Wolfgang Grajonca had a hard childhood. Young and orphaned during World War II, Grajonca moved from Germany to Paris, Marseille and Lisbon, and eventually the United States by sea, each time staying one step ahead of the westward-moving Nazis. The 10 year old settled in New York, changed his name to Bill Graham, later fought in Korea, and headed to San Francisco, where he became a legendary concert promoter. Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Country Joe and The Fish, The Rolling Stones — Graham put them all on the West coast stage.
The promoter of the Counterculture was killed in a helicopter crash in October 1991 and left behind a huge trove of recordings and memorabilia. Out of the ashes arose Wolfgang’s Vault, a website that peddles many Bill Graham goods, but also features a good number of free concerts from the heyday: The Who and Miles Davis (Tanglewood, 1970), The Allman Brothers Band (New York, 1970), Muddy Waters (Los Angeles, 1971), Bob Marley and the Wailers and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1978). They’re all available online, along with other acts including Van Morrison, AC/DC, Santana, The Band, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Jump into the collection here.