Bill Graham, Family Dog, Grateful Dead posters & more go up for bid at Turner Auctions + Appraisals
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present the sale of vintage posters from Bill Graham, Family Dog, Grateful Dead, and more at 10:30 am PST on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Offering over 125 lots, the auction features over 100 vintage rock posters from the 1960s to 2015, most from the 1960s, from one Northern California collector, who acquired them over 40+ years. Rounding out the sale, several additional lots include signed album covers, collectibles, and signed guitars from other sources.
The one-owner poster collection includes a wide variety of the era’s best-known musicians and poster artists. Many are from the legendary impresario and rock concert promoter, Bill Graham of “Bill Graham Presents” (BGP), who produced many San Francisco Bay Area concerts at numerous venues, including the Fillmores, Winterland, Shoreline, and the Oakland Coliseum.
The sale features an extensive selection of posters from the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Phil Lesh & Friends. Other artists include Jimi Hendrix, Quicksilver, Santana, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Bob Dylan, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Prince, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Phish, Jim Kweskin, Keith Richards & The X-Pensive Winos, and more. Many works were created by noted psychedelic and other poster artists such as Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Rick Griffin, Harry Rossit, Lee Conklin, Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, and others. Many pieces are signed by either the performance artist and/or the poster artist. A number of lots include two or more posters. This auction also offers a selection of signed guitars, album covers, photos and/or framed collectibles from Pearl Jam, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Metallica, Staind, Nickelback, Black Crows, Bad Co., John Lennon, and others.
Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 10:30 am PST; sale items are available for preview and bidding now. The auction will be featured live on multiple platforms: LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare, iCollector, and Turner Auctions + Appraisals’ free mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions"). All are easily accessed through ‘Upcoming Auctions’ at the company’s website.
Originally from New York, the owner of this collection came to Northern California because of the Grateful Dead. There in Marin County, he could get good seats at concerts without standing in line for several days, as was the case in New York in the late ‘70s. A passionate and dedicated fan, this longtime Dead Head enjoyed over 400 Grateful Dead concerts through the years, from 1973 to 1995, when Jerry Garcia passed away.
He became a collector because posters came to him. In the summer of 1980, as a young intern at the Bank of Marin in charge of picking up checks at various branches, he noticed BGP’s Fillmore concert-venue posters on a whiteboard. Inquiring about them, he learned that a record store had gone bankrupt in 1972; the bank got the inventory, and the posters were what was left. Of the original 247 Fillmore posters by “Bill Graham Presents,” 240 were in the bank’s inventory, all printed before 1972. He made an offer to buy them that was accepted, then sold a number of them to pay back his sister who had loaned him the purchase money. Thus, the poster collector was born.
The second cache came soon after. As a student at San Francisco State, he befriended a financial advisor. Her brother needed short-term storage for his collection of original posters from the Family Dog, a commune that hosted rock concerts at San Francisco’s Avalon Ballroom. In exchange, she invited him to take any doubles; these totaled about 25, all first prints. Later he met poster artists like Rick Griffin and Harry Rossit, buying pieces directly from them, or purchasing posters at concerts of the Grateful Dead and others. Some posters are from the “modern era,” from 1987 when the Fillmore re-opened to the present.
Over the years, the collector amassed over 1,000 posters, plus other rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia. He says the most collectible pieces are in this auction.
As for becoming a poster collector, the owner says it was meant to be: he “wasn’t given a choice – the posters came to him.” And he has been an excellent steward: virtually all the posters have been under his bed, in vinyl sleeves on acid-free paper, in the same condition he received them. Recently, however, he woke up and felt the posters were speaking to him, saying “they wanted to be released and get out from under the bed.” Heeding their energy, he now is parting with the key works from his collection, wanting the colorful posters to be out in the world, seen, and appreciated.
Here are some highlights of the upcoming sale:
Lot 19: Nirvana and Prince Concert Posters. Two Posters: 1) Artist: Nirvana. Venue: Oakland Coliseum. Date: 12/31/1993. Poster #: BGP090. Condition: Very good. Poster Artist: Harry Rossit. 2) Artist: Prince. Venue: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Date: 4/10/1993. Poster #: BGP073. Condition: Very good. Estimate $150-$250.
