Can You Pass The Acid Test? Flyer 1966 So. California – Merry Pranksters etc.

An original, genuine Can You Pass the Acid Test? leaflet produced in early 1966 to advertise LSD-themed events around Southern California in February and March of 1966.

I show you both the pink & blue and the blinding fluorescent red versions of this handbill, the only two colors known to exist.

The information given at the top of the Can You Pass the Acid Test? herald reads like this:

The Merry Pranksters and their Psychedelic Symphony,

Neal Cassady vs. Ann Murphy vaudeville,

the Grateful Dead rock ’n roll,

Roy’s Audioptics,


Ron Boise and his Electric Thunder Sculpture,


ecstatic dress,

many noted outlaws,

and the unexpectable.

Legendary psychedelic poster artist Wes Wilson drew up this Can You Pass the Acid Test? show bill. Wilson’s best known for designing 45 out of the first 50 Bill Graham concert posters in San Francisco.

Its mesmerizing, trance-inducing design was obviously meant to convey some of the visual effects created by LSD, which was still largely unheard of by the general public, and still very legal.

You might have noticed the blank rectangular oval in the bottom left of this Can You Pass the Acid Test? slinger. That’s where each event’s specific information would be written in; this advertising “blank” was intended to be used for several different happenings.

There were about five or six Acid Tests in Southern California in Feb.-Mar. 1966, so theoretically, at least one of these small Acid Test posters was filled in and distributed for all of them. Theoretically.

So there may very well be a Unitarian Church Acid Test flyer dated Feb. 6, 1966, from Paul Sawyer’s Unitarian-Universalist church in Northridge, CA. It could be either the florescent red or the pink, both of which I show you in this vid.

That was the very first L.A.-area Acid Test, and was pretty far out of the way – Northridge was clear out in the San Fernando Valley, a significant distance from the hip parts of town.

For the second L.A. Acid Test – in Compton but called the Watts Acid Test – the Day-Glo version of this beauty was definitely used. My friend has one, and I will be posting that video blog within days of this one.

A little bit more of a challenge would be a Unicorn Theater – La Jolla Acid Test handbill with this design, because they’ve been seen before. The Day-Glo red ones were used; I don’t know about the pink ones.

In fact, there’s very little known about the La Jolla Acid Test at all; it was very low-key and undocumented. If you know anyone who happened to attend, please let me know!

This Wes Wilson creation could have also been turned into a La Cinema Theater / Hollywood Acid Test flyer-poster, carrying a date of February 25, 1966. But just like with La Jolla, very little is known about this gathering… can anyone shed some light for me?

I often cover “tour blank” concert posters here in my video blog, but this is an interesting spin on that… it’s like a “tour blank handbill.” But it appears the oblong oval box was always filled in by hand, not by a printing machine. Which means this item was probably meant for posting only… who’s gonna sit down and hand-fill-out hundreds of these?

Then there’s the possibility that this item wound up as a Carthay Studios Acid Test handbill, except other, very different handwritten flyers for this event have landed in peoples’ collections.

This (Carthay) is the Acid Test notorious for being moved at the last minute from the UCLA campus. College officials there were worried after hearing crazy stories about the Watts Acid Test.

And last but not least, there’s a good chance that a Los Angeles Trouper’s Hall-Harmonica Store Acid Test flyer, with the date of March 25, 1966, exists carrying this crazy Wes Wilson design.

The Grateful Dead played at all of these Southern California Acid Tests, and on this occasion, there’s a great photo of them on stage in one of the coffee-table books.

This Can You Pass the Acid Test? flyer is enthusiastically delved into by Peter Howard, and yes, that’s me writing this, too. I can be emailed at or called up on (805) 540-0020. And please be aware that I pay the VERY BEST PRICES, ANYWHERE for any of this original Acid Test advertising.

I don’t have any other psychedelic flyers & handbills to show you, but to see a few very nice psych posters from the same era, please just switch over to this page right here on my site:

Posted in **Psychedelic Posters Only, *Grateful Dead, Handbills & Flyers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Led Zeppelin Concert Handbill 1969 Tour – First Use of Zeppelin Image?

