Fillmore East Opens 50 Years Ago Today

Big Brother and the Holding Company – March 8th, 1968

JanisJoplin

For the very first performance at the Fillmore East, Bill Graham decided to bring the sound of San Francisco out to the East Coast. He gave Big Brother and The Holding Company the honor of replacing Freddie King in the opening slot. The New York cultural insiders descended on the venue that evening to witness the blues-rock band fronted by a singer from Texas named Janis Joplin. Even though tensions in the group were at an all-time high because of Joplin’s burgeoning star status, Big Brother managed to set their differences aside that night and deliver a tremendous performance, especially in the second set, which kicked off at nearly two in the morning and gathered a rapturous standing ovation. In the course of just one night, the entire city was put on alert: The Fillmore East was the new place to be seen and heard.

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Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Fillmore East Poster

I recently visited the East Village 2nd Avenue location where the Fillmore East once stood. Here are some photos from that pilgrimage.

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Today the property is occupied by Apple Bank. The lobby features one wall of original black and white photographs by Amalie R. Rothschild, the official photographer of the Fillmore East. The other wall has framed color decoupage of various eras of the theatre.

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Peace,

Ed

 

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Rock Palaces – Morrison Hotel Gallery

There was a time in New York City Rock History when The Fillmore East and the Academy of Music were THE Rock Palaces where rock music ruled the planet. Both venues were based in the East Village, not too far apart from each other.

Thanks to Morrison Hotel Gallery in SoHo we can revisit that era through the art of the rock photographer’s camera lens.

Rock Palaces – Amalie R. Rothshild and Bill Green

On Thursday, May 7th from 7-9pm at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, located at 116 Prince Street in SoHo, there will be an opening reception of an exhibition of photography by Amalie R. Rothschild and Bill Green. This show features photographs  shot at the Fillmore East and the Academy of Music here in New York CityYou may RSVP HERE by email.

Live at the Fillmore East & West – John Glatt

I peer inside the hallowed halls of The Fillmore East and The Fillmore West, musing about the unique concert stories each bedrock music venue can unearth. Thankfully these sacred tales and more have been brought to light by author John Glatt in his new book, Live at the Fillmore East and West: Getting Backstage and Personal with Rock’s Greatest Legend

John Glatt’s book begins with a foreword by Joshua White who founded the legendary Joshua Light Show. The rock music history that unfolded had a unique illuminated art as its backdrop from the art of Joshua White and his team. I was fortunate to witness this light show at The Fillmore East in June of 1969 at a Jeff Beck Group show I have written about on this blog.

Should you wish to know more about the Joshua Light Show and the team that provided the lighting I refer you to the book, Live at the Fillmore East A Photographic Memoir by Amalie R. Rothschild.

I view John Glatt’s book as a companion piece to Amalie’s publication. If you combine John Glatt’s first book, Rage & Roll : Bill Graham and the Selling of Rock with Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock And Out by Bill Graham and Robert Greenfield you will own the definitive core knowledge that laid the foundation for the art form of the rock music concert.

I am eager to acquire John Glatt’s books to add them to my rock music concert library. I am certain his books will be a valuable read of depth and insight. These books are certain to provide invaluable knowledge about how Bill Graham conducted business with the famous rock musicians in the day.

Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective Box Set

Image of Duane AllmanRounder Records will release the seven CD box set, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective on Tuesday March 19th. It will include rare recordings by Duane Allman’s early bands: the Escorts, Allman Joys, the 31st of February, and the Bleus. A 72 page liner notes booklet featuring extensive content is accompanied by a tribute from Allman’s daughter, Galadrielle Allman.

I hope the celebration of Duane’s life inspires you to live fearlessly and enjoy life,” Galadrielle states. “I know that would have made him proud.”

The deluxe set also has the guitarist’s best-known and most commercially successful recordings with the Allman Brothers Band and Derek & the Dominos, as well as session work with Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Boz Scaggs, Clarence Carter, King Curtis, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Ronnie Hawkins, Otis Rush, Laura Nyro, Lulu, the Sweet Inspirations, Laura Lee, Spencer Wiggins, Arthur Conley, Willie Walker, the Lovelles, the Soul Survivors, Johnny Jenkins, John Hammond, Doris Duke, Eric Quincy Tate, Herbie Mann and more.

In her recollection of her father, who died when she was a young child, Galadrielle writes, “I am very lucky that my father is Duane Allman, an artist who left behind a wealth of incredible music . . . Working on this retrospective, I have gotten closer than I ever have been to understanding my father’s development as a musician and a man.

Copyright Amalie R. Rothschild

The best price I have seen for this seven CD set is on the Allman Brothers Band Store, Hitting the Note. The pre-order price is $99.99 a $40 savings off the list price!

