Earliest “Bill Graham Presents” Posters – 1965 S.F. Mime Troupe

Eight “Bill Graham Presents” posters from 1965 that pre-date Graham’s days as a concert promoter in the S.F. Bay Area.

All of these S.F. Mime Troupe placards advertised theatrical performances only, not music of any kind. At the time, Graham was the business manager of the San Francisco Mime Troupe… a position he held from 1963 through the end of 1965.

Among the locations given on these Mime Troupe performance placards are:

  • The Committee in San Francisco
  • Berkeley Little Theatre
  • Montgomery Theatre in San Jose
  • Gate Theatre in Sausalito
  • Palo Alto Sr. High School

This video presentation was produced by music historian and collector Peter Howard; that’s me, and I can be contacted through [805] 540-0020 or by emailing pete@postercentral.com. Thank you for spending your time with me.

Posted in **All Posters, **Psychedelic Posters Only, Fillmore Auditorium | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Marvin Gaye Window Card 1965 Eagles Ballroom Seattle

A scarce & collectible Marvin Gaye concert poster from Dec. 11, 1965 at the famous Eagles Ballroom in Seattle, WA.

This was a breakthrough year for the R&B legend, as he hit the #1 spot on the R&B charts earlier in the year with “I’ll Be Doggone.”

And then his second #1 R&B hit of 1965 was “Ain’t That Peculiar” – listed right below his name on this Marvin Gaye poster board.

Left off the poster were his previous hits “Can I Get a Witness,” “Pride and Joy” and “Hitch Hike”… but none of those were #1’s.

Serious collectors will recognize right away that this Marvin Gaye show poster was made by the Tilghman company out of Oakland. I’ve blogged many of their posters on this site before.

Most of these window cards made by Tilghman measured 14 by 22 inches, but this one has a nice visual advantage by measuring slightly larger – 16 by 24.

The famous Motown label didn’t get a mention on this Marvin Gaye billboard, but everyone knows Gaye is one of Motown’s most prolific artists ever.

That may be due to the fact that local musician Johnny Talbot takes up half of the poster; he was not known for releasing records, just gigging around locally.

Tilghman used the “split-fountain” printing technique on their Marvin Gaye in-person poster. The colors fade together starting with red at the top, black in the middle to blue at the bottom.

So, conveniently, you have the venue information in bright red and Marvin’s photo and lettering in straight black & white. It’s Talbot who comes out a little unusual here… his head is in B&W but his body is in blue & white! Still, it all looks cool.

I don’t want to neglect the third musician found on this Marvin Gaye show placard, that being Chris Marshall.

I couldn’t locate any info on Marshall, but it’s a good guess that he was one of De Thangs, the name of Talbot’s back-up group.

Collectors will tell you that this Marvin Gaye event poster is a prototypical boxing-style concert poster, a very popular sub-genre of the hobby.

It qualifies as a boxer due to its plain, straightforward presentation of the facts; the block lettering that it uses; the presence of pictures of the musicians; and the fact that it was made on cardboard, not paper.

I love the way this Marvin Gaye appearance poster comes from the legendary Eagles Ballroom in Seattle, Washington. Many a great poster has come out of that venue.

It’s so attractive the way so many different type fonts were used in the red venue information, including the obligatory “Show and Dance” in a separate, star-studded box.

Radio station KYAC got a nice plug on this Marvin Gaye tour placard. It states that it was a station anniversary presentation.

What it doesn’t state is that it was the soul-music / R&B radio station’s very first anniversary… they had just gone on-air the previous year, in 1964.

In the video, I move in for a close-up of my Marvin Gaye ticket poster, and you can see that one of the corners is damaged – probably from exposure to significant moisture.

That could easily be fixed by a poster restoration expert, especially since it doesn’t affect a photograph, just block printing. And that red lettering could easily be re-colored in once the restoration is done.

As a serious poster collector who’s studied these things for years, I’m always intrigued by the subtlest of design elements that go into them. For example, the opening act’s name is embellished by four nice little stars… why didn’t Marvin receive any of those?

