Jackson Browne - vocals, piano, acoustic guitar
From the first public Mime Troupe events in 1965, to his untimely death in 1991, Bill Graham set the standard for excellence in concert presentations and in doing so, redefined the art of communication for an entire generation. To honor Bill Graham, Steve Kahn and Melissa Gold, the BGP staff organized a free concert in Golden Gate Park for Sunday, November 3. Mother Nature cooperated and provided a comfortable and cloudless day as 300,000 people gathered in the Polo Field of Golden Gate Park.
Although the Grateful Dead were expected to make an appearance, the list of performers was kept well under wraps and few had any idea who exactly would be performing. It didn't seem to matter though, as the feeling that permeated the crowd was one of quiet reflection. This concert marked the end of an era, but also memorialized Bill Graham in a manner that was fitting - a free concert in the heart of where it all started. The sad circumstances aside, this was truly a celebration of Graham's life and as the poster for this event noted, it was to be a day filled with Laughter, Love and Music.
Chief Oren Lyons introduces Jackson Browne to the stage. Browne opens with "For A Dancer," one of his most thought provoking lyrics and one that resonated with everyone experiencing a loss. Originally featured on his 1974 album, Late for the Sky, this song reflects on the death of a friend and the necessity of embracing life, faith and hope. Surely one of the most touching performances of the day.
Browne then delivers a brief monologue acknowledging Bill Graham's philanthropic work. He states that Bill had been involved in more benefit concerts than anyone and that he used his power and influence to help create social change. Without getting preachy, he simply states that Bill Graham was a "volunteer." He drives this home by closing his set with "World In Motion," a song that directly addresses humanitarian goals and encourages unity among the massive crowd assembled in the park.