Unique Original Artwork for Rick Griffin’s Human Be-In Poster

A rare & valuable piece of original San Francisco concert-poster artwork: the original art board for the poster promoting January 1967’s “Human Be-In,” as hand-drawn by famous poster artist Rick Griffin.

This great piece of music memorabilia is enthusiastically discussed by long-time hobbyist Pete Howard. That’s me, and I can be reached at pete@postercentral.com or by calling (805) 540-0020. And please remember that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for vintage pieces of S.F. psychedelia like this.

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

Count Basie Concert Posters – 1940s Vintage Plus 1967 Fillmore Aud.

A highly attractive, early Count Basie window card from the 1940’s along with another one from 1967 at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, California.

This Count Basie poster board is enthusiastically discussed by long-time collector Pete Howard. That’s me, and I can be reached at pete@postercentral.com or by calling (805) 540-0020. And please remember that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for vintage big band posters like this.

To see more scarce & collectible big-band concert placards, just hustle over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/jazz.htm

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

Beatles Shea Stadium Window Card 1965 – Authentic, Not Bootleg

A scarce, vintage 1965 Beatles Shea Stadium concert poster used to sell tickets for the biggest show of the Fab Four’s career.

The funny thing about this window card is that rock’s biggest act ever ends up sharing most of the bill with many other musicians!

But a stand-alone Beatles Shea Stadium placard was not needed in 1965 – the Fabs could have sold this show out many times over with one single radio DJ announcement.

So New York promoter Sid Bernstein drew up a poster that advertised five upcoming events spread over early summer, with the mop-tops being the one far-away date.

So strictly as a collector’s item, this piece is referred to (by me) as a Beatles Shea Stadium tour poster. But the truth is, it also hawked tickets to upcoming shows by:

Herman’s Hermits, Saturday June 12 at the Academy of Music

The Dave Clark 5, Friday June 18 at the Academy of Music

The Kinks & the Moody Blues, –First American Concert-, Saturday June 19 at the Academy of Music

The First New York Film Festival, June 17 through June 20 at Carnegie Hall, featuring Phil Ochs, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash and Buffy St. Marie

So there’s eight other well-known musicians listed here, but I’m still calling this a Beatles Shea Stadium broadside because they’re the ones with all the staying power, of course.

Besides the four listed on the poster, many other stellar musicians played at the New York Folk Festival, such as Muddy Waters, Mose Allison and Son House. It’s a shame their names couldn’t have appeared here, too.

I haven’t mentioned the ticket prices given on this Beatles Shea Stadium fence poster yet… and it’s hilarious, because the Moptops’ ducat price is only 15 pennies more than that of the other concerts!

Of course, the B’s were playing to over 55,000 people, whereas the other acts were at the comparatively small, intimate Academy of Music, so it’s pretty much a wash… I guess.

One might look at this Beatles Shea Stadium window display and wonder why it wasn’t bigger or more colorful. But we have to remember that in the mid-60s, pop music was still considered very much a passing fad, and wasn’t taken seriously by adults.

The bootleggers, however, did make a larger, more colorful version of this, which I show you in my video. It’s in bright red & yellow, and much bigger. But alas, it’s just a wishful-thinking merchandising poster invented decades later.

And speaking of boots, after showing you this genuine Beatles Shea Stadium window poster for a few minutes, I display some pictures of the most common bootlegs out there – just to school you on what to look out for.

What the public desperately wants – but which was never made – is a single concert poster advertising only this concert and date, and nothing else. With a nice photo of the boys on there, of course. SO… the “pirates” were happy to oblige, with all and sundry bootlegs that cover those requirements – and sold at flea markets for $10.

It’s essential for us to understand that promoters didn’t print these things up for fun; they were considered necessary marketing tools to sell out a gig. Thus, no real Beatles Shea Stadium show placard (printed before the concert) was needed at all in ’65.

