Vulcan Gas

For those who think the psychedelic sixties were the sole property of the San Francisco scene, you're wrong. The entire country was receptive to this unconventional music, and Austin, Texas was a place where hot sun and hippies co-existed. Vulcan Gas Company, Austin's third effort at a psychedelic nightclub, operated on Congress Avenue from 1967 through mid-1970 and featured eclectic fare: Conqueroo, the 13th Floor Elevators, Moby Grape, Shiva's Headband, Muddy Waters, Freddie King. The coexistence of the cool and the conventional was edgy, however, and Vulcan was often under threat or closed down for broadly interpreted ordinance violations.

Posters and handbills from the Vulcan Gas Company are very different from their San Francisco counterparts. Early Gas Company artists including Jim Franklin, Jack Jackson and Gilbert Shelton designed large, 23x28 inch posters. To economize, the venue printed handbills and, at one point, even printed posters on newsprint. Cost was always a factor in poster/handbill production, so there were no second or third printings. Since Vulcan's output was small and the materials often fragile, the artwork in this collection is eye-popping, outstanding and rare.

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