born: October 8, 1931 as Wolfgang Grajonza
(Bill Graham) in Berlin
died: October 25, 1991 in a helicopter crash near Vallejo, CA
After surviving the Holocaust
and arriving in the US with less than nothing, Graham became not only a successful entrepreneur, but an icon.
He served in the U.S. Army in Korea and then settled in San Francisco and studied business. He managed the San Francisco Mime Troupe and in November 1965, he produced his first concert (held in a loft). It was a benefit for the San Francisco Mime Troupe and featured the Jefferson Airplane, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The Committee, The Fugs, Allen Ginsburg, and others. more than 500,000 people dancing their blues away to the fine sounds of:
Soon after as the Summer of Love and the counterculture exploded Ghram began promoting concerts at the Fillmore.
As the scene grew he would move his operations to the Winterland.
He opened the Fillmore East in New York City in 1968, but three years later he had closed his clubs to focus on promoting large-scale concerts and national tours.
He wrote an autobiography called: Bill Graham Presents, which is also the name of his production company (sold to SFX after his death).
His memorial concert in san Francisco's Golden Gate Park on November 3, 1991 featured:
Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Aaron Neville & Chester Thompson