Bill Graham opened the Fillmore East in March, 1968 at 2nd Avenue and 6th Street in New York City. With spectacular light shows, dancing, and extraordinary performances from rock's biggest names, it quickly became legendary. Graham's success with his Fillmore's East and West contributed to the changing demands of the musicians he featured, opening the door to a commercial atmosphere of bigger salaries and larger venues. Anticipating those changes, Graham closed the Fillmore East with a month-long celebration that culminated in the June 27, 1971 concert featured in this playlist.
With Albert King, the J. Geils Band, Edgar Winter, Mountain, the Beach Boys, Country Joe McDonald, and the Allman Brothers Band all featured on the bill, it was an appropriately epic and genre-spanning line-up. Admission into the venue was invite-only, but it was broadcast in New York over WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM; fittingly, Don McLean's "American Pie" received its first radio airplay during those broadcasts, as a bit of music history died in the early morning hours of June 28, 1971 when the Fillmore East finally shut its doors. We hope you'll join us in remembering the legendary venue with this fond farewell from Bill Graham.