Vintage Concert Posters

Grande Ballroom Added to National Register of Historic Places!

Legendary concert hall produced historic moments and highly sought after concert posters

What collectors have long known is now officially recognized….the Grande Ballroom was one of the most important concert venues of the 1960’s! The legendary music venue was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

A recent photo of the legendary 1960’s concert hall, The Grande Ballroom

A recent photo of the legendary 1960’s concert hall, The Grande Ballroom

The Grande, located in Detroit Michigan, represented one of the largest and most vibrant outpost of the Psychedelic Scene outside San Francisco. Musical icons such as Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Traffic and many others appeared on the Grande stage.

These shows were promoted through the creation of mind boggling concert posters that created by well known artists Carl Lundgren and Gary Grimshaw. Their output is universally recognized for being of World Class quality, in the same league as the poster created by “The Big Five” out west.

What’s most exciting to collectors is that these posters were created in extremely limited quantities of 500-1000 per issue. Equally important, Detroit did not have the huge legion of poster collectors that were active in California.

This means that the survival rate of Grande concert posters, particularly in high grade, is extremely low. That’s why we described Grande Ballroom concert posters as a “powder keg ready to explode”, in our 2018 year in review blog post.

If you are looking for beautifully designed concert posters that are historically important and extremely rare, artworks from the Grande Ballroom are hard to beat!

To read more about Grandes historic designation, click here.

The Art of John Van Hamersveld Museum Exhibit Opens July 20th!

“The Era of Cool” featured at Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Pennsylvania.

John Van Hamersveld art exhibit opens at Westmoreland Museum of American Art 7/20/19.

John Van Hamersveld art exhibit opens at Westmoreland Museum of American Art 7/20/19.

Over the course of his 50 year career, legendary pop artist John Van Hamersveld has created influential and instantly recognizable works of art including the iconic Endless Summer poster and historic concert posters of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Dylan, and many others.

We’re excited to learn that The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pa. has announced they will become the next in a steady stream of art museums that are now recognizing the historical importance and artistic appeal of 1960’s graphic art and design.

There is no doubt that the exposure of our beloved artworks to Mainstream America completes the transformation of our niche hobby into an important and desirable category of art that is recognized by museums around the world.

The Westmoreland is located just 35 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The exhibit is scheduled to run July 20th through October 20th.

To learn more about the Hamersveld exhibit, click here.

Sacramento State to Exhibit Major 1960's Vintage Concert Poster Collection!

Major museum exhibits of Vintage Concert Posters continue to flourish across the nation.

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Last month the collectibles world received the exciting news that a massive collection of 3,000 vintage concert posters from the 1960’s to present was donated to Sacramento State University. The collection, includes vintage posters of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Kinks and hundreds of other musical legends.

The collection was assembled and donated by Dennis Newhall, a Sacramento native. “This is a story about the venues, the poster artists, the pioneering radio stations that brought rock to Sacramento, and the rock bands that played here,” explained Newhall.

Plans are being drawn up to exhibit the posters in multiple locations around the city.

“This is a very focused popular culture collection,” remarked James Fox of Sacramento State. “We can learn as much about ourselves from popular culture as we can by reading Shakespeare or Freud or whoever.”

This announcement is just the latest of several recent exhibits featuring Vintage Concert posters in major museums across the country.

The fact that we, as collectors, can still acquire 50 year Vintage Concert Posters in Museum Quality condition for just a few hundred dollars — that hang in major art museums across the country— explains why many experienced collectors are so excited about the opportunities available in today’s marketplace.

Stay tuned for more information on this exhibit in coming months!

Excitement Builds for 50th Anniversary of Woodstock!

Worldwide focus on Sixties music and culture sure to increase demand for Vintage Concert Posters

New details are emerging about the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock and by all major media accounts this event is set to be even larger and more impressive than our most optimistic expectations.

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Michael Lang, the producer of the original Woodstock Festival in 1969, is back at the helm. Woodstock 50 will take place August 16th - 18th in Watkins Glen International in upstate New York, just a couple hours away from Bethel, New York where the original Woodstock was held.

An impressive lineup of bands have been announced with a nice blend of classic artists and more contemporary performers. Improbably, a fine assortment of musicians will appear that also performed at the original Woodstock 50 years ago!

These classic 1960’s music legends include Santana, Canned Heat, John Sebastian, John Fogerty, Country Joe McDonald, David Crosby, members of Jefferson Airplane (now performing as Hot Tuna) and Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead!

While history has rightfully noted all the Sixties legends that tragically passed away in their twenties, it is truly inspiring to have this many original musical groups that are still performing and thriving today, 50 years later.

For a detailed analysis of how the 50th Anniversary will effect the Vintage concert poster Market, click here.

CBS Broadcast Major Segment on "Play It Loud" Exhibition at the Met!

Instruments and concert posters of the 1960’s take center stage .

Dozens of vintage concert posters are now on display The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New City.

Dozens of vintage concert posters are now on display The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New City.

Last month we reported on the new “Play It Loud” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. We explained the monumental significance of this event and the eventual reverberations that will be felt throughout the Vintage Concert poster Market.

The exhibit is now open and mainstream media can’t get enough of this exhibit. Seems like The Beatles, Stones, Hendrix and the rest of our 1960’s musical icons hold a lot more mass market interest and appeal than Rembrandt and Picasso!

CBS put together a wonderful story that was broadcast nationwide and is available around the world. We are all readers of this blog to checkout the story here.

Vintage Concert Posters are THE TRIP at Newly Opened Bahr Gallery!

Gallery in Oyster Bay, N.Y. invites readers of this blog to a private tour!

