NOTE: This poster, as framed, hung in the Historical Society of New York Museum from February 2020 to January 2021 as part of the Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution Exhibition. A chance to own a Museum piece.
“Bill Graham, the dynamic, long‐haired impresario of rock, announced yesterday that he would permanently close the doors on his twin citadels of rock culture—the Fillmores East and West. The 41‐year‐old Mr. Graham cited inflated costs, the difficulties of booking top talent, problems with agents and considerable drain on his time and energy as the principal reasons for his decision, which apparently was made only this week.”
“Two years ago, I warned that the Woodstock syndrome would be the beginning of the end. I am sorry to say that I was right,” he said. Graham also scorched agents who played the new rock game called “packaging,” in which producers are forced to accept inferior acts as the price of getting a top performer. - NY Times, April 30, 1971
Artist David Singer designed this poster as a gift to Bill Graham to commemorate the closing of The Fillmore West. The poster was actually designed and printed after the shows it advertised, but it is highly desired as an original first printing because it is a great image and because the print run was small at 1,000.
Prior to becoming the Fillmore West, the venue was called the Carousel Ballroom and for the first 6 months of 1968 it was operated by a collective formed by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Big Brother and the Holding Company as a social/musical "laboratory experiment" and an alternative to Bill Graham.
Meanwhile, the original Fillmore was running into problems. Located in the largely black and poor Western Addition neighborhood, the area was filled with unrest following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968. Graham was looking for options and he decided to find the owner of the Carousel and see if he could take over the lease from the bands. He was successful – the bands were actually quite relieved to be able to go back to being bands and not businesspeople – and in early July 1968 Graham shut down the original Fillmore and renamed the Carousel the Fillmore West.