Can You Pass The Acid Test? Telephone-Pole Poster 1965 Palo Alto, CA – Part 2

PLEASE VIEW PART 1 OF THIS VIDEO FIRST… everything will make more sense! 🙂

A pair of scarce, attractive Acid Test telephone-pole posters dating from Dec. 1965 at the Big Beat youth club located in Palo Alto, California.

In this video, I show you two different announcements for the same event… one has the venue information written in by hand, while the other one simply has a business card stapled in there.

From a musical standpoint, the most amazing thing about these two Can You Pass the Acid Test? ticket posters is that the Grateful Dead is on there. This makes them about the only known 1965 Grateful Dead concert posters to have ever surfaced.

The reason ’65 Dead posters are so rare is that they were known as The Warlocks for most of that year, and had even recorded as “The Emergency Crew” a month earlier.

Both of these Acid Test advertisements were cut in half along the dotted line, like the instructions say to do, and stacked one half on top of the other. That created a tall, thin poster for this famous pop culture happening – the third public Acid Test ever held (and fourth overall).

In this way, they are almost unique. In all my years of collecting concert and event posters, I don’t recall ever seeing one quite so skewed toward being very tall and very narrow – a perfect fit for any outside lamp or pole.

These two Can You Pass the Acid Test? fence posters differ in one significant way… they give slightly different addresses for the gig’s location. One says “998 San Antonio Road,” which the other one says “988.” Oops! The person who wrote in the location was off by one digit.

But we’re gonna let that slide, because the handwritten one here was done by none other than Captain Trips himself… the Dead’s Jerry Garcia! Can you believe that? The source, and provenance, is 100% solid on this. Wow.

Which turns the handwritten Acid Test pole poster into a staggeringly cool piece of Grateful Dead concert memorabilia. It was already way, way cool, but Jerry’s handwriting makes it drop-dead amazing.

And if you follow my video blogs, you’ve already seen my blog on the early 1966 version of this poster, in blue, with PigPen’s handwriting instead of Jerry’s. What a pair of collectibles these two make!

When it comes to color, given the choice, I’d choose this Acid Test show placard in the goldenrod color that these two are in, over either the white or blue versions, both of which I’ve also blogged already.

But sometimes, back in the day, the white one would be colored in by hand in psychedelic coloring, and that’s kind of unbeatable in appearance, too.

The entertainment, or “Happeners” as it says, found on this Can You Pass the Acid Test? poster were: the Dead of course, the Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, the Merry Pranksters of course, Neal Cassady and Roy’s Audioptics.

Just below the Dead’s name it says “Movies,” but not just any flicks… these events would show Ken Kesey and the Pranksters’ home movies taken on their legendary cross-country bus trip the previous year (’64).

As explained in my previous video blogs, this Acid Test show poster could actually be found today in no less than a dozen different forms… blue, white or this goldenrod; blank venue box or filled-in information; and cut & stacked, or uncut intact as printed.

It would take a real nut to want to collect all 12 variations, but my belief is that this is too scarce of a poster to be able to find everything.

These two Can You Pass the Acid Test? window cards are professorially presented by long-time music hound Pete Howard. That’s me, of course, and I can be reached at or simply by calling [805] 540-0020. And please keep in mind that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY, absolute dead certain, for vintage pieces of Acid Test memorabilia such as this.

This entry was posted in **All Posters, **Psychedelic Posters Only, *Grateful Dead and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Can You Pass The Acid Test? Telephone-Pole Poster 1965 Palo Alto, CA – Part 2

  1. It’s fun to think about Pigpen and Jerry helping with the concert posters.

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