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The Herald Sun, August 6, 2006

Music gems unearthed

FORGOTTEN concert recordings of Australian bands have been unearthed in the world's biggest independent rock and pop music archive.

Performances by bands such as AC/DC, Midnight Oil, the Bee Gees and Crowded House are part of a collection owned by US businessman Bill Sagan.

Recorded by legendary US concert promoter Bill Graham, the archive boasts more than 7000 live audio and video recordings, including previously unseen footage of The Who, Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols.

Mr Sagan, 56, bought the collection for an estimated $6.25 million four years ago and it is now insured for between $75 million to $81 million.

He is negotiating with record companies and artists to release the music.

Mr Sagan told the Herald Sun his collection includes an early AC/DC performance supporting Aerosmith and Ted Nugent in 1979.

Performances by the Bee Gees, INXS, Midnight Oil, Nick Cave, Crowded House and Men At Work are also listed in Mr Graham's database.

"AC/DC played many many times for Graham at many concerts, starting in 1979," Mr Sagan said.

"To the best of our knowledge, whether it's AC/DC or Men At Work or Midnight Oil, this is video and/or audio that has never been seen or listened to."

Mr Sagan has not yet approached the Australian bands or record companies to release the music, as he is still sifting through his collection.

"We still have so much work to do with the audio and video of the Australian groups," he said.

Mr Graham, who was born Wolfgang Grajonca, was a concert promoter who also owned the famous Fillmore East and West live venues.

He hoarded everything from his concerts, from ticket stubs to concert T-shirts, and when he died in 1991, his collection was put in storage.

Mr Sagan is painstakingly cataloguing the treasure trove of rock history, now stored in a San Francisco warehouse.

Graham's collection included thousands of concert tickets, backstage passes and posters.

As Graham commissioned photographers for all his shows, the vault also includes 1.5 million slides and negatives.

Mr Sagan has started selling some of the memorabilia on his website, Wolfgang's Vault, named in honour of Mr Graham.

By Carla Danaher

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