4. It was nicknamed “The Church of Rock and Roll”
Fillmore East was nicknamed “The Church of Rock and Roll” due to its two-show, triple-bill concerts several nights a week. Perhaps one of the most notable performances at Fillmore East was the Allman Brothers Band’s June 27, 1971 concert, the closing night of the venue. Their explosive blues rock filled the venue for seven hours into dawn. The Allmans were sometimes called “Bill Graham’s house band” because of how many concerts they performed there. The Doors gave a crazy 1968 performance in which they played their regular collection of material one night but then came back after most of the crowd left and played again for nearly an hour.
The Grateful Dead were frequent performers at the venue as well, one night playing for hours and jamming with Duane Allman and Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac. On another night, the group dosed Graham’s can of 7-Up with LSD before going onstage. A 20-man band backed Joe Cocker one night in 1970, while that year Pink Floyd performed its album Atom Heart Mother to many first-time listeners in the U.S. Other figures who had noteworthy performances here included B.B. King, Santana, Frank Zappa, and even John Lennon.