An authentic, vintage Acid Test event poster from January 8, 1966 for a stop at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore Auditorium.
This Can You Pass the Acid Test? placard was actually printed in a 17 by 22-inch block shape, not the tall, thin strip you see here. But the poster gives instructions at the bottom on how one could cut their Acid Test show poster in half, place one part on top of the other, and by results create the tall, thin Can You Pass the Acid Test? announcement which is shown in this video.
This action would convert it into an Acid Test telephone pole poster, so that it could be taped up around town on objects like fence poles and streetlights.
But funnily, the poster also presents the holder with an option:
“Or it can be left as it is!” So that means the Can You Pass the Acid Test? broadside could simply be posted as it was originally printed, without taking scissors to it.
Additionally, this Can You Pass the Acid Test? concert poster was run off in three different colors… goldenrod, white and blue. In this video blog, you see the blue version of the Acid Test window card.
So who got so crazy and drew up this wildly eccentric Acid Test street poster? That un-credited poster artist is usually considered to be Norman Hartweg, a Merry Prankster. However, other Pranksters, such as Paul Foster or Gretchen Fetchen, may have had a hand in its design as well. You gotta figure that if every Merry Prankster contributed artwork to the Further bus, then why not the Can You Pass the Acid Test fence poster?
In collector’s parlance, this Acid Test tour poster is known as a “tour blank,” because it had a little blank square down in the lower right corner where each individual event’s specific information could be written or printed in. This Can You Pass the Acid Test? window display had a short lifespan, however… it was used just a few scant times over the course of less than a month.
The exact specimen you’re seeing here has the following information written in the small box: Filmore [sic] Aud., Sat. Jan. 8, 9:00 until ?, Filmore [sic] & Geary, San Francisco.
None other than Grateful Dead founding member PigPen scribbled that venue information in his own writing, greatly adding to its coolness. And this Can You Pass the Acid Test? show placard was Pig’s very own personal copy, and fell into his brother’s hands when Ron passed away in the early ’70s.
The entertainers name-checked on this Acid Test advertisement number half-a-dozen: The Merry Pranksters (naturally), Neal Cassady, The Grateful Dead, The Fugs, Allen Ginsberg and Roy’s Audioptics. This is in addition to other little things mentioned, such as “movies.”
This Can You Pass the Acid Test? tour placard made its debut on December 11, 1965, either at Muir Beach – which was a last-minute replacement for Stinson Beach – or in Palo Alto, at the Big Beat club. There is some debate as to which town got the event first, with the follow-up Acid Test occurring on December 18, 1965. All locations, of course, were around the San Francisco area.
In addition to those dates, this Acid Test billboard may have been used for the Portland, Oregon acid test, which allegedly took place on either December 24, 1965, or perhaps a week later at Portland’s Beaver Hall on January 1, 1966. I would be very grateful if anybody with any information on these shaky dates would contact me.
And then, as shown in this video, this Can You Pass the Acid Test? concert placard was used for the last time on January 8, 1966 for the Fillmore engagement – a month before Bill Graham started his famous series of regular concerts there.
Previously in this video blog, I have shown you the uncut goldenrod version of this Acid Test sign. Coming up before long, I will blog the white one as well. However, neither of those were cut and assembled like this one was.
This Can You Pass the Acid Test? street sign is cheerfully displayed and discussed by me, Pete Howard, enthusiastic collector; I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via 805-540-0020. As a serious collector, I will pay TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD for any Can You Pass the Acid Test original concert poster – any color, any shape, any condition. If you have one, please get in touch.
And to see a few more psychedelic posters and artwork, I invite you to drop by this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm