Wolfgang's Vault Radio to bow Feb. 8.
A wealth of vintage performances from some of rock's biggest legends will hit the Internet "airwaves" tomorrow via Wolfgang's Vault. The rock memorabilia site's Vault Radio will bow at 10 a.m. PST.
The site will begin streaming some 75 songs culled from thousands of hours of tapes from the archives of legendary promoter Bill Graham. Hopes are that some of the seminal performances from Graham's archive will eventually make it to retailers shelves as physical property, perhaps by the end of the year.
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, 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.biz. “You’ll hear Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen from 1973 when he opened for Blood, Sweat & Tears at the Berkeley (Calif.) Community Theatre,” Sagan says. “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 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.
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.
The video, much of it expertly shot with multiple cameras, includes the legendary 1973 San Francisco show by the Who at the 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 video is not yet available to be streamed at the site.
“The quality is unbelievable,” says Sagan of the video. “I give the BGP people a lot of credit, they kept [the tapes] cold and they kept it at low humidity.”