Vault News

Original Acquisition, July 29, 2002


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 29, 2002)--Norton LLC, a Minnesota-based company, announces its acquisition of legendary rock promoter Bill Graham's rock and roll archive. CEO William Sagan, a Wayzata, Minnesota entrepreneur formerly engaged in the health-care industry, purchased the archive's assets plus all related intellectual property and copyrights from Clear Channel Entertainment, the company to which Bill Graham Presents was sold after Graham's untimely death in an October, 1991 helicopter crash. Sagan will continue to house the collection in San Francisco, moving the contents to a newly designed, 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art warehouse.

This transaction gives Sagan possession of millions of original concert posters, handbills, postcards, backstage passes, tickets, vintage t-shirts, photography and photographic slides, SWAG, business contracts, and all intellectual property and copyrights associated with these remarkable assets. In addition, the acquisition includes more than 5,000 audio and video tapes recorded by Graham at concerts featuring Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and many others. For over 30 years, from 1966 to 1999, the never-released recordings were captured on 1/4-inch reels, 2-inch reels, Beta tapes or digital analog tapes that were stored, though uncatalogued and collecting dust, in BGP's basement offices.

Bill Graham launched the rock and roll concert industry in the mid-1960s and for 40 years promoted more than 30,000 concerts at venues that included the Fillmore West and Winterland in San Francisco and the Fillmore East in New York City. In addition to the multitude of shows held at his own concert halls, Bill Graham played an integral role in organizing and promoting large events and festivals like the US Festival, Live Aid and the annual Day on the Green. He also managed and toured with a number of bands such as the Jefferson Airplane and the Rolling Stones. Throughout his career and until his death, Graham collected and preserved an endless amount of irreplaceable memorabilia that was produced for these events.

Sagan's acquisition of these remarkable assets reflects the recent and widespread interest in all things rock and roll and surge in collector interest in high-quality, popular-culture memorabilia. Sagan plans to organize and market this incredible archive in a manner that honors the intentions of Bill Graham and will present the collection in its appropriate artistic, social, musical and historical context.

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