And those rows of little boxed stars running the horizontal width of the poster… I think it’s great the way you have a red one (first), then a black one under Show and Dance, and down at the bottom, a blue one.

I guess if I could change one thing on my Marvin Gaye street sign, it would be the addition of more song titles. I think names of hit records give an old poster a tremendous visual boost, so it’s too bad there’s only one here.

I would’ve added in the three additional hit records I listed above, plus “Stubborn Kind of Fellow.” Would that have made this poster even more awesome, or what?

So it’s time to tell you that this Marvin Gaye fence poster was presented to you today by myself, Pete Howard, who wrote & produced the video (with pleasure). I can be contacted thru e-mail at pete@postercentral.com, or through Ma Bell at 805.540.0020. And please remember that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for vintage R&B / soul music window cards like this. It’s what I do!

To see another great, vintage Marvin Gaye window card from 1964, just hustle over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/rhythmnblues.htm

Thanks & best wishes,


Posted in **All Posters, Boxing-Style Concert Posters, Soul and R&B | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan Poster 1964 Folk Music Concert – San Jose, CA

A genuine, original Bob Dylan window card for his concert on November 25, 1964 in San Jose, California.

This show was one of just eight dates that Mr. Z performed up & down the California coast in the fall of ’64.

One of the most appealing things about this Bob Dylan fence poster is the green ink used throughout, with no black present… very unusual, and highly attractive.

Usually the two colors which most attract to the human eye, red and yellow, were chosen for a one-color job like this… not a more sedate color like blue or this green.

Credit the Tilghman company (in Oakland) for designing and then printing this Bob Dylan concert advertisement.

As usual, it was made of rigid cardboard so that it could be posted outdoors around neighborhoods to reach the maximum number of eyeballs.

However, unbeknownst to most collectors, this Bob Dylan street poster was first printed on a very, very thin sheet of paper, and then seamlessly glued down (or adhered somehow) to the piece of cardboard stock.

This was nothing new… it’s the technique that was used for decades with all (or most) old cardboard concert posters from the 1960s, 1950s and back.

When all the dust had settled, this Bob Dylan concert sign measured out at 14×22”, by far the most common size for posters of this ilk.

Of course, let’s not forget the glorious “jumbos” which measured 22 by 28 inches, although Tilghman wasn’t known to make many of them.

This collectible Bob Dylan ticket poster has all the traits of what’s called a “boxing style” concert poster… no fancy design elements get in the way of its message:


In Person


Folk Music Concert


Wednesday evening, November 25, 1964

8:30 PM

San Jose Civic Auditorium


Tickets: $4.50 – $4.00 – $3.50 – $2.50

On Sale At: Wendell Watkins Box Office in Sherman Clay

89 So. First St., San Jose

CY 3-6252 (old-fashioned phone number)

Tilghman Press, 1217 – 32nd ST., OAK.- OL 3-4388


Amazingly, this particular Bob Dylan show placard was actually given away at the box office to anyone buying a ticket who wanted one!

I spoke to a person once who clearly remembers buying his ticket and getting offered the poster from the employee behind the window. She drew one off the top of a small stack for him. Great Caesar’s Ghost!

That story would account for the fact that many copies of this particular Bob Dylan telephone-pole poster exist with no weather damage, rusty staple holes, tape residue, etc. They were never posted – they were just taken home by punters.

This would’ve been highly unusual for the day. That practice wouldn’t take hold until Bill Graham started doing his poster thing around the Bay Area in early 1966.

My favorite part of this Bob Dylan window display is the big message, “Folk Music Concert.” I mean… really? We assume today that everyone must’ve known that, but back in 1964, pop musicians were very much on the fringe, and Dylan was still a year away from household-name status, especially on the west coast.

It’s not like a Beatles or Stones tour poster that might say, “Rock Music Concert”… that would look really silly. Folk music was just fringe enough that the designers here are to be forgiven. Understood, even.

This Bob Dylan San Jose billboard could’ve easily said “With Joan Baez” on it, because Joan was a guest with Bob this night… and probably most nights on this little California tour jaunt.

