The tragic helicopter crash was 29 years ago yesterday and I didn't want to let it pass without some kind of tribute. It's questionable if ABB would have ever even gotten off the ground without Bill's Fillmore East and Fillmore West. Very sad that Bill was advised to never get in that helicopter due to weather conditions. I never knew that until I read this article this morning.
Pretty amazing man, one of a kind. His early life, (fleeing the Nazis from France, separated from his sisters and growing up in the Bronx, working between Brooklyn and Catskills supper clubs) is arguably more interesting than his concert work. Arguably.
I have no fear of flying in a plane, but I don't think I will ever get in a helicopter.
I ran into Bill a lot. He could be annoying, but he was always working. I remember one time I had traveled out from NC to SF to see Dead shows and just made it to the Kaiser in time. Had my backpack on me from the flight and the only thing I forgot about was my frisbee. I played Ultimate and always had a disc with me and wasn't about to toss it around inside, but security wasn't letting me in with it. I saw Bill walking by, called him over and explained my situation. He let me in with it.
Another time, I was in Hampton for Dead shows and the first night I missed the opener because security was so screwed up. I saw Bill walking around and shaking his head. The next night there were security breaks and intermittent check points and everyone got in on time. And there was Bill, overseeing it all the next night, even if it wasn't his event.
I do miss running into him.