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The psychedelic Biography of the Psychedelic Fillmore of the 60’s.

09.27.2011 · Posted in Music Articles

Bill Graham was a well-liked promoter who successfully managed several bands, organized concerts, and eventually made several concerts venues famous. Three of these auditoriums bore the name “The Fillmore”. These were Graham’s original hall in San Francisco: “The Fillmore”, his New York venue “The Fillmore East”, and of course the popular “Fillmore West”, which lay at the heart of the psychedelic San Francisco music and arts scene. In the 1960s, the Fillmore concert halls were must-play venues for the most popular artists of the day.rnrnThe original Fillmore Auditorium was located in the “Majestic Hall” at the corner of Geary and Fillmore in San Francisco. Graham’s first concert at The Fillmore Auditorium happened on Feb. 4th, 1966, and featured Jefferson Airplane. This event marked the beginning of the Fillmore’s legendary reign as the center of San Francisco music and arts happening and the counter-culture of the 1960’s. Nearly all the most iconic musical artists of the times made an appearance there including the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Moby Grape, the Butterfield Blues Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, and dozens more.rnrnBill Graham, in 1968, took over another venue on 2nd Avenue in New York City. This second hall was called “The Fillmore East” and served as a sister venue to the Fillmore in San Francisco. This second hall quickly became known as “The Church of Rock and Roll” It frequently featured popular artists such as Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Taj Mahal, and The Allman Brother’s Band. Spectacular psychedelic light shows also drew crowds to the Fillmore East.rnrnBill Graham, in July of 1968, relocated the San Francisco Fillmore location from Geary St. to the corner of S. Van Ness and Market, renaming the venue The Fillmore West. The Celestial Synapse, a large music event hosted by Frontiers of Science Fellowship, took place at the Fillmore West in February of 1969.rnrnBill Graham’s Fillmore was responsible for some of the best psychedelic artwork of the 1960s. The colorful psychedelic posters created to promote The Fillmore productions featured the eye-catching work of artists like Rick Griffon, David Byrd, Wes Wilson, Randy Tuten, and many others.rnrnToday only one of the Fillmore buildings is operating as a concert hall. The original Fillmore reopened in 1994 with a concert featuring the Smashing Pumpkins. The Fillmore East is now home to a bank and an apartment complex, and the Fillmore West is operating as a Honda repair facility.rnrnThe Fillmore lives on in the minds and hearts of millions today. Visit my site to learn more about the Fillmore and see some of the unbelievable Psychedelic Posters, and learn more about the artists and music of the times.

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