SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) The Fillmore West, Bill Graham’s San Francisco venue after he created the iconic Fillmore, is facing the wrecking ball, according to local reports.
The venue was only open for three years and closed in 1971 with five nights of of shows from Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Grateful Dead and, last, Quicksilver Messenger Service. The facility that once hosted poet Allen Ginsberg and is documented in the movie “Fillmore: The Last Days,” was until recently a Honda automobile dealership (the Fillmore West was on the second floor). The two floors of the building reopened in June as SVN West, a concert and corporate event venue.
The full documentary is below, which includes several scenes of Graham and his famous telephone “conversations.”
“Led Zeppelin opened for us here,” Barry “The Fish” Melton, of Country Joe and the Fish, told KPIX 5. “This is part of where my childhood is kept.”
A notice out front of 10 South Van Ness says the location will be converted to condominiums but does not mention the Fillmore, other than the building project will include the “demolition of an historical resource,” according to KPIX. Real estate appraiser Larry Mansbach told the news outlet he was OK with the housing but wants to preserve the concert venue
“We’re losing too much history to the wrecking ball,” Mansbach said.
Asked whether the building could just put a plaque outside, Mansbach said, “Unacceptable. Not good enough. That won’t do it. No one notices a plaque. And how can you have a plaque when you have this massive important ballroom with all these important historical events?”
KPIX 5 did not receive a call back from the developer.
“Jeff Godoy and I actually lived there after Bill (Graham) had retired the venue and a guy named Clint Wilson reopened it as ‘The Resurrection’ between high school and college,” Frank Andrick told Noise11.com. “We would wake up to Carlos and Jorge Santana jamming, Dave Mason with The Pointer Sisters, The Doobies, Louis Gazca and other bands who rented it out during the weekdays for practice.”
Hearings on the matter are reportedly planned in the months ahead.