The Bahr Gallery in Oyster Bay N.Y. specializes in Vintage Concert Posters.

The Bahr Gallery in Oyster Bay N.Y. specializes in Vintage Concert Posters.

Anyone that has ever held a vintage concert poster in their hands understands that the grandeur of the awe inspiring art can never be fully displayed or transferred by tiny photos on a smartphone or computer.

Because of this, it’s always exciting for us to lead readers of this blog to venues where these important historical artifacts can be seen in person.

Our friend, Ted Bahr, started collecting late 1960’s posters just after college when he was living in San Francisco and remembers many evenings trundling into the legendary Ben Friedman’s Postermat in North Beach and trying to cajole Ben into selling some of his rarer issues.

Fast forward 30 years and Ted, who in 1999 started a company that produced conferences and trade shows in New York, had sold his company and began casting about for what to do in the next phase of life. More than 35 psychedelic posters had been beautifully framed and hung in his former offices and, knowing the increasing value of and interest in this poster art, he decided to open the Bahr Gallery, near his home in Oyster Bay, NY.

The Bahr Gallery, which opened last year, has several rooms featuring more than 60 psychedelic master works on rotation featuring posters from San Francisco’s Big Five of Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Alton Kelley, and others.

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Unlike the poster shops of old, the Bahr focuses on a complete presentation; an appropriate, carefully selected frame, archival mounting, nearly-invisible museum glass and a meticulously researched backgrounder on each work of art, putting the piece in context.

While The Bahr sells the artwork, visiting the Gallery is like visiting a museum and many people will stay for more than an hour, which they are more than welcome to do.  Also, the Gallery hosts private events, Exhibition openings, book signings, and musical evenings. An example from this past November was an event attended by 100 people to hear “the voice of the Grateful Dead Radio Hour,” David Gans, play with a Hawaiian slack key guitarist and Hula dancer, an event that also raised $700 for a local charity.

“We are curating the visual experience for admirers of this art, the music, and its special time in history, said Bahr. “It’s time for these 50-year-old works of art – already highly prized by collectors and connoisseurs of the period – to be properly displayed in a beautiful, elegant setting as they seek new homes.”

Exhibitions planned for 2019 include a Winter Showcase, British Invasion, Woodstock and other Festivals and the art of the Grateful Dead.

Owner Ted Bahr notes, “I was not asked to plug Psychedelic Art Exchange but I am going to anyway. Most of the pieces we display are purchased at auction from the reputable specialists in the field. I particularly appreciate the advocacy for CGC grading by Scott and Glen at PAE. Buying from experts makes my job easier – even though I do my own authenticity analysis, I know I am getting the piece as advertised. Further, companies like PAE act as a clearinghouse for the marketplace and allow me to then share this great art with the world. I enthusiastically invite all readers of PAE’s blog to contact me for a private tour!”

Learn more at www.bahrgallery.com or follow them on Facebook or Instagram @bahrgallery.  To get on the mailing list for events and exhibitions at the Bahr Gallery, or to schedule a private tour, send Ted Bahr a note, ted@bahrgallery.com.

It's Official!! Metropolitan Museum of Art's Groundbreaking Rock and Roll Exhibit opens April 9th !

“Play It Loud” will feature 130 instruments and Vintage Concert Posters!

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has announced the opening of their “Play It Loud” exhibition on April 9th. The exhibit is being heralded as the first major museum exhibition of Rock and Roll instruments.

In addition to the instruments, a large number of Vintage Concert Posters will be featured!

The fact the most important and influential art museum in the world is featuring a rock and roll exhibition further cements the immense historical importance and appeal of authentic artifacts of this era.

This marks a moment in time where our hobby is truly taking center stage. This blog has reported extensively on recent museum exhibitions of Bill Graham, The Rolling Stones and the 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love.

In each case, these exhibits have exposed several hundred thousand people to the importance of this era and has led to a surge of interest in Vintage Concert Posters.

The bottom line is that what was once a niche hobby has now been transformed into a legitimate category of art that is being exhibited in the most important museums around the world!

It’s never been more exciting to be a collector than RIGHT NOW! We will give a full report on the exhibition in coming weeks.

To read all the details more about Play It Loud, click here.

Boom! Rick Griffin Limited Edition Collaboration Announced with Dr. Martens!

Vintage ‘60’s art has firmly established worldwide, mass market appeal.

The desirability and collectibility of vintage 1960’s counter culture art was further verified by the recent announcement that Dr. Martens has entered into a Limited Edition collaboration with The Estate of Rick Griffin.

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The Limited Edition collection includes two different pairs of world famous Doc Martens boots, two different T-shirts and a backpack, all featuring iconic Rick Griffin art.

The fact that an international corporation that has a large, highly sophisticated marketing department has chosen to feature Rick Griffin art on products targeted to younger generations further affirms the lasting desirability and appeal of this iconic imagery.

This announcement comes on the heals of a recently announced Grateful Dead beer and a Wall Street Journal article that examines the mania attached to authentic items with direct links to the sixties. Both of these are covered in earlier posts to this blog.

To learn more about the Rick Griffin/ Dr. Martens collaboration, click here

Grateful Dead Inspired Beer Hits the Shelves Nationwide!

Counter-Culture values continue to carry mass appeal.

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Dog Head Brewery has just announced the release of their Grateful Dead inspired American Beauty Ale which will be available nationwide. The beer is being brewed as a collaboration with the Grateful Dead and features the band’s iconic “Dancing Bears” on both the label and carton packaging.

Earlier this week, during live lot viewing at our Gallery, the conversation AGAIN turned towards the future desirability of vintage concert posters and whether “anyone would care” once the original Deadheads (and other members of 1960’s counter culture) leave to attend the great Festival beyond.