A fun, original Led Zeppelin concert flier advertising the group’s shows on May 2 and 3, 1969, at The Rose Palace in Pasadena, CA.

As I emphasize in my video, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first Zeppelin concert posting piece (poster, handbill or flyer) which played off the band’s name by actually using a dirigible in the graphics.

That’s quite a feather in the cap for this particular Led Zeppelin leaflet. But it only holds true for the U.S. I did not survey all of their posters and flyers from territories outside of North America to see if a flying airship was used overseas before May 1969.

All through 1969, the band would usually use a standard publicity photo in most of their advertising. That’s what sets this Led Zeppelin herald apart… it was bold enough to play off the group’s funny name.

For the rest of the year, you’d see occasional posters and such that weakly tried to show off zeppelins and dirigibles, but it wasn’t until 1970 that the theme really got rolling.

Opening for Zep was Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity, getting placement here almost as prominent as the headliner. Their first LP, Jools & Brian, entered Billboard magazine’s album chart the very next week.

I love the appearance of this Led Zeppelin flyer, with its autumn colors of brown and orange. That really sets it apart from all the typical black & red lettering that was more typically used.

Its dimensions are 5 5/8” wide by 8 3/4” tall, and it was printed on thin paper stock. No larger poster was made to advertise these shows; this is it.

The promoter of these two shows, Scenic Sounds, is listed right across the top of this Led Zeppelin handout. I don’t know if they were the Rose Palace’s in-house promoter, or an independent firm.

These shows took place during Zeppelin’s spring 1969 American tour, their second trek of the States. At this point, their debut LP had been out for nearly four months.

This small Led Zeppelin show bill was used to sell tickets for a rather lengthy event… five hours worth! Under the date it states, “8:00 [PM} to 1:00 [AM}.” Perhaps both acts delivered two full sets.

And there was still another hour of entertainment in store for those who wanted to show up early and catch a movie, as proclaimed here in the upper left area.

That dirigible you see in the middle of this Led Zeppelin concert slinger was a rigid British airship circa 1919, from England’s Royal Air Force.

It looks nothing like the dirigibles Zeppelin would start using in their marketing and advertising going forward… they preferred shorter, fatter blimps.

This piece of collectible Led Zeppelin concert memorabilia is chatted up by collector Pete Howard. ’Tis me, and I can be phoned at (805) 540-0020, or e-mailed at Please remember that I pay the VERY BEST PRICES, PERIOD, for really early Led Zeppelin concert collectables… posters, handbills, flyers and tickets.

To see some other fun concert flyers from throughout music history, just click over to this adjoining page here on my Web site:

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Beatles Rubber Soul Store Display 1965 Cardboard Stand-Up

Here is a mid-sixties Beatles Rubber Soul standee distributed by Capitol Records to retailers, to help market the group’s brand new LP at the time.

Capitol also made a traditional paper promo poster to serve the same purpose, with much of the same wording, but not in full color like this.

The popular “accidentally stretched” photo of John, Paul, George and Ringo graces this Beatles Rubber Soul record-store display. Shot by photographer Bob Freeman, It’s one of the most admired Beatle album covers ever.

It’s interesting how they chose to use the stereo version of the LP cover on here, even though monaural copies were far outselling stereo ones at the time.

One thing really distinguishes this Beatles Rubber Soul promotional display as being American… “The Beatles Sing 12 Brand New Songs!” That’s indeed how many songs you got on the shortened U.S. version of the album, but in Britain, the record was fuller at 14 tracks.

Speaking of Britain, the EMI/Parlophone label apparently never made its own promo piece for this LP over there. Or at least, I’ve never seen one, and I’ve been seriously collecting these things for a couple of decades.

You just gotta love the main marketing slogan used on this Beatles Rubber Soul countertop display… “Great for Giving! Or Just Groovy Listening!” Boy, does that ever set it off as being from the sixties.

Capitol actually used that phrase throughout its marketing of this LP, so it also appeared in trade magazine ads such as Billboard, and the aforementioned promo poster.

One of the most admired aspects of this album was its highly stylized logo, so it’s really cool that it appears not once, but twice, in big size, on the Beatles Rubber Soul window display. It’s weird to see that logo in red, on the flap, when we’re so used to seeing it in brown.

