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Speakers That Rock Opening Symposium

Sunday, September 18, 2016 from 2-8 pm

1:30 pm   Arrival and Check-in
2:00 pm   Program (breaks included)
6:45 pm   Meet-and-Greet Reception and private exhibition access

*Detailed schedule with full list of speakers and bios below*

This half-day event features stories and conversations inspired by Bill Graham's legacy from the people who knew him -- and the era of Rock he represents and helped to shape -- best. Featuring Bill Graham's sons Alex and David, former wife and concert poster artist Bonnie MacLean, legendary WMGK DJs John DeBella and Cyndy Drue -- radio icons passionate about Bill Graham, rock, rock history, and Philly's place in it -- contemporary promoters, and more. See below for a full schedule and complete speaker listing.

$36/$25 Members 
Includes all three panels, two snack breaks, meet-and-greet reception with presenters, and private after-hours access to Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution exclusively for attendees
Purchase Non-member tickets

Presented with WMGK and WMMR in conjunction with the special exhibition Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

Related Programming
Wednesday, October 19       Dreamers and Doers: Larry Magid

Speakers That Rock - Current schedule as of 9/9/16

Details subject to change, speaker list in formation.  Speaker bios below. 

1:30 pm      Arrival/registration

Please allow enough time to check in, go through security, and grab your seats (all seating is general admission).  For general information about visiting the Museum, including security policies, please click here

2:00 pm     Welcome & Introductions

2:15 pm      
Bill Graham: A Personal Perspective 

Writer Robert Greenfield, who co-authored Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out with Bill Graham himself – called “an extraordinary insider account of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll” by the Boston Globe – kicks things off with an expert introduction.  

Joining him onstage will be Bill’s former wife, Bonnie MacLean, who will offer insights into her role as a prolific concert poster artist, and a personal perspective on the early days of the “mom and pop” start-up that became the Bill Graham Presents we know today.  Bill Graham’s sons, David Graham (Bonnie’s son) and Alex Graham, will round out the panel with personal stories about their dad, his legacy, the impact of growing up in his world, and their perspective today. 

Audience Q&A will follow. 

Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out is available for purchase in the Museum Store. Robert Greenfield-signed copies will be available beginning 9/18/16. 

3:30 pm      Short break (light snacks provided)

3:40 pm      The Next Generation: Today’s Promoters

Founder and CEO of CID Entertainment, Dan Berkowitz, a leader in fan-forward enhanced concert experiences, and who cites Bill Graham as a formative influence, will offer insights into the industry today, how Bill Graham’s legacy has shaped his own work and fan-centric practice, and a perspective on the music industry and social action.   

Audience Q&A will follow. 

Click here for a recent interview with Dan in Billboard Magazine

4:55 pm      Short break (light snacks provided)

5:05 pm      Over the Airwaves: Storytelling with Rock Radio Icons   

Legendary WMGK DJs John DeBella and Cyndy Drue are joined by legacy WYSP DJ, producer, author, and Rock historian, Denny Somach, who will also share never-before-seen interview footage with Bill Graham, for this storytelling session.  Collectively, these on-air legends have countless stories to share about their days in the rock & roll trenches at home and abroad.  From Live Aid right here in Philadelphia to the Rolling Stones 1982 European Tour, you won’t want to miss some of the best storytellers around recounting some of their favorite tales about Bill Graham, rock & roll, rock history, and Philly’s place in it.


Audience Q&A will follow. 

6:35 pm      Closing Remarks

6:45 pm      Reception

All attendees are invited to join today’s presenters for an informal reception, continued conversation, and private after-hours access to the special exhibition, Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

8:00 pm     Day concludes

Special notes: 

  • Assistive Listening Devices are available in the Dell Family Theater where the event will be held
  • Thank you for your understanding that no food or beverages other than water will be permitted in the theater

Speaker bios
Additional bios will be posted here as they become available.

Dan Berkowitz
is a firm believer in the transformative power of music and is dedicated to creating experiences that are equally immersive, unforgettable and seamless for his fellow diehard music lovers. Dan started in the music business like many before him, handing out flyers for his favorite bands and venues. He worked his way up, becoming the tour manager for The Disco Biscuits in 2004, overseeing their day-to-day operations. After leaving the road in 2006, Dan worked for Electric Factory Concerts, while laying the groundwork for what would later become CID Entertainment, creating unique travel packages and VIP experiences for marquee events in Philadelphia.

