Wolfgang Grajonca that is, who is better-known to us old hippies as Bill Graham, the late impressario of the Fillmores East and West and the man who brought the music to a thousand purple-hazed nights of our misspent youths. Graham taped and saved everything and you can stream hundreds of full concerts free (downloading costs a little money) at a site called Wolfgang’s Vault. Want to hear that dead band’s song before they were dead? You got it. Catch Steppenwolf doing “God Damn, the Pusher Man?” Stevie Ray demonstrating why no one else should ever be allowed to touch a guitar ever again. Jimi, the real Jefferson Airplane, even early Bruce.
And, if that isn’t enough, today Wolfgang’s Vault began adding concerts from the 50 years of Newport Jazz Festivals. There are three up now–the Jazz Messengers, Dakota Staton and a 1959 Basie set that gave me goosebumps when I listened to it earlier this evening. Talk about minimalism, you ain’t heard shit until you dig Freddie Green and the Count sliding into a groove. Get yourself over there.
Random thought: When I went into Starbucks this afternoon, they were playing Jimmy Durante’s version of “You must remember dis…a kiss is still a kiss” and I thought to myself–Greatest Album Never Made? Jimmy Durante sings Tom Waits.