Another thing proclaimed here is, “Never Before Available in the U.S.A.” Virtually no import copies of the record had reached America yet, because it was released in England just three days before U.S. release (December 3, as opposed to December 6 in America).

Notice the holiday theme of the Beatles Rubber Soul large standup… besides the “Great for Giving!” line, the side flap has is all in red & green – obviously, Christmas colors.

It wasn’t unusual for the Beatles to have new album releases just in time for the holiday shopping season… witness Beatles ’65 the year before, Magical Mystery Tour in 1967 and The Beatles (the white album) in ’68.

This Beatles Rubber Soul in-store display has dimensions of 30” wide by 22” tall, so it really struck an imposing figure on any retailer’s counter.

Capitol also made a version, however, without the white side panel – or else that flap was removed from some copies, leaving just the large square album cover for stores to use.

This big, heavy Beatles Rubber Soul display, which is beautifully framed, is discussed by veteran Beatles fan Pete Howard. That’s me, and I can be written to by email at or telephoned on 805-540-0020. The display you see in the video isn’t mine, so I will pay THE BEST PRICE, PERIOD for one of these, if you happen to know who has one.

And to read my lengthy Goldmine magazine cover story on collectable promo displays and posters from the 1960s, including plenty of Beatles, just tap over to this page right here on my Web site:

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Jimi Hendrix Experience Concert Ticket, Whole & Unused, 1968 Tour

A completely unused 1968 Jimi Hendrix admission ticket for his stop that year in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the 2nd of November.

Never-used rock-concert tickets like this are a popular area of collecting because usually these things were torn in half upon admission.

This Jimi Hendrix unused ticket is in great shape considering its age, in part because it was printed on rigid card stock to begin with.

Still, old collectable rock-concert tickets are often found creased and folded if they weren’t handled carefully, and they often have glue residue, tape marks, pin holes, writing and the like. Not this one.

This vintage Jimi Hendrix Experience complete ticket sold for only $2.91, and the Minnesota state tax of nine cents brought its final cost to $3.00 even.

This was seen as much better than having a ticket priced at the even figure of $3.00, only to have everyone scramble for the nine cents’ tax. Or, having ticket sellers constantly have 91 cents change on hand, dozens (hundreds?) of times over.

As for the timing of this item, some collectors would probably rather have a 1967 Jimi Hendrix Experience concert ticket, the year he first broke through. But I’d rather have this ’68 because that was the year his classic album Electric Ladyland was released.

And then Jimi also toured a lot the following year, so acquiring a 1969 Jimi Hendrix concert ticket shouldn’t be any harder than any other year for him.

And then we lost Jimi, sadly, at the start of the seventies decade. I was fortunate enough to see him in concert 3 months before he passed away. And since I’m a collector, I held on to my 1970 Jimi Hendrix Experience concert ticket stub for decades afterwards.

However, by 1970 the Experience was not the same set of musicians… original bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell had departed by then, replaced by Billy Cox and Buddy Miles.

This unused Jimi Hendrix concert ticket does not list the opening act on it… Cat Mother & the All-Night Newsboys. That’s probably because the ticket was already so cluttered with other important information.

Jimi produced Cat Mother’s records, and the next year they would have a mild national hit with “Good Old Rock ’N Roll.”

This unused Jimi Hendrix Experience concert ticket was designed and printed by Arcus Ticket Company out of Chicago, IL. It’s much more common to see concert tickets printed by the Globe Ticket Co.; I’ve barely heard of Arcus – but then, I’m not from the Midwest.

Souvenirs like this are a kick because they have such strong ties to one single night in history. Look at the wording on there: “GOOD ONLY Saturday Evening, November 2, 1968.” This ticket was worthless on any other day!

Worthless, that is, for any live event. However, several decades later, it’s a piece of scarce, collectible rock-concert memorabilia that collectors just love to have.

Some collectors really want to have one whole Jimi Hendrix ticket from each of the four years he toured (1967 thru 1970). That’s a common thing with the Beatles, who performed in the U.S. for just three years.

