Beatles 1964 Promo Poster for Hard Day’s Night U.K. LP

A 1964 vintage U.K. promotional poster advertising the Beatles’ new LP at the time, A Hard Day’s Night.

It’s amazing to note that this was the only Beatles album ever issued that was comprised entirely of John Lennon-Paul McCartney songs. All other Beatles LPs had either cover versions or George Harrison songs (or even Ringo’s) filling out the mix.

And as if to celebrate that, this Hard Day’s Night record-store poster is the Beatles’ only U.K. promotional poster which listed all of the songs contained on the record it was advertising.

Thirteen songs are listed on the poster, separated into Side One and Side Two. Remember, this was long before compact discs came along and eliminated the need for sides!

One of the most appealing things about this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone point-of-purchase poster is the catchy colors and fonts used in the top half of the poster… the headlines that scream the new album’s arrival. Some EMI graphic artist had great fun laying this out.

Notice the way the bright orange and black colors alternate back and forth, and how the most important words are in orange. It’s a highly effective advertising piece in driving home its message to potential consumers.

The other compelling feature of this Hard Day’s Night merchandising poster is the LP cover itself, displayed in its actual colors. Obviously, the appearance of twenty small Beatles portraits was enough to make any music fan take notice.

And record collectors surely love the fact that EMI used a stereo album cover for this poster, as opposed to the much more common mono LP sleeve.

If you look at my video closely, you can see that this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone retail poster was folded and creased over the years. This is not uncommon for old paper display posters.

I’m just glad this piece wasn’t made of cardboard, because those same creases and folds probably would have “broken color” everywhere and seriously affected its appearance.

If I’m not mistaken, this Hard Day’s Night in-store promotional poster was a rare marketing piece for the Fabs in their first couple of years on EMI… for example, and glaringly, no such poster was made for the band’s other 1964 waxing, Beatles For Sale.

For that matter, no such poster was made for Please Please Me or With The Beatles, either… their first two LPs.  So that leaves this poster as sort of a lone wolf in the Fabs’ first two years of glorious fame.

Although no date is given down in the fine print of this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone promo poster, we can pinpoint it pretty easily: the record first debuted on England’s album charts on July 18, 1964.

And it’s not a poster that had a long shelf life. You couldn’t post it in advance, because it clearly says “Now!” Imagine the disappointed faces if you posted this even one day early! <grin> And based on its wording, in just a few short weeks it would’ve started to look old and dated. So I would estimate its full life at about one month.

Some might think that this Hard Day’s Night album promo poster is plugging a soundtrack LP, but that really wasn’t the case. Notice from the poster itself that only the seven songs on Side One were lifted from the movie; the other six tracks (on Side Two) were simply new recordings.

But in the U.S., consumers were treated to a genuine soundtrack album, courtesy of United Artists Records.  That LP even included four George Martin instrumentals from the film’s soundtrack, something I’ve always felt cheated British consumers, because they’re delightful.

Check out the copious fine print in the lower left-hand corner of this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone store poster… a lot of information is presented there, even the record label’s street address in London.

In fact, this poster is chock full of references to EMI and Parlophone… not surprising for a record-company promo poster.

Oops, I almost forgot to relate the exact wording located at the top of this Hard Day’s Night poster, which reads:

“No More Hard Day’s’ Nights waiting for The Beatles’ great new LP – It’s On Sale Here Now!”

And then there’s the modest (ahem) EMI Records logo at the very top of this Beatles 1964 EMI/Parlophone promotional poster: “The Greatest Recording Organisation in the World.” Complete with British spelling.

Little ol’ Parlophone, EMI’s bastard stepchild of a label, is relegated down to the lower left-hand corner. But before the Beatles were done, Parlophone had become one of the most recognizable record companies on the planet.

This Hard Day’s Night in-store poster is enthusiastically put in historical context by long-time Beatles poster collector Peter J. Howard of California. That’s me, and I can be contacted at either pete@postercentral.com or (in the U.S.) 805-540-0020. And by the way, I will pay TOP DOLLAR for a copy of this poster, if you know of one, or any original ’60s Beatles posters.

To see a few more important, seminal Beatles U.K. posters, please see this page right here on my Web site – http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm

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

Elvis Presley Window Card 1955 w/Faron Young – Memphis, Tenn.

