Gritty, moving, funny, and always fascinating, Bill Graham Presents is the inside story of the explosive and unforgettable man who created the business of rock. In Bill Graham's own voice, and those of the people who knew him--Jerry Garcia, Keith Richards, Grace Slick, Ken Kesey, Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and Carlos Santana--we hear Bill's story as well as the scoop on the major events in rock for more than three decades, ending with his tragic death in a 1991 helicopter crash.
As a child, Bill Graham fled Europe to escape Hitler's armies. He grew up on the streets of New York and in the dining rooms of the hotels in the Catskills. After failing as an actor, he headed for San Francisco right before the Summer of Love where he founded the Fillmore and launched the rock icons of a generation--Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, the Grateful Dead, and more. He was a complex, caring, compassionate whirlwind of energy who rock stars either loved or hated.
The New-York Historical Society presents the rock & roll world of Bill Graham (1931–1991), one of the most influential concert promoters of all time. Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution explores the life and work of the legendary music impresario who worked with the biggest names in rock music. Showcasing more than 300 objects—including rock memorabilia, photographs, and concert posters with a site-specific installation of “The Joshua Light Show,” the trailblazing liquid light show conceived in 1967 by multimedia artist Joshua White that served as a psychedelic backdrop to Graham’s concert productions in New York. On view February 14, 2020 –January 3, 2021.