In 2007, Dan left Electric Factory Concerts to focus full-time on CID Entertainment. Under his leadership, the company has experienced tremendous growth while maintaining excellence in program offerings and guest service. The company has expanded from a one-man operation to a team of 70 + hardworking, passionate, caring individuals that make CID Entertainment what it is today. Headquartered in Philadelphia with offices in Denver and Nashville, CID Entertainment offers enhanced live music and travel experiences at a wide array of events, festivals and tours worldwide.

CID partners include Coachella, Bonnaroo, Kenny Chesney, MUSE, Blake Shelton, Bassnectar, My Morning Jacket and Kendrick Lamar, among others. In 2015, the company launched CID Presents, a boutique end-to-end event production branch of the company that offers superfans once-in-a-lifetime music destination events, including Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa, Phish: Riviera Maya, Beach Vibes curated by LCD Soundsystem and Mad Decent Beach Party.

John DeBella has been a Philadelphia radio icon for 34 years and counting. John is the anchor of morning drive on MGK with a show that centers around comedy and classic rock. It’s not uncommon for John to land interviews with Rock Royalty like Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and The Who’s Pete Townsend.  John’s interview archives are a veritable who’s who of Rock.  Comedians playing the Philadelphia region know that John’s show is a “must visit.” He calls many of comedy’s biggest names friends.  If Philadelphia Radio had a “Mount Rushmore,” John’s face would be the first one etched in stone (carving the moustache would be tricky).

Cyndy Drue has been a rock 'n roll DJ in Philadelphia for about 3 decades, currently at Classic Rock, WMGK.  While Rock Reporter for Eyewitness News on KYW-TV in the early '80s she was the first to put Bono and U2 on American television. During her 13 years at WMMR, she was the Queen of the Local Music Scene, helping many up and coming bands get record deals through her radio show Street Beat

David Graham was born in San Francisco in 1968 to Bonnie MacLean, artist, and Bill Graham, rock impresario. In 1972, he moved with his mother to Bucks County, PA, where he attended Quaker schools through 12th grade. Throughout his formative years, David spent time with his father touring with such artists as Santana, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. In 1990, David graduated from Columbia University in New York City. During college, he formed a management company, Music Unlimited, representing artists such as Blues Traveler. After the death of his father, David moved back to San Francisco and closed his New York operation. David currently serves on the board of the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation and lives in Bucks County, PA. 

Robert Greenfield is an award-winning journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He is the author of thirteen books, among them the classic STP: A Journey Through America With the Rolling Stones. Both his novel Temple, which won the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Timothy Leary: A Biography, which he spent ten years researching and writing, were reviewed favorably on the front page of the New York Sunday Times Book Review.  Bill Graham: My Life Inside Rock and Out (co-written with Bill Graham) won both a Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Excellence. Mr. Greenfield’s one-character play about Bill Graham was named the Outstanding Theatre Presentation at the Aspen Comedy Arts Festival and was produced at the Canon Theatre in Los Angeles with Ron Silver as Bill Graham. Film rights to the book were recently purchased by 21st Century Fox.

Bonnie MacLean was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1939 and grew up in Bucks County, PA.  She attended the Pennsylvania State University where she graduated in 1961 with a BA in Liberal Arts. In 1963, MacLean moved to San Francisco CA.  It was there she first met Bill Graham when she was hired as a secretary at the Allis Chalmers Manufacturing Company where he was the office manager.  She then joined Bill as secretary at the San Francisco Mime Troupe where he had become their manager.  MacLean accompanied Bill to his new business running rock and roll shows at the now legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. There, after an internship painting ‘upcoming events’ notices on two large boards in the hallway outside the auditorium, MacLean was asked to take on the job of poster making when a vacancy developed.  She would become a prolific concert poster artist, making 32 posters before retiring from the job.  Her iconic psychedelic concert poster art from the ‘60s and ‘70s remains highly collectible and can be found in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. MacLean subsequently moved with her son, David, back to Bucks County, where she still resides 44 years later.

Denny Somach is a rock historian, author and producer for radio and television.  After a successful career as a radio announcer and programmer at WYSP, Somach formed Denny Somach Productions, one of the most successful independent producers of syndicated radio programming in the country.  In the field of record and video production, Somach has worked with Johnny Winter, Yes, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons, Dave Mason and others. He is the Executive Producer of Eric Johnson’s aural masterpiece, AH VIA MUSICOM. The R.I.A.A. certified ‘platinum’ album features the 1992 Grammy® Award winning song, “Cliffs of Dover.” Denny is also the author two books on the Beatles, Ticket to Ride and Meet the Beatles...Again.  His latest book Get the Led Out: How Led Zeppelin Became the Biggest Band in the World was recently published. Somach received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Moravian College. He resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Event type:Lectures & Discussions