The late music promoter Bill Graham's trove of souvenirs and recordings strikes a chord online





With their long hair and scruffy jeans, the rock fans queued up outside the Fillmore Auditorium could almost be mistaken for the throngs that flocked to this concert palace in the 1960s.

And just like in the old days, the bands they've come to see — a heavy-metal triple helping of Goatwhore, High on Fire and Venom — might trigger a few tsk-tsks from the over-30 crowd.

Goatwhore? Whatever happened to bands with class, like Foghat?

There are differences, to be sure — rock fans in 2006 carry cellphones — but entrepreneur Bill Sagan sees the similarities and is capitalizing on them.

Nearly 40 years after the Woodstock era, its music is enthralling legions of high-school and college-age fans who have Jimi Hendrix on their iPods and Neil Young T-shirts on their backs.

The leftover garments, concert posters and ticket stubs from rock's heyday are bringing top dollar, as a quick spin on EBay will attest.

Though scores of merchants and collectors are selling these remnants, Sagan has an inventory of unmatched provenance — the posters, T-shirts, photos and paraphernalia amassed by the late Bill Graham, rock's leading promoter from the 1960s until his death in a 1991 helicopter crash.

Three years ago, Sagan launched a San Francisco-based company called Wolfgang's Vault to sell over the Internet the multitude of items Graham squirreled away over the years. Sagan used Graham's given name for the company to avoid confusion with evangelist Billy Graham.

Now, Sagan has something fresh to offer: thousands of hours of unreleased audio, video and film recordings from concerts Graham staged at the Fillmore and other venues as well as an archive of King Biscuit Flower Hour concerts broadcast on the radio.


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