Van Morrison Group 1967 Concert Poster – Solo Career Just Starting

A lovely, psychedelic 1967 Van Morrison poster for a concert bill he was on in the fall of that year in Santa Barbara, California.

The headliner here was Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the bill also featured Clear Light and Blue Cheer.

The most striking thing about this Van Morrison Group placard is the bright, brilliant colors it utilizes.

Besides the black and white which are a given, the colors of red, yellow and pink are resplendent in all their Summer-of-Love glory. (This was posted during the summer of love to sell tickets, but the show occurred one week into the fall.)

It’s pretty apparent that Quicksilver Messenger Service’s name was meant to dominate this 1967 Van Morrison show poster. Their name is contained within the woman’s body at the center of the poster’s artwork.

Blue Cheer and Clear Light, both with an awkward “The” before their names, are found just below the scales of justice off to the right. And then Van’s band is rather large down at the bottom.

“Maron Litho Inc. – Oxnard California” is found at the very bottom center of this Van Morrison Group window display.

That’s significant because, as far as I’ve been able to determine, that credit – and printer’s bug / union logo – appears only on first printings of promoter Jim Salzer’s posters.

Speaking of which, this 1967 Van Morrison appearance poster is but one in a series of dozens that Salzer produced from 1966-into the early ’70s.

Salzer would then reproduce most of the posters and sell them to local retail outlets, including his own Jim Salzer’s Music Emporium. I used to buy records & cassettes there in my youth!

No day of the week is given on this Van Morrison Group concert sign, but we know that it’s 1967 from a number of other obvious clues.

That’s unusual, because posters usually would help inform ticket-buyers by giving the weekday, too, such as “Saturday, Sept. 30” – the day of the week on which this show occurred.

I can’t imagine why the graphic poster artist failed to include their name somewhere on their 1967 Van Morrison street poster. For all my looking, I just can’t find it on there.

Perhaps it’s because they weren’t proud of their art, or maybe because Salzer forbade it at this early stage of his concert series – although I pretty much doubt that.

It’s kinda funny the way “Earl Warren” is not mentioned on this particular Van Morrison Group fence poster… it just says, “Jim Salzer Presents: At the Showgrounds.”

But the Earl Warren Showgrounds would get fully credited on most of Salzer’s posters going forward, including those selling tickets for The Doors, the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix.

You can sense the obvious influence that San Francisco’s rock art had on this 1967 Van Morrison concert advertisement. Bill Graham’s and the Avalon Ballroom’s posters up north had been part of the Bay Area scene for a little over a year at this point.

And perhaps this poster artist just felt inferior to the famous guys up there, like Stanley Mouse and Wes Wilson, so they didn’t want to add their name to this poster artwork. Pure conjecture on my part, however.

This Van Morrison Group window card is happily presented today by long-time Van the Man fan Pete Howard. If you’d like to contact me, I can be written to via pete@postercentral.com or dialed up on [805] 540.0020. And please always keep in mind that I pay the very best prices in this hobby for fun, original psych concert posters like this.

Now, to see some more swingin’ psychedelic concert posters from this era of other legends, just mouse on over to this page here on my site:
http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm

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One Response to Van Morrison Group 1967 Concert Poster – Solo Career Just Starting

  1. Hello Pete Howard,

    Good to see another Jim Salzer/Earl Warren Showgrounds poster. Thought I would mention a few things about this and other posters of the series. The concert was very enjoyable and not too crowded. A good time was had by all in attendance. Jim Salzer always wanted specific wording on his posters. He was very clear on that, in spite of what information should have been included. I don’t know which local artist did this poster. It was not one of mine, although a fine piece for the times. Jim gave younger artists a chance to shine rather then go to the well known poster artists of the day. You are correct about the printer’s mark, or “bug”. All the first Jim Salzer printings had either Maron Litho or Pacific Printing on the posters. Usually these marks were left off reprints. Often the original printings of these posters were printed with left over ink, so the coloration may or may not be the colors the artist intended. Many of the Earl Warren posters were reprinted, but not all. This adds to the confusion over this group of posters. Most of the poster artists were not aware of their posters being reprinted. I know it came as a surprise to me. To my knowledge, this poster was not reprinted by Jim, but I believe there have been unauthorized or bootleg printings done by others. Usually they are the wrong size and do not have the printer’s mark or the correct colors.

    Hope this clarifies matters.

    Best Regards,
    Frank Bettencourt

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