Bill Graham and The Who

by Regis Boff

I saw this picture posted this morning and it grabbed a memory from that section of my mind that is usually only aroused by drugs. We were doing a deal with him for The Who to play San Francisco sometime in the 1970s and he was bawling that he was being cheated.
Predictably his negotiating conduct relied on shouting. He stubbornly believed he was singled out for bad treatment by God himself every minute of his day. He was a formidable adversary. Few promoters had the balls to stand up to certain bands. The Who never lost in a deal during my years. They had become too big.
We had settled on the endless particulars that go into this kind of show agreement before the contracts were issued and Bill returned his signed copy.
His shows represented at least 100,000 tickets ( most likely far more, I just can’t remember), sold at an agreed ticket price. Graham would get his percentage cut from that.
Without telling us he raised the ticket price one dollar, planning to keep the money.
When confronted he responded,” You were stealing from me”. Again screaming.
One of a kind.

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