Regular readers of this blog understand that values and music that came to life in the 1960’s are not just alive and well, but quite possibly far stronger and more widely embraced than ever before.

We have reported on the growing popularity of 1960’s influenced fashion, Nike’s release of Psychedelic Sneakers, Rolling Stone’s special Grateful Dead issue, Amazon’s purchase and promotion of the 6 hour Long Strange Trip documentary, the exploding popularity of music festivals across our the world, retrospectives at the world toniest museums and countless others. And let’s not forget something many people thought would never happen in their lifetime, the legalization of marijuana!

One thing is certain, NONE of these projects would be entering and offered to mainstream society if there was not mass appeal and interest.

We see this trend continuing to gather steam. The exploding interest in the 1960’s and the introduction of unbiased third part grading by CGC has led to an exponential growth in the number of people now collecting vintage 1960’s concert posters, which are arguably the most attractive compelling authentic artifacts from the era! It’s a great time to be a collector!

To read the entire article on the American Beauty Ale, click here.

Opportunity Alert! 50th Anniversary of Woodstock!

It’s been widely reported in this blog that Vintage Concert Posters have been receiving continuous and widespread recognition and exposure at major museum exhibits around the world over the past few years. The best (by far) is yet to come!

Authentic Woodstock posters are highly coveted and enjoy demand from people OUTSIDE our hobby, as well as within. The poster above is extremely rare and was created for display on the side of a bus. Many experts expect values to increase dramatically starting next year.

Authentic Woodstock posters are highly coveted and enjoy demand from people OUTSIDE our hobby, as well as within. The poster above is extremely rare and was created for display on the side of a bus. Many experts expect values to increase dramatically starting next year.

This exposure has added a major source of legitimacy to these amazing artworks and has resulted in a huge increase in the number of people that are now collecting these posters.

All of this will be DWARFED by the international exposure that is now, suddenly, just months away. Beginning on January 1st, the world will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock -- the most famous music festival in history. 

In addition to major 50th Anniversary Concerts both in the United States and abroad, there is sure to be major worldwide television, newspaper and magazine coverage of this historical milestone. More importantly, literally millions of people will be exposed to vintage concert posters in major museum exhibits that will occur around the nation. Additionally, PBS and CNN have already announced major multi part 50th Anniversary documentaries next year. 

In short, expect for the whole world to have a case of “Sixties Mania”, that is sure to influence the sights, sounds and fashions of 2019. 

We have tirelessly reported on the lollapalooza effects that have taken the market for Vintage Concert posters by storm, 1)Incredible beauty, 2)Extreme Rarity, 3)Ridiculously Cheap Prices, and very critically, 4) Unsurpassed Historical Importance, and 5) The introduction of independent, third party grading by CGC.

How many collectibles can you name that enjoy an entire year of celebration and publicity? All of this is not theoretical, or destined to happen at some indefinite point in the future. It’s all happening NOW and will continue to accelerate the rate of change we are currently seeing in this fast moving and exciting marketplace!

Exclusive news for readers of this blog! We can definitively state that next year will feature the most important museum exhibition of vintage 1960's concert posters ever offered to the public. This exhibit,  will be in one of the most important, if not THE most important art museum in the world!

You've seen this movie before! They say that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. 

It was just 2 years ago that we informed our readers that the market for vintage concert posters was going to receive a major shot in the arm from the world's celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love. We explained that collectors should add to their collections while prices were still at rock bottom lows.

Everything we said in Fall of 2016 has come true, 100%!

The media kicked in, the concerts were held, television special were produced, and major art museums had lines out the door with people wanting to experience their own little throwback to "The Sixties". This resulted in a huge shot in the arm for the hobby and it's been onward and upward ever since.

All of us have seen firsthand what happens when our little part of the world lands on the front page of headlines. Values have moved up substantially for posters after the passing of  B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Tom Petty and now Aretha Franklin. 

Why? 

Because this was news that transcended our hobby and entered mainstream America!

The same exact thing is about to happen with the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock!

As a reader of this blog, we implore you to use the information you have NOW, while YOU ARE STILL WAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE. Use the coming weeks and months to start or add to your collection while supply is still available and prices are still affordable. And, if you ever dreamed of owning an authentic Woodstock poster, and you're lucky enough to track one down, grab it NOW, before the masses arrive to compete with you. You’ll be glad you did!

Grateful Dead FD-26 Skeleton and Roses Concert Poster auctioned for World Record Price of $50,600!

Record smashed as interest in vintage 1960's concert posters explodes

This Grateful Dead Skeleton and Roses FD-26 concert poster was auctioned for a world record price of $50,600

This Grateful Dead Skeleton and Roses FD-26 concert poster was auctioned for a world record price of $50,600

A rare 1966 Grateful Dead Skeleton and Roses concert poster realized a world record price of $50,600 in an auction held August 9, 2018 by Psychedelic Art Exchange. The poster was independently authenticated and graded by Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) as 9.4 on a scale of 10, and generated interest from collectors around the world.

"This is just the latest in a series of record prices we have seen recently in our auctions," stated Glen Trosch, President of Psychedelic Art Exchange. " Collectors are excited about bidding on these concert posters now that third party authentication and grading is available from CGC."

The auction featured 225 vintage concert posters and handbills that had been independently certified by CGC, the world's leader in third party authentication of collectibles. The auction had a 100% sell through, a very rare occurrence for any collectibles auction.

