William Coblentz, California Power Broker, Dies at 88 – Obituary

This guy surely had an interesting life…

Mr. Coblentz himself was at home in a tie and was shocked when the Jefferson Airplane invited him to a dinner where each guest had two joints by his plate.

In an oral history interview in 2002, Mr. Coblentz, who oversaw the group’s bank account at the time, told of the Airplane’s Grace Slick wanting to buy a Mercedes. Ms. Slick refused a cashier’s check and asked for cash, which she stuffed in her bra. Two days later, she wrecked the car. She had no insurance.

Mr. Coblentz came to represent the Airplane and other groups, including the Grateful Dead, through his association with the rock impresario Bill Graham. They met when local complaints threatened to keep Mr. Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium from opening.

To show the Fillmore was not a blight on a fine neighborhood, Mr. Coblentz had a friend stake out a hotel across the street known to be a house of ill repute. The friend photographed policemen entering. After Mr. Coblentz shared the photos with the Board of Permit Appeals, the Fillmore was approved.

via William Coblentz, California Power Broker, Dies at 88 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

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