Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock And Out

Bill Graham Presents My Life Inside Rock And Out 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 As a child Bill Graham fled Europe to e

  • Title: Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock And Out
  • Author: Bill Graham Robert Greenfield
  • ISBN: 9780306813498
  • Page: 114
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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.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 rigGritty, moving, funny, and always fascinating, Bill Graham Presents is the inside story of the explosive and unforgettable man who created the business of rock.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 Fill and launched the rock icons of a generation Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, the Grateful Dead, and He was a complex, caring, compassionate whirlwind of energy who rock stars either loved or hated.In his 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 than three decades, ending with his tragic death in a 1991 helicopter crash.

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    About "Bill Graham Robert Greenfield"

    1. Bill Graham Robert Greenfield

      Bill Graham January 8, 1931 October 25, 1991 was an American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death.Graham was born Wolodia Grajonca in Berlin and given the nickname Wolfgang by his family early in his life Graham was the youngest son of a lower middle class Jewish family that had emigrated from Russia prior to the rise of Nazism Graham s father died two days after his son s birth Graham s mother placed her son and his younger sister in an orphanage in Berlin due to the increasing peril to Jews in Nazi Germany The orphanage sent them to France in a pre Holocaust exchange of Jewish children for Christian orphans Graham s older sisters stayed behind with his mother After the fall of France, Graham was among a group of Jewish orphans spirited out of France A majority of the children including Graham s older sister Tolla did not survive the journey Graham s mother was killed in Auschwitz Graham had five sisters, Rita, Evelyn, Sonja, Ester and Tolla Tanya His sister Ester survived Auschwitz She later moved to the United States and was very close to Graham in his later life His sister Rita escaped, first to Shanghai and then after the war to the United States.Once in the United States, Graham stayed in a foster home in The Bronx in New York City After being taunted as an immigrant and being called a Nazi because of his German accented English, Graham first worked on his accent, eventually being able to speak in a perfect New York accent, and changed his name Graham was found in the phonebook, it was closest to his real surname Grajonca According to Graham, both Bill and Graham were meaningless to him Graham graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and then obtained a business degree from City College He was later quoted as describing his training as that of an efficiency expert.Graham was drafted into the United States Army in 1951, and served in the Korean War, where he was awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart Upon his return to the States he worked as a waiter ma tre d in Catskill Mountain resorts in upstate New York during their heyday He was later quoted as saying his experience as a ma tre d and with the poker games he hosted behind the scenes was good training for his eventual career as a promoter Tito Puente, who played some of these resorts, went on record once saying that Graham was avid to learn Spanish from him, but only cared about the curse words It was during the 1950s that Graham became a champion mambo dancer in the mambo clubs of New York City Latin Music USA , PBS TV, broadcast 2010.


    1. One of the most important stories of the music business! Seriously. Mr. Graham lived about 6 lives and was apart of most of the important events in the 20th century. Entertaining, beautiful and certainly worth the read.

    2. From a historical perspective alone this book is fantastic. Not only do you hear what it was like for one family to be severed and scattered during The Holocaust, but Graham imparts a very nostalgic sense of his years growing up in New York as well as American culture during the 50's and 60's. And this doesn't even take into account the wealth of music industry knowledge and anecdotes shared throughout the book. It seems everyone has a story to tell about everyone else. As you softly repeat the [...]

    3. It's always a good sign when you read something that is so compelling that you not only have a hard time putting it aside, but also you feel somewhat sad when you reach the its conclusion. Such is the case with BILL GRAHAM PRESENTS: MY LIFE INSIDE ROCK AND OUT excellent semi-autobiographical take on the life of legendary rock and roll concert promoter Bill Grahamwritten by Bill Graham and Robert Greenfield. I've had an interest in Bill Graham for a long timehaving first heard about him in a book [...]

    4. When I opened the book I was at first taken aback by the lack of narrative text, but the voice of Bill Graham himself and the voices of SO many familiar and noteworthy artists, music industry colleagues, family members, and his beloved BGP staff drew me in almost immediately. What a life he led. What an utterly unique and visionary man he was, brimming with such creativity, fierce drive, big heart, and remarkable daring. From his tragic childhood in Nazi Germany, France, and New York, his determ [...]

