The Last Days

DVD - 2009
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When legendary rock impresario Bill Graham closed the Fillmore West in the summer of 1971, he made sure it went out with a bang. Over five nights, acts including the Grateful Dead and Santana took to the stage for one final send off. The madness leading up to the shows and the gritty backstage footage are chronicled in this classic rock film.


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The organizing principal of FILLMORE: THE LAST DAYS is Bill Graham's efforts to piece together a bill for the final show at Fillmore West. The "Great White Whale" the megalomaniac promoter hunts throughout the film is Santana; he wants them to close out the final show. And in this MOBY DICK Ahab gets his whale. FILLMORE: THE LAST DAYS is an amazing document because it records how spent the Hippies are as early as the early summer of 1971. Santana, based on the strength of the band's first three albums --SANTANA (1969), the super-historic ABRAXAS (1970) and a Billboard 200 #1 album SANTANA III (1971) -- as well as the orgiastic performance captured in the WOODSTOCK (1970) film, is at the top of the Hippie heap in Nixon's pre-Watergate America. Growing up in California in the 1970s, the sound of Santana was ambient. "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen" and "Oye Como Va" floated in the air, ever-present. Wherever one went there it was. Whether you were at a public park or driving down the main thoroughfare the sound of Santana was the sound of life then. "La Raza." It must have scared the shit of the Hoover types in Washington D.C. But FILLMORE: THE LAST DAYS is the end of the line for the band's original lineup.


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