But then there’s an act like the Rolling Stones, who toured for decades! How does someone collect tickets for a band like that? Very discerningly, I guess!

This rare collectible Jimi Hendrix ticket has a hue of light purple, adding to its attractiveness. Notice that it has the exact seat location printed at both ends; that’s a foolproof way to know a ticket was never used.

On some occasions, a member of the press corps would enter an event though the stage entrance and never use their ticket, which accounts for a lot of these things surviving. I once had a 1964 Beatles ticket which was never torn in half for that very reason.

This 1968 Jimi Hendrix Experience concert ticket is dissected on video for your enjoyment by me, collector Pete Howard in California. I can be contacted effortlessly through email by writing to or by phoning 805-540-0020 Pacific time. And please know that as a serious rock ’n’ roll collector, I pay TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD for vintage concert tickets and stubs by Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Cream and many, many others.

In fact, to see a few more great, old rock tickets, including a lovely Hendrix one I’ll be you’ve never seen, just click over to this page right here on my Web site:

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Jefferson Airplane Concert Poster 1966 Edwardian Ball

A fun, beautiful 1966 Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball concert poster, used to advertise a dance-concert at the Fillmore Auditorium thrown by the Associated Students of San Francisco State College.

Credit Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley for creating this extremely popular sixties S.F. poster, and indeed the poster does say in small print, “Mouse Studios ’66.”

One almost expects to see “Bill Graham Presents” at the top of this Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball concert advertisement, but Graham had no involvement with this event – S.F. State rented the Fillmore on one of his nights off.

However, Graham did present a show there that very afternoon… the Muddy Waters Blues Band and Quicksilver Messenger Service, as shown on his poster BG-35.

The centerpiece of this Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball show poster is a commanding rendition of a man wearing 1900-era British clothes.

Such Edwardian attire was very popular with hippies in mid-sixties San Francisco, so this graphic surely got a lot of attention.

The name of the opening band is a bit hard to find on this Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball street poster, but Demon Lover is there, looming right above the show’s date.

There are no ticket prices given on this poster, but the location to buy them is, way down in the bottom white margin. It says, in Mouse’s stylistic script, “Hut T-1 and at the door.” The former was located on the college’s campus.

The dominant metallic silver color is another major highlight of the Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball appearance poster. You just know that wasn’t cheap to print.

Speaking of printing, San Francisco’s Bindweed Press did a great job on this one, and they’re credited down in the lower right-hand corner.

I love the blue and red paisley design that Mouse drew into his Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball concert sign. It really reminds me of his popular “skull and roses” FD-26 Grateful Dead poster.

Same with Mouse’s lettering down at the bottom, the way he wrote “Fillmore Auditorium, Fillmore & Geary, San Francisco.”

What’s interesting about the timing of this Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball fence poster is that it was probably printed in early-to-mid-October. And Grace Slick just happened to have joined the Airplane in… mid-October!

As a result, the Airplane was splitting its concert repertoire between its first LP, Takes Off, and its second one, Surrealistic Pillow – which would come out the following March.

I often reference the music performed when discussing old concert posters. For example: this Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball concert placard represents the final time the JA ever performed Wilson Pickett’s 1965 R&B hit, “In the Midnight Hour.” That song had been a big concert highlight for the band in its earliest days.

The Airplane was writing more & more of its own songs, especially with the arrival of Ms. Slick, so they started relying less on outside material.

In my video blog here, I show off both a mint condition, Mouse-signed original specimen of the Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball window display, plus a smaller flyer with the exact same artwork (and Mouse’s signature also).

So both the big & small versions were tacked up all over the San Francisco area in October ’66 by S.F. State students and staff members, gathering as much attention as they could for their dance.

This Jefferson Airplane Edwardian Ball poster is enthusiastically discussed with open admiration by collector Pete Howard in San Luis Obispo, California. To reach me, just write me at or ring up 805-540-0020. I will pay you the BEST PRICE, PERIOD for an original Edwardian Ball concert poster, as this copy belongs to my friend.

And to see a few more scarce posters from rock ’n’ roll’s psychedelic era, just skip over to this page here on my Web site:

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