Design - Bonnie MacLean
11th, 12th and 13th January 1968
Bill Graham Presents:
This was one of the four appearances the Chambers Brothers made at the Fillmore.
The poster features heavy black and white shapes and a smaller central feature in with further detailing and information about the event.
With every Bill Graham poster, along the bottom are the locations where tickets could have been purchased, as this was before the days of eTickets. Most of these were record shops located around the area.
Today has come today – Chambers Brothers – 1967
Back on the Street Again – The Sunshine company – 1967
Shake for me – the Siegel Schwall Band – 1968
Artist. John H. Myers
Sunday 23rd October 1966 (afternoon show)
Bill Graham Presents:
Country Joe & The Fish
Daily Flash (not on poster)
They say all the cool bands come from London, and it was definitely the case back in 1966.
This gig was one of Jeff Beck’s last appearances with the group, but once more the Fillmore worked its magic and Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page’s twin guitar assault brought the house down. A certain ED Denson reviewed the show in the Berkeley Barb, and called them “probably the best band in the world at this time,” or something like this.
This quite simple artwork shows a photo of the Yardbirds, it is one of the only few posters actually using a photograh as artwork of the series. In order from left Keith Relf, Chris Dreja, Jeff Beck, Jim McCarty and Jimmy Page.
The Yardbirds – Shape of Things 1966
Country Joe & The Fish – Bass Strings 1966
Daily Flash – Jack of Diamond 1966
Artist: Bonnie MacLean
July 25th – 30th 1967
Bill Graham Presents: The Yardbirds (headlining Tues-Thurs)
The Doors (headlining Fri-Sun)
James Cotton Blues Band
This dual feature poster killed two (yard)birds with one stone, with Bill Graham opening up the doors to a host of acts across six nights. Rubbish puns aside however this really was a week of great music. While of course some our own home-grown talent would have been a great sight to see with The Yardbirds performing, it’s arguably punters on the Fri, Sat and Sun night gigs that were the luckiest. Seeing The Doors perform in their native California while in full swing of their short-lived career would have been an epic spectacle to say the least.
The artwork depicts an orange and blue peacock on a green background with blue text. A sketch of a woman’s face is visible in the top right quarter of the poster.
The Yardbirds – “Shapes of Things”
The Doors – “The Doors” (full album)
James Cotton Blues Band – “Who’s Afraid of Little Red Riding Hood”
Richie Havens – “San Francisco Bay Blues”
I’m including a second Richie Havens link here for you all because despite it being a couple of years later (1969) than the Fillmore gig, with Richie performing at Woodstock, quite honestly it’s simply amazing and I demand you watch it immediately! As the story goes, Richie was the opening act on stage but to compensate for other artists late arrivals was asked to play an extended set, so once he ran out of material simply began jamming a few studio ideas he had, leading to this spontaneous performance of “Freedom” which later became “Motherless Child.”
Bill Graham Presents:
The Electric Flag: American Music Band
(Lights by) Holysee
With three acts such as these making their way onto the stage over two consecutive nights audiences were exposed to some of the best blues, rock and psychedelic music of the time.
The poster has a vibrant purple and turquoise colour scheme that starkly contrasts the black and white abstract figures. The woman seems to be clutching some sort of voodoo-esqe doll while the naked man appears to have a crow resting on his hair!
Chinese lettering gives the darker edging of the image an interesting texture while the solid block colouring of purple provides a strong background for the intricate freehand sketching.
Albert King – “Don’t Throw Your Love On Me So Strong” – (LIVE recording from the Fillmore in 1968)
The Electric Flag – “A Long Time Coming” – (Full playlist of their 1968 album)
The Collectors – “What is Love”
Artist: John H. Myers
Feb 10th-12th 1967
Bill Graham Presents: The Blues Project
John Lee Hooker
The Stu Gardner Trio
(Lights by) Headlights
At just $3.00 a ticket, this “Blue” centric gig featured some of the finest blues players of the time, as well as the more usual psychedelic rock Fillmore audiences were accustomed to. Adding Stu Garner to the line-up would have extended the jam further with his own special brand of psychedelic funk.
The poster artwork features a dark blue background with the concert details flowing from Jimmy Reed’s extended harmonica, all in various blue hues.
The Blues Project – “Flute Thing”
Jimmy Reed – “Ain’t That Lovin You”
John Lee Hooker – “Boom Boom”
Stu Gardner – “Skating Shoes”
If you’ve ever ventured down to dean street studios you may have noticed our elaborate collection of Bill Graham promotion posters, dating back to the 60s.
We thought it was about time that we shared these stunning and slightly whacky pieces with you and also gave a little history to go with them.
More to feature shortly.
Possibly the most noticeable concert promoter of the 60s right through to the 90s.
“championed rock acts during the psychedelic era” – Stephen Braun
He helped the reputation of the Fillmore music venue in San Francisco, which focused heavily on the psychedelic scene.
Featuring bands such as – The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Who and Neil Young.
Throughout his career he also starred in Apocalypse Now and played a part in the running of Live Aid.
Sadly Bill was killed in a horrendous helicopter crash whilst returning from a Huey Lewis concert in October 25th 1991.
We’re proud to house just under 50 of Bill’s amazing posters, which could possibly be the secret behind his and the venues success.
The first 500 Festival began in 2010 in a small village in Devon and now aims to being that feel to London’s shabby-chic district of Shoreditch on Saturday 6th October 2012.
Aiming to create the feel of a “giant party” founder Cat Blackwell (also Events Manager for Alexandra Palace) set out to “create an intimate event that brought together people with a love for good music, art & food & to create a sense of community.”