— BG-0 to BG-289 (1966-1973)
Bill Graham’s numbered poster series began in 1966 with BG-1 advertising Jefferson Airplane’s February 4-6 shows at the Fillmore Auditorium. In July of 1968, Graham moved from the original Fillmore Auditorium to the Carousel Ballroom, renaming it the Fillmore West. While the sequential BG Series ends in June 1972 with BG-289 — the Rolling Stones “Tumbling Dice” poster — the Series includes the 1973 BG-288 Nassau Coliseum poster featuring the Grateful Dead. The Bill Graham numbered series is not limited solely to posters. Handbills and postcards containing each poster image were also produced. In addition, beginning in the summer of 1967, tickets to Bill Graham’s Fillmore shows contained miniature poster images in varying color combinations for different days of the same run of shows. Poster artists Wes Wilson (BG-18), Bonnie MacLean, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Greg Irons, Lee Conklin, Rick Griffin (BG-105), Bob Fried, Victor Moscoso, Randy Tuten, and David Singer all created posters for the BG Series.
BG Series Posters and Handbills
— FD-1 to FD-147 (1966-1968)
There are 147 numbered posters that advertised Family Dog shows, primarily at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, from 1966 to 1968. There are also numbered posters for shows produced by the Family Dog in Denver, Colorado and Portland, Oregon. In addition, there are unnumbered posters and handbills associated with shows produced by the Family Dog in San Francisco in 1969 and 1970. The Family Dog Numbered Series includes Mouse & Kelley’s “Zig-Zag” man (FD-14) and their “Skull & Roses” Grateful Dead poster (FD-26). The Series also contains Rick Griffin’s FDD-18 poster for the Doors’ 1967 New Years show in Denver. The Family Dog series includes both posters and handbills. Later in the Series, there were postcards. The Family Dog also produced image tickets.
— AOR 1.101 to AOR 4.273
The Art of Rock, by Paul Grushkin, published in 1987 by Abbeville Press, contains 516 pages with 1,500 color illustrations and 100 black-and-white photographs. It is the primary reference book for collectors of classic rock posters. With a forward written by Bill Graham, The Art of Rock presents a visual history of the rock concert poster. It looks at The Roots: 1955-1965; The Psychedelic Years in San Francisco: 1965-1971; The Psychedelic Years in Southern California and the Rest of the World: 1965-1971; The Poster Mainstream: 1969-1987; and The New Music: 1976-1987. A unique and highly collectible poster series, the AOR Series is derived from The Art of Rock. The AOR Series is divided into four sections; each of these sections comprises a curated collection of posters selected by one of the world’s leading rock poster historians, Paul Grushkin.
Victor Moscoso was the first of San Francisco’s “Big Five” psychedelic poster artists to create his own poster series. Moscoso approached the owners of the Matrix (the San Francisco rock club that played major bands like the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother & The Holding Company — the same groups that played the Avalon and Fillmore) and offered to give the Matrix 200 free posters for each show run if he could print as many others as he could afford, and sell them. In effect, Moscoso commissioned, designed, produced, and sold each poster. Soon Moscoso was selling his posters worldwide. His Neon Rose Series has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and is in the Library of Congress. It is one of the crown jewels of the psychedelic poster era.
— Detroit, Michigan (1966-1970)
As Detroit dance promoter Russ Gibb planned the 1966 opening of the Grande Ballroom, he asked MC5 frontman Rob Tyner to recommend a poster artist. That’s how Gary Grimshaw became the primary poster and light show artist for the Grande Ballroom and began to emerge as one of America’s most influential poster artists. Major national and internationally known performers that appeared in Russ Gibb shows at the Grande Ballroom and at other regional venues included Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Byrds, Canned Heat, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon & The Animals, The Who, Doors, Procul Harum, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and many others, including the Grande’s famous house band, the MC5.