Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Laughter, Love and Music

Today in Rock History, in 1991, Bill Graham was killed in a helicopter crash near Vallejo, California, while returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert at the Concord Pavilion. Mr. Graham, aka Wolodia Grajonca, born in Berlin in 1931, was given the nickname Wolfgang by his family early in his life. He was a rock promoter, known for promoting San Francisco groups like the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane and booking them into his venues the Fillmore ballrooms and the Winterland ballroom, among others. If you’ve ever heard a recording entitled “Live at the Fillmore” or “Live at Winterland,” you have Bill Graham to thank for that excellent music. On November 3, 1991, a free concert called "Laughter, Love and Music" was held at Golden Gate Park to honor Graham, Gold and Kahn. An estimated 300,000 people attended to view many of the entertainment acts Graham had supported including Santana, Grateful Dead, John Fogerty, Robin Williams, Journey (reunited), and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (reunited). Graham is also remembered by the concert recordings owned by his estate, which can be accessed at http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/. Let’s check a vid from that historic concert, and celebrate ol’ Wolfgang’s life. Thanks to http://www.bgo-records.com/today/today_in_rock_history.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Graham_(promoter) for the info, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gerry and the Beatles...

... er, The Beatmakers? Today, in rock history, in 1961: Although neither group has had any hits yet, the Beatles and Gerry & the Pacemakers unite to form a Liverpool supergroup, the Beatmakers, for a one-off show at Litherland Town Hall in England. Now that's a little bit of trivia I never knew - too bad there aren't any recordings that exist, so let's listen to some vintage recordings from both groups and image what could have been. If Gerry wears that Gibson any farther up on his chest, he's gonna gag on it; and notice the lack of audience reaction to Gerry and the boys - scattered applause, indeed! Thanks to http://www.thisdayinrock.com/index.php/general/1961-although-neither-group-has-had-any-hits-yet-the-beatles/ for the info, and keep on rockin'!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the White Room…

… with black curtains…Today in rock history, in 1968, Cream begins a farewell tour of the US with a concert at Oakland, CA, and hits the US chart for the third time with “White Room.” I was fortunate to attend one of the dates on this farewell tour, which was in October or November of 1968 (I forget the exact date) at the barn-like Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, IA. While my memory of the concert is a bit hazy (could have been some chemicals involved, I don’t know), I do remember Clapton with his reverse-neck Gibson Firebird and a burned-out looking Ginger Baker launching into a frenzied version of “Toad.” Since my friends and I had tickets to this show, we became minor celebrities at our high school, prompting one girl to ask excitedly, “Are you going to see The Creams?” Yes, we did, and the rest is rock and roll history. Enjoy this tune from the tour, thanks to http://www.bgo-records.com/today/today_in_rock_history.htm for the info, and keep on rockin’!