Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out

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Doubleday, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 568 pages
Bill Graham's career is the story of rock. In the original Fillmore Auditorium, Winterland, and the Fillmores East and West, his passionate genius for creating the perfect synergy of performer and audience shaped the music of a generation, spawning a pop-culture revolution as well as a billion-dollar worldwide business. Bill Graham's life is a twentieth-century fable, that of an eleven-year-old German refugee who fled the holocaust for the dream-bright shores of America, where his tenacity, vision, and chutzpah steered him on a course that reads like the plot of an epic novel. Born Wolfgang Grajonca in Berlin in 1931, he escaped the Nazis as a child by crossing Europe on foot. In America he grew up playing ball and delivering groceries on the streets of The Bronx. Awarded the Bronze Star for valor on the battlefields of Korea, he spent his summers working and hustling in the dining rooms of the great Catskills resorts during their heyday. After years of waiting on tables, driving cabs, struggling to become an actor, and hitchhiking back and forth across America in search of himself, he came to San Francisco - before the "Summer of Love" made that city the cradle of the counterculture. There he found his destiny as the rock world's most important and influential showman and impresario. Told by a dazzling chorus of more than a hundred voices - from Keith Richards, Jerry Garcia, Ken Kesey, and Eric Clapton to managers, agents, headwaiters, and, above all, the man himself - Bill Graham Presents offers fascinating firsthand accounts of how Graham launched stars like Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, the Jefferson Airplane, and the Grateful Dead; how he produced landmark tours for Bob Dylan and theBand, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; and how his ardent concern for music as a positive social force brought live American rock to the Soviet Union for the first time and was a driving force behind standard-setting benefits like Live Aid and the Amnesty International "Conspiracy of Hope" tour.

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BILL GRAHAM PRESENTS: My Life Inside Rock and Out

User Review  - Kirkus

Fascinating story of the rock impresario, who led many lives to the fullest. Graham (1931-91), raised in a Berlin orphanage, was sent to the US at age 11, fleeing the pogrom. After serving in Korea ... Read full review

Bill Graham presents: my life inside rock and out

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This lively, loose autobiography of rock's most respected promoter pieces together hundreds of oral interviews with Graham, his family, friends, musicians, agents, and so forth, with connecting ... Read full review


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About the author (1992)

An award-winning journalist, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and former associate editor of the London bureau of Rolling Stone", Robert Greenfield is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, among them the classic STP: A Journey Through America With the Rolling Stones", and critically acclaimed biographies of Jerry Garcia, Timothy Leary, and Bill Graham. He lives in Carmel, California.

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