    5. I really enjoyed this book. It is made up of interviews of Bill and all others in his life. I found it fascinating from his harrowing early life story to his fun descriptions of life in the Catskills to his wild life in the music business. The inside stories of bands such as the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, and Santana were fascinating!

    6. Man O Man. One of the best biographies that I've read. Of course it follows the great impresario at work. BG had a larger than life, life. Escape from Nazi Germany to US and from Waiter to scene maker.A great read if you are into Music and the 1960's scene and heroic dudes.

    7. Excellent read. From his early life fleeing the war in Germany, growing up in New York as a foster child and all though the 60's and beyond Bill Graham's story is very interesting. Lots of information on history during WWII, the San Franciscan Rock scene of the 60's and his career promoting and putting on shows for rocks' greatest bands. I highly recommend this book.

    8. Fairly entertaining insight to behind the scenes rock scene in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Another sadly flawed human being who lost his parents to the Nazis. A surprising number of typos and misspellings.

    9. I loved this book Great read about a legend who lived some life! A must read for all rock fans. 5 stars with ease.

    10. This is the finest Rock 'N' Roll-related book I have ever read, and I have read many. The book is structured as an oral history, with Bill's as the principal voice. But there are ample contributions from his sisters, lovers, friends, employees, associates, musicians and those whom he disliked for various reasons. We knew him as the greatest concert promoter of his time. But his life story was so much more, in fact almost a parable of the 20th century American immigrant experience. He fled Hitler [...]

    11. Having grown up in northern California and having attended many shows promoted by Bill Graham over the years, I was curious to get the inside scope on his life and work. At first, I was slightly put off by the structure of the book, which is presented in modified interview fashion: no questions, but blocks of text that apparently came from interviews. Early on, most of the text is from Bill Graham, but as the book goes on, more voices come into play, including former employees and musicians who [...]

    12. Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out by Bill Graham and Robert Greenfield ((Doubleday 1992)(Biography) is the story of the man who invented the job of "rock impressario." Bill Graham was the preeminent producer of rock concerts beginning in San Francisco in the 1960's. He is remembered fondly for his long relationship with the Grateful Dead. Quite the divisive figure, he was the man behind such legendary concert venues as the Fillmore West, the Fillmore East, and San Francisco's Win [...]

    13. If you love rock & roll - read this book! if you thought you felt how the effects of Holocaust felt - read this book! Thought you would never see those two phrases together - read this book.Not only is there a wealth of information about the "earlier" years of rock & roll and the music business in general there is a palpable sense on history that runs all through it. How the effects of the incomprehensible demoralization the 2nd World War, the evil of the Nazi's and the simple act of des [...]

    14. At 545 pages this book is a fairly large undertaking. After reading Barry Fey's autobiography it was difficult not to expect similarities. There were few. They did both come off as pretty nice guys, contrary to what I had heard about them before reading. Bill Graham led an amazing life, he came from a place where almost no one can imagine. He was clearly a man driven to do everything he did at the highest level. He certainly changed the history of music in the United States and, eventually the w [...]

    15. Given the limitations inherent in the way the book was structured, I thought it was a really fine read and i had a hard time putting it down. Graham's life, highlighted by an amazing escape from Nazi Germany as a child along with being one of the seminal figures in the growth of the business of rock music, is the stuff of legend. The structure of the book as an oral history told through quotes from Graham and others who crossed his path makes the book eminently readable. However, in reading it, [...]

    16. Interesting oral history of the most famous promoter in rock. Includes interviews with Graham and most every important artist from his era. If the stories and recollections are sometimes obscure or long-winded, they're also frequently amazing. Some of the best don't concern the music at all, but Graham's harrowing childhood in WWII Europe and his flight to America and his experiences working in resorts in the Catskills. All in all, the book isn't front-to-back essential, but at its best provides [...]