Other highlights of the auction include:

Tribute to Dr. Strange 1965 Handbill CGC Graded 8.0, sold for $6,325.
Jimi Hendrix CNE Auditorium 1968 Concert Poster CGC graded 9.6 sold for $4,887.
Van Morrison Avalon Ballroom 1967 Concert poster CGC Graded 9.9 realized $546.00

"Needless to say, these record prices made our consignors very happy," added Trosch. "Our phone is ringing off the hook from long time concert poster collectors that are looking to take advantage of these new price levels. After waiting over 50 years, many believe now is the perfect time to sell. "

Psychedelic Art Exchange is now accepting consignments for its next auction scheduled for October, 2018. They have also recently published a free report, Insider Secrets of the Vintage Concert Poster Market - 2018. For more information, visit ConcertPosterGallery.com

Boom! CGC Graded Comic Book sells for over $2,000,000!

Every major comic book price record of the past 10 years was independently graded and authenticated by CGC

News quickly spread around the collectibles world that an Action Comics #1, that was independently graded and authenticated by CGC, recently realizes $2,050,000 at auction. The article mentions that this is the 4th Action Comics #1 to realize over $1,000,000 at auction.

This is the most recent of 4 Action Comics #1 to realize over $1,000,000 at auction. All 4 were graded and authenticated by CGC.

This is the most recent of 4 Action Comics #1 to realize over $1,000,000 at auction. All 4 were graded and authenticated by CGC.

The auctioneer, Comic Connect, was quoted in the new release as saying " The thing all these comic books had in common was they had been certified and encapsulated by CGC. The winning combination of the most trusted name in grading and vintage comic sale auctions made these earth shattering sales possible."

"The CGC label makes selling easier by giving bidders confidence in the authenticity and grade, whether it's a high flying copy of Action Comics #1 or a more down to earth collectible."

This news is extremely noteworthy and important to collectors of vintage concert posters for 3 main reasons: 

1) This news serves as additional FACT that when it comes to WORLD CLASS collectibles and the commensurate prices they command, independent third party authentication and grading is demanded by ALL serious collectors  100% of the time. 

This is not an opinion, it's a fact. This FACT is why new collectors are flooding into the vintage concert poster market at this time. 

For the first time ever, buyers can have confidence they are actually receiving what they bargained for. This huge increase in collector demand is chasing the small and dwindling supply, and that's why prices have been moving up recently. Many of these new collectors are entering from other collectibles markets. They are VERY familiar and comfortable with CGC and they believe that vintage concert posters are dirt cheap at current price levels.

2) This story is also newsworthy because it shows what a screaming bargain vintage concert posters represent at current price levels. In every other major collectibles marketplace, the "best of the best" starts at $1,000,000 and goes up to multiples of that price level. 

You can still buy the very most important and desirable concert posters for well under $100,000. This under valuation won't last long. If you are thinking of acquiring a few World Class concert posters, now is the time to do so, while prices are still relatively affordable.

3) We have CONTINUOSLY written and reported on the most important number in collectibles, that number being #1, as in FIRST. Again,this advice is not dispensed as opinion, it's shown as FACT. The FIRST in any collectible is the most historically important, and always command record levels of collector interest and demand.

We have personally made millions of dollars following this strategy and have CONSISTENTLY implored our collector clients to pursue the same. We urge you to read our blog dated January 25, 2010 to learn more about this critical collecting strategy.

To read more about the spectacular $2,000,000 Action comics #1 sale, click here.

New York Times says Multi-Million Dollar Explosion in Baseball Card Values a Result of Independent Third Party Certification!

Vintage Concert Posters Independently Certified by CGC Also Exploding in Value!

The New York Times today has a VERY interesting story titled  Trading Cards: A Hobby That Became a Multi-Million Dollar Investment. Now wait a minute you might ask, "Isn't this a blog about collecting vintage concert posters?"

Independently graded baseball cards have exploded in value. Many collectors believe CGC graded concert posters will be next.

Independently graded baseball cards have exploded in value. Many collectors believe CGC graded concert posters will be next.

The answer is yes, and so is this blog post!

The article reports on how the value of the most desirable baseball cards have exploded in value from being worth thousands of dollars, to several hundred thousands of dollars all the way up to TEN MILLION DOLLARS EACH!

Importantly, The Times reports, "The driving force in turning a card hobby into an investment opportunity has been the acceptance of a single recognized grading system for the condition of the cards. An independent company called Professional Sports Authenticator will rate any card and give a grade from 0 to 10. which assesses a card's condition and, in most cases, determines its price."

For regular readers of this blog, this explosion in baseball card values is not news, nor a unique event. We have repeatedly explained that in each and every collectible market where independent third party authentication and grading has been introduced, an explosion in values for the finest quality and most sought after items has followed quickly behind. 

This has occurred in the market for rare coins, stamps, paper money, comic books, trading cards.

Why has this happened? The answer is simple. In collectibles, very small differences in quality equates to huge differences in value. This sets up a conflict of interest between the seller and buyer as the seller is hugely incentivized to grade their material as high as possible.

In addition, authentication is always an issue, particularly in paper collectibles such as rare currency, stamps, comic books, trading cards and yes, concert posters. It's alot easier to forge something made of paper that a coin minted from gold. Professional restoration that makes an item appear to be in Mint Condition -- even though it's been heavily damaged-- can also be impossible for anyone but an expert to detect.

Independent third party authentication and grading solves these problems and allows collectors to participate in a hobby in a safe and secure way. Once these collectors enter a new market, demand quickly overwhelms the tiny available supply and prices increase.

CGC Graded Concert Posters - Where Are We Now?

Nothing in this world happens in a vacuum...everything is relative to something else. That's why many experienced collectors believe that vintage concert posters that have been independently authenticated and graded by CGC represent the single most lucrative collectible opportunity in the marketplace today!

