LAMONT’S MUSIC NOTES- OCT 25, 2019..TWENTY EIGHT YEARS AGO THE BAY AREA AND THE ROCK WORLD WERE DEVASTATED TO HEAR THE NEWS OF THE DEATH OF BILL GRAHAM. THE LEGENDARY CONCERT PROMOTER DIED WHEN THE HELICOPTER HE WAS IN CRASHED IN STORMY WEATHER AFTER LEAVING THE CONCORD PAVILLION. GRAHAM WAS RETURNING HOME FROM A HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS CONCERT. GRAHAM HAD ATTENDED THE EVENT TO DISCUSS PROMOTING A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE 1991 OAKLAND HILLS FIRESTORM. ACCORDING TO JOEL SELVIN WHO INVESTIGATED THE CRASH FOR THE S.F. CHRONICLE:
“He had gone to the show just to say hello to the band. During intermission, the steady rain turned fierce. Some people huddled around Graham backstage, as he went to leave, trying to persuade him not to fly in the storm. Mario Cipollina, bass player for Huey Lewis and the News, told Graham he could take his limousine and Cipollina would ride home with one of the other guys from the band. John Toffoli, general manager of the Concord Pavilion, assured Graham the helicopter could be stowed overnight and covered with tarps. Steve Kahn (the pilot) leaned into the crowd. ‘I’ll have you home in 15 minutes.”
THE HELICOPTER STRUCK THE TOP OF A PG&E TRANSMISSION TOWER NEAR SEARS POINT AND EXPLODED. THE CRASH, WHICH LEFT THE WRECKAGE DANGLING NEAR THE TOP OF THE TOWER, KILLED GRAHAM, HIS GIRLFRIEND MELISSA GOLD AND THE PILOT STEVE KAHN.
HERE ARE A COUPLE OF TRIBUTES THAT WERE AIRED ON CNBC
HERE’S A REPORT THAT AIRED ON LOCAL OUTLET CBS 5 KPIX