A vintage 1955 Elvis Presley concert poster from his hometown of Memphis, TN when the future King of Rock ’n’ Roll was a Sun Records recording artist.

In fact, Presley’s third Sun single, “Milkcow Blues Boogie” b/w “You’re a Heartbreaker,” is plugged on this very poster, although both titles in truncated form.

But you have to look at the bottom of this Elvis Presley show poster to see them… remarkably, he was billed fifth at this show, after a group of country and gospel artists.

This is because Elvis was at the beginning of his career and making inroads in the C&W market, and those other musicians were generally established country music stars.

If this Elvis Presley poster looks familiar to you, it’s because a significant number of them have turned up over the years. I’m deducing that quite a few of them were gathered and saved after the concerts, for who knows what reason – but we’re glad they were!

So they’re still collectable, but nothing like a few other very early Elvis concert posters where only one or two are known, which is more the norm.

I love the way the printer added a third color, brown, for the text at the top of this Elvis Presley billboard. It plays really nicely off the other two colors and the white background.

Since that venue information up above is a different color, you might think that this was a “tour blank”… used in more cities besides Memphis. But I’m never seen it from any other city, and the words “Memphis’ Own” pretty much limits it to that city and its outskirts.

From top to bottom, here’s the text found on this Elvis Presley in-person poster (although some would call it just a country music poster):

(First in the brown ink): Sunday – Feb. 6 (1955, but year not given)

Two Shows  3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.

Auditorium   Memphis, Tenn.

(Now in blue & red ink): Faron Young, “If You Ain’t Lovin’”; Martha Carson, Beautiful Gospel Singer (no song given); Ferlin Huskey & the Hushpuppies (also no song given); Doyle and Teddy – the Wilburn Brothers (likewise no song);

Plus… Memphis’ Own ELVIS PRESLEY

Scotty and Bill

He’ll Sing “Heartbeaker” – “Milk Cow Boogie”

Many More…

There’s some spelling weirdness to be found on this Elvis Presley concert placard. Ferlin Husky is spelled “Huskey” (with an extra letter) in this instance, which I thought was a mistake (and say so in this video), but it turns out he did spell his name this way in the ’50s. From 1967-on, he shortened it to just “Husky.”

But there’s no getting around the blatant misspelling of the B-side of Elvis’ third Sun single. The typesetter left an “r” out in the middle of the word, turning “Heartbreaker” into something akin to “heart-beeker.” Whoops!

Then you have Scotty Moore and Bill Black, guitarist and bass player respectively, listed below his name on this Elvis Presley window poster. They’re present on every early Elvis poster I’ve ever encountered, although a couple of times their names were reversed to Bill and Scotty, which doesn’t sound quite right.

Some might say, “Where’s D.J. Fontana?” But that drummer didn’t join Elvis & his Blue Moon Boys on a permanent basis until later on in the year.

Now to the printer’s credit, of which there is none on the poster itself: this Elvis Presley concert advertisement was produced by Hatch Show Print of Nashville, Tennessee.

For whatever reasons, Hatch usually did not list their name at the bottom of their vintage window cards, a break from the usual because most printers did (Globe, Murray, Tilghman, Posters Inc., etc.).

Most early Elvis concert posters used red and blue alternating colors, and as you can see, this Elvis Presley appearance poster is no exception. It does get a little confusing right in the middle, though… “The Hushpuppies” should have been in blue ink because they were Ferlin Huskey’s group, but the red ink makes it look like they were part of the Wilburn Brothers.

And as I pointed out earlier, those alternating colors are offset nicely by the brown ink up in the venue box. I’ve never seen another 1955 Elvis Presley telephone-pole poster use any color other than red & blue on a white background, so that’s highly unusual.

And then there’s the large water stain in the upper left portion… that looks brown, too, but we won’t count that as an official color (LOL).

And how’s this for an impressive bit of trivia: between the 3 o’clock and 8 o’clock shows, Presley met Sun’s Sam Phillips in a diner across the street from the Auditorium, and Colonel Parker joined them. Some historians like to say that this was the first time Elvis ever met Parker, but others question that and say it can’t be confirmed.

