Today I show you four Janis Joplin unused tickets, from back when she was fronting Big Brother & the Holding Company.
These 1966-67 tickets were never used for admission to the shows, and therefore remain in their original, un-torn state.
It’s not easy for collectors to track down Big Brother & the Holding Company complete concert tickets. It goes without saying that most of them were used at the time.
However, sometimes promoters hung onto quantities of these things when the gig didn’t sell out, rather than throw them away.
Some collectors might want to zero in on a Janis Joplin full concert ticket rather than a BBHC one, because seeing her actual name on the tic has obvious appeal.
But you might notice that one of the tix I’m showing you here doesn’t even have BBHC’s name on it, let alone Janis.
But the odds are, if you run across a Big Brother & the Holding Co. unused show ticket, Janis was the singer. They didn’t carry on for long after she left in late 1968.
And they played gigs for only about six months before she joined them in mid-1966. So that’s not a lot of time without their charismatic lead singer, lucky for us.
The first Janis Joplin complete ticket in my video is from the summer of ’66 at the famed Fillmore Auditorium. This is the ticket on which no musicians’ names appear.
That’s because it was a ten-hour benefit show with scads of performers, so obviously there was not enough space to list them on the ducat.
But aside from that, I like the stark simplicity of this particular Big Brother & the Holding Company full show ticket.
It’s just simple red print on white card stock, but that so nicely reflects the innocent age still present in the summer of ’66.
Then I’ve got a Janis Joplin unused tour ticket for a “fantasy show” that never took place in the fall of ’66.
That’s the one where Miss JJ was going to share the stage with the legendary shouter Howlin’ Wolf. Wouldn’t that have been an experience… but alas, the weekend’s shows were canceled.
This particular Big Brother & the Holding Co. unused concert ticket was from the Avalon Ballroom, home to promoter Chet Helms, who was in direct competition with Bill Graham.
In fact, the next two tix are also from the Avalon Ballroom, at Sutter & Van Ness in San Francisco. They’re Family Dog affairs.
The third Janis Joplin event ticket I’m showing you is rather “busy,” packed with written information. More cluttered than the others.
That’s partly because BBHC shares the bill with two other acts that had relatively long names, too: Quicksilver Messenger Service and Country Joe & The Fish.
It’s funny the way this Big Brother & the Holding Company full ticket has the words “Dance-Concert” in a much bigger font than the musicians’ names.
That’s because nobody was really a star yet in the Bay Area in 1966… it was all about the event itself, and having a good time. The local bands, unknown outside of the Bay Area, just provided the soundtrack.
And finally, there’s the Janis Joplin show ticket from 1967 which has the poster art, in sepia tone, emblazoned directly on it.
Like all the other tickets here, I hold up a photo of the concert poster that this ticket corresponds to. This one actually has a nickname, as you’ll see… “Contact.”
I’m glad I don’t have to choose my favorite Big Brother & the Holding Co. admission ticket from amongst these four. It would be a tough choice.
Do you go for the earliest one? The prettiest one (‘Contact’)? The one with your favorite support musicians? The simple solution: collect ’em all!
Maybe one goal would be to have a Janis Joplin unused admission ticket from each year they’re available… that would be fun.
Those would essentially encompass 1966 through 1970 inclusive, the years she actively performed a lot before passing away. But what about 1965 and earlier, in Texas? My, what a challenge that would be.
Some Janis collectors would not be content with a straightforward Big Brother & the Holding Company tour ticket, because she’s obviously not named by name – just the group name.
But for my money, Janis was far superior fronting BBHC than she was as a solo artist, overproduced by Columbia Records with horns, etc.
But with only five active years to pick from in collecting Janis Joplin unused event tickets, you would then be ‘shut out’ in the year 1967, the only full year she was with BBHC the entire time.
But as I said, finding anything from 1965 or earlier when she was hacking away at the blues in Texas would be a pipe dream. I’m sure she only played nightclubs and such.
But back to the matter at hand – Big Brother & the Holding Co. full admission tickets. I wonder how many different ones there are?
Surely there’s somebody out there who collects just those. I would love to hear from you, and see how many different ones you have from ’66-’68.
And likewise for someone who collects only Janis Joplin concert ticket stubs from the end of 1968 to late ’70. How many can be possibly amassed… dozens maybe, or even over 100?
There are lots of collectors of such things for The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley. I wonder if there is somebody for just Janis.
Most people who have a Big Brother & the Holding Company ticket stub probably collect lots of other artists, too… they wouldn’t specialize in just that band & Janis.
Heck, I probably have ticket stubs from over 100 different musicians in my collection. But then, many of these shows I attended myself, so the stubs were free leftovers.
These lovely artifacts of Janis Joplin concert memorabilia are shown off and discussed today by me, Peter J. Howard, a big collector and music historian on the central coast of California. You can send pictures and information to me through firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (805)-540-0020. And please remember that I pay the BEST PRICES IN THIS HOBBY, PERIOD, for old cool vintage concert tickets, even pre-rock ’n’ roll.
And to see some more images of really fun rock music tickets, just pop over to this page found right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/tickets.htm