Then again, by early the next year, artist Eric Von Schmidt would give us just such a poster, for a series of east coast dates including New Haven, CT (my blog on that poster appears elsewhere).

In a way, this Bob Dylan San Jose show poster represented a small “fourth-album tour” for Mr. D, as Another Side of Bob Dylan had just been released that summer.

But Dylan never adhered to the predictable “release a new album, go on tour” schedule that so many other musicians did. He was moving so fast at the time that booking long tours would’ve been difficult, until he hooked up with The Hawks in ’65.

There’s definitely a twinge of irony in this Bob Dylan San Jose placard stating “Folk Music Concert.” Right after the new year, he would go into the studio and begin recording Bringing It All Back Home… his first folk-rock platter.

Still, Dylan is still pretty much thought of as a folk-music kingpin of the turbulent 1960s, even when crossing over to folk-rock. As Dylan himself once said, “It’s all music… no more, no less.”

If you happen to know someone with this Bob Dylan San Jose tour poster, please let me know because I’d love to add one to my collection. (In this video, I’m taping a friend’s copy.)

I step up and pay the very best prices for items like this, having been a serious collector for over 40 years now. I bought my first Dylan LP in 1968, and have been hooked ever since!

I should identify myself: I’m Pete Howard (pete@postercentral.com or 805-540-0020) and I proudly put this Dylan San Jose poster video together.

If you’d like to see images of a few other rare Zimmerman posters, just click right over to this page here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/bobdylan.htm

Posted in **All Posters, *Bob Dylan, Boxing-Style Concert Posters | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beatles Whole Unused Concert Tickets – 1964 U.S. Tour

Today I show you three complete & unused Beatles concert tickets from their landmark 1964 American tour.

A lot of fans like to collect Beatle ticket stubs, but collecting an entire, unused Beatles concert ticket from any of their three mid-sixties tours of America is quite a challenge, because most of them were used, of course (and subsequently torn in half).

First up in this video is a Beatles concert ticket from Jacksonville, Fla. on Friday, Sept. 11, 1964.

A number of elements make this one of the better Beatle tickets out there, from any year. First and foremost, it features the famous 1963 Dezo Hoffman photo of the boys, which had adorned Capitol Records’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” picture sleeve earlier that year.

It also has the added touch of a second ink color, red, used to great effect. And then it has a very cool little radio station logo, “The Big Ape” – with cute gorilla pictured.

It wasn’t very often that the boys’ photo appeared on their concert tickets, especially from this calendar year. The very first ducat made with their picture on there was the Beatles August 22, 1964 ticket from Vancouver, BC’s Empire Stadium. Their mugs were faded into the background, but by gosh, they’re on there.

Next in line – with their photograph – was the Beatles ticket from September 3, 1964 from Indianapolis, Indiana’s state fair. A lot of different colors were printed for this date, but they all had their picture.

And the last one? A whole unused Beatles ticket from Cleveland on September 15, 1965 shows their happy faces, laid out vertically (most unusually). And that would be it for their inaugural touring year in America.

Next up in my video is a whole, unused Beatles concert ticket from Baltimore’s Civic Center on Sept. 13, 1964.

This ticket has been bootlegged, but the original has notches in it – as you can see – and the reproduction doesn’t. Plus the boot has a black back and is laminated in plastic. If you’re a serious collector of Beatles concert tickets and stubs like I am, stay away from those.

Collectors should note how strongly this Baltimore tic resembles the unused, complete Beatles ticket from Feb. 11, 1964 in Wash. D.C. Both tickets were obviously designed by the same company – the National Ticket Co. in PA.

And the same thing holds true for the whole, unused Beatles ticket or stub from February 12, 1964 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Unlike the Jacksonville complete Beatles ticket, not much imagination was used in designing these others.

And the third and final item I show you in today’s video is the whole, un-torn Beatles ticket from Sept. 17, 1964 in Kansas City, Missouri at Municipal Stadium. Now this ticket is loaded with personality. The best feature of all? Why, it has a photograph on the back that depicts concert promoter Charles O. Finley in a Beatles wig, being tended to by his secretary (I assume) and holding a picture of Ringo. Wow!

