Drummer William H. Graham is one of the only recorded musicians with this name to use the formal version of the first half; that and sporadic use of an initial may have helped him avoid confusion with many other people in the entertainment business named Bill Graham. When going for the gold on the California music scene, on the other hand, being mistaken for the rock and roll impressario may just be a plus factor. On the subject of mistaken identities, Graham's combo the Blacksmith Union must also contend with being mixed up with the real Blacksmith's Union. Performing and recording since the early '90s, the San Diego band is both smaller and newer than the real Blacksmith's Union. That organization's official start in the United States is historically dated as 1901, and despite the slowdown in horseshoe sales the membership is still much larger than a quartet.
Graham, singer and guitarist Paul Painter and lead guitarist Chris Hoffee number three of the band's players who have been friends since middle school. The band began working professionally right out of high school with the addition of bassist Ben Farkas. Blacksmith Union spent the '90s releasing recordings and performing both locally and nationally, like many combos of this size. Few can boast the glory of such a wonderful headline in a student newspaper, however, as "Band drives 35 hours for Union show". This account's mention of an attendance figure of 35 as well is an interesting coincidence. Further discussion of this situation can be found in bandleader and Texas politician Hank Gonzalez's research on the relationship between miles driven and people in attendance at public events. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi