A really fun, and early, Seattle Led Zeppelin concert poster dating to September 1 of 1970, a Tuesday night in the middle of summer.
Almost all concert posters give the day of the week as part of the date, which is especially helpful for people buying tickets in the week leading up to a show. But once in a while you find one like this that doesn’t provide the day, just the date.
That’s one of several unusual things about this Seattle Led Zeppelin show poster. It also doesn’t have a photo of the band, but rather a locally-created Zeppelin logo of sorts that doesn’t appear anywhere else.
“Exit Arts” is credited down in the lower left-hand corner as the graphic-arts company that put this together. One can assume they were a Seattle-based outfit.
But interestingly, no printer’s credit is given anywhere on this Seattle Led Zeppelin tour poster. It was certainly printed locally, but by whom, we don’t know.
Then again, perhaps Exit Arts was the designer and printer. That would make perfect sense, especially if they worked closely with the local promoter.
Speaking of which, this Seattle Led Zeppelin broadside leaves no doubt who that promoter was… “Presented by Concerts West,” it fairly screams down at the bottom.
That company was headed by one Tom Hulett, a famous promoter in the Pacific Northwest who brought every name act of the 1960s and ’70s to town during his heyday.
And then, naturally, this Seattle Led Zeppelin window poster provides ticket information for customers. Tickets were priced at $3.50, 4, 5 and 6 dollars, and available at Fidelity Lane and various suburban outlets.
Remember, this was before the days of Ticketron and computer ticketing, which had already gotten a foothold in bigger markets like L.A. and N.Y. So these were hard tickets being sold.
I’d say this Seattle Led Zeppelin concert placard is very sparse in its information, compared to others, and yet it gets the job done. It’s a poster of few words, but very direct messaging.
And that logo in the middle… have you ever seen Zep’s name rendered that way anywhere else? That’s why I’m thinking this was totally locally produced, without help from the band’s home office.
Just the fact that this Seattle Led Zeppelin appearance poster doesn’t utilize the band’s zeppelin dirigible image suggests it was done independently, and without the band’s input.
That dirigible hadn’t been used much at this point, but right about now it started popping up as a regular feature in the group’s image and advertising… although granted, in many different shapes, sizes, colors, etc.
Notice how four British flags – Union Jacks – are the centerpiece of this Seattle Led Zeppelin telephone-pole poster. That’s a nice design element, and perhaps they correspond to the number of musicians in the band.
The Union Jacks substitute nicely for the usual, standard publicity stills that old concert posters so often used… pictures are good, yes, but they were usually bland photos you’ve seen a million times before.
There’s a ton of red and blue on this Seattle Led Zeppelin tour placard, a smaller amount of white, and just a little bit of black. The latter is used only to box off the three square areas of the poster.
White is often overlooked as an important “color” on these old posters, but it was as important as any other color. Notice how all the lettering, except the band’s name, is in white.
This lovely piece of Seattle Led Zeppelin concert memorabilia was printed on durable card stock, which collectors just call ‘cardboard,’ and measures the standard size of 14 x 22 inches.
There would be a lot of paper Zep posters printed up throughout the years, but once those were posted somewhere, their survival rate was much lower. That’s because when they were torn down, they often were just ripped apart in the process. Cardboard posters tended to stay in one piece.
One fun aspect of this Seattle Led Zeppelin street poster is that the band was touring off their landmark second album, Led Zeppelin II. That’s my favorite Zep album, and it is for a lot of others, too.
But they were about to release Led Zeppelin III the following month, so they were playing lots of that album’s material, too, opening their shows with “Immigrant Song” from that record.
This Seattle Led Zeppelin concert announcement represents a band at the peak of its touring powers, with both the Beatles and the Stones out of the way. Only Zep and The Who were British powerhouses doing scorched-earth tours.
The Beatles had just disbanded and the Stones were on a two-year American touring hiatus (1970 and ’71), so Zep had the field practically to themselves, other than Townshend & Co.
This Seattle Led Zeppelin boxer style concert poster is just one example of the group expanding to 15,000-seat halls on this trek. Their manager, Peter Grant, had extremely ambitious plans for his band.
And America was eating it up. The critics were bashing everything the band released, including Rolling Stone magazine, but their legions of fans were multiplying at this stage, and it was one hot concert ticket.
This Seattle Led Zeppelin pole poster is brought to you today by collector and long-time fan Pete Howard (saw them in ’72, Long Beach Arena). That’s me, and feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 805.540.0020. And please remember that I pay the TOP PRICES IN THE HOBBY, PERIOD, for original, vintage Led Zeppelin concert posters like this.
And if you’d like to see another scarce Zep 1970 American concert poster – this one from Nashville, Tennessee – just slide your mouse over to this page right here on my site: http://www.postercentral.com/the1970s.htm