Bill Graham Presents

Autobiography of Bill Graham
Added on 03/31/2006
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2 Reviews

oscargamblesfr o
03/31/2006

Bill Graham Presents 5

A solid contribution to this list from Franks Wild Years, whose review below is commendable. Graham was a tough, interesting figure who had a big part in making rock what it is today.He brought a lot of organization and discipline to the often chaotic Bay Area scene and was a shrewd businessman who nevertheless had an ear for talent. Sort of the official, hardnosed East Coast guy who brought it all together. However, he was not just a square concerned only with profit, he had an ear for talent too, and helped discover talent that could have been overlooked, such as Santana. Though something of a shark himself, he was able to accurately predict the drawbacks of the music becoming a big business after Woodstock- acts going from relatively small but intimate venues like his Fillmore West and East to cold, lifeless, predictable huge sports stadiums, and/ or performers making records not for the love of music but for how much $ they could bring in. Graham is also to be praised for putting on interesting and diverse bills where one could see both Miles Davis and The Dead, or The Who and a Delta Bluesman, thereby widening the range of music that audiences could be exposed to. While he was gruff and short tempered, it's equally true that he was eclectic and did as much as any non-performing figure of the era in terms of contributions. Fascinating read.

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FranksWildYear s
03/31/2006

Bill Graham Presents 5

Rock's first great Impressario tells his story about fleeing Poland from the nazi's and landing in America to foster the San Francisco music scene in the 60's as the owner of the Filmore and Winterland Ballrooms, manager of Jefferson Airplane and creator of the modern rock concert and stadium tour. Among his many many credits he was the last man to book Lenny Bruce before he died, the Sex Pistols before they broke up and Otis Redding before he crashed.

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