Lot 27: Grateful Dead/Allman Bros and Grateful Dead Concert. Two Posters: 1) Artist: Grateful Dead/Allman Bros. Venue: RFK Stadium. Date: 6/10/1973. Poster #: RFK730610. Condition: Very good. 2) Artist: Grateful Dead-Rick Griffin Pharaoh image. Venue: Berkeley Community. Date: 10/27/1984. Poster #: BCT19841027. Condition: Good. Poster Artist: Rick Griffin. Estimate $200-$300. (Collector’s Note: This was one of Rick Griffin’s last Grateful Dead posters before he died in 1991. The collector bought it for $9 from Rick’s backpack as Rick was walking around outside the concert venue; it was not sold inside.)
Lot 15: Procol Harum/Pink Floyd Concert Poster. Venues: Fillmore & Winterland. Date: 11/10/1967. Poster #: BG-92. Condition: Very good. Estimate $200-$300.
Lot 41: Jefferson Airplane/Jimi Hendrix Concert Poster. Venue: Fillmore. Date: 6/20/1967. Poster #: BG-069. Condition: Good 1st printing. Estimate $200-$300.
Lot 75: Grateful Dead/Steve Miller Concert Poster. Tripping Santa Claus image. Venue: Avalon. Date: 12/23/1966. Poster #: FD-40. Condition: Good. Poster Artist: Victor Moscoso. Estimate $250-$350.
Lot 48: Grateful Dead Concert Poster. Venue: Santa Fe Downs. Date: 10/17/1982. Poster #: Santa Fe 19821017. Condition: Very good. Estimate $200-$300.
Lot 50: Jefferson Airplane/Great Society Concert Poster. Venue: Avalon. Date: 7/22/1966. Poster #: FD-17. Condition: Good 1st A print silver ink. Poster Artist: Stanley Mouse. Estimate $250-$350.
Lot 102: Large Stanley Mouse, Dead in Egypt Concert Poster. Signed and numbered. Very good certificate of authenticity on back of poster. Estimate $250-$350.
Lot 85: Keep California Green 3D Concert Poster. Venue: Avalon. Date: 7/8/1966. Poster #: FD-16. Condition: Good 1st print. Poster Artist: Alton Kelley/Stanley Mouse. Estimate $250-$350.
Lot 69: Grateful Dead King Kong Concert Poster. Venue: Madison Square Garden Date: 9/14/1988. Poster #: MSG19880914. Condition: Very good; lot includes full-page New York Times concert ad. Estimate $80-$120.
Lot 100: Grateful Dead Concert Posters. Two Large Posters: Artist: Grateful Dead Venues: Warfield & Radio City. Sep/Oct 1980. Poster #: GDP1980. Condition: Very good. (Collector’s Notes: These 1980 posters for the pair of concerts featured skeletons in front of the two venues. However, Radio City insisted the New
York version be destroyed, not wanting skeletons in front of their building.) Estimate $250-$350.
Lot 8: Jimi Hendrix Concert Poster. Poster #: BG-105. Artist: Jimi Hendrix. Venue: Fillmore & Winterland. Date: 2/1/1968. Condition: Good 2nd printing (prior to the concert). Poster Artist: Rick Griffin. Estimate $400-$600.
Lot 99: Grateful Dead Concert Poster. Large poster for the European Tour in London & Egypt 5/31/1978. Poster #: GDP1978 Condition: Very good. (Collector’s Notes: The London tour was cancelled, so the Grateful Dead went directly to Egypt. Only 350 posters were produced; this was purchased directly from the Grateful Dead, dead.net.) Estimate $200-$300.
Lot 9: Big Brother/Santana/Chicago Concert Poster. Fillmore West. Date: 9/12/1968. Poster #: BG-136. Condition: Good. Poster Artist: Rick Griffin. Estimate $400-$600.
Lot 63: Grateful Dead/Taj Mahal Concert Poster. Mushroom Man image. Venue: Fillmore West. Date: 2/5/1969. Poster #: BG-216. Condition: Good 1st printing. Poster Artist: David Senger. Estimate $200-$300.
Lot 74: Jim Kweskin/Big Brother Concert Poster. Venue: Avalon. Date: 10/7/1966. Poster #: FD-29. Condition: Good. Poster Artist: Alton Kelley/Stanley Mouse. Estimate $200-$300.
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