( CGC is a recognized leader in the third party authentication and grading of collectibles. They have graded literally many billions of dollars in collectibles and has just recently begun offering their service for vintage concert posters.)

This market viewpoint is rooted in fact. Last week we completed our 9th Anniversary Auction of of 200 CGC graded concert posters. Included in the auction were two classic rarities, The World Famous Bill Graham #2 Batman and The Legendary Family Dog #2 King Kong. These two posters realized $14,376 and $31,051 respectively.

Each of these posters are so rare that they were the very FIRST CGC graded examples to ever be offered at public auction. They are also some of the most valuable posters in the entire marketplace. The fact that these Ultra Rarities can still be acquired for literally pennies on the dollars  compared to ever other major collectible tells you we are in the early days of this exciting collectible. 

There's an old saying, "that which cannot go on forever, will eventually end." This slogan can be aptly applied to the current, ultra affordable price levels of vintage concert posters. It's still possible to acquire beautiful Original First Printings in Museum Quality condition, featuring legendary bands performing at historic venues for less than a dinner for two at a decent restaurant. In fact, bidding on most lots in our auctions start at just $1.00!! And as described above, you can still acquire the very finest rarities available for well under $50,000. 

Clearly, the time to collect is now, while prices are still dirt cheap and before this window of opportunity slams shut forever!

Read the entire New York Times story here.

To learn more about CGC graded concert posters, read our blogs dated 4/3/17,  7/7/17, and 8/29/17.

Armadillo World Headquarters - A Memoir Recently Published!

Collector Demand Explodes For Material from Legendary Venue

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It's no secret that collector interest and demand for vintage concert posters and handbills from Armadillo World Headquarters have skyrocketed in recent years. This has been reported about frequently in this blog.

We're pleased to report that a new book on the legendary venue has been recently published by Eddie Wilson, one of the founders of Armadillo World HQ. The book is highly entertaining and provides music fans and collectors a behind the scenes peak of the club, the world famous musicians that played there, and a historical context of the Austin music scene in the 1970's.

In addition to the treasure trove of information and anecdotes, there are many great photos of the fantastic posters that were created to promote the concerts at the venue. 

Experienced collectors know that information is what drives the growth of any collectibles market. Knowledge, truly is KING. Armadillo material was already sought after and this new book explains why it is high desirable. This is a volume that every collector of vintage concert posters and handbills should add to their library. Highly recommended and well worth the $35.00 cover price!

The Greatest 1960's Concert Poster Museum Exhibition of All Time is Happening Now!

The Summer of Love Experience at the deYoung Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco is of major importance to our rapidly growing market! Here's why:

We are still digesting everything we witnessed at the Summer of Love Experience that is on display at the deYoung Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco through August 20, 2017. First, let's talk about the exhibit itself.

The Summer of Love Experience is without a doubt the finest museum exhibition dedicated to the historical importance of 1960's art, music, fashion and politics ever created! 

This exhibit is truly breathtaking in it's size, scope, ambitions and unparalleled professionalism. Over the years, we have enthusiastically reported on major museum exhibits that have regularly popped up around the the United States. We have explained that these exhibits bring newfound respect and exposure for the posters that we all lovingly collect and admire. These exhibits have all been hugely important, but this exhibit is 10 times better than any that have come before it.

The Summer of Love Experience runs through August 20, 2017. We HIGHLY recommend that as a reader of this blog, you strongly consider investing the time and money needed to see this with your very own eyes, even if you are from out of town. You will NOT be disappointed and a thorough review of the exhibit can easily take up a couple of hours. 

We're pleased to report that while this massive exhibit offers very extensive and highly detailed displays of 1960's fashion, and social and political happenings, it is the concerts and music posters from the 1960's that absolutely take center stage and are THE focal point of the exhibit!

Literally hundreds of 1960's posters are beautifully and respectfully presented. A 4 minute movie shows you how these incredible pieces of history were created. Printing plates and artist's original handwritten instructions to the printer are shown and explained.

An entire section of the exhibit is dedicated to The Trips Festival. You can step into a room and see dozens of people mesmerized by Bill Ham's light show! Obviously, 1960's music is played throughout. 

Entire sections are also dedicated to The Human Be-In, The Merry Pranksters, Haight Ashbury snd the bands and artists of the era. One of the most impressive displays was of Victor Moscoso's posters shown under the influence of a color wheel, exactly as they were intended to be viewed. Believe me, you have not truly seen a Moscoso concert poster until you have seen it the way it was intended. Absolutely incredible!

The most important thing. Without a doubt, the thing that impressed us the most about this exhibit was the mind boggling size and enthusiasm of the crowds attending. There was around 1000 people at the exhibit during our 3 hour visit.

A back of the envelope calculation leads us to believe that at the very least, half a million people will see this exhibit during it's 4 months of operation. And it would not surprise us if the total attendance exceeds well over 1 million!

It was so clear during our visit that this era, and it's music, art, fashion, and ideals touched people in a way that todays' modern commercialism and way of life does not. For the few hours you spend at the exhibit, you are transported back to a special moment in time and history. The most tangible link to that era is the music, and the most collectible artifact from that era are the posters.

Over the past 2-3 years, we have seen a steady and growing number of new collectors that are fascinated by the fact that you can get a historically important, museum quality poster, issued in extremely tiny quantities, for far less than the dreck offered at the "Art Gallery" in your local shopping mall. 

And even more importantly, these posters currently trade for pennies on the dollar when compared to the finest coins, comic books and baseball cards that routinely bring over $1 million each! It's truly exciting to have a poster in your home that was actually displayed in a museum!

