1960s Psychedelic Rock Posters

Concert Poster Movies and Art Shows

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you are well aware of the growing recognition and reporting about 1960’s Concert posters within mainstream society. I would like to highly recommend a documentary that came out in 2009 but is even more relevant today than ever. This is “American Artifact – The Rise of American Rock Poster Art.


This documentary is really well produced and highly informative and entertaining. The film traces this incredible art from it’s birth in the 1960’s, right up to the present day. Literally dozens of artists are interviewed, and you get a wonderful sense of “being there back in the day”. Of course, the artwork is truly breathtaking as well.

I have repeated ad nauseam, that if you expect to have any success in a collectible area, you MUST invest the time and money to acquire all the relevant information available. This DVD, available at Amazon for a little over 10 bucks, is no exception. Order it right now, while it’s fresh in your mind—

Here’s the link

This summer we urged you to see the Bill Graham exhibit at the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles, Ca. Many of our readers took our advise and the reviews we received were unanimously excellent.

Great News!

It has just been officially announced that the exhibit will move to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco from March 10- June 12, 2016. The exhibit will then make stops in Chicago, Cleveland, and New York, dates to be announced. This is one exhibit you don’t ant to miss! Here’s a link to the story:

50th Anniversary of The First Acid Test and shocking news from the Grateful Dead Archives!

Fifty years ago, on November 27, 1965 the Merry Pranksters conducted the first Acid Test at Ken Babb’s place in Santa Cruz, California. This event served as the catalyst for tectonic shifts in American music…culture…and just about everything else!


The bottom line is that the historical significance of the Acid Tests of this era simply cannot be overestimated. So it is for very good reasons indeed that all posters, handbills and other ephemera from these events are among the most desirable of all 1960’s collectibles. Because these items are the artifacts of a scene and a movement in it’s embryonic stages, precious little of it was produced at the time and even less survives today. It goes without saying that the addition of any Acid Test material automatically catapults a collection into the category of World Class.

The well known collectibles journalist Ben Marks published a phenomenal article on the Acid Tests, and the early days of the Grateful Dead, in commemoration of this 50th Anniversary. It is highly recommended that anyone with even a passing interest in 1960’s concert posters should read Ben’s article….TWICE!!

Here’s the link:

While compiling the research, Ben blew the lid off an amazing revelation that is not commonly understood. Nicholas Meriweather, is the official archivist for the Grateful Dead at the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In the article, Meriweather is quoted as saying, “the archive doesn’t really start until 1970, because the band didn’t incorporate until that year. We’ve got a few things from before then, but precious little. Nothing would please me more than to be able to say ‘come on down, and I’ll show you my Acid Test trove. Sadly, I don’t have one!

This to me, is an amazing statement and simply reinforces how privileged all of us are to be participating in this hobby at this moment in time. As collectors, it’s easy to become jaded about the availability and desirability of a collectible that you work with on a daily basis. But when the chief Grateful Dead archivist tells you he has precious little pre-1970 material, that is a statement that needs to be fully digested and considered for all it’s vast implications. I will leave it to each reader of this blog to come to your own conclusions, but this simply strengthens my belief that pre 1970 concert memorabilia is the number one collectibles opportunity in the world today.

I highly encourage you to read Ben’s article ASAP, here, again, is the link:

TRPS Show Report

Last weekend PAE was on the road, exhibiting at the annual TRPS Concert poster show is San Francisco. Here are some general impressions of the market and the show, in no particular order.


1) The attendance at the show was outstanding. We heard several different dealers remark that the number of visitors was far greater than in years past. This was confirmed by multiple members of TRPS, the organization that runs the show.

2) It was truly a pleasure to have so many of our clients come by and say hello. It’s always great to put a face to a name, particularly when we were able to finally meet people that have dealt with us for many years.

3) There was a distinct and actually glaring, lack of high quality material available for purchase. The few mint condition posters shown were for “display only” and were not for sale at any price. This underscored a major point –if you have the opportunity to acquire mint condition posters, grab it. This material seems to be in the very strong hands of collectors that have no intention of selling, particularly since we are just in the first or second inning of this emphasis on quality.

