The American Theatre Poster
Bill Graham pushed the envelope of popular prurience with the presentation of poet Michael McClure's The Beard. An imagined confrontation between Jean Harlow and Billy the Kid, the production ended with explicit oral sex between the protagonists. Cast member arrests were common at early productions until the ACL intervened.
The 1st printing of the poster has a white reverse. There is quite a bit of variation from light to dark in the background purple throughout this pre-concert run. The first printing measures 14" x 19 15/16".
The 2nd printing of the poster has a blue reverse and measures 13 15/16" x 20". This rare reprint was produced after the concert.
The 3rd printing is on #80 matte cover stock and has "W 2021" in the lower right-hand margin. It was printed in 2021 by Wolfgang's in a 100 copy run. This reprint measures 14" x 20".
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.