Groundbreaking major museum exhibits like this have the same effect as throwing gasoline on a fire. It's obvious this Summer of Love Experience will generate more new collectors of these posters. But more importantly, the massive success of The Summer of Love Experience will serve as an eye opener for other major museums that are always on the lookout for the best way to attract the general public. You can bet there are many more major museum exhibitions to come!

This virtuous cycle assures that the appreciation for these beautiful and rare works of art will continue to grow with each passing year.

To see the de Young's online exhibit, click here.

To buy the Summer of Love Experience museum catalog (HIGHLY recommended!), click here.

To read the San Francisco Examiner review, click here.

2017 Q2 Concert Poster Market Update (Pt.2)

For every action, there is a reaction. Last week we discussed the intense focus on quality, originality and the widespread acceptance of CGC grading. These three developments have greatly influenced the vintage concert poster market in the following ways:

Exponential growth of new customers. During the first half of 2017 we’ve seen a huge influx of collectors that entering this market for the very first time. These are folks that are already active collectors of rare coins, comic books, baseball cards and other popular collectibles. They understand and are familiar with the advantages of third party grading.

These experienced collectors feel confident that they can now acquire vintage concert posters and know they are getting what they bargained for. Time and time again, we’re told that vintage concert posters represent an extraordinary value when compared to more mature collectibles markets that have already “been bid up.”

Widening premiums between grades. Now that CGC is grading concert posters, we are starting to see a widening of values between each individual grade. This should be a surprise to no one. The very purpose of any grading service is to distinguish differences in quality among examples of the same issue. Once these differences are established, common sense dictates values will be differentiated as well.

Record Prices. The influx of experienced collectors from other markets is steadily producing world record prices for the highest graded and finest known examples of various issues. This is simply the result of growing demand and a fixed supply.

The market has greatly increased the number of market participants, and these participants have greatly increased confidence to “pay up” when a special opportunity presents itself. While prices are just beginning to increase, premiums for high grade material continue to be a tiny fraction of what is commanded in every other collectibles market. Really great coins, comic books and baseball cards regularly bring over $1,000,000 each while the very rarest and finest quality vintage concert posters don't six figures at auction. Clearly, this is STILL VERY EARLY days for these wonderful pieces of art.

Huge media attention. In addition to the structural market factors previously discussed, this market is also growing fast due to huge tailwinds generated by the media. The 50th Anniversary of The 1967 Summer of Love has been extensively reported on and celebrated across the country. TV specials, concerts, museum exhibits and other special events commemorating 1967 continue to be enjoyed by literally millions of people around the world.

The triumphant and critically praised 2017 tour of Dead and Company, as well as the recent deaths of Chuck Berry and Greg Allman have also shined a bright light on the UNSURPASSED HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE of vintage rock concert posters. ( Chuck Berry and Allman Brothers posters are experiencing huge demand)

A perfect storm. All of the factors discussed i the past 2 blog posts have created a perfect storm that has been over 50 years in the making. It’s really exciting to be a participant in this marketplace at this unique moment in time.  Massive events are being held around the world in appreciation of the historical importance of the music and culture of the late 1960’s.

Vintage rock concert posters are the most tangible and collectible historic artifacts of this era. They are also beautiful, rare and dirt cheap compared to every other collectible. We recommend filling out your collection now, while most issue are still super affordable.

2017 Q2 Concert Poster Market Update (Pt.1)

The first half of 2017 is now over and it can safely be said that the market for vintage concert posters is evolving at an exponential rate! Activity and interest is at an all time high fueled by the following developments:

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Intense Focus on Quality. One of the signs this market is starting to mature is a heightened focus on state of preservation. Even though quality is the number one value determinate of every other major collectible such as coins, comic books, baseball cards, stamps,etc, this concept is still relatively new among vintage concert poster collectors.

It wasn’t that long ago that mint condition posters brought very little premium compared to damaged examples. Collectors now recognize that the percentage of posters that have survived in mint condition represent a miniscule fraction of what was originally produced.

The competition for these beautiful Gems has really begun to heat up because knowledgeable collectors understand that the premiums commanded in today’s market for mint condition are STILL just a tiny fraction of what is commanded in every other collectible. These collectors believe this situation is temporary-- so the race is on to assemble mint condition collections while prices are still dirt cheap.

Intense Focus on Originality. Up until a few years ago, collectors would think nothing of taking a 100% original concert poster with minor problems and have it “improved” through restoration. This situation has changed drastically and has now also fallen in line with other collectible markets.

Today’s collectors are focused on 100% original posters with no restoration. Most collectors we deal with would rather have a poster that is 100% original and completely “unmessed with”, than have a poster in their collection that has had paper added to fill in pinholes or ink and color added that was not part of the original poster.

The thinking can best be summed up this way: When it comes to restoration, where do you draw the line between owning “the real thing” versus owning something that is “not 100% real’? The answer to this question must be answered by each individual collector for themselves. But collectively, the people and the marketplace have spoken. Today’s collectors are focusing on 100% original posters with no restoration. Values and demand for original posters are growing faster than those of comparable restored examples.

Widespread acceptance of CGC. Independent authentication and grading by CGC is a market development that was inevitable and long overdue. In today’s fast growing market for vintage concert posters, small differences in quality represent large differences in value. This generates an inherent conflict of interest between buyers and sellers that results in several problems. First, the seller, naturally, is incentivized to grade their posters as high as possible in order to sell it for as much as possible. Second, just because the dealer you buy a poster from grades it a certain way, that is no guarantee that anyone else will agree with that grade when the time comes for you to sell. Third, if you have a really superior “finest known” example of a poster you wish to sell, it will be hard to realize the extra value that is inherent in the quality of your item without independent verification. Fourth, if you have a poster you wish to sell that is not CGC graded, no dealer can give you an accurate quote without in person inspection. Lastly, if you are new to a collectible field, you won’t have the expertise or knowledge to determine for yourself whether a poster has been professionally restored or if it the actual printing (or reprint) that it is represented to be.

