Posters by Performer

Webb's in Stockton 4/14-15/67
About the Classic Posters Search by Performer Index

Finding a poster or a set of posters associated with a particular band or performer is easy at Classic Posters. Whether you are seeking to collect a set of posters and handbills for a particular band or performer, or looking for a single poster for a concert held on a specific date at a venue where a band or performer appeared, by using the Classic Posters Search by Performer Index you will have access to a comprehensive database of classic posters printed to advertise the appearances of more than 500 bands and performers at music venues throughout the United States and Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. Each Classic Poster collection by band or performer presents a directory of live performance dates, places, and thumbnail poster images so that finding posters is both quick and easy.

The following section presents a chronology of the debut performances at San Francisco rock music venues by nine local bands: The CharlatansJefferson AirplaneQuicksilver Messenger ServiceGrateful DeadBig Brother & the Holding CompanySopwith CamelCountry Joe & the FishSteve Miller Blues Band, and Moby Grape. The extraordinary posters that promoted their early performances are among the best, most rare, and most collectible examples of psychedelic poster art.

San Francisco Bands: 1965-67 (The Short List)


The Charlatans

Formed in San Francisco in the summer of 1964; sometimes called the first acid rock band. Charlatans Mike Ferguson and George Hunter produced a rock concert poster to promote The Charlatans’ June 1965 performances at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. This poster — known as “The Seed” — is said to be the first “psychedelic” concert poster.

First Performance:
  • The Matrix — October 5, 1965
  • For Family Dog at Longshoremen’s Hall — October 16, 1965 with Jefferson Airplane, Marbles, Great Society (FD1-LH)
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — February 18, 1966 with Sopwith Camel, Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland — March 4, 1967 with Moby Grape, Chambers Brothers

Featured Posters for the Charlatans (click on images for full description):

Jefferson Airplane

First Performance:
  • The Matrix — August 13, 1965: Matrix Opening Night
  • For Family Dog — Longshoremen’s Hall, October 16, 1965 with Charlatans, Marbles, Great Society (FD1)
  • For Bill Graham at The Fillmore Auditorium (first BG Show at the Fillmore Auditorium) — December 10, 1965 with Great Society, Mystery Trend, Warlocks, John Handy Quintet, Gentlemen’s Band
  • For Bill Graham at The Fillmore Auditorium (first BG Fillmore show with a numbered poster) — February 4, 1966 with Mystery Trend, Quicksilver Messenger Service (BG-1 Peter Bailey)
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland (first BG Show at Winterland) — September 23, 1966 with Butterfield Blues BandMuddy Waters (BG-29 Wes Wilson)

Featured Posters for Jefferson Airplane (click on images for full description):

Quicksilver Messenger Service

First Performance:
  • The Matrix — October 1965 (rehearsals)
  • December 1965. For The Committee’s Christmas party at Muir Beach (first paid performance)
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — February 4,1966 with Jefferson Airplane, Mystery Trend (BG-1 Peter Bailey)
  • For Family Dog — the Fillmore Auditorium, February 26, 1966 with Great Society, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Grass Roots, (FD-2 Wes Wilson, Chet Helms)
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland — December 31, 1967 with Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & The Holding Company (BG-37 Wes Wilson)

Note: QMS played its first paid gig for the Christmas party of the S.F. comedy troupe “The Committee.” Drummer Greg Elmore and guitarist Jim Murray were added to fill out the original band. It was a band without a name, Cipollina recalled: “Jim Murray and David Freiberg came up with the name. Me and Freiberg were born on the same day, and Gary and Greg were born on the same day, we were all Virgos and Murray was a Gemini. And Virgos and Geminis are all ruled by the planet Mercury. Another name for Mercury is Quicksilver. And then, Quicksilver is the messenger of the Gods, and Virgo is the servant, so Freiberg says ‘Oh, Quicksilver Messenger Service’.”

