Rock Legends Emerge From Wolfgang's Vault
A wealth of vintage performances from some of rock's biggest names will hit the Internet "airwaves" tomorrow (Feb. 8) via Wolfgang's Vault.A wealth of vintage performances from some of rock's biggest names will hit the Internet "airwaves" tomorrow (Feb. 8) via Wolfgang's Vault. The rock memorabilia site's Vault Radio will go live at 10 a.m. PT with about 75 songs culled from thousands of hours of tapes from the archives of legendary promoter Bill Graham.
Located in a 22,000-square foot warehouse in San Francisco, Wolfgang's Vault boasts authentic concert materials from such artists as Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Rolling Stones, U2, Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix and the Who.
The cache was obtained for more than $5 million in 2003 by entrepreneur Bill Sagan, who named it in honor of Graham, who was born Wolfgang Grajonca. Graham died in a 1991 helicopter crash.
The initial Vault Radio playlist is "all over the board in terms of performer, year, venue and genre," Sagan tells Billboard.com. "You'll hear Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen from 1973 when he opened for Blood, Sweat & Tears at the Berkeley (Calif.) Community Theatre. You'll hear instrumental-only from Booker T & the MGs, and you'll also hear Jeff Beck and Elton John. The single thread of continuity is these are all concerts Bill Graham promoted from the mid-1960s through 1975, for the first group."
The site is free and there is no subscription fee for audio streaming at 128k. "We don't have advertising on the site -- we don't charge more if you want a more dense and robust stream," says Sagan.
The video, much of it expertly shot with multiple cameras, includes the legendary 1973 show by the Who at San Francisco's Cow Palace when Keith Moon fell into his drum kit, the Sex Pistols last concert and a four-camera shoot from the Tanglewood (Mass.) concerts of 1970.
"The quality is unbelievable," says Sagan of the video, which is not yet viewable online. "I give the BGP people a lot of credit. They kept [the tapes] cold and at low humidity."
Meanwhile, Sagan is navigating murky publishing waters with optimism that CDs and DVDs could be on the market in the near future. He would not confirm published reports that he is in talks with Sony BMG.