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Mick Jagger at Philippe Patrice's 35th
Birthday at the Krypton Club
That part about BG is entirely plausible. And inflating the attendance records (except on the tax returns of course). Par for the course.
Bill Wyman's interview about Graham stealing money from the 1981 San Francisco concerts.
BAND MEMBER ACCUSES LATE PROMOTER OF THEFT
By Deseret News Aug 21, 1993
In an upcoming biography of the late rock concert promoter Bill Graham, Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman accuses him of skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars from the band in a 1981 San Francisco concert.
Wyman, interviewed by John Glatt, author of "Rage & Roll: Bill Graham and the Selling of Rock," said, "Something happened on the 1981 tour. We found that he was fiddling on one of the gates. We found a discrepancy. He was running one gate without keeping a record of it so all the money was going into his pocket. We found out by pure chance."Wyman said the band refused to deal with Graham on the record-breaking 1989 "Steel Wheels" tour.
Graham, in his autobiography, claimed the rejection led to a mental breakdown and accused the Stones and promoter Michael Cohl of greed.
Graham died in a 1991 helicopter crash.
Some more tidbits:
Stones Tour: Money Talks
Band garunteed more than $65 million by Toronto promoter.
By MICHAEL GOLDBERG
1989 - edited
The Rolling Stones‘ fall tour of North America has slipped through the fingers of superpromoter Bill Graham. Instead, the self-styled World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band signed a lucrative contract in mid-March with Toronto promoter Michael Cohl, who heads Concert Productions International (CPI).
Cohl has guaranteed the Stones an unprecedented $65 million to $70 million. His deal allows him not only to promote the tour – an estimated fifty to sixty dates in the United States and Canada – but also to handle tour merchandising and oversee both a megabucks sponsorship deal and a pay-per-view television special.
Until Cohl pushed his way into the picture, it was assumed in the Stones camp that the tour would go to Graham, who would not comment about the tour or his attempts to be a part of it. In addition to handling the Stones’ highly successful 1981-82 tour of the United States, the high-profile San Francisco promoter took Mick Jagger to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia last year.
Cohl and Graham presented the group with two very different approaches. Cohl offered to act as a national promoter, risking a huge multimillion-dollar guarantee for the opportunity to make big money. In contrast, Graham wanted to serve as a salaried “tour director,” the position he held during the Stones’ 1981-82 tour, which allowed him to book the tour without cutting the local promoters who dominate each city out of the action.
Early this year both Cohl and Graham sent written offers to the Stones.
Both Graham and Cohl made their way to Barbados to meet with the group in person. Graham spent two fruitless days attempting to convince the Stones and their advisers that what had worked the last time would work again. “Bill Graham was told that the difference between his offer and Cohl’s was ‘tens of millions,’ ” said a source familiar with the Barbados meetings. “Over and over he was told, ‘No matter what you offer, you can’t match Cohl.’ “
This story is from the May 4th, 1989 issue of Rolling Stone.
Bill Graham was pretty open and honest in his book about how he hyped attendance figures and sell-out times to create more hype and demand. He was a brilliant big event marketer.
Example, the whole "sold out the Superdome in 9 minutes" type claims were more marketing "liberties" more than fact.
It was all about getting that 2nd and 3rd show added to a market, because those were pure gravy (no additional set-up breakdown costs).