Bill Graham was the ultimate music impresario. He revolutionized everything about the rock concert industry. From ticket sales to light shows to dealing with local law enforcement, nobody knew how to really do it until Graham came along in the mid-1960s and figured it all out.
Bill Graham turned the old San Francisco ice skating rink “Winterland” into one of the best music venues of all time. This photo of legendary bluesman B.B. King taken backstage at Winterland, late ‘60’s. (Courtesy of ILHMEC and the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution exhibit)
Santana was one of the early bands Bill Graham promoted and had a close personal relationship with in San Francisco. (Courtesy of ILHMEC and the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution exhibit)
The top of the rock ‘n roll world was certainly a long way from his roots as a young German boy fleeing the Nazi advance across Europe and North Africa.
Bill Graham with his oldest son David. A family photo that’s part of the exhibition (Courtesy of the exhibit)
The incredible life story of this resilient rock pioneer is being told in a new exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie. Bill Graham’s two sons Alex and David join us to fill in the details.