fun, funky Blind Pig". The Ann Arbor News. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Land Contract Sale, as recorded in Washtenaw County records
  3. ^ Blind Pig Music
  4. ^ Reimink, Troy. "Watch video of Nirvana's legendary 1990 performance at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor". mLive. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
  5. ^ Anonymous. "Campus Scenes That Rock." Rolling Stone 20 Feb. 2003: 45-47. Chadwyck IIMP. ProQuest. 15 Mar. 2008. Keyword: "Blind Pig" "Ann Arbor".

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