But promoter Bernstein didn’t know that when he had this poster designed back in May of that year; he didn’t know yet that the public response would be overwhelming. Nobody had ever attempted such a large-scale rock concert before.

So it’s just kinda funny that you have this small, nondescript Beatles Shea Stadium telephone-pole poster representing the world’s biggest & most famous (at the time) rock concert in history. Ironic!

But imagine the giant leap forward in coolness if Bernstein had had his designer include photos of all the main musicians. Holy cow… to see the mugs of John, Paul, George & Ringo, plus Ray & Dave Davies, Justin Hayward, Peter Noone, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, etc. Wow!

Speaking of those guys, so far my discourse here has all but ignored the other solid hit-makers found on this Beatles Shea Stadium street poster. The Fabs, after all, always grab the attention.

But heavens, the DC5 had already nailed eight hits in the U.S. Top 20 by this point. Herman’s Hermits was coming off four straight hits, the Kinks had had three and the Moodies had broken through with “Go Now” in the Top 10, with no less than future Wings member Denny Laine on guitar.

So you can talk all you want about this being a Beatles Shea Stadium concert advertisement only, but nay: It was packed with other British Invasion stars of the day.

And here we are, not even acknowledging the two members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame listed at the bottom: Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash. Wow, you wanna talk about added value!

One thing this Beatles Shea Stadium concert sign lacks is “bragging” by promoter Bernstein. For the Fabs’ 1966 concert here, the posters had “Sid Bernstein Presents” splashed across the top, above the Beatles’ name.

But for ’65, when everything was still unknown and unproven, and Sid was still establishing a foothold in pop music, his name is relegated to small print as part of a mail-order address, and nothing more.

This Beatles Shea Stadium pole poster is explained and discussed by long-time Beatles fan & collector Peter J. Howard. Yes that’s me, and I can be talked to at pete@postercentral.com or by calling 805-540-0020. And please know that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for vintage Beatles concert memorabilia like this.

To see a few more original Beatles ticket posters from the United Kingdom, just move your cursor over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm. Thanks!

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

Buffalo Springfield Handbill 1968 Last Concert w/Young and Stills

A fun, original Buffalo Springfield flier from May 5, 1968 at the Long Beach Sports Arena in the Los Angeles area.

This piece was used to advertise and sell tickets to the final time Neil Young and Stephen Stills ever played on stage with the Buff’s original band members.

This Buffalo Springfield ticket poster was exposed to a lot of daylight at one time, resulting in its “toned” appearance, not unlike a sun tan you’d get at the beach.

Additional wear & tear includes surface creases and a missing corner. However, it’s such a realistic artifact that I proudly loaned it to the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles for their 2014 exhibit called “The Laurel Canyon Sound.”

This Buffalo Springfield flyer was not made to withstand the elements; it was printed on thin paper stock, and measures 8” x 11 ½”.

The promoters also printed a larger poster for this event, so I’m guessing this smaller leaflet was doled out on store countertops, ticket agencies and the like.

On the occasion where I do encounter that larger Buffalo Springfield window card, I’ll be sure to blog it here.

The promoters billed this event as the Electric Carnival, a catchy name that captured the spirit of mid-60s rock ’n’ roll.

But above that moniker, this Buffalo Springfield poster board gives the name of the concert promoter… “Presented By: Concerts Inc.”

And then you see the two big words, “Electric Carnival.” Since there’s nothing but band names given here, one has to presume the term “carnival” was used loosely… just to create a vibe.

Time and again I’ve called this a Buffalo Springfield in-person poster, but let’s not forget everyone else on here. Two big names, in fact: Canned Heat and Country Joe & The Fish. (The latter is misspelled, with one “t” accidentally omitted from their name.)

Under that is The Hook, an L.A.-based band led by one Bobby Arlin, who had fronted The Leaves two years earlier. They had one hit which he sang, “Hey Joe,” so it’s a good bet they did that song on this particular occasion.

