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’Keeffe, 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 style, often incorporating altered photographs into his design...
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
Intrust Bank Arena celebrates two million tickets sold, honors guestKSN-TV, October 2nd
prize package including upgraded concert tickets from the upper level to the lower level, a meet and greet with Florida Georgia Line, a commemorative ticket which was then autographed by Florida Georgia Line, a commemorative concert poster, and more...Read more
Field Notes from Harvard-BrownHarvard Independent, October 1st
He was clad in a Hawaiian shirt and uncomfortably short shorts and a bucket hat, all of them psychedelically colored so as to lend him the general appearance of a Jefferson Airplane concert poster. An anti-narcotics campaign should have photographed...Read more
A great night of music for a great causeHamilton Spectator, September 30th
According to the benefit concert's poster, "Sanfilippo Syndrome is a devastating degenerative genetic disorder. Affected children are missing an essential enzyme that breaks down sugar, resulting in a buildup that affects all the organs and bones, and...Read more
Daniel Romano Has a Throwback Country Sound You Should HearWide Open Country, September 30th
It's no accident many of Romano's songs are folk-country heartbreakers, however. The Canadian singer-songwriter isn't having any of contemporary country's pop-fused party anthems. No, you cold say he's a throwback. “The difference between Taylor Swift ...Read more
If Casual Sex Were a Music Festival PosterHuffington Post (satire), September 29th
This is what casual sex would look like if it were advertised as a music festival concert poster. 2015-09-25-1443213156-5622245-SexMusicFestivalPoster.jpg. More from Playboy.com: 10 Most Worthless College Majors · 12 Struggles Only People Who Work ...Read more
Serious Buyer Seeks Original Jim Morrison The Doors 1967 Kaleidoscope ...Benzinga, September 28th
The Door's Ciros poster is often called the Doors Kaleidoscope Poster. It was the # 2 poster in a long series of rock concerts on the Sunset Strip. Most of the bands played at the Kaleidoscope Club, but the Doors played at Ciros. This Fillmore Era...Read more
Oct. 4 concert to feature Chinese musiciansUIndy News, September 23rd
MUS West Meets East concert poster-final Visiting Chinese musicians will collaborate with UIndy music faculty Oct. 4 in a concert to promote cross-cultural exchange and understanding. The “West Meets East” event will begin at 3 p.m. that day — the...Read more
Sea-Tac Airport hosting Pearl Jam concert poster exhibitKIRO Seattle, May 27th
The Experience Music Project Museum unveiled a new exhibit at Sea-Tac Airport featuring Pearl Jam concert posters. Pearl Jam formed in 1990 when posters were the main way bands communicated with fans and advertised upcoming shows. They also ...Read more