Psychedelic Art Exchange believes that third party authentication and grading by CGC is a major leap forward for collectors of vintage concert posters and handbills. CGC is an internationally recognized leader in third party authentication and grading of collectibles. They have graded literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of rare coins, comic books and rare currency over the past 20+ years.

We have made the decision that if a poster is eligible for CGC grading, we will ALWAYS have it submitted to CGC before it is offered for sale.(Unless the poster is of negligible value under $100)  Why? The answer is really simple. We want to be on “the same side of the table” as our loyal and highly valued clients. And we want to offer a safe and secure platform for collectors to CONFIDENTLY buy and sell. In other words, we believe that by doing what’s in the best long term interests of our clients, we are actually doing what is in the best long term interest for our company and the marketplace as a whole. It’s an old fashioned idea that often gets lost in today’s fast paced world.

Currently, CGC grades all of the posters featured in The Art of Rock by Paul Grushkin, (subject to size constraints), and all of the posters in The Collector’s Guide to Psychedelic Rock Concerts Posters, Postcards and Handbills, 1965-1973 by Eric King. (Again,subject to some limited size constraints). Mr.King’s encyclopedic Guide features the entire concert poster series from the Family Dog Avalon Ballroom, Bill Graham Fillmore Auditorium, Grande Ballroom, Neon Rose and Vulcan Gas. CGC has announced that in the future they will continue to expand the universe of posters eligible for their service.

If a poster is not currently eligible for CGC grading, we will offer it in a PAE certified package similiar to CGC, as we have for the past 10 years. Every PAE certified item is backed IN WRITING by a Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity and Grade. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the strongest guarantee available anywhere in the world and it’s a guarantee that has earned us a loyal clientele around the world before CGC grading was introduced.

One final note. CGC grading is a new market development and just a tiny fraction of the posters that have survived the past 50 years have been CGC graded and authenticated. Just because a poster does not have CGC grading does NOT mean there is anything wrong with it. Like all collectibles, it’s simply a matter of the condition you receive and the price that you pay.

Are you knowledgeable enough to tell an Original First Printing from a reprint? Are you experienced enough to detect expert restoration that can be almost impossible to detect? Are you confident enough to “pay up” for a high condition example based on the opinion of the person selling it to you? Do you know collectors that will pay YOU top dollar for your collection based on solely on your opinion? Certainly, we know many experienced and sophisticated collectors that are regular readers of this blog that can answer “Yes” to these questions.

But the great majority of today’s market participants would be better served, for all of the reasons outlined above, to stick with posters that have been independently authenticated and graded by CGC. Third party grading is the defacto standard in every other collectibles market, and the numerous advantages are now readily available to any collector of vintage concert posters that seeks them out.

Part 2 of this market update will be posted 7/13/17.

New Opportunities for Vintage Concert Poster Collectors

Every collector should be aware of this lucrative short term opportunity to acquire certain Vintage Concert Posters at a significant discount.

The famous Aoxomoxoa concert poster is just one of hundreds that are too large to be currently submitted to CGC for third party grading and authentication

The famous Aoxomoxoa concert poster is just one of hundreds that are too large to be currently submitted to CGC for third party grading and authentication

It is now common knowledge in the collecting world that the marketplace for Vintage Concert Posters has received a huge injection of interest and new participants with the introduction of independent third party grading and authentication by CGC.

CGC is the very same organization that has graded literally billions of dollars of rare coins, paper money and comic books over the past 30 years.

CGC has changed many of the market dynamics, many of which have been examined recently in past articles on this blog. These changing dynamics include an increased focus on quality and originality (posters that have not been altered through restoration), and a commensurate increase in values for the same.

Today, we wish to make you aware of a brand new opportunity that involves acquiring posters that have NOT been graded by CGC, an opportunity that is quite lucrative and won’t last for very long.

Currently, the list of posters that CGC authenticates and grades is relatively limited. First and foremost, there is a size limitation of 15”x 23” or smaller. This is the largest size poster that CGC can currently fit into their airtight, archival holders.

Secondly, there are category limitations. CGC currently grades the following posters: The BG Fillmore Series, the FD Family Dog series, Grande ballroom posters, and posters that appear in The Art of Rock. While these posters represent a large group of the entire universe, there is still a huge number of posters that CGC does not grade including many very desirable and classic images and series.

Some of the posters that CGC does NOT currently grade include: the oversized Fillmore issues, the Kaleidoscope series, the Vulcan Gas Series, The Rock Garden Series, The Grateful Dead Translucent poster, the Aoxomoxoa and Hawaiian Aoxomoxoa posters the Beatles Candlestick poster,the original Acid Test Poster, The Vanessa Grande poster, the Trip or Freak poster, and hundreds of other rare and desirable posters.

 Good News for Collectors of Vintage Concert Posters!

We have just received notification from CGC that a larger holder is under development and will be introduced this year. This is obviously great news for collectors that wish to collect posters that are not currently graded by CGC, but want the confidence that third party grading and authentication offers.

More importantly, this announcement represents a major opportunity for the savvy collector that has the wherewithal to act when they understand what is going on around them. Let me explain:

As early as spring, 2009, we have implored  collectors to acquire 100% original posters with no restoration, in the highest possible condition they could locate and afford. You can review past issues of our blog, and see dozens of articles on this yourself.

