Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bill Graham Presents Black Metal

Back in The Day, Umlaut's old friend Toni Isabella worked for the legendary Bay Area promoter Bill Graham as the Booking Assistant for venues he operated. One of these venues was the Kabuki Theatre in San Francisco, which hosted many of the early and legendary Bay Area Metal shows including Metallica on the Ride The Lightning Tour, Mercyful Fate, the album release show for Exodus and their debut album Bonded By Blood, and many others. Another show Toni worked on was the April 12, 1985 show featuring Venom, Slayer, and Possessed:

Here in the 21st Century, Venom's logo seems tame compared to the more elaborate and unreadable logos created by today's Death Metal bands. However, back in those ancient times, a logo like Venom's was a very foreign thing... especially to a big time, legendary Rock & Roll promoter like Bill Graham.

When Graham saw the ad, he left Toni a post-it note that said:

"See me re: Venom".

When Toni went to see her boss he demanded that she explain (1) how anyone would know what band was playing because their logo was unreadable and (2) how did she expect them to sell any tickets to see this band called Venom if no one knew they were playing from the ad. After listening to her boss Toni replied with:

"The show is already sold out."

Upon hearing that her boss Bill Graham didn't have a problem with the ad.  Of course, the irony is that the band names on most of Bill Graham's old psychedelic Fillmore posters from the 60's are unreadable..

The End.

"Lay down your soul to The Gods' Rock & Roll... Black Metal.."