For more on QMS, see John Barthel’s interview with David Freiberg at: www.penncen.com/quicksilver/freiberg/interview.html

Featured Posters for Quicksilver Messenger Service (click on images for full description):

Grateful Dead

First Performance:
  • The Matrix — December 8,1965, billed as The Grateful Dead
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — December 10, 1965 (first BG Show at The Fillmore Auditorium), billed as the Warlocks with Jefferson Airplane, Great Society, Mystery Trend, John Handy Quintet, Gentlemen’s Band
  • For Family Dog — May 27-28, 1966, Avalon Ballroom with Leaves, Grass Roots, (FD-10 Wes Wilson)
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland — October 7, 1966 with Butterfield Blues Band, Jefferson Airplane (BG-30 Wes Wilson)

Featured Posters for Grateful Dead (click on images for full description):

Big Brother and the Holding Company

First Performance:
  • The Matrix — January 10, 1966
  • For Family Dog — January 15, 1966; Open Theater, Berkeley, CA FD-VI — Open Theater Benefit #2 (Wes Wilson)
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — February 12, 1966 with Great Society, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Wildflower
  • For Family Dog at the Fillmore Auditorium — February 19, 1966 with Jefferson Airplane, (FD-1 Wes Wilson, Chet Helms)
  • For Family Dog at Avalon Ballroom — June 24-25, 1966 (Janis Joplin joined the band June 6) with Quicksilver Messenger Service (FD-14 Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley)
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland — December 31, 1967 with Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service (BG-99 Bonnie MacLean)

Note: At the urging of her friend, Chet Helms (Big Brother’s manager), Janis Joplin traveled to San Francisco from Texas on June 5, 1966 and auditioned for band members on June 6 at Stanley Mouse’s Henry Street studio where the band was living. At the group’s first Avalon performance with their new vocalist, Joplin reportedly sang only two songs during the whole set, sitting out lengthy freak-rock interludes atop an amplifier, banging a tambourine. Later, Joplin asked for a better microphone and got band members to lower their amp settings to showcase her vocals.

Featured Posters for Big Brother and the Holding Company (click on images for full description):

Sopwith Camel

First Performance:
  • The Firehouse Theatre — February 12th, 1966 (first public performance)
  • The Fillmore Auditorium (AllDance Promotions) — February 18, 1966 with Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Amazing Charlatans
  • At The Matrix — March 22, 1966
  • For Family Dog at Avalon Ballroom — July 1-3, 1966 with Grass Roots, Daily Flash (FD-15 Wes Wilson)
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — July 2, 1966 with Great Society, Charlatans (BG-14 Wes Wilson)
  • Also: the Fillmore Auditorium — July 17, 1966, A.R.T.S. Benefit with Allen GinsbergSF Mime Troupe, The Committee (Wes Wilson)
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland: None

Note: “...We played a few cover tunes from folk-rock to blues like every other band did and we had our own brand of improvisational music. It was psychedelic/rock noise on the one hand and an attempt to rock classical style passages on the other hand ... We used a VW bus and then an ambulance to take equipment around. In less than six months time we were offered a record contract from Kama Sutra Records and asked to go to New York to travel with the Lovin Spoonful ... We arrived in the Village on the corner of McDougal and Bleeker in front of the Night Owl Cafe, Allen Ginsburg and one of the Fugs, greeted us with hugs and kisses. I bet that didn’t happen to many bands. We were the first hippie band out of the Bay Area. We opened at the Night Owl Cafe with Lothar and the Hand People. It was to get weirder as we toured the coast playing second bill to the Spoonful and promoting our hit record ‘Hello-Hello’ ...” 
From: Norm Mayell’s website: www.sopwithcamel.com/norm.html

Featured Posters for Sopwith Camel (click on images for full description):

Country Joe and the Fish

First Performance:
  • The Matrix — July 5, 1966 with San Francisco Mime Troupe
  • For Family Dog at Avalon Ballroom — October 21-22,1966 with Daily Flash (FD-31)
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — September 4, 1966 with Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland: None

Featured Posters for Country Joe and the Fish (click on images for full description):

Steve Miller Blues Band

  • The Matrix — August 16, 1966
  • For Family Dog at Avalon Ballroom—December 23-24, 1966 with Grateful Dead, Moby Grape (FD-40 Victor Moscoso)
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — February 26, 1967 with B.B. King, Moby Grape (BG-52 John H. Myers)
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland — January 5, 1968 with Vanilla FudgeSonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (BG-101 Lee Conklin)

Featured Posters for Steve Miller Blues Band (click on images for full description):

Moby Grape

First Performance:
  • For Bill Graham at the Fillmore Auditorium — November 25, 1966 with Jefferson Airplane, James Cotton (BG39 Wes Wilson)
  • The Matrix — December 6, 1966
  • For Family Dog at Avalon Ballroom — December 23-24, 1966 with Grateful Dead, Steve Miller Band (FD-40 Victor Moscoso)
  • For Bill Graham at Winterland — March 24, 1967 with Chambers Brothers, The Charlatans (BG56 Wes Wilson)

Featured Posters for Moby Grape (click on images for full description):

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