Concert Posters on Display

dancerThe Psychedelic Era (1964-1975), associated with the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, mescaline and psilocybin, produced psychedelic art which may be enjoyed by both those who have, and who have not, had a personal psychedelic experience. Art Nouveau had a profound influence because of its delight in natural forms, flowing long hair, and stylization.

Psychedelic art gained widespread popularity as the visual component of psychedelic music by such musicians as Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd through concert posters and album covers by designers including Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, and Martin Sharp. Other popular forms included posters, advertising, and comic book art by artists such as Robert Williams. [source]

Bill Graham Presents produced shows that attracted elements of America’s now legendary alternative culture of the 1960’s such as Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Country Joe and The Fish, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The Committee, The Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, and, a particular favorite of Graham’s, The Grateful Dead. His successes and popularity allowed him to become the top concert promoter in rock music. He operated the famous venues the Fillmore West and Winterland (both in San Francisco) and the Fillmore East (in New York City), where the best up-and-coming acts would come to play. As part of his shows, a tradition of handing out concert posters after the show was developed. [source] When The Fillmore reopened in 1994, under the direction of Bill Graham Presents, the tradition of concert posters continued. This tradition extended to other Bill Graham Presents concerts.

At The Fillmore (capacity 1,149) and The Warfield (capacity 2,500), both in San Francisco, posters were handed out to audience members as they exited the concert. At other venues, the number of posters, and their availability, were more limited and usually only provided to performers and employees. The value of the individual posters ranges from $10-$1000, depending on availability, artist, and/or performer.

The collection of posters in the library is a sample of the personal collection of Kenley Neufeld. Each poster was collected during a 10-year period in the San Francisco Bay Area where Kenley was employed by Bill Graham Presents.

Poster Highlights

Radiohead at Shoreline Amphitheatre
• 21-night run of Tom Petty featuring four different posters
David Bowie at The Warfield
The Rolling Stones at Oakland Stadium
Metallica at The Fillmore
The Cure at The Fillmore