Also a nice touch is the glossy, green and white appearance of this ticket, which matched the colors worn by Finley’s baseball team at Muni Stadium, the A’s. And then there’s that price – $8.50 – whew! The highest regular ticket price of any concert in the Beatles’ U.S. history.

So there you have three specimens of never-used, complete Beatles concert admission tickets from their American 1964 tour. If you have any of these, or any others for that matter, please don’t hesitate to contact me – I love to talk collectible tickets. I can be emailed at pete@postercentral.com or called on 805-540-0020.

And if you wanna see some other cool tix, including a purple Beatles one from ’66, just click over to this other page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/tickets.htm

Posted in *Beatles, British Invasion, Tickets & Programs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tribute To Dr. Strange Dance-Concert Window Card 1965 Early S.F. Event

An original, seminal Tribute to Dr. Strange concert poster used to attract patrons to this October 16, 1965 event that helped shape S.F. rock history.

Nobody colored in this plain black & white original printing, so it stands just as it looked right after leaving the press, unaltered to this day.

This Family Dog Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert appearance poster is historic because it sold tickets to the first of three early, seminal FD dance-concert events over a four-week period in the fall of ’65.

Following Dr. Strange, there were “tributes” (in name only) to Sparkle Plenty (the following weekend) and Ming the Merciless (on Nov. 6).

Fans of the Jefferson Airplane covet this Tribute to Dr. Strange concert sign because it stands as the earliest known JA concert poster. It was the band’s first show outside of their own Matrix nightclub, and the Matrix wasn’t producing posters in those early days.

And even though future lead singer Grace Slick wouldn’t join the Airplane for a full year from now, she’s on the poster as well – as a member of The Great Society, listed down below The Marbles.

This Family Dog Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert poster board was constructed of rigid cardboard to withstand the Bay Area’s fall weather.

Unlike most future S.F. rock posters, this one has no printer’s credit on it anywhere, although it does carry a printing company’s union bug down in the lower-right corner.

Famous S.F. poster designer Alton Kelley drew up this Tribute to Dr. Strange cardboard poster, but for some reason, he’s not credited either.

Kelley was one of the four founding members of the original Family Dog collective in 1965, and was the one with innate artistic talent.

Another exciting aspect of this Family Dog Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert in-person poster is that it stands as the very first psychedelic San Francisco rock-concert poster.

The only earlier psychedelic concert poster hailed from 250 miles away, in Virginia City, Nevada, for the Charlatans’ stand there earlier in the summer.

You gotta love the amazing range of fonts that Mr. Kelley used on this Tribute to Dr. Strange billboard. In fact, “type fonts” isn’t the right term – every letter he used was designed on the spot.

And then there’s the little buzzing airplane adjacent to the Jefferson Airplane’s name – I’ve always loved that.

For such a chaotic design, it’s worth noting that this Family Dog Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert event poster presents info in four distinct quadrants. Upper left: the name of the show. Upper right: description of the show.

Lower left: all of the entertainment is named. And lower right: the venue, its location and the ticket prices. It all seems surprisingly well-organized.

The most difficult lettering to make out on this Tribute to Dr. Strange concert placard falls in the upper-left area: the name of the dance. How many people actually got “A Tribute To Dr. Strange” out of that craziness?

But what’s funny is that that was the information they needed the least… what they really needed was in the other three quadrants, none of which have difficult-to-discern lettering.

And notice that all the ticket-buying merchants are listed down in the lower left-hand area, in pretty small print. Typical hippie ethic: bury and hide the capitalist information!

As I inferred earlier, some copies of this Family Dog Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert street sign were hand-colored in by members of the Family Dog collective, such as Kelley’s girlfriend, Ellen Harmon. That tall stack of hollow circles looked especially cool when colored in with various hues.

This Tribute to Dr. Strange dance-concert advertisement is brought to you by collector Pete Howard, based in California. That is me, and feel free to reach out to me through pete@postercentral.com or by calling (805)-540-0020. I don’t own this poster myself, so I will pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, PERIOD, for one of these, either colored or un-colored.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed seeing it.

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