And bottom-listed here on this Buffalo Springfield event poster is special guest Smokestack Lightnin’, a blues-rock band also from Los Angeles which released an album the following year which had Warren Zevon playing on it.

The light show on this occasion was courtesy of Omega’s Eye, which gets two credits here, in keeping with the symmetrical design. But Masse didn’t just draw one and copy it for the other side, he obviously drew the two separately, because they’re slightly different.

As was customary (and still is today), no year is given in the date on this Buffalo Springfield appearance poster. It was probably printed in March or April, then thrown away in May and June, so who needed the year on there?

But it does have the unusual start time of 4 PM given. How fun is that? Total daylight when you entered the building, and probably dusk outside by the time the Buff hit the stage (7-ish maybe?).

Listed right below that on this Buffalo Springfield tour placard is the venue for the gig, the long-standing Long Beach Sports Arena. It was built in 1962, so it was still a fairly new, polished palace at the time.

The Arena is now just one element of the massive Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. Hard to say how many folks would’ve attended the Electric Carnival, but seating capacity can very widely depending on need, from just a few thousand up to almost 14,000.

Then we get to the very bottom of this Buffalo Springfield street sign. It reads: “Ticket outlets. Long Beach Sports Arena and all Wallich’s Music City Agencies and Mutual Agencies.”

This was just before the dawn of the Ticketron (and later Ticketmaster) era, which means that each of those agencies named above had their own allotment of pre-printed “hard” tickets.

There’s almost a “split-fountain” effect in the design of this Buffalo Springfield show poster… the basic red gets blended with green is various places, especially the far right-hand side.

Here’s where I should give credit to the graphic designer, the well-known and respected Bob Masse… he signed his original artwork down around the lower right-hand region.

What Masse had in mind with his design of this Buffalo Springfield concert placard, nobody knows… I see a bug possibly, or maybe even a car. But I’ll bet it’s just fun, abstract artwork.

Masse was originally based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and did concert posters in the sixties for gigs up and down the West Coast, including the Doors, the Airplane and the Dead.

Any Steve Stills or Neil Young collector would probably want to add this Buffalo Springfield concert advertisement to their collection, just because of its historic nature (last show).

But granted, if it’s aesthetic value and attractiveness you’re seeking, I won’t pretend this is the best-looking Buff concert piece out there (grin).

But if you really had to have an attractive Buffalo Springfield fence poster for your collection, you could always turn to 2011’s reunion tour.

The trouble with that is, original members Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer weren’t part of those reunion shows.

This Buffalo Springfield broadside is enthusiastically waxed over by serious music collector Peter Howard, and I can be reached at pete@postercentral.com or by Ma Bell’ing (805) 540.0020. And do remember that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, bar none, for any vintage Buffalo Springfield concert memorabilia.

I wish I had another original Buffalo Springfield billboard to show off, but since I don’t, you can see a few closely related (including C,S,N&Y) rock-music handbills on this page of my hobby web site: http://www.postercentral.com/handbillsandflyers.htm

Posted in **Psychedelic Posters Only, Handbills & Flyers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 Concert Poster – Fats Domino, Little Richard

An early, colorful Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 poster board containing four inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, this specimen was trimmed down to fit in a frame decades ago, so all of the white border area is missing – but all of the original poster image is completely intact.

This 1956 R&B poster board originally had thin, white borders on three sides, but it’s the top portion that’s really missed… the so-called “venue info” box that gave potential customers the city, date, ticket prices, etc.

The silver lining is that it’s now a perfect square, making it ideal for framing and still carrying that beautiful visual wallop of a vintage ’50s rock ’n’ roll piece.

You’ll notice that thick cardboard was used for the manufacture of this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 show poster, largely to keep it intact during harsh weather conditions outside. Paper posters didn’t last nearly as long.

