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Homages to Wes Wilson

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Music and Concert Posters224 of 264Jim Kweskin Jug Band Family Dog postcards, 1967Euphoria rock postcards, San Rafael, California, 1970
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    Posted 12 years ago

    (240 items)

    Last weekend I purchased an old Fillmore Auditorium postcard (see photo on left) from my friend Ron. It is a smaller version of the poster created by Wes Wilson in November of 1966 for a show featuring the Grateful Dead, the James Cotton Blues Band, and Lothar & the Hand People.

    People often toss around the word "iconic" rather loosely when talking about rock posters, but this one definitely qualifies. Between the peace sign, the beautiful hand lettering, and the band names, it's a triple threat.

    It's also one of the most imitated images in rock. For example, in 2007, Gary Houston—whose work, in my mind, is a bridge between the old school stuff from the '60s and the best posters being produced today—created a poster for a Joss Stone show in Portland (see center photo). I like that deliberate homage to the original quite a bit, but the Gary Grimshaw poster created for a Spinal Tap show at the Warfield (see photo at right) "goes to 11."

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    1. Mac Musick, 12 years ago
      We have all heard it said that imitation if a form of flattery but when does imitation become a rip off. I think Gary copied Wes. Wes might not mind and I don't really mind either but is this homage or copying? With all due respect to Gary's ability as an artist.

      Mac Musick
      Durango CO

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