The National Museum Of American Jewish History Opens Huge Rock And Roll Exhibition

More than 200 pieces of music memorabilia chronicle the life of a prolific concert promoter....

This September, the National Museum of American Jewish History opens a highly anticipated exhibition about a major player in the music industry.

On Friday, September 16 the Old City museum debuts Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution, a traveling exhibition made up of hundreds and hundreds of awesome pieces of rock and roll memorabilia.

Exhibition Fast Facts

  • On view from Friday, September 16 through January 16, 2017.
  • Includes more than 200 pieces of rock and roll memorabilia.
  • NMAJH is the exclusive East Coast venue for this traveling exhibit.
  • Access to Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution is included with museum admission.

The multimedia exhibition tells the story of Bill Graham, the legendary concert promoter who worked with heavy hitters like The Grateful Dead, The Who and The Rolling Stones.

The exhibit chronicles Graham’s life, starting in New York after he fled Nazi Germany as a child and is the first-ever comprehensive retrospective about this legendary music icon.

Graham had a particular connection to Philadelphia, too, as he was instrumental in producing the Live Aid benefit concert held concurrently in Philadelphia and London in 1985.

Keith Richards Boots
(Collection of David and Alex Graham | Photo by Robert Wedemeyer)
More than 200 rarely seen music artifacts make up this monumental exhibition — including Janis Joplin’s tambourine, a handwritten note from Donovan and Keith Richards boots (shown here).

Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution Highlights

Through more than 200 pieces of music memorabilia, photos, videos and more, Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution tells the story of the cultural transformation that took place in the United States from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The collection was assembled from lenders all over the nation, and highlights include Janis Joplin’s tambourine, a handwritten note from Donovan to Graham, Pete Townshend’s 1968 Gibson SG Special guitar used during a performance of Tommy and Graham’s personal scrapbooks.

For the first time ever, preparatory drawings and the original artwork of several iconic Fillmore concert posters will be on display.

Unique to NMAJH’s run of the exhibition are a number of items from Philadelphia’s Live Aid concert, including an original event program and ticket stub, a pickguard signed by Mick Jagger and David Bowie and a microphone signed by Ozzy Osbourne.

Special Programming and Events

Throughout the duration of the exhibition, NMAJH will stay open until 8 p.m. on Wednesday nights and will host several special events.

On Sunday, September 18, the Speakers that Rock Opening Symposium features stories and conversations from people including Graham’s sons, Alex and David, former wife and concert poster artist Bonnie MacLean and WMGK DJs John DeBella and Cyndy Drue.

On Wednesday, October 5, the programming continues with yoga set to the tunes of the Grateful Dead, starting at 6 p.m.

On the evenings of Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 8, the museum screens the rock documentaries The Last Waltz and Monterey Pop, respectively.

For details and a full list of special events associated with this exhibit, visit the museum’s online calendar.

Please note NMAJH will be closed on select Wednesday evenings for High Holidays and private events.

Bill Graham
(Bill Graham | Photo courtesy Ken Friedman)
A variety of special programs will accompany the exhibition like

  • Screenings of rock and roll documentaries
  • Conversations with people from Bill Graham’s life
  • Extended Wednesday evening hours
  • And more…


Admission to the exhibition is included with regular museum tickets, which run $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and kids ages 13 throough 21. Entry to the exhibition is free for kids 12 and younger. Select special events have additional costs and require advanced reservations.

Get excited for this monumental exhibition!

Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution

When:September 16-January 16, 2017
Where:National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East
Cost:included with museum admission ($12 for adults, $11 for seniors and kids 13-21, free for kids 12 and younger)


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