Bill Graham spotlighted at L.A. museum

The life and times of Bill Graham will be celebrated in Los Angeles with the first major museum show dedicated to the king of rock concert promoters. The Skirball Cultural Center, just north of metro L.A., will run the exhibition May 7-October 11. "Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution" will include memorabilia, photographs and, of course, classic psychedelic art posters from the two Fillmore auditoriums. The Graham family is contributing items not previously seen by the public. It is billed as the first major exhibition dedicated to the concert promoter and band manager. The Skirball, dedicated to preserving the Jewish heritage, previously hosted "Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966." Graham came to the U.S. at age 11 while fleeing the Nazis (his mother died at … [Read more...]

‘Miles at the Fillmore’: uncut 1970 brew

"Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," the song title went. And so he did, playing dark and spellbinding music in Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditoriums over a two-year period in the early 1970s. "You can hear that anger and darkness and the craziness of everything that was still in the air from the '60s when this music was made," says the guitarist Carlos Santana, a Fillmore regular and witness to the eruption of the electric Miles Davis. Even today, Santana remains awestruck by Davis' psychedelic proto-funk, as is made clear in his liner notes to a significant restoration of the old live album "Miles Davis at Fillmore" that's due from Columbia/Legacy in March. Davis' psychedelic period began, more or less, when "Bitches Brew" was recorded in 1969. He'd been absorbing psychedelic soundscapes, … [Read more...]

Quicksilver Messenger Service: set lists

Quicksilver Messenger Service songs played in concert, 1966-1970. View more psychedelic band set lists … [Read more...]

Jefferson Airplane: set lists

Jefferson Airplane songs played in concert, 1967-1974. View more San Francisco band set lists 
3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds 
Fat Angel 
 It's No Secret Hollywood Bowl Sept. 15, 1967
 Somebody to Love
 She Has Funny Cars 
Young Girl Sunday Blues
 Two Heads
 It's No Secret Don’t Let Me Down
 Plastic Fantastic Lover
 Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil 
White Rabbit 
Golden Gate Park,
 San Francisco
 May 7, 1969
 The Other Side of This Life
 Somebody to Love
 The Farm
 Greasy Heart
 Good Shepherd
 Plastic Fantastic Lover
 Uncle Sam Blues 
 White Rabbit
 Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon 
We Can Be Together 
3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds Fillmore East, New York 
Nov. 25, 1970
3/5 of a Mile in 10 … [Read more...]

‘Happy Trails’ finally feels the love

Quicksilver Messenger Service rides again with a 180 gram vinyl release of "Happy Trails" that comes on the heels of last summer's audiophile CD version. Friday Music says its HQ vinyl "Happy Trails" is a "super limited edition." Copies were nearly gone the day the vinyl album debuted on Amazon. Acoustic Sounds still had the LP in stock. The recent music business interest in Quicksilver Messenger Service's early psychedelic albums comes after decades of neglect. The San Francisco band's first two albums -- considered their best, not the most popular -- suffered from stumble-bum treatment over the years, even going out of print. Meanwhile, Quicksilver contemporaries the Grateful Dead (Warner), Jefferson Airplane (RCA), Love and the Doors (Elektra) saw their classic recordings … [Read more...]

No. 45: ‘Machine Gun’

New Year's Day, 1970. Jimi Hendrix plays the Fillmore East with his new group, Band of Gypsys. Mostly silent up to then on the subject of the Vietnam War -- preferring to write about aliens, mermaids and the ladies -- the former soldier finally dives into the fray: Hendrix dedicates a new song to "all the soldiers that are fighting in Chicago and Milwaukee and New York. ... Oh yes, and all the soldiers fighting in Vietnam." And so is unleashed "Machine Gun," 12 minutes and 15 seconds of sonic fury and pain. There are to be found more eloquent denunciations of war in protest rock, but none more emotional. The song's gravitas is inherent in its mass -- Hendrix's Bible black wall of sound -- and in its subject matter: Evil man make you kill me/Evil man made me kill you/ Even through … [Read more...]

Iron Butterfly live, heavy at Fillmore East

They've been going in and out of style since "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" first scorched earth in 1968. Looks like Iron Butterfly is in for another round of retro-appreciation. On Oct. 17, the psychedelic heavies get the Rhino Handmade treatment with a live double-CD set recorded at the Fillmore East. The CDs (and MP3s) capture the "classic" version of Iron Butterfly in April 1968, just after the band was rebuilt in the wake of their debut album. The album "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" would surface several months after these performances. There are 22 songs recorded during a quartet of sets at the Bill Graham concert hall. The line-up is singer/organist Doug Ingle, bassist Lee Dorman, teen guitarist Erik Brann and drummer Ron Bushy. (Update: The Iron Butterfly live set appears to be … [Read more...]

Grateful Dead’s history a Society affair

Roll over Frederick Douglass and tell Abe Lincoln the news: the Grateful Dead have crashed Manhattan's local history museum. Dead heads are flocking to Central Park West this weekend as "Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New-York Historical Society" debuts. The exhibit comes almost exclusively from the Grateful Dead archives at the University of California Santa Cruz and is its first major showing. So what's the Dead memorabilia doing way over there in Manhattan? The historical society has your answer in one incredibly long sentence: "(The Dead) played in and around New York City on a regular basis, from early dates at Greenwich Village coffeehouses, impromptu performances in Central Park and at Columbia University during the 1968 Student Strike; to concerts at midsized venues, … [Read more...]

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