The Fillmore East 40 Years On

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Image by wallyg via Flickr

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the closing of The Fillmore East on June 28, 1971. No rock hall echoes stronger in the music of our heart than Bill Graham’s legendary venue in the East Village section of NYC.

The concert that closed The Fillmore East is equally, if not more historic.  The Allman Brothers Band headlined that night, with J Geils Band as the middle act and Albert King as the opening act. Guest stars who joined The Allman Brothers Band and the other scheduled acts on stage that night included Mountain, Country Joe McDonald, Edgar Winter’s White Trash with Rick Derringer and The Beach Boys. I listened to the entire concert which was broadcast live over WNEW-FM 102.7.  The concert went from 8 p.m. on June 27th until 6 a.m. in the morning of June 28th.

This tile was a gift to the Fillmore East employees

 

There were 40 albums recorded live at The Fillmore East from 1968 through 1971. Considering there were 111 main concerts during that time frame (more if you count both early and late show events) 40 concerts was close to 1/3 of all shows that were performed there. You can see the complete list of live Fillmore East albums, sorted A-Z by recording title on this Wikipedia page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Live_at_the_Fillmore_East_albums

Many people associate The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East as “the” recording that captured the music live of the last night. Truth of the matter is that only when the deluxe edition of  this dual CD was released did we get to hear two tracks from June 28th, “One Way Out” and “Midnight Rider”. According to Peter Wolf, lead singer of the J Geils Band who performed that night, “the Allman Brothers started at around four in the morning. At dawn, they were still playing “Crossroads,” or something like that.” (Graham and Greenfield, 2004).

The late, great photographer Jim Marshall took the photographs for the cover of  The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East in the alley next to Capricorn Recording Studios in Macon, Georgia. (not in the alley of The Fillmore East as many, including myself, always thought).  This is my favorite pose by the band that Jim Marshall’s unique lens captured.

There are several definitive sources of information available about The Fillmore East. I refer you to my reference section at the end of this blog post.

As we get closer to celebrating the real 40th anniversary of the closing of The Fillmore East I will update this blog post with any potential celebrations and events. Trust me  I plan to take part as fully as I can in those events.

Reference

My favorite Web site about The Fillmore East is the The Fillmore East Preservation Society. I love this Web site and the freaks who put it together!

An immensely satisfying book about the Fillmore East authored by Amalie R. Rothschild who worked for the  Joshua Light Show and was the official photographer for The Fillmore East. Her camera captured many intimate moments as they occurred during those exciting three years. Live at the Fillmore East,  A Photographic Memoir, http://www.amazon.com/Live-Fillmore-East-Photographic-Memoir/dp/1560252790


Amalie R. Rothschild’s Web Site http://www.amalierrothschild.com/Allman/index.html

Bill Graham and The Fillmore East are synonymous. This is a well written autobiography and collaboration.

Bill Graham and Robert Greenfield, 2004, Bill Graham Presents, My Life Inside Rock and Out, Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA

Grateful Dead – New York Historical Society

1 West 72nd Street (The Dakota)
Image via Wikipedia

My lovely wife and I went to see The Grateful Dead exhibition at the New York Historical Society, in New York City yesterday. We had just a gorgeous weather day Saturday June 18th in the Museum Mile along Central Park West.

We were accompanied along the walk to the Historical Society by these banners hanging from the street poles.

The exhibit was awesome. An arch of red roses covers the entrance door to the exhibit area. Love that.

The artifacts are well documented. The posters by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse are just super.

The photographs by Amalie R. Rothschild of the Grateful Dead at The Fillmore East  (If you love The Fillmore East you have to get her book) really captures what it felt like to see The Grateful Dead in a small theater.

My wife and I have seen The Grateful Dead in such a small venue, we witnessed The Grateful Dead on November 7th, 1970 at The Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY. We danced with The Grateful Dead and The New Riders of the Purple Sage from 8 p.m. until 3 a.m. the next day 🙂

Our favorite memorabilia was the sculpted life size puppets from the Touch of Grey video, the huge Uncle Sam batik panel stage backdrop, the two full cases of Grateful Dead T-Shirts and all the hand drawn SASE envelopes for Dead tickets.

After touring the exhibit we visited the gift shop and purchased a Dead T-Shirt and a poster.

Then we joined our son at Dallas BBQ on West 72nd Street, which is right next to The Dakota. Thanks for buying lunch Matt, it made Fathers Day 2010 very special.

We urge you to go visit this fantastic exhibit. It makes every Deadhead feel real proud and included. We love our extended Grateful Dead family.

Peace.

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