Our prescient advice is a matter of public record. Some of the first posts on this subject can be found here:

Our logic was simple.  In other collectibles, the very best condition examples ALWAYS trade for  25x, 50x, or 100X the cost of a run of the mill example. At that time, you could buy the very best condition pieces for a small premium of 25-50%. We knew this was a situation that could not and would not continue. We also mentioned that it was only a matter of time before third party authentication and grading would revolutionize this marketplace.

Those collectors that have acted our advice, are very happy today. They have built collections comprised of posters that are a) much harder to find today, b)more expensive to acquire today.

We believe the same opportunity is presenting itself all over again right now! A huge variety of Vintage Concert Posters can be now acquired for significantly less than they will probably bring once they are eligible for CGC grading.

Only this time, the timing and payoff for the opportunity is much more certain. CGC grading is now a reality, more posters will become eligible for CGC grading in the coming months, and we have already seen prices rise for posters that have been graded by CGC! (Although current premiums for CGC posters of 1.5x-2x compared to non CGC posters, are still incredibly tiny compared to all other collectbles. Where you can expect to pay 10-20x or much more for the finest condition examples).

So our advice at this time is clear – and urgent.  It’s absolutely okay to pursue posters that have NOT been graded by CGC. Buy the highest quality condition posters you can locate and afford now, before they become eligible for CGC grading in the coming months. Just make sure authenticity is guaranteed and that there is no undisclosed restoration.

If you follow this advice, and the past is any guide, you will be rewarded with the ownership of a poster, or collection of posters that could cost a lot more to acquire in the future!

Vintage Concert Posters Featured on Antiques Roadshow!

We are delighted to report that the 2017 Vintage Concert Poster media blitz we predicted is starting immediately with the wildly popular PBS show!

We have been predicting for quite some time that the Vintage Concert Poster Market would be receiving unprecedented worldwide exposure in 2017. This publicity will be generated by the world’s celebration of the 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love and the 50th Anniversary Celebration and Concert of The Monterey International Pop Music Festival. Concurrent with these events will be the continued proliferation of major museum exhibitions around the world.

We were delighted to find out that the 2017 media blitz is starting immediately with the wildly popular PBS show Antiques Roadshow. The feature story of the season premier, which will first air on January 2nd, 2017, will be about a woman who inherits a collection of Vintage Concert Posters from her brother that was assembled in the 1960’s. The woman is thrilled to find out that the posters are of tremendous value, worth tens of thousands of dollars. 

This type of national exposure is great for our hobby in two ways. First, it informs collectors that these posters are highly sought after and should be looked at with great respect. The story will certainly catch the eye of music lovers and collectors that did not even realize that this collectible exist. Secondly, it will alert other prospective sellers that what they have had sitting in their attic all these years should no longer be ignored –values are real so consider selling! The bottom line is that increased exposure of Vintage Concert Posters can only help bring more buyers and sellers into our unique little corner of the collectibles world. 

 

2016 Vintage Concert Poster Year in Review!

2016 was an exciting year for Vintage Concert Posters and the people that collect them. Let’s review the trends and events that have impacted this marketplace over the past 12 months:

1)   Major Museum Exhibits

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One of the most exciting developments in 2016 has been the proliferation of major museum exhibits around the world featuring Vintage Concert Posters. This is exciting on many levels. First, major museums would have ZERO interest in staging these types of exhibits if there was not an interest and appeal by the general public. The fact that these museums stage these exhibits tells you that the mainstream interest in our beloved concert posters is immense.

Secondly, these major museum exhibits have the effect of creating a huge amount of additional interest and exposure for these artworks. Literally millions of people are being educated and exposed to vintage concert posters that would not have otherwise known about them. This speaks volumes about the future health and interest in our hobby going forward.

Lastly, when major museums are constantly promoting Vintage Concert posters, they are implicitly providing an imprimatur on the quality of the artwork and the historical importance of them. Knowledgeable collectors understand the major importance of this type of endorsement—it cannot be bought, it can only be earned, and it makes Vintage Concert Posters 100 times more appealing to collect and display for oneself.

2)  Third Party CGC Grading

2016 is the year that independent third party authentication and grading of Vintage Concert Posters really started to flourish. CGC, the same organization that grades rare coins, paper money and comic books has become popular among collectors that are looking for an independent, unbiased opinion of what they are acquiring. CGC has become particularly popular with high grade material and for posters and handbills that have been frequently bootlegged and pirated.

3)  New Market Players

The result of major museum exposure combined with the availability third party authentication and grading has led to a large influx of new collectors into the marketplace. Collectors of most other collectibles are used to third party grading and understand the opportunity it presents. Now, someone that is just getting started, who is interested in these posters, can collect with confidence, knowing that they are getting exactly what they paid for.

4)  Record Prices

When you combine numbers 1,2, and 3 above, with a fixed and dwindling supply, you get record prices. To be sure, 2016 saw an increase in values as a larger number of collectors were chasing a constantly diminishing supply.

5)  Focus on Quality and Originality

By definition, third party grading differentiates the quality of one poster to another by assigning each poster a numerical grade. Before CGC, posters were described as either damaged or undamaged. Now posters are graded on a 10 point scale, in .1 increments. In addition, there has been a huge focus among many collectors on originality. This again, is a carryover from what is going on in other collectibles. There is a huge appeal to owning “the real thing”, not some doctored up Frankenstein piece that is part Vintage and part Modern. If all you want is something that looks cool and is undamaged, it’s far easier and less expensive to buy a Second or Third printing.

With the launch of our new website and blog, we have enabled readers to leave their own comments and observations. We would love to hear your comments about what you see as the important trends going on in today’s marketplace for Vintage Concert Posters. Feel free to join the conversation below!