    17. An epic story well told by a solid cast of principal players, including Bill Graham. Author Robert Greenfield comments sparingly throughout, expertly tying together remarks from individuals he interviewed for the book. Bill Graham originally wanted to be an actor, but found his true calling in San Francisco in 1965 where he had a major impact in how rock and roll acts were presented on stage. His talents soon extended to planning massive tours for rock bands and huge benefit concerts. His life w [...]

    18. I had almost forgotten about this book till I was talking to a friend about Rock 'n' Roll biographies. This is one of the greats detailing the life of a person who brushed shoulders with some Rock 'n' Roll gods, while becoming one himself. He changed the face of Rock in the San Francisco Bay Area specifically and the world over in general. This book, as I remember, was one I could not put down and was saddened when I reached its inevitable end. Anyone wanting to know more about 1960s Rock and/or [...]

    19. The book was extremely comprehensive and a great explanation of a very accomplished individual's life. Unfortunately, his life was cut short, but the book provides great detail about the life he lived. The beginning of the book that uses narration from various people is slightly difficult to keep up with, but overall, it was a worthwhile read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about becoming a promoter. Bill Graham was a genius at promotion and I can only imagine what he wou [...]

    20. Wonderful description of the creation of an industry - rock concert promotion - richly interwoven with the San Francisco vibe in the late '60s and' 70s. A little light on the actual businesses Graham was involved in - seems that merchandise and recording might have actually made the money over concert promotion, but they get only a few minor and oblique references. Overall, though, this oral history/memoir is filled with priceless anecdotes about the greatest rock musicians to come of age in a g [...]

    21. THE Rock & Roll EmpresarioHow fortunate any one dedicated to rock & roll is to have had someone like Bill Graham survive Nazi Germany and go on to make the rock & roll music industry available to so many for so long. His life story contains many insights into performers, venues and productions previously unknown-at least to this reader. As an attendee of the Avalon & Carousel Ballrooms, Winterland, and others, thank you Bill.

    22. An excellent account of the remarkable life of 60's icon Bill Graham. Written from oral interviews with himself and those who knew him. Well known as a rock promoter and for his Fillmore music venues, Wulf Wolodia Grajonca (Bill Graham) was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany as a child. He served in the Korean war and won a Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart. He had had a rather full life before finding his true calling.

    23. More than just his life in rock and roll, but man, what a life! Bill was a tremendous personal influence and damn he threw the best new year's eve parties with the Grateful Dead. He changed rock and roll and took us all to higher levels. But his story is one of incredible hard work, drive and above all, survival. A must read, even for your mother.

    24. Bill was my early mentor and later I was able to give him as many Van Halen shows as I could.It was always an adventure working with Bill.Bill was lost way to soon. He is missed both as a friend and the best of all the other promoters. No one could equal his captivating style and his incredible work ethics.God bless his soul, Noel E

    25. I first picked it up again to read the Allman Brothers sections as I was researching my book, One Way Out: An Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band. Didn;t learn anything new there the sections on the ABB were a bit of a disappointment but I ended up re-reading the whole book and it's fantastic.

    26. Very interesting look at the live music industry in the 60s - 90s from an insider's perspective. Just as interesting (and dramatic) is the story of Graham's life - a great tale of a self-made man. If you are at all interested in the history surrounding the great Fillmore years, this book is one you should read.

    27. A good book to realize what happens in Backstage of a rock and roll concert. Sometimes the stars aren't like we think, sometimes there better than we expect. Bill Graham was the producer that helped define the rock industry and transform it into a business. Sadly, that's one of the things that killed the romantic spirit of the early rock and roll.

    28. What an interesting guy! This was hard to put down and just completely took over everything I was focused on. I really dig the format it's presented in, hearing anecdotes from various people in his life. I really appreciated that it wasn't all praise, and that they included people that he did not get along with and butted heads with.

    29. I'm from SF and Bill Graham was "the" rock concert promoter. I loved this book. I loved to learn about the man and how he came to the US and had a vision and made it happen. I loved how he survived the war and how he found his family that had also survived. It's touching and makes you want to be a better person.

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