Our vintage concert handbills feature performances from the Fillmore, Fillmore East, Winterland, the Avalon Ballroom and more.
Wilson's grand peacock was a showy depiction of headline group, The Byrds, and projects more joy than vanity in its swooping, linear form. The bird, a figure-eight study, leaps from the page in its detail, and the lettering appears to recede before it snaps back into focus at the bottom of the poster.
The 1st printing handbill measures 4 7/8" x 7 15/16" and displays the same image as the poster. Since only a small number have ever been found, it's possible that these pre-concert handbills were actually intended to be postcards and were simply overlooked in the back stamping process.
A variant handbill exists (see BG057-A) that explains the forthcoming poster is late because the "artist timetable misfired". On thin white paper, this pre-concert handbill simply states in typed dark blue ink the details of the upcoming concert. It measures 5 1/2" x 7 1/2".
When the Avalon Ballroom and Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium began to hold weekly dance concerts, Wilson was called upon to design the posters. He created psychedelic posters from February 1966 to May 1967, when disputes over money severed his connection with Graham. Wilson pioneered the psychedelic rock poster. Intended for a particular audience, "one that was tuned in to the psychedelic experience," his art, and especially the exaggerated freehand lettering, emerged from Wilson's own involvement with that experience and the psychedelic art of light shows.