Beatles Sgt. Peppers Original Promotional Poster 1967 Capitol Records

An original 1967 Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band promo poster used to create public awareness for the Fab Four’s new album.

Retail outlets such as record stores and department stores would receive these from Capitol and post them as soon as they had the new LPs in their hands to sell.

One obvious omission from the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s in-store promo poster is the record’s suggested list price… which was a new benchmark for LP prices at the time.

Don’t quote me on this, but it might have been $5.98 – perceived as pretty high at the time. I did buy this album myself in 1967 as a young teenager, but I don’t recall what I paid for it.

American Capitol’s Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in-store poster bears no resemblance to British EMI’s version, which was a horizontal poster that pictured the boys in their famous Pepper outfits, and nothing else.

I’ll be blogging that poster here before long, but first I wanted to get up this American version.

You can then be the judge of which Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band retail poster you like better, the British or the American. I have trouble choosing, because they’re so different – and both really cool.

But they’re equally scarce and collectible. Not too many of these were made back in the spring of 1967, and only a small percentage of them were preserved after the LP had run its course.

One drawback for collectors of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s in-store merchandising poster is that most copies, now about half-a-century old, have a ton of little surface creases on them.

They’re often hidden in the white area of the poster, but very visible on, say, the black vinyl you see at the top. So it’s tough to find this thing in mint condition without all those little distracting creases.

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band poster I show you in this video is framed. High-quality framing is a great way to preserve old artifacts and also show them off to everyone.

There’s a possible danger, however: if the piece is exposed to direct sunlight or florescent lighting for an extended period of time, then fading can set in and seriously damage the poster. Yes, I’ve seen an example of this one faded.

This particular Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band point-of-purchase poster is often found with pinholes in the corners or even tape residue, leftover from the record stores hanging them.

We have to remember, however, that record stores were not ubiquitous in the 1960s, like they would become in the 1970s-80s. So it was often department stores which sold records, and in turn used posters like this.

It’s fun to realize that both Bob Dylan and Dion DiMucci appear on the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s record-store promo poster. Yep, that’s right, they’re both part of the LP’s famous cover montage.

And the Rolling Stones are on this poster, too, although not pictured like Dylan and Dion… they’re just mentioned in words on a cloth doll in the cover’s lower right area.

One thing this Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in-store promotional poster has going for it is clarity of message. The album’s name is stated very clearly and prominently, and all of its selling points are highlighted in those yellow slug lines on the right.

It’s definitely a window display meant to sell… and that’s exactly what appeals to collectors today. The naïvete of thinking someone had to actually sell the public on a new Beatles album… is crazy, in retrospect!

So Capitol’s Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s store poster was definitely more than just window dressing or eye candy… it gave lots of information about what consumers were getting.

If you’ve seen my other blogs, many Beatles promo posters did little more than just picture the LP cover and say something obvious like, “In stock now!”

Let’s take a look at the five yellow oblong selling points on Capitol’s Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in-store point of purchase poster. For starters, it’s kinda funny how every one ends in an exclamation point.

“The Greatest Ever!” proclaims the first one. Must’ve seemed like hype at the time, but wow, in retrospect, we’re kinda like, “How did they know?”

The second yellow oblong on this 1967 Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band record-store promotional poster simply says, “13 New Beatles Songs!” I’m sure the emphasis here must have been on “new,” not the number 13. In other words: an all-new album.

Don’t forget that this was the very first time both the British and American versions of a Fab Four record had the exact same number of tracks… prior to this, their UK albums always had more cuts.

The third yellow oval found on the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s promotional poster says, “Giant Beatles Portrait!” Well that’s cool, but all they were referring to was the inside gatefold photograph when you opened up the LP jacket.

Still, it was a bit of a selling point because almost all rock albums up to that point came in simply single record jackets, not elaborate fold-open affairs like this.

The fourth oblong gracing this 1967 Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s merchandising poster says, “Complete Printed Lyrics!” That would be obvious to anyone who picked up the LP in the store; they were printed right on the back of the jacket.

Still, that’s yet another feature which elicits a yawn today, but back in 1967, it was highly unusual for a rock album to present all the lyrics like that.

