arts

Bring Back the Fillmore Concerts

Whether you missed the whole Fillmore phenomenon or you just want to revisit your drug-evacassidyaddled past, Wolfgang’s Vault is the place for you. I didn’t know that the concert promoter’s real name was Wolfgang Grajonca or that he was born in Berlin, but I did know that he was the all-time greatest concern promoter, and that the rock concert (and concert poster) as we know it owe a great debt to his vision and creativity.

There was an undefinable energy to a Bill Graham concert and now you can hear it for yourself. All the concerts and the original posters have been preserved for more than 30 years and are available in Wolfgang’s Vault.

The convert venues range from Winterland and Fillmore West in San Francisco, to Madison Square Garden and the Philadelphia Spectrum. Each concert recording ranges fromhendrix 30 to 100 or more minutes. The exact date and band personnel are listed along with the specifics of each song. The music is free upon registering, but the site sells vintage-t shirts and posters that can run up to $1,400 for an item like a Doors concert poster, but there are plenty of other items, from ticket stubs to retro t-shirts.

From the late sixties into the mid eighties, these recordings captured the best acts of the times -- The Allman Brothers, The Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Cream, The Doors, Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers, The Grateful Dead, the J. Geils Band, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Mother Earth, Bob Marley, Laura Nyro, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Santana, The Who, Neil Young, and Frank Zappa. Mind blowing when you think about the talent that made these keithrichardsconcerts into unforgettable experiences. Once you start listening to some of these recordings, you find it hard to stop getting into the wayback machine.

You also have the option of letting the Vault pick the music for you by tuning to Vault Radio. Leave it running on your desktop while you’re doing something else and be surprised by how many tunes you remember. In one strecth, I hit Van Morrison from 1979, King Crimson from 1969, and Jefferson Airplane from 1967.

There are also forums where you can share information about artists and add information to enhance each of the concert write-ups. Or dive into a debate about whether Jefferson Starship or Jefferson Airplane was the better band. Oh, boy.

In any case, if you get lost in Wolfgang's Vault for a few hours (and there are a lot worse things that can happen to you), don't blame me.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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