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 email@example.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
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