And then finally, the last yellow oblong on this Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s record-store poster informs, “7 Great Sgt. Pepper Cutouts!”

A lot of people didn’t care about these at all, but they were definitely perceived as added-value back in the day, because again… what other rock LP offered those?

This Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s record-store merchandising poster was happily discussed, narrated and dissected for you by me, Pete Howard, a lifelong Beatles fan since 1964. Please know that I would pay you THE BEST PRICE IN THE HOBBY, PERIOD, for one of these posters… I was video-taping a friend’s copy. I can be written to at pete@postercentral.com, or by calling [805] 540-0020.

And to see some really old Beatles concert posters from the pre-Pepper era, just click on this page right here on my site: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm

Posted in **All Posters, *Beatles, British Invasion, Promo Posters & Displays | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

N.Y. Rock Festival Handbill 1968 – Doors, Who, Hendrix at Singer Bowl

A lovely 8.5 x 11-inch 1968 N.Y. Rock Festival concert flyer featuring The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The Rascals at the Singer Bowl in Queens, New York.

As an added, hidden attraction, Big Brother & The Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin, opened the show for Hendrix, along with the Chambers Brothers. Wow, what a talent line-up!

To see more amazing, collectible rock concert flyers from the fifties and sixties, just roll your mouse over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/handbillsandflyers.htm

Posted in *Janis Joplin, *Jimi Hendrix, *The Doors, Handbills & Flyers | Leave a comment

Tommy Dorsey Concert Window Card 1940s w/His Trombone & Orchestra

A really lovely 1940s Tommy Dorsey concert poster from when Frank Sinatra was a singer is his orchestra, and touring with him.

Sinatra’s name does not appear on the poster, however, leaving open the debate, “Is this an early Sinatra concert poster, or not?” I discuss that a bit in this video.

But regardless, this Tommy Dorsey window card is great in its own right, as Tommy was a major figure in 1940s big-band music, both with and without his brother Jimmy.

So eventually, I will blog for you a Dorsey Brothers window card, and in addition to this one, also a Jimmy Dorsey concert poster. I’ll do ’em all!

But back to this Tommy Dorsey placard… being almost 75 years old at the time of this blog, it’s becoming quite brittle and fragile.

That’s why I keep it, and all my old posters, in acid-free art holders until I decide whether to frame them or not.

Can you believe the admission price on this Tommy Dorsey tour poster was only $1.00? That’s a real highlight for me… even non-collectors gasp at that.

And the “Dancing 9-1” is so simple and direct, with no fluff… the promoter obviously liked to keep his ‘venue information’ as succinct and clean as possible.

The George F. Johnson Pavilion – plugged at the top of this Tommy Dorsey concert sign – was in Johnson City, New York (which is also explained up in the venue info).

All locals knew it, but for you and me, Johnson City was a suburb (more or less) of Binghamton, NY, in the south-central part of the state.

This Tommy Dorsey broadside was constructed of thick cardboard – printer unknown – and has dimensions of 14” by 22”, a typical size.

It used to have a bright white background, but either the sun or florescent indoor lights faded, or “toned,” its look over the years. No matter, I don’t believe the toning harms its appearance.

As you’ll hear in my video, this Tommy Dorsey street poster was a ‘tour blank’ that was used by his management for many years to sell tickets.

Tommy’s picture adorns it, which was actually a new development at the time; up until the late 1930s, artistic renditions of musicians’ faces were used.

Notice how this Tommy Dorsey window display calls him “The Sentimental Gentleman”… his moniker at the time, but curiously incomplete.

Other versions of this poster, which I show you in my video, have his more complete nickname… “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing.”

And the management company takes a high-profile credit on my Tommy Dorsey show placard. It basically comes above everything else on the poster’s permanent (red) information… right up at the top.

They’re credited as “MCA,” and then in tiny letters – too small to see in my video – “Music Corporation of America.” Decades later, MCA Records would become an important record label with artists like Neil Diamond and Elton John.

It’s interesting how this Tommy Dorsey window poster doesn’t list any other musicians, but instead describes the legendary bandleader’s instrumentation… “His Trombone and his Orchestra.”

That’s because his management wanted to use this tour-blank poster template for years, and individual band members came and went in revolving-door fashion. Buddy Rich was a member of his band at this time, too.

The neophyte will point out how this Tommy Dorsey telephone-pole poster lacks a year on it… it just says, “Easter Monday, April 14.” Some might say, “Well, what the heck?”

But remember, this thing was made to last only a few weeks, and then be thrown away. It was probably printed in Feb or early March, and then was useless from tax day (April 15)-onwards.

This exact Tommy Dorsey street sign was printed in other colors besides red… green, and also orange, and probably others I haven’t seen yet.

And it wasn’t just one year at a time… sometimes a different color was used on successive nights. It’s crazy. (I show you pictures.)

And since this style was used for at least five years running and maybe closer to 10, it’s not that hard to find an original Tommy Dorsey boxer style concert poster, if you’re patient.

I’ve seen this exact poster as early as the mid-1930s and as late as the mid-1940s, with only slight variations. I find it great fun to keep track of them with pictures in my photo albums.

So this Tommy Dorsey concert advertisement is definitely a collector’s item, but it’s not nearly the challenge to find as something like a Billie Holiday concert poster, of which there are virtually no tour blanks known.

But there seem to be a lot of vintage concert window cards for the white big-band leaders like Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, the Dorseys, Glenn Miller and so forth. They’re not common, but they’re not screamingly rare, either.

My name is Pete Howard, and if you’d like to contact me I can be reached quickest through either pete@postercentral.com or by calling (805) 540-0020, West Coast time. Keep in mind that I pay the best prices in the hobby, period, for vintage big-band concert boards like this, from almost any musician.

And to see another version of this Tommy Dorsey fence poster, plus some others like Goodman and MIller, just pop right over to this page here on my site: http://www.postercentral.com/bigbandvocalists.htm

Posted in **All Posters, Boxing-Style Concert Posters, Jazz & Big Band | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolling Stones 1964 Concert Poster – Second U.S. Tour – “Direct From England”

An outstanding early Rolling Stones window card from the band’s second American tour in the fall of 1964.

This gem dates from November 14, ’64, and advertised two shows to be played that night in Louisville, KY.

This Rolling Stones show poster was printed by the Murray Poster Printing Company of New York, NY.

But you can’t tell by looking at the poster itself… their credit was trimmed off (actually, in half) down in the lower left margin. Oops! Some early owner probably did that to fit it into a frame.

This Rolling Stones in-person poster is actually of the “tour blank” variety, where the color portion is printed ahead of time by the thousands. Then each tour stop would get its own personal information printed in the blank white box at the bottom.

Thus, we can assume that this poster was probably made up for every stop on the tour, meaning:

Rolling Stones window card Academy of Music, New York, NY, Oct. 24, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 26, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Tami Show, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 28-29, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA, Oct. 31, 1964;

Rolling Stones window card Civic Auditorium, Long Beach Arena, CA, Nov. 1, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, Nov. 1, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Cleveland, OH, Nov. 3, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Loews Theater, Providence, RI, Nov. 4, 1964;

Rolling Stones window card Milwaukee Auditorium, WI, Nov. 11, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Coliseum, Fort Wayne, IN, Nov. 12, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Hara Arena, Dayton, OH, Nov. 13, 1964; Rolling Stones window card Memorial Auditorium, Louisville, KY, Nov. 14, 1964; and Rolling Stones window card Arie Crown Theater, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, Nov. 15, 1964.

One of the fun highlights of this Rolling Stones billboard is the fact that it carries two photos of the new sensations. Both are standard publicity stills, but hey, you’ve got 10 Stones faces staring back at you on a relatively small poster… it’s very effective.

And notice how it says “Direct From England” at the top… they wanted to be sure you knew it was a British Invasion group!

This Rolling Stones concert placard measures the very standard 14 by 22 inches, and was made of cardboard material rather than paper. It was simply more durable that way.

With red and blue inks added to the white cardboard and standard black printing, you wind up with a very effective four-color advertisement… very eye-catching.

Plus notice how all of the borders on this Rolling Stones window poster are curved or jagged… no standard square boxes or rectangles for this renegade band from across the pond.

I like the way is says both “In Person” and “In Concert”… a little redundant, perhaps, but really drives home the point that the five young men were going to be in your home town.

Actually, on this occasion, the Rolling Stones telephone-pole poster was slightly inaccurate… there were only four Stones playing the gig in Louisville. Brian Jones was ill and missed the shows.

And it wasn’t the only shows he missed, either… Brian had to sit out their concerts in Milwaukee, Ft. Wayne and Dayton as well. Man, that was quite a bug he caught. I would’ve been bummed if Brian wasn’t on stage at a show I was catching!

It’s kind of unusual how this Rolling Stones tour placard gives the year (1964) as part of the date. Usually these old posters didn’t; there was no reason to.

That’s because the poster was probably printed up in September or October, and then was completely worthless on November 15th… the day after the show. So its entire intended lifespan was only something like 10 weeks or less.

I love the ticket-buying locations that are given on this Rolling Stones concert sign. Two Variety record stores (including downtown Louisville) and the Vine Record Shop. So quaint, and so refreshing compared to today’s Internet bar-code tickets.

But interestingly, no ticket prices are listed. Other posters from this tour do give some prices, usually starting at $2.50 and ranging up to $5.00 or a little more. Today a bottle of water at a rock concert costs that much!

This Rolling Stones boxing-style concert poster was the first tour blank poster ever used for them in America. They didn’t use one for their brief first U.S. tour in June of ’64 (see my other video blog).

And in 1965, the Stones also used a tour blank for the fourth (fall) American tour, but not for their third (spring) tour. And for their only American tour of ’66, they also didn’t use a tour blank.

I’ve seen this exact Rolling Stones fence poster from about five other dates on their second American tour; if you know of another copy, from any city, I’d love it if you could send me a photo so that I can complete my picture set of every date.

But as I said earlier, it’s quite possible that it wasn’t made for some of the stops on the tour, because radio and newspapers were competing for those ad dollars.

And on that note, this Rolling Stones poster board is presented today by collector Pete Howard, who speaks in the video. That would be me, yes, and I can be reached by E at pete@postercentral.com or by phone at [805] 540.0020. And do be aware that I would pay THE BEST PRICE, BAR NONE for this particular Stones concert poster from any date along the tour… I presently don’t have one in my collection!

And to glimpse a few other ’60s Rolling Stones concert posters, be sure to stop by this exact page of my web site (which you’re on right now): http://www.postercentral.com/rollingstones.htm

Posted in **All Posters, *Rolling Stones, Boxing-Style Concert Posters, British Invasion | Leave a comment

Family Dog Dr. Strange 1965 Window Card w/Alton Kelley Unique Hand-Coloring

What we have here is a beautiful, spectacular Tribute to Dr. Strange window card harking all the way back to the fall of 1965.

This was an extremely seminal dance-concert in San Francisco, a forerunner to a tidal wave of pop culture that was just about to wash over the Bay Area, followed by the entire country.

So this event was advertised by this Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert poster, which, as usual, was placed all over town to lure in the hippest of customers – still very much underground at the time.

It was undoubtedly startling for people to pass by and see this in a store window… the whole psychedelic era was just beginning to take shape.

So yes, you’d call this Tribute to Dr. Strange poster board a piece of psychedelic art… and one of the first ones, I might add.

The item’s creator, Alton Kelley, would go on to be a key player in designing concert posters for years to come.

Kelley, who is no longer with us, must have been very proud of his Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert placard. Just look at the intricacies of its design… it’s a masterwork.

Of course, psychedelic poster design would get a lot crazier in the years to come… but given that there was scarcely anything else like this at the time… makes it absolutely innovative.

There’s another poster from the summer of ’65 that’s referred to as “the seed,” but there’s no question that this Tribute to Dr. Strange broadside is a seed all unto itself. Plus it’s from San Francisco proper, whereas “the seed” was from Nevada.

Kelley was actually part of the promotion team, too… he was one of four people who founded & ran the Family Dog. The other three members would soon peel away, whereas Alton carried on and did tons of more posters.

I love the way he chose to color in his Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert show poster. The event was in the fall, and he used nice autumn colors to enhance this copy.

In fact, this poster was Kelley’s own personal copy. He ended up giving it to his friend, poster artist Stanley Mouse, who years later sold it to a lucky collector. So it’s provenance is accounted for, and solid.

