"Fifty years on from its closure, Mastropolo's written Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock Music Forever... With interviewees including Taj Mahal, John Mayall, Dave Davies, Mark Farner, Roger McGuinn and many more, the story takes in a magical place at a magical time. There are heavy bills and many choice recollections." – MOJO magazine
Photos ©Frank Mastropolo
"Fillmore East: The Venue that Changed Rock Music Forever is a wonderful book. It’s authentic. It takes me back. I can almost smell the pot in the front row."
Corky Laing, Mountain
Opened in 1968, impresario Bill Graham’s Fillmore East rocked New York City with performances by John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Elton John, the Allman Brothers Band and Led Zeppelin. Before it closed in June 1971, Fillmore East set a new standard for rock concerts, introducing fans to giants of jazz, blues, and folk music. The hall’s stellar acoustics and Joshua Light Show’s psychedelic imagery made Fillmore East concerts unforgettable.
Interviews with ninety musicians and crew members include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Steve Miller, Roger McGuinn, Dave Mason, Robert Lamm, John Lodge, Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen. More than 130 rare and exclusive performance and backstage images, posters and memorabilia will transport you to a musical era that will never be duplicated.
Frank Mastropolo is a journalist, photographer, and former ABC News 20/20 producer, winner of the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University silver baton. He is the author of Ghost Signs: Clues to Downtown New York's Past, winner of the 2021 Independent Publishers Book Awards, and Ghost Signs: Clues to Uptown New York's Past.
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ADVANCE PRAISE FOR FILLMORE EAST: THE VENUE THAT CHANGED ROCK MUSIC FOREVER
"If you want to know about the rock and roll scene in New York City in the late '60s, early '70s, this is the book to read. Straight from the horses' mouths."
Peter Albin, Big Brother & the Holding Company
"I played the Fillmore East with Blood, Sweat & Tears. This book made those days come alive for me once again—the egg creams at Gem Spa, the crazy Jewish waiters at Ratner’s, the Allman Brothers running around the backstage area naked while Leonard Bernstein was giving his kids a tour. And, of course, Bill Graham and his volatility and kindness. I could not put this book down. Thank you, Frank Mastropolo, for filling in some essential blanks in the history of rock and roll and bringing a joyful tear to this old veteran’s eye."
Steve Katz, Blood, Sweat & Tears
"Bill Graham’s Fillmore East remains a magical, mythical, historic music wonderland that inspired and taught an entire generation what music concerts could and should be at their very best. I’ve been blessed to have spent many magical nights and moments there, forever leaving an imprint of hope, dreams, and unlimited possibilities in my soul. Happy to contribute my memories to this beautiful tribute to my friend Bill Graham’s magnificent, musical vision that inspired countless performers and concertgoers throughout these historic decades."
Nils Lofgren, Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band
courtesy of joshua light show
"Reading through Frank Mastropolo's Fillmore East book, reading the experiences of all the other musicians and folks who worked there, looking at the great pictures and the posters, shot me back like through a cannon, like a time traveller, like an acid flashback that set me right there backstage, and onstage, with the sounds, and the smells and big fat memories of some of the best days of my life.
"I grew up with the Fillmore West as a young teenager, and it was mecca for music. Bill Graham schooled us all to what was out there, and then to be able to actually be on that stage, well, that was a whole other thing. But New York City, that's a whole other level. Fillmore East, man, those were the best of times. Thanks for the memories, Frank."
Michael Shrieve, Santana
"Every weekend a tribe of kindred spirits converged at their mecca to see, hear and cheer players and singers of all kinds giving their best. We were fortunate to play there several times. That special place was the Fillmore East."
John Kay, Steppenwolf
"This book is quite an historical and educational ride for everyone. Both East and West Fillmores were THE hippest places for any musician to play. The playbills were eclectic and electric. Nowhere else presented rock, blues, jazz, avant-garde artists at the same time except the Fillmores. Their light shows were also legendary and now the posters and handbills are the best collectibles.
"I was fortunate to play both Fillmores in two different bands. My last gig with the Guess Who was at the Fillmore East in May 1970 with the American Woman album and single topping the charts. Then a few years later, l played the reopening of Fillmore East with Bachman-Turner Overdrive. How l wish those places still existed. What a hip world it would be!"
Randy Bachman, the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive
"These stories take you back to when it was about playing and partying, not big business."
Carmine Appice, Vanilla Fudge
"The minute I hit the stage I knew I was on Cloud Nine—and no, it was not a contact high—although I could not be more comfortable if I were at home. The ambiance, the smell, the feeling of absolute freedom. Yes, that was the Fillmore East. Hey, Frank Mastropolo, YOU NAILED IT!!!"
Genya Ravan, Ten Wheel Drive