Its style and appearance will be very familiar to any collector of such vintage items… a typical design of splashy colors, photos of the artists and lots of song titles sprinkled throughout.

Naturally, it was the Globe Poster Printing Co. of Baltimore, MD that designed and printed this beautiful 1956 R&B billboard. But their name at the bottom was trimmed off along with the white border.

Globe usually produced these things in two sizes… 17×23 inches and 22×28 inches. It’s nice that this one was the latter, larger size… until the trimming took it down several notches, of course.

So looking at the musicians here, Fats Domino holds down the key spot on Globe’s Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 event poster. He dominates things with a large, smiling photo right up at the top.

“Bo Weevil,” unfortunately, is given as his song title… not that it’s a bad song or anything, it’s just that something more classic like “Blueberry Hill” would’ve resonated better with us today.

And then it says “and his GREAT BAND” beneath his name, on this 1956 R&B tour placard. But down below, Choker Campbell had his own band, too… or did he?

I’m guessing they were one & the same orchestras, as they called those outfits in the fifties. Choker probably was just the leader of the house band, and answered to Fats – that’s my assumption.

And then, do the Clovers get second billing on this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 ticket poster, right up there next to Fats, or does Ruth Brown, whose picture is much larger and is featured in red color just like the headliner Fats?

I would venture to guess that it was a triple-headlining bill, because all three had remarkable R&B chart success leading up to this… Domino logging his 17th straight Top 10 hit, the Clovers doing likewise, and “Miss Rhythm” herself having just registered her 16th straight, with her 17th right around the corner. So how could you bill one above the other?

So that’s pretty stunning: this particular 1956 R&B street sign represented fifty Top 10 rhythm & blues hits amongst just those three headliners – and they weren’t done yet! And just think of the career that Little Richard was just emerging with!

And speaking of Richard Penniman himself, he’s listed kinda far down here, an unfamiliar position for him… but within just a few weeks, his “Long Tall Sally” would be #1 on the R&B singles chart for two full months, catapulting him to headliner status.

And there’s still another short-changed artist on Globe’s Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 concert advertisement… Rock ’n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer Little Willie John, who’s way down in a lower corner.

Just like Little Richard, John would soon release his first undisputed smash, “Fever,” which would soon rule the #1 spot for five weeks and move Willie up to the top of concert bills.

You couldn’t call this a 1956 R&B fence poster without the presence of a big band listed at the bottom, and Choker Campbell’s was about the most famous and ubiquitous of them all.

I’m thinking that only Paul Williams and his Hucklebuck Orchestra appeared as predominantly as Campbell on these ’50s package tours.

Close inspection reveals that the backdrop of this Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 in-person poster consists of diagonal lines that alternate between yellow and blue. Leave it to me to point out such minutiae!

But that’s a big reason why the red color here jumps out so effectively… it wouldn’t have had the same impact on just a plain white background.

It’s interesting to note how they used three different styles of photos on this 1956 R&B concert placard. They used standard group photos (as with the Clovers and Cadillacs), common “floating-head” shots (Fats and Little Willie), and unusual full-body renditions (Ruth Brown and Al Jackson).

Globe relied on their flat but bright Day-Glo colors to grab the human eye, always opting for straight B&W in the pictures… never have I seen color photos used on a Globe poster like this. For one thing, record labels and publicists used only B&W pictures to begin with.

This Rhythm ’n Blues of 1956 window card is enthusiastically displayed and lectured upon by veteran music-memorabilia collector Pete Howard in California. That would be me, and I can be reached thru pete@postercentral.com or by phoning (805) 540-0020. And please remember that I, Pete, pay the TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, period, for vintage rock ’n’ roll concert advertisements like this.

To see another more classic, amazing 1950s R&B concert window cards much like this one, just slide your computer mouse over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/multi-act_1950s.htm

Posted in **All Posters, 1950s Rock ’N' Roll, Boxing-Style Concert Posters, Soul and R&B | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment