25 Years Ago Today – Legendary Promoter Bill Graham Perishes In Heliocopter Crash (Watch Grateful Dead/Neil Young From Memorial Concert ’91)

25 years ago today (10/25/91), legendary promoter Bill Graham, who ran the Fillmore and Fillmore East venues and whose accomplishments in the music industry are unrivaled , died in a helicopter crash returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert along his girlfriend Melissa Gold and pilot Steve Kahn. Graham had attended the event to discuss promoting a benefit concert for the victims of the 1991 Oakland hills firestorm.Along with The Band’s “Last Waltz” final concert, Watkins Glen, US Festival and the Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve shows, Graham’s resume of shows he put are lengthy as well as the number of bands he helped get started that went to as legendary careers as himself. If anyone is due a biopic film, its certainly Mr. Bill Graham. Watch The Grateful Dead and Neil Young take on “Forever Young” at the Bill Graham Memorial Concert at Golden Gate Park on 11/3/91.

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11 Responses

  1. I saw Bill Graham in ’76, at the Cow Palace. People were heckling the band Spirit and Graham came out and told them to shut up or get out!

  2. I wrote a book once, “Catch a Wire”- from Avalon to Masada. Never published, never will. Billy was one of the nicest guys I meet.
    You couldn’t give him more than he gave you. Biggg heart. I once asked Graham Nash what Neil Young added to CSN? He said about 15000 seats. Bob Dylan sings forever young like a bird. Garcia like an angel. Neil like a butcher. Still the stellar strings of Jerry pushed through. RIP… UNCLE BILLY… JERRY… THE LATE GREAT BRENT MIDLAND. F.O.A.D. Neil Young.

  3. I was a that concert. It was a good memorial with a lot of great bands and music. A lot of sadness in that crowd as well I can tell you. Then I moved back home after nearly 8 years in San Francisco on December 30th, 1991. An interesting way to end my journey to that town.

  4. I was at that show too, great show but a little sad, CSNY did Long May You Run (one of Bill’s favorites). I still remember all the great Day on the Green shows, a lot of great times.

  5. At 15 I was given a summer job as a stagehand. First gig I worked I got to meet Jimmy,Robert,John,and Bonzo. …
    Thank you for all the wonderful opportunities presented while working for you…
    Miss ya Bill…..

  6. I did concert security working for Bill from 1987-1993. I worked at venues from San Francisco to Oakland and points south to San Jose. The PRIMARY venue I was at was the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View and a BEAUTIFUL amphitheatre it was. I was still working for Bill when his chopper slammed into a high tension electrical tower in Livermore, killing him, his girlfriend Melissa Gold and his chopper pilot Steve Khan. Mann o mannn, talk about a SHOCK… That shock went through the whole music industry like a title wave.
    I was at the Memorial concert at the polo field in Golden Gate park in San Francisco. It was a FREE 12 hour event in which almost 500, 000 people showed up to enjoy REAL music and to celebrate the lives of Bill, Melissa and Steve. The size of the crowd made WOODSTOCK look like a small gathering. While working for Bill, I worked with some of the greatest of team players anyone could ever ask for.
    Bill always said “TREAT PEOPLE THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED AND YOU WILL FIND THAT MOST OF THE TIME, THAT WILL WORK!!”
    RIP BILL GRAHAM
    MELISSA GOLD
    STEVE “KILLER” KAHN.

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