For jazz fans, a poster of Chet Baker almost seems to come with its own soundtrack. Posters of blues artists conjure the smoky, booze-soaked dives where John Lee Hooker and other practitioners of that great American musical genre held court. Vintage country-western posters advertising Buck Owens suggest the sweetly intermingled scents of cold beer and fresh hay. And for fans of 1960s rock music, well, a concert poster from Cream’s first U.S. tour may be the only way for them to remember they were there.
Some vintage music and concert posters are easier to find than others. Trying to build a collection of original, mid-20th-century jazz posters of Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, and Miles Davis would probably be a frustrating, and expensive, pursuit. An artist named Dennis Loren makes beautiful "restoration lithographs" of jazz posters from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, but if a high-quality reprint is unacceptable to you, consider a vintage movie poster with the artist’s name in the credits—Count Basie gets prominent billing on the movie poster for Top Man; Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington are both listed on the poster for Cabin in the Sky.
In the world of country music, Hatch Show Print of Nashville is the oldest print shop in the United States (it has been around since 1879). Hatch made, and continues to make, posters for all the Grand Ole Opry stars, from Bill Monroe to Roy Acuff to Patsy Cline.
Symphony buffs need not feel left out of the world of vintage music posters. Since 1972, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival has been publishing handsome, high-quality posters designed around paintings by Georgia O’Keefe, Dan Namingha, and other southwest artists.
But without a doubt, the most accessible and collected type of vintage concert poster is the 1960s rock poster. In London, Michael English and Nigel Waymouth, working as Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, produced psychedelic updates of Art Nouveau posters for Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Traffic, and The Who.
In Boston, the owners of a club called Boston Tea Party tended to take a clean, graphic approach to publicize concerts by everyone from local heroes J. Geils Band to New York’s Velvet Underground. Tea Party posters were frequently composed of little more than a block or two of solid color juxtaposed with formal-looking type.
Detroit had the Grande Ballroom, whose resident poster artist was Gary Grimshaw. His posters for locals like MC5 and visitors such as The Fugs tilted more toward the psychedelic ...
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Dahlgren made posters for a club called the Kaleidoscope, whose posters were always circular. Across town, John Van Hamersveld produced beautiful, trippy images for Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and other bands playing L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium.
But the city that’s best known for vintage rock posters is San Francisco. A combination of multiple music venues and lots of talented artists was the catalyst for the vibrant scene. Over at the Avalon Ballroom, Chet Helms hired Wes Wilson, followed by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley, to make posters for shows featuring The Blues Project, Captain Beefheart, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the Grateful Dead.
That first year, 1966, Kelley and Mouse created an image for the Grateful Dead that would visually define the band. Known among collectors as FD026, it was based on an illustration the artists found in a 19th-century copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Sometimes called Skeleton & Roses, a version of this poster would be used as an album cover for the band in 1971. Today it is one of the most enduring and collectible images in psychedelic rock.
Over at Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium, artist Wes Wilson created posters that helped define the psychedelic lettering style of the day. In 1966, several of Wilson’s posters also featured photographs by Herb Greene. One of the best of these, BG025, revolved around a terrific portrait of a pre-Jefferson Airplane Grace Slick, a smile teasing the corners of her lips as she looks tantalizingly to her right and out of the camera’s range.
With a resume that bridged the Avalon and the Fillmore, Wilson was a respected figure on the local rock-poster scene. Indeed, when the Beatles came to town in August of 1966 to play what would be their last live performance, Wilson was hired to make the poster for that show.
Another influential San Francisco artist was Rick Griffin, whose February 1968 "Flying Eyeball" poster (BG105) for Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall, and Albert King is an icon of the art form.
Victor Moscoso rounds out the so-called Big Five (Wilson, Kelley, Mouse, and Griffin being the other four). Moscoso produced numerous posters for the Avalon and a smaller club called the Matrix. For Moscoso fans, the Holy Grail is to collect all 27 posters in the artist’s hyper-vivid Neon Rose series.
Other San Francisco poster artists of note include Lee Conklin, whose black-and-white drawing of a lion for a show at the Fillmore West became a celebrated album cover for Carlos Santana. Another important Fillmore alum is David Singer, who created 67 Fillmore posters, including the venue’s final one to mark its historic closing week.
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Recent News: Music and Concert Posters
Source: Google News
100 Dallas Creatives: No. 38 Man Behind the Music Gavin MulloyDallas Observer (blog), November 28th
But how did Mulloy go from concert poster-making artist to marketing maven? It's all in the timing, baby. "Clint and Whitney Barlow took a chance on reopening Trees when Deep Ellum wasn't at its strongest and made a tentpole for the neighborhood...Read more
Weekend: Your guide to local entertainmentScranton Times-Tribune, November 27th
CONCERT POSTER AND ALBUM ART DESIGNS BY BRAD KLAUSEN: through Sunday, Linder Gallery, Keystone College, La Plume. 570-945-8335. 26TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY ART AUCTION PREVIEW: works by various artists, through November, Afa ...Read more
Kidrobot sold, Labbit creator Frank Kozik named creative directorThe Denver Post, November 26th
Frank Kozik, the famed concert-poster artist and creator of Kid robot's Labbit vinyl toy products, will join the company as creative director. Kidrobot relocated to Boulder from New York in 2010. The company closed its retail stores in Boulder, New...Read more
Staunton man practices his art one frame at a timeStaunton News Leader, November 26th
If you are looking for the perfect frame for a piece of fine art, a shadow box for some precious family heirlooms or maybe just a cool frame for your all-time favorite concert poster, Jason Miles of Morgan-Miles Picture Frames is the man for the job...Read more
A review of key musical box setsSTLtoday.com, November 25th
NEW OLD DYLAN: "Complete" is right. This six-CD package of 138 tracks claims to include everything worth hearing from Bob Dylan's 1967 sessions with the Band. A few songs last less than a minute, many are offered in multiple renditions, and audio...Read more
Boulder's Kidrobot acquired by National Entertainment Collectibles AssociationColorado Hometown Weekly, November 25th
Heading Kidrobot will be Frank Kozik, the famed concert-poster artist and creator of Kidrobot's Labbit vinyl toy products. “When Joel and NECA approached us about joining forces, about his intention to support us and allow Kidrobot to move forward with ...Read more
VIDEO: 'Big Bad Voodoo Daddy' Returns to DurangoPagosa Daily Post, November 24th
Jumpin', jivin' swing renaissance band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD) returns to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Sunday, November 30 at 7pm with its “Wild & Swingin' Holiday Party,” a live version of BBVD's popular album, Everything ...Read more
TVXQ's concert poster unveiledAsiaOne, November 12th
The concert poster, which was uploaded on SM Entertainment's official website, shows TVXQ performing on stage. The boy group's concerts have added significance as they mark the group's 10th anniversary. Tickets sold out shortly after sales opened on...Read more