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David Singer Who poster, 1973

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David Singer3 of 9Mushroom Man postcard, BG-214 & 216, by David SingerSinger & Ferris at Flatstock 25 - By the Bay
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Posted 5 years ago


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Here's a recent acquisition, a first printing of a 1973 poster by David Singer for a concert at the Cow Palace (just south of San Francisco) featuring The Who.

This poster was very fairly priced because it has a rather large tear in the lower-right corner, as well as a few dings here and there, plus overall yellowing (although it's not as bad as the exposure makes it appear in the first photo; the middle photo is closer to the truth). There were several pieces of Scotch tape on the back, but I managed to remove them without damaging the poster further, and even got the tear to almost disappear when I framed it up (middle photo).

A couple of things are noteworthy about this poster. First, it's by David Singer, who is not only a master of collage and a wonderful punster (what sound does an owl make? whooo, whoooo....), but he's also one of the best when it comes to hand lettering. On this one, I love how the "E" and the "W" are the same letter, just rotated.

Second, this was the first stop on the "Quadrophenia" tour, which would have made it noteworthy enough. But this was also the show when drummer Keith Moon passed out on stage after playing for a bit more than an hour. The band did one song without a drummer, and then Pete Townsend asked the crowd if anyone could play drums. A guy named Scot Halpin was in the crowd with his buddy, who got promoter Bill Graham's attention on behalf of his friend. Before he knew what was happening, Halpin was sitting behind Moon's kit, and he helped the band finish its show by playing on three songs. Halpin passed away a few years ago.

The last thing to be said about this poster is that it is definitely a first printing. You can tell because it's 18.75 by 25.5 inches (the reprint is 17.5 by 22.5) and does not have a wide border of white space (see third photo, which compares the two printings).

So yeah, The Who, at the Cow Palace, on November 20, 1973. They played 11 tunes off of "Quadrophenia" that night, but it will always be remembered as the show when Scot Halpin of Muscatine, Iowa, sat in on drums.


  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    What a hoot!
  2. retiredcat, 5 years ago
    I love this poster. I've had mine for many years. Bought it in San Francisco.

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