An alternate FD-2 Salute to Hongo Ishi concert handbill that was either shelved and never used, or distributed very sparingly at best.
The FD-2 that everyone knows is called “King Kong Memorial Dance” and features a photograph of a large gorilla as its centerpiece. That is the design that Family Dog promoter Chet Helms ultimately went with.
But this Salute to Hongo Ishi flyer had already been designed and even printed, either in tiny quantities or in a normal quantity that was then mostly thrown away when the simian took over.
I’ve already video-blogged the King Kong Memorial Dance poster in this space, so you can jump over to see that for reference if you like. That’s considered the “real” FD-2 poster and flyer, whereas this was basically the original concept, back when all these dance-concerts were given names.
Why does this Salute to Hongo Ishi concert flier carry that name, you may ask? Well, Hongo Ishi was the name of the newborn baby of Big Brother & the Holding Company’s guitarist James Gurley. And BBHC was on the bill this evening.
I don’t know more details than that, but it all ties together neatly. Perhaps that nickname for this dance was dropped simply because it was too “insider” for anybody in the public to understand.
The Grass Roots from Los Angeles were a part of this evening’s bill, but their name appears nowhere on the Salute to Hongo Ishi handout. So they were probably the last group booked, which also rendered this design obsolete.
The Grass Roots would go on, of course, to amazing Top 40 commercial success down the road, so it’s a good thing at least their name wound up on the King Kong Memorial Dance posters and flyers.
It was all pretty incestuous, in a good and innocent way… notice how the Great Society and Big Brother dominate the Salute to Hongo Ishi leaflet. They were managed, respectively, by John Carpenter and Chet Helms.
Well, Carpenter and Helms were also the two business partners running the Family Dog enterprise. Hmmm. Perhaps explains why their two bands dominated the flyer’s artwork.
This Salute to Hongo Ishi show bill was designed by the esteemed Wes Wilson, the man who simply drew up the first 10 Family Dog concert posters and 45 of the first 50 Bill Graham ones.
For some reason, he didn’t sign this artwork template when he was finished. Tribal Stomp and King Kong both have his name on there, but for some reason, this one doesn’t.
On first blush, one might think that the Salute to Hongo Ishi handbill is a Janis Joplin collectible, because Big Brother & the Holding Company were part of the bill.
But no, Janis would not join her famous stable mates for a few more months… they were without a female lead singer at this point.
This Salute to Hongo Ishi piece of Family Dog concert memorabilia is shown and explained to you today by Bay-Area music historian Pete Howard. Yes that’s me, and my contact info is as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 540-0020. Please remember that I pay the best prices in the hobby, period, for vintage S.F. psychedelic music collectables like this.
And to see a few more really nice psychedelic show posters from the 1960s, just tap over to this page: http://www.postercentral.com/psychedelic.htm