Surviving the Show

As was mentioned in our previous post, we come to this world of vintage concert posters by way of our profound passion for music and collectibles. That path brought me to NYC this past weekend to see the Allman Brothers Band play their annual run at the Beacon Theatre. The band is celebrating their Fortieth Anniversary, and I was privileged to be able to attend the Friday night show that featured guitar legend Eric Clapton as an incredibly special guest. It was everything I could have dreamed of, and included ear boggling renditions of several historic Derek and The Dominoes tunes. The spirit of Duane Allman was in the building. Needless to say, the show was incredible. Anyhow, I love the way that posters are a part of the live music experience, so after the show I purchased the commemorative poster which featured a really nice design by Jeff Wood. The clerk took my $35, rolled the print and put a couple of rubber bands around it, and I was on my way. I could not however, get the poster back to my hotel room without it getting damaged. Somehow between a couple of cab rides, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a late night meal, the poster got slightly crushed, and as a result it had a couple of hard creases.

I touch posters every day with delicate precision, but could not transport one home safely after a night playing out late. After being aggravated by this, I began to reflect on why these posters are so dreadfully hard to find in undamaged condition. Not only did they have to survive forty years of time and environmental impact, but they also had to deal with the clumsy handling of the folks who owned and enjoyed them at the time.

Bill Graham had a tradition of handing out posters after a show, how many of these remain undamaged? People who had this stuff back then were much like me. They were getting a souvenir of their experience. They were not speculating about future value. It is truly amazing that any of this stuff exists in Mint condition.