Remembering The Fillmore West / The Remix.

Do you think it is possible to become legendary in three short years ? In every sense of the word, San Francisco’s Fillmore West is legendary. It was a short run (1968 to 1971) but from the poster art to the light shows, to its Rock and Roll hall of Fame Impresario and of course to the music, it checks every box. But not legendary enough to save it from the wrecking ball, I guess. The city has approved a 1,012-unit high-rise that should start construction within the next few years at 10 South Van Ness. Which spells doom for the old ballroom’s legendary walls. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe the proposed high rise has plans to honor the buildings history. The Fillmore West was more than just a music venue. It was one of the laboratories where the ‘San Francisco Sound” was incubated. The musical experiments conducted in that lab reverberated around the world. As a result, music and the business of music changed forever. The Proprietor of that lab, Bill Graham, was much like a mad scientist in that he would mix different musical genres and styles together on the same bill, which intern would draw an eclectic group of people to his shows, introducing new styles and people to each other in the process. During The Fillmore West years the country was still reeling from the assassination of John F Kennedy, and the years of 1968 through 1971 offered no relief. Baby boomers would endure more assassinations, civil unrest, Nixon, the draft, and the war in Vietnam . If a refuge was in need, The Fillmore West was ready, willing, and able. In March of 1971, the year Bill Graham closed the venue, Aretha Franklin played a memorable three-night stint at the Ballroom. Rolling Stone included the performance in their list of the 50 greatest concerts of the last 50 years. Her band featured King Curtis on saxophone, Billy Preston on organ and the Memphis horns. The concert also included a special walk-on performance by Ray Charles, who Aretha met the day before. And on July 4th, 1971, The Fillmore’s last show featured a Bill Graham favorite, Santana. Here is Remembering The Fillmore West / The Remix. Music by Crosby Stills and Nash, The Sons of Champlin, Aretha Franklin with special guest Ray Charles. And Santana. The performances were recorded live at the Fillmore West and are available in their entirety on YouTube. Editing and research by yours truly. This video is a nonprofit educational and commemorative labor of love. Video meets all fair use guidelines. Best viewed on a laptop with earphones.

  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Music Video
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    100 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - LAMONT R DEBARBIERI

I was born in San Francisco in1955.

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Director Statement

Baby boomers like myself didn’t grow up with cell phones. But more importantly we didn’t have cell phone cameras to document our exploits. Oh, we had cameras but not like it is today in the 21st century. There is very little footage of people, places, and events from my era. It is my passion to edit Bay Area archival footage of the 20th century into the record.