Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

Comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario

Bill Graham
Bill Graham exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution is the first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991). Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock & roll legends in the ’60s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium.

Start Date: July 16, 2017
End Date: November 12, 2017
Cost: $13-$17
Location: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center –  9603 Woods Dr, Skokie, IL 60077

To learn more about this exhibit and purchase tickets, click here.

As a promoter and manager, Bill Graham worked with the biggest names in rock, including:
• The Grateful Dead
• Jefferson Airplane
• Jimi Hendrix
• Santana
• Led Zeppelin
• The Rolling Stones

Through rock memorabilia, photographs, ephemera and psychedelic art in the form of Fillmore concert posters, Bill Graham and the Rock Roll Revolution explores the momentous cultural transformations of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s through the lens of rock & roll. More than 400 objects have been gathered from lenders across the country—from the private Graham family archive to Carlos Santana’s personal collection. Many of the lenders have permitted the display of these items for the first time.

Among the notable items are Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf” guitar, Janis Joplin’s tambourine, Pete Townshend’s 1968 Gibson SG Special used during a performance of Tommy, a dress worn by Grace Slick at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Graham’s personal scrapbooks and original artwork and preparatory drawings for some of the most iconic Fillmore posters.

Through the exhibition, visitors commemorated these events by celebrating a true pioneer who helped revolutionize rock into the global industry it is today. Graham was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988).

About Bill Graham:
Born in Berlin, Graham emigrated to New York at the age of eleven as part of a Red Cross effort to help Jewish children fleeing the Nazis. He went to live with a foster family in the Bronx and spent his teenage years in New York City. He relocated to San Francisco just as the hippie movement was gathering steam, and became the business manager for the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a radical theater company that performed for free in parks. Soon afterwards he took over the lease on the famed Fillmore Auditorium, where he produced groundbreaking shows throughout the ’60s, including sold-out concerts by the Grateful Dead, Cream, Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Doors. Graham’s mastery at promoting, marketing, and managing artists propelled him to become one of rock & roll’s most influential figures.

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
9603 Woods Dr.
Skokie, IL 60077
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