As a result of their galvanizing performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Big Brother & the Holding Co. and their lead singer Janis Joplin were quickly thrust into the national spotlight. Because of existing contractual obligations, BG124 represents a time when Big Brother was poised for stardom, yet without an album. A few months after these shows, "Cheap Thrills" would be released and shoot to number one. A few months after that, Janis Joplin would leave Big Brother for a solo career.
Trained as a commercial artist, Bob Fried came to San Francisco from New York to study at the Art Institute and work as a free-lance designer. In 1966, he began to look at the rock posters that were appearing throughout the Bay Area. Encouraged by Victor Moscoso, whom he met at the Art Institute, he began to create his own posters. He wanted to keep them simple to convey feelings of dimensional space, similar to an acid trip. Fried attempted to convey the feeling of the plasticity of time that was his experience on LSD.