Maybe it’s because I mainly work from home, but I was saddened by the news that a bunch of old-timey rockers were suing Wolfgang’s Vault, a website that traffics in old Bill Graham (promoter/proprietor of places like the Fillmore, Winterland, etc) memorabilia. The suit — Led Zeppelin, the Dead, and Santana are among the plaintiffs — alleges that the site is exploiting the artists’ intellectual property and artisitc success. I’m no lawyer, but they’re probably right: just because Black Sabbath played in your concert hall doesn’t mean you can sell Sabbath baby tees.
Since I’m a little old to be wearing concert shirts, that doesn’t bother me. What does bum me out is the threatened shuttering of a part of the site that streams hundreds of strikingly high-quality concert recordings from Graham’s old venues. I’m listening to Dickey Betts at Winterland in ’74 right now; the site has everything from Muddy Waters to Sly & Family Stone to the Clash to the Band to (I shit you not) A Flock of Seagulls. (I ran so far away indeed.) If you’re into that kind of things, check it out. And seriously: the Sabbath shows rock. Long live Tony Iommi!