When Concert Posters Were An Art Form 1970

The 1970’s – Beginning of Commercial Rock

'When Bill Graham closed the Fillmore in 1971, artist David Singer was charged with creating its final poster. The piece was toned down as opposed to being something extravagant, which didn’t thrill Graham at first. However, the piece is now considered to be a classic, and it brought forth a new style of poster. Singer’s art style focused on collage work and thin lettering. At this time, a new era of both music and concert posters began. Rock music became more monetized, and shows began to be advertised more through mass media than posters. Though the number of posters created as advertisements dwindled, the art form persisted. Posters became more polished and less easy-going, which corresponded with the music happening at the time. Poster artists began to create artwork for t-shirts and albums, such as Stanley Mouse’s artwork that was used for The Grateful Dead’s Europe ‘72 album, entitled “Ice Cream Kid” and “Rainbow Foot”, which adhered to the psychedelic art style of the 1960s. Other important Mouse and Kelley art from this era include Blue Rose, created for the Grateful Dead’s performance at the closing of Winterland Arena, and Kelley’s poster for the Grateful Dead’s show in Egypt, only a thousand of which were ever produced, making it quite the collector’s item. Aside from classics such as these, most concert artwork appeared as advertisements in papers. Randy Tuten and David Singer designed most of these advertisements for Bill Graham’s events, which were now taking place at larger venues. Tuten also designed posters for large shows such as these featuring bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd. One notable production was The Last Waltz event in 1974, which was the final show of the Band. The poster for this event, designed by artist Croci, is a significant departure from the psychedelic art style, indicative of the changing times. Another important piece of rock art from this era was the laminated backstage pass, which began to feature unique artwork.' (blog,gocollect.com)





John Sinclair Freedom Rally

John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, Commander Cody

Ed Sanders, Bobby Seale, Teagarden & Van Winkle

Allen Ginsberg, Phil Ochs

Archie Shepp & Roswell Rudd, Jerry Rubin

The Up, Rennie Davis, Dave Dellinger, David Peel & Fr. James Groppi

Crisler Arena  Ann Arbor, MI


Velvet Underground

The Unicorn

Boston, MA



Howlin Wolf

Muddy Waters

Club Paradise

Memphis, TN



Derek & The Dominos

Bram Stoker & Adolphus Rebirth

Marquay Club

Torquay Town Hall

Torquay, UK


Jefferson Airplane

Quicksilver Messenger Service

Santana, It's A Beautiful Day

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks

Winterland  San Francisco, CA


Quicksilver Messenger Service

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Jo Jo Gun

Selland Arena

Fresno, CA



Pink Floyd

Fillmore West

San Francisco, CA


Fleetwood Mac

Munich Deutsches Museum

Munich, Germany


Sly & The Family Stone

Gladys Knight & The Pips

Rare Earth

Madison Square Garden, NY


Blood Sweat & Tears

Farm Show Arena

Harrisburg, PA


Led Zeppelin

Dallas Memorial Auditorium

Dallas, TX


The Who

The James Gang


Philadelphia, CA


Janis Joplin

Van Morrison

Cole Field House

University of Maryland

College Park, MD


The Doors

Albert King, Flying Burrito Bros

Long Beach Arena

Long Beach, CA



Allman Bros

Edison Electric Band

Philadelphia Spectrum

Philadelphia, PA



Laura Nyro

The Band

Berkeley Community Centre

San Francisco, CA


Led Zeppelin

Baltimore Civic Center

Baltimore, MD



Amazing Blondel




Woolacombe  N. Devon UK

Jimi Hendrix

Will Rogers Coliseum

Fort Worth, TX


Grateful Dead

Sopwith Camel

Avalon Ballroom

San Francisco, CA


Grateful Dead

Shades of Joy

Gestalt Fool Theatre Family

New Generation Singers

American Indian Dancers

Carousel Ballroom

San Francisco, CA



The Daily Flash

The Rising Sons

Avalon Ballroom

San Francisco, CA


Grateful Dead

Quicksilver Messenger Service

Panther Hall

Fort Worth, TX


Frank Zappa

Alice Cooper

Berkeley Community Theatre

San Francisco, CA





The Velvet Underground


Barry T & The Studebakers

Boston, MA


Ike & Tina Turner Revue

Seattle Center Arena

Seattle, WA


New Riders of The Purple Sage

with Jerry Garcia, Marmaduke & Mickey Hart

The Matrix

San Francisco, CA


The 4 Seasons

Jam Factory

Tech Coliseum @ Virginia Tech University

Blakesburg, Virginia



Southwind, Cock Robin

Swing Auditorium

San Bernardino, CA



Beach Boys

Paul Revere & The Raiders

Portland Civic Auditorium

Portland, OR


Deep Purple

Fleetwood Mac

Rory Gallagher

Swing Auditorium

San Bernardino, CA


The Who

Anaheim Stadium

Anaheim, CA


The Doors

Sacramento Memorial Auditorium

Sacramento, CA


Jimi Hendrix

Cactus, Cat Mother

Sick's Stadium  Seattle, WA


Grand Funk Railroad

Oklahoma University Field House

Tulsa, OK


Isle of Wight Festival

Afton Down, UK





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