NEW YORK – “My my, hey hey. Rock and roll is here to stay.” The opening lines to the Neil Young song Out of the Blue echo the theme of the Vintage Psychedelic Music Posters Auction to be held online by Jasper52 on Saturday, March 28. Bands featured in the sale range from San Francisco-based groups such as Big Brother & the Holding Company and Quicksilver Messenger Service to British stalwarts Led Led Zeppelin and the Who. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Many of the posters in the 121-lot collection were published for concert promoter Bill Graham’s events on the West Coast. One fine example is an original BG-199 Led Zeppelin poster (above) from a November 1969 three-night stand at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. This poster also advertises the Rolling Stones show the following week at Oakland Coliseum. This classic Bill Graham Presents poster is expected to sell for $500-$1,000.
While Big Brother & the Holding Company is well-known as Janis Joplin’s steppingstone to rock ’n’ roll stardom, an original poster for the group’s February 1967 concert at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom features a Bob Seidemann photo of lead guitarist James Gurley, who invited Joplin to join the group. This poster (below) was designed by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley for Family Dog, the famous publisher of psychedelic rock concert posters and handbills.
Undoubtedly, the most famous image from the Family Dog series, as well as the most recognized image ever used by the Grateful Dead, is the FD-26 Grateful Dead poster from the group’s Sept. 16-17, 1966, concert at the Avalon. The central image is a drawing by Edward Joseph Sullivan, a late 19th and early 20th century artist. Sullivan created this drawing to illustrate one of the quatrains of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám. Mouse and Kelley added the color; the original drawing was in black ink. This poster has been printed multiple times and bootlegged in several versions. This piece is from the authorized second printing, as signified by the notation “26(2)” appears in the lower left corner, as well as the Bindweed credit. This rare poster has been signed by both designers, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse (est. $1,000-$2,000).
Imagine seeing the Grateful Dead, the Mothers of Invention (Frank Zappa) and Quicksilver performing on the same stage. The Jasper52 auction turns back the clock with an original Bill Graham Presents poster for their June 3-4, 1966, concerts at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium (est. $350-$700).
Also starring at the Fillmore was the Who on June 3-4, 1967, in a Bill Graham Presents concert with Loading Zone as the opening act. This original, first print poster has a $250-$500 estimate.
The Jasper52 online auction of vintage psychedelic music posters will kick off at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, March 28.