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Bill Graham
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (January 8, 1931-October 25, 1991)
    Born in Berlin, Germany
    Birth name was Wolodia Grajonca
    Rock concert promoter
    Ran the Fillmore West and Winterland in San Francisco and the Fillmore East in New York City
    Promoter for various Rolling Stones tours (1972-82)
    Managed Carlos Santana, Eddie Money and the Neville Brothers
    Appeared in the films 'Fillmore: The Last Days' (1972), 'Apocalypse Now' (1979), 'Bugsy' (1991) and 'The Doors' (1991)
    Died in a helicopter crash near Vallejo, California
    Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1992)
    His mercurial personality was described by actor Peter Coyote as 'a cross between Mother Theresa and Al Capone.'
    His constant swearing got 'Fillmore: The Last Days' an R rating.
    After closing the Fillmores, he retreated to a Greek island to 'find myself,' then complained that nobody there knew who he was.
    When the Rolling Stones signed with another promoter for the 1989 Steel Wheels tour, he complained 'Losing the Stones was like watching my favorite lover become a whore.'
    He teamed up with Ticketmaster to drive other Bay Area ticket distribution companies out of business.
    His sister starved to death while they were fleeing across Europe to escape the Nazis.
    His mother died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
    He served in the US Army during the Korean War, earning the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
    He was credited with bringing new standards of professionalism to rock concerts.
    He exposed rock audiences to other music by frequently booking blues and jazz performers as opening acts at the Fillmores.
    He organized a large number of benefit concerts, ranging from fundraisers for the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic to the US portion of Live Aid.
    After he organized a protest against Ronald Reagan visiting Bitburg Cemetery in Germany, neo-Nazis firebombed his office.
    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Journey both reunited to play at a memorial concert in his honor.

Credit: C. Fishel

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