A genuine, original Bob Dylan window card for his concert on November 25, 1964 in San Jose, California.
This show was one of just eight dates that Mr. Z performed up & down the California coast in the fall of ’64.
One of the most appealing things about this Bob Dylan fence poster is the green ink used throughout, with no black present… very unusual, and highly attractive.
Usually the two colors which most attract to the human eye, red and yellow, were chosen for a one-color job like this… not a more sedate color like blue or this green.
Credit the Tilghman company (in Oakland) for designing and then printing this Bob Dylan concert advertisement.
As usual, it was made of rigid cardboard so that it could be posted outdoors around neighborhoods to reach the maximum number of eyeballs.
However, unbeknownst to most collectors, this Bob Dylan street poster was first printed on a very, very thin sheet of paper, and then seamlessly glued down (or adhered somehow) to the piece of cardboard stock.
This was nothing new… it’s the technique that was used for decades with all (or most) old cardboard concert posters from the 1960s, 1950s and back.
When all the dust had settled, this Bob Dylan concert sign measured out at 14×22”, by far the most common size for posters of this ilk.
Of course, let’s not forget the glorious “jumbos” which measured 22 by 28 inches, although Tilghman wasn’t known to make many of them.
This collectible Bob Dylan ticket poster has all the traits of what’s called a “boxing style” concert poster… no fancy design elements get in the way of its message:
Folk Music Concert
Wednesday evening, November 25, 1964
San Jose Civic Auditorium
Tickets: $4.50 – $4.00 – $3.50 – $2.50
On Sale At: Wendell Watkins Box Office in Sherman Clay
89 So. First St., San Jose
CY 3-6252 (old-fashioned phone number)
Tilghman Press, 1217 – 32nd ST., OAK.- OL 3-4388
Amazingly, this particular Bob Dylan show placard was actually given away at the box office to anyone buying a ticket who wanted one!
I spoke to a person once who clearly remembers buying his ticket and getting offered the poster from the employee behind the window. She drew one off the top of a small stack for him. Great Caesar’s Ghost!
That story would account for the fact that many copies of this particular Bob Dylan telephone-pole poster exist with no weather damage, rusty staple holes, tape residue, etc. They were never posted – they were just taken home by punters.
This would’ve been highly unusual for the day. That practice wouldn’t take hold until Bill Graham started doing his poster thing around the Bay Area in early 1966.
My favorite part of this Bob Dylan window display is the big message, “Folk Music Concert.” I mean… really? We assume today that everyone must’ve known that, but back in 1964, pop musicians were very much on the fringe, and Dylan was still a year away from household-name status, especially on the west coast.
It’s not like a Beatles or Stones tour poster that might say, “Rock Music Concert”… that would look really silly. Folk music was just fringe enough that the designers here are to be forgiven. Understood, even.
This Bob Dylan San Jose billboard could’ve easily said “With Joan Baez” on it, because Joan was a guest with Bob this night… and probably most nights on this little California tour jaunt.
Then again, by early the next year, artist Eric Von Schmidt would give us just such a poster, for a series of east coast dates including New Haven, CT (my blog on that poster appears elsewhere).
In a way, this Bob Dylan San Jose show poster represented a small “fourth-album tour” for Mr. D, as Another Side of Bob Dylan had just been released that summer.
But Dylan never adhered to the predictable “release a new album, go on tour” schedule that so many other musicians did. He was moving so fast at the time that booking long tours would’ve been difficult, until he hooked up with The Hawks in ’65.
There’s definitely a twinge of irony in this Bob Dylan San Jose placard stating “Folk Music Concert.” Right after the new year, he would go into the studio and begin recording Bringing It All Back Home… his first folk-rock platter.
Still, Dylan is still pretty much thought of as a folk-music kingpin of the turbulent 1960s, even when crossing over to folk-rock. As Dylan himself once said, “It’s all music… no more, no less.”
If you happen to know someone with this Bob Dylan San Jose tour poster, please let me know because I’d love to add one to my collection. (In this video, I’m taping a friend’s copy.)
I step up and pay the very best prices for items like this, having been a serious collector for over 40 years now. I bought my first Dylan LP in 1968, and have been hooked ever since!
I should identify myself: I’m Pete Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-540-0020) and I proudly put this Dylan San Jose poster video together.
If you’d like to see images of a few other rare Zimmerman posters, just click right over to this page here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/bobdylan.htm