Manufacturing specifics: this Elvis Presley ticket poster measures 14×22”, the size most commonly used by Hatch back in the day.

And they manufactured it on stiff cardboard, so that it survived the elements outside.  Most Hatches were made on cardboard, regardless of the time of year.

This Elvis Presley concert sign is studiously discussed by long-time poster collector Peter J. Howard. That’s me, and I can be emailed at pete@postercentral.com, or telephoned at 805.540.0020. I will absolutely, positively pay TOP DOLLAR for this or any other 1950s Elvis Presley concert posters, guaranteed!

To see a couple of other genuine Elvis Presley fence posters, including one where Faron Young gets his picture billed above Elvis, just hop over to this page right here on my web site: http://www.postercentral.com/elvispresley.htm

Posted in **All Posters, *Elvis Presley, 1950s Rock ’N' Roll | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Animals Concert Poster 1966 by Globe – 1st & 2nd Printings (Very Unusual)

Today I show you a highly unusual instance of the famous Globe Posters company correcting a mistake and printing two versions of one of their famous, jumbo concert posters – both before the concert.

This sizeable cardboard Globe Posters window card was used to sell tickets for The Animals in concert at the Winchester Roller Rink in Winchester, Virginia on April 28, 1966.

This was just a few months before the band was re-named Eric Burdon and the Animals, singling out their lead singer.  Then you had another national hit-maker in the second slot with Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs, plus a local group at the bottom, Brutus and The Roamin’s. HOWEVER… the pictures for the latter two groups were inadvertently switched on the first printing of this poster!

So Globe did the right thing: they corrected the erroneous pictures and reprinted their jumbo Animals tour poster. And they did it in plenty of time to get the new version posted around town before the concerts.

Fortuitously, I have both versions of the poster to show you in this video. As you’ll see, Globe changed more than just the two pictures.

The initial printing of this Animals billboard listed four songs under the headliner’s name… three important hits from 1964-65, plus their current single, “Inside Looking Out,” which was a relative stiff.

But what’s cool about the second printing, in addition to correcting the pictures, is that it added another song under the Animals’ name: “It’s My Life.” That song didn’t burn up the charts, but is considered an important part of the group’s canon, and has been performed in concert by acts like Bruce Springsteen.

Since their Animals appearance poster was being re-done, Globe made a few other changes, too, although not nearly as impactful. For instance, they added a second location where you could buy tickets.

They also reconfigured the two Day-Glo orange rectangles for Sam the Sham and Brutus, to make them more compatible with the corrected photos.

All that said, my favorite part of this vintage Animals window poster is the listing of the popular songs under the group’s name… “House of the Rising Sun” (minus the “the”), “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”… and then “It’s My Life” on the second printing.

Unfortunately (a little bit), their current 45, “Inside Looking Out,” is given the most prominence. Nobody cares about that single; it barely entered Billboard’s Top 40.

And then you have the headlines above the band’s name. Check out those two cool slugs near the top of this Animals show placard. First there’s “From England and Ed Sullivan’s TV Show!” And that’s followed by, “England’s No. 1 Authentic Rhythm & Blues Group.”

I find that words like these just add tremendously to an old British Invasion concert advertisement poster like this. Who doesn’t have fond memories of Ed Sullivan’s television show?

Moving on, there’s the second-billed act on this Animals street poster. Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs were not from England but from Texas, as the poster reminds us. Sam himself is in the bottom center of their photo.

And it’s just wonderful that “Wooly Booly” is listed on the poster, because that timeless hit record would be enjoyed by generations to come. In 1965, that song spent more time on Billboard’s singles chart than any other record, even those released by the Beatles.

And then you have the usual slot for a local band at the bottom of this Animals window display, in this case Brutus and the Roamin’s. They even get the neat slug “Winchester’s Own…”

But The Roamin’s were a lot more than just the opening act; one of the band members, Hugh Brent, was the darn promoter of this concert! He’s the tall one in the upper right of their photo.

That’s why the promoter is listed at the top of this Animals tour placard as “Huebren Presents.” “Huebren” was short for Hugh Brent… his DBA, if you will. Hugh was a mover & shaker in Winchester in the 1960s.

And then down at the bottom you have “Globe Posters – Baltimore,” that printing credit which collectors like me love to see.

This Animals poster measures 22 x 28”, and was assembled on stiff cardboard, not paper. I guess that’s sort of assumed, because to the best of my knowledge, Globe didn’t make paper concert posters back then.

This Animals concert announcement is happily narrated by rock memorabilia collector Pete Howard… 805-540-0020 by telly or pete@postercentral.com by e-mail. I will pay the very BEST prices for original vintage 1950s-60s rock concert posters!

To see a few other scarce, collectible ’60s concert posters by British Invasion acts like The Who, Cream and others, head over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/rock.htm

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Acid Test Poster Hand-Colored Beautifully – 1966 Fillmore Auditorium

An original and genuine Can You Pass the Acid Test? window card from San Francisco’s famed Fillmore Auditorium on January 8, 1966.

Interestingly, instead of saying “Fillmore Auditorium,” this poster instead says “Filmore Hall,” so that’s both a misspelling and a slightly wrong name done by whoever filled it out. But remember, this was before Bill Graham established the Fillmore as a rock-concert shrine.

But first things first: the most compelling thing about this collectable Can You Pass the Acid Test? tour poster is the gorgeous hand-coloring that was added to the original black & white poster.

The coloring could have been added by Grateful Dead graphic artist Bob Thomas (who created the “Steal Your Face” logo) or LSD kingpin Owsley “Bear” Stanley, because both of them had this poster in their possession for a number of years. More details in my video.

But regardless of who the artist was, the rich, psychedelic hand-coloring added to this particular Can You Pass the Acid Test? street sign is simply breathtaking. Obviously, somebody put a great deal of time into it.

As you can see, this poster retains its original shape from the time of its printing. Instructions down at the poster’s bottom tell you how to cut it down the middle and stack the left half on top of the right half, to create a tall, thin light-pole poster. But it works just as well in this form.

I find it interesting that the added coloring falls mostly in the upper two-thirds of this Can You Pass the Acid Test? in-person poster, with much less of it present in the lower one-third. Did the coloring artist wish to leave the information-laden bottom portion free of distraction, or did they simply not finish the job?

It should be noted that this Fillmore Acid Test gig is believed to be the last time this “tour-blank” Acid Test poster was ever used. Altogether, it was used over the span of a little under a month (Dec. 11, 1965 to Jan. 8, 1966).

As for the paper used for this Can You Pass the Acid Test? billboard… remember that it was originally run on goldenrod, blue and white papers. But only the white paper, of course, would effectively show off hand-coloring; it would not work nearly as well on the other two colored papers.

I mean, sure, you could still attempt to color the other two paper colors, but obviously, they wouldn’t work as well as the white paper for getting those psychedelic colors to jump out across a room at you.

Other than the hand-coloring, a couple of other add-on’s can be found on this Can You Pass the Acid Test? window poster, if you look carefully. In the upper left, next to the word “Acid,” the words “Hooks, Horns, Tail Wings” have been inked in, with yellow backing.

And then further down the left half of the poster, “Will It Fly?” was penned in, as were the words “Witches Coven?” And over on the right-hand side, “Demons” was handwritten (also on yellow background) between the words “Optics” and “Movies.”

So just who wrote those in? That is not known, but it’s apparent that the same person also wrote the words found down in the venue box (extreme lower right) of this Can You Pass the Acid Test? appearance poster.

It’s easy to see that the same ghoulish lettering was used with all the added-on words. BTW, the venue box reads: “Filmore [sic] Hall, Geary at Filmore [sic], San Fran.” So “Fillmore” was misspelled twice in the poster’s venue box.

Another big plus found on this Can You Pass the Acid Test? concert announcement is the presence of Owsley “Bear” Stanley’s signature at the bottom (right above “de:”). I don’t need to tell you that Owsley was the LSD chemist who played an important role in early Grateful Dead history.

That signature would seem to indicate that Bear might be the person who added the cryptic words described above (like “Demons”), but that’s just guesswork on my part… maybe a handwriting analyst should look at it.

This Can You Pass the Acid Test? street poster represents a “perfect storm” of pop-culture influences that would live on for generations to come. You have such seminal figures as Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and their Merry Pranksters; the Grateful Dead on the music tip; and Allen Ginsberg representing the beats and poets. Put them all together in a historic building (the Fillmore) in America’s most cutting-edge city (San Francisco) under the influence of a generation-altering drug (LSD), and it’s easy to see how the reverberations from an event like this can still be felt today.

I guess it’s one of those very few events that any rock-music or pop-culture historian would agree that it would have to be a stop if they ever invent traveling time capsules.

This Can You Pass the Acid Test? telephone-pole poster, which represents a historic convergence of the emerging youth culture, music, drugs and psychedelia, is happily lectured upon by collector Peter Howard in central California, and reachable through pete@postercentral.com or 805-540-0020. I will pay THE BEST PRICES, PERIOD for this or any other early Acid Test advertising & memorabilia.

And if you dig groovy psychedelic concert-poster artwork like this, be sure to trip over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm

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

Beatles 1963 Concert Poster – Grafton Ballroom in Liverpool

An authentic, rare Beatles in-person poster from the Grafton Ballroom in their native Liverpool on January 10, 1963.

What’s remarkable about this poster is that January 10, 1963 is the day before EMI/Parlophone released the Beatles’ “Please, Please Me” single, which would rocket them to national stardom in just a few short weeks.

But history aside, the first thing that strikes you about this beautiful Beatles Grafton Ballroom concert advertisement is the gorgeous Day-Glo colors. The bright red, orange and yellow/green really stand out against the black backdrop.

If you’re a graphic artist, it’s also interesting to note how white was used only for the important slug line directly above the Beatles’ name, and then in one little star down below. Interesting touch.

As was the standard of the day, this Beatles Grafton Ballroom window poster measures 20 by 30 inches.  It was printed on thin paper, not cardboard or durable paper, so these things become very fragile after turning half-a-century old.

Gerry & The Pacemakers were also on the bill on this Beatles Grafton Ballroom ticket poster. Anyone who listened to Top 40 radio in the mid-’60s knows them for hits like “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.” They were managed, in fact, by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

And yet, at the beginning of 1963, nobody on this poster was actually famous yet, so the Pacemakers got no better billing than the other unknown acts listed.  Even the M.C. got similar billing.

Focusing back on the headliners, you just have to love the way the Fabs’ name dominates this Beatles Grafton Ballroom tour poster… the big oval in the center, their name tilted at an angle, the huge lettering and catchy type used, and of course the coloring… you could see this thing from a block away!

Here is all the wording, just as it reads on the poster:

(Yellow stripe at top): The Grafton Ballroom (Also in yellow): Thurs. Jan 10th from 7:30 to 12:30

(In white): First 1963 Appearance on Merseyside of THE BEATLES

(And then the under-billed acts, all in red): Also Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Billy Ellis Trio, Sonny Webb & The Cascades, the Johnny Hilton Showband, and Master of Ceremonies – The One & Only Bob Wooler

Tickets 7’, In Advance 6’. From NEMS – Lewis’s – Cranes – Rushworth’s – Hessy’s – & the Grafton

Wooler’s name is interesting to see on this Beatles Grafton Ballroom concert announcement because all he did was introduce the boys to their future manager Brian Epstein in late 1961. He was the DJ at the famed Cavern Club, and quite a local music impresario at the time.

Wooler himself actually saved a lot of original Beatles concert posters, and sold most of them off before his death in 2002. I spoke with him on the phone a couple of times, but I don’t recall if he had this one or not.

In this video, I show you vintage photographs of a couple of the opening acts on this Beatles Grafton Ballroom appearance poster. Since the poster itself has no photos, I often like to enhance my videos with that kind of visual aid.

In fact, I also show you a picture of the Beatles on stage this week. Not this very night, I couldn’t find a photo of that, but one from 48 hours later (that Saturday night) in Kent, England.

So with great pleasure, this Beatles Grafton Ballroom street poster is discussed in depth by first-generation Beatles fan Pete Howard of San Luis Obispo, California – a long way from Liverpool! But that’s me, and I can be reached at 805-540-0020 or through the Internet at pete@postercentral.com.  And I don’t own this poster so I will pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE WORLD, should you run across one for sale.

And to feast your eyes upon a couple more original Beatles English concert posters, just go see this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm

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