My favorite part of Kelley’s Tribute to Dr. Strange window display is the sideways airplane buzzing along with the Jefferson Airplane’s name. It’s a really cool little graphic.

And notice how The Charlatans are represented by band member George Hunter’s stylized logo, which he had drawn up just that summer for their extended stay in Virginia City, Nevada.

Stepping back for a moment, notice how this Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert placard is roughly comprised of four quadrants. The upper left gives the promoter and event name; the upper right gives the description and date.

The lower left presents the four band names playing that night, and ticket info down in tiny print. And the lower right gives the location and ticket price. Interesting!

Although this Tribute to Dr. Strange show placard wasn’t designed to be cut and half and stacked one side on top of the other, it’s interesting to note that that could almost happen… if you cut along the tall stack of circles.

This is the technique that the designers of the famous Acid Test posters used just a couple of months hence, in Dec. 1965 and Jan. 1966 – cutting a poster in half and stacking it.

It’s not known how many of these Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert window posters were printed up, but my wild guess would perhaps be between 50 and 200.

It’s quite possible more than that were done, but the FD promoters also had a lot of handbills to distribute, so maybe fewer posters were needed.

In looking over the design of Alton Kelley’s Tribute to Dr. Strange event poster, one might conclude that the two most common elements are ‘flames and spheres.’

You’ve got circles in the upper left, the middle left and then running down the length of the poster. And then there are flame-like design elements simply everywhere, although not necessarily representing fire.

Of the four bands listed on the Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert psychedelic poster, only the (unknown) Marbles don’t have a logo customized to their name.

I’ve mentioned the Airplane and Charlatans already; and the Great Society has stars & stripes as part of its lettering. But the Marbles has no such customization, just balloon lettering.

One of the reasons this Tribute to Dr. Strange street poster is so important is that it represents the birth of a scene. So says Darby Slick of the Great Society, in his book Somebody to Love:

“We had arrived, and we were weird, interesting and loveable,” Slick writes of this event. “The excitement was intense and vibrant.”

So while a lot of people might want to point to BG-1 or FD-1 as the start of the psychedelic poster scene in San Francisco, this visual evidence would point right at Alton Kelley’s Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert announcement as being the harbinger.

There was so little that had come before it… just the Beatles and Stones playing the Bay Area, the Charlatans playing the Red Dog Saloon over in Nevada, and… what else? No Acid Tests yet, no Trips Festivals, no Mime Troupe Benefits, no Bill Graham shows, no Chet Helms.

So if you have a piece of Tribute to Dr. Strange concert memorabilia like this, you have a slice of early hippie pop-culture history. This is the first large public event that locals can remember everyone dressing up in hippie garb for.

I haven’t found many photos from this event, but boy, would that be great if someone stepped forward with an unseen roll of film or unpublished pictures from this night. Too good to be true.

It’s worth noting that this Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert cardboard poster wasn’t done on typical paper stock, whereas almost all other concert posters were printed on paper once Bill Graham and Chet Helms took over – even during the winter.

All throughout the 1930s to 1960s and beyond, typical concert posters were usually made of rigid card stock, or cardboard, so that they could be posted outdoors and not be affected by the weather.

So this Tribute to Dr. Strange fence poster would’ve held up quite well in San Francisco’s fall weather, although the strongest rains probably didn’t come until the winter months.

On the other hand, this Kelley hand-embellished specimen probably spent its life indoors, not outside. In fact, since it was Kelley’s, it might not have been used at all to advertise, it might have just remained in his studio. Who knows?

This Family Dog Presents a Rock ’n’ Roll Dance Concert advertisement is lectured upon and shown from all angles by myself, Peter Howard, of California’s central coast. If you’d like to reach out to contact me, either go through pete@postercentral.com, or ring me on 805.540-0020. And do keep very much in mind that as a serious collector, I’m happy to pay THE BEST PRICES IN THE HOBBY, PERIOD, for the best & earliest S.F. concert posters like this. I still need this one!!

If this item interested you and you’d like to see a few more dynamite psych concert posters, just move your mouse over to this page right here on my site: http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm. Thanks and have a great day.

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