4) The market for modern posters is alive and well. There can be no denying that Emek, Chuck Sperry, Dave Hunter and other modern masters are perfectly adept at producing irresistible images at affordable price levels. This bringing young collectors into the hobby. It should be only a matter of time before some of these new market participants graduate to the vintage material that is so much more rare and historically important.

5) We had on display our first batch of posters that were independently authenticated and graded by CCG. This is the same organization that has created literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF MARKET VALUE to rare coins, paper money, and comic books. Collectors as a whole were extremely enthusiastic about the concept and the packaging. We received dozens of raves against one negative comment from an old time dealer that didn’t like the idea. This is exciting development has major implications. We will discuss this in detail in future blogs.

6) The show was organized and promoted by The Rock Poster Society. The board members and volunteers working the show were just a delightful group of people that couldn’t have been nicer or worked harder to make sure a great time was enjoyed by all. We will repeat once again, TRPS membership is an essential investment (that’s dirt cheap) if you want to be involved join this field at all. To join, click here.

The P.A.E. Reading Room- New Additions

This week we received our copy of ”Split Fountain Hieroglyphics : Psychedelic Concert Posters From The Seattle Area” this book was highlighted here a few weeks ago. We were impressed by this new look at the psychedelic posters from the Seattle area in the 1960’s. 


The book is beautifully illustrated with rarely seen treasures from the Pacific Northwest. This publication points out the diversity of regional concert poster art from the era. These type posters are tough to find as they were originally printed in ridiculously low quantities. This brings to mind another recent publication, “Home Grown”- Austin Music Posters from 1967-1982. This great looking book is another indispensable volume that puts a microscope on the concert advertisements that were culled from the rich history of Texas poster scene. The book can be purchased here.

These books highlight the growing awareness and thirst for information relating to vintage concert posters. As the interest continues to build for these posters, we will surely see more helpful resources being published to allow collectors to expand their knowledge and passion of this world class collectible.

Frustrations of a Poster Dealer Part 2

As the market for Vintage 1960’s Concert Posters is now rapidly evolving, there is often an information lag among collectors as new developments take time to disseminate throughout the marketplace. 


One of the goals of this weekly blog is to provide a place where collectors can get the latest news and updates about this exciting collectible. Over the past year or two, we’ve seen a bifurcation of the market as the demand for posters in undamaged condition has skyrocketed. By undamaged condition, I mean a poster that exhibits no nicks, tears, pinholes, folds or restoration of any kind.

This increased demand has resulted in rising values for the posters have somehow survived the past 45-50 years in undamaged condition. And herein lies the rub. While the “word is out” among most collectors when it comes to top condition, the prices one must pay to acquire such pieces are only known by collectors on the leading edge of the market.

Why is this the case?

Because up until about 5 years ago, there was very little price distinction between damaged and undamaged posters. If a poster was worth $4000 in ANY condition, perfect examples, if found, could be acquired for $6000 -$7000. This works out to a 50-75% premium. Today, if a poster is worth $4000 in ANY condition, you can expect to pay 12,000-16,000 for a “finest known” example. This works out to a 300-400% premium. So you can see that premiums for the very best condition concert posters are expanding!

This situation often proves very frustrating for us when we finally end a years long search for a mint example of an issue and the collector is suddenly taken aback by what we paid and what we need to get for the item. Their brains are still firmly rooted in values and premiums that are circa 2005.

While many old-time collectors may consider today’s premium quality values outrageous, the “smart money” knows and understands that this is just the tip of the iceberg. And this is where an opportunity clearly presents itself.

A cursory look into other collectibles markets will show you that the finest premium quality coins, stamps, comic books and baseball cards ROUTINELY bring premiums of 20x to 50x the price of a normal surviving example. For example, in January of 2015, I sold the finest known 1793 United States penny for $2.35 million, while examples can be found for just $35,000.

The point is, quality never, ever goes out of style and the demand for it continues to grow, as well as the premiums that it commands. So you have a choice. You can turn your back on this trend and ignore it. Or you can embrace this as a lucrative opportunity that has been 50 years in the making. Which will you choose?

PAE in San Francisco 10/24/15!

Every year the Rock Poster Society holds their annual concert poster show in San Francisco. This year, Psychedelic Art Exchange will have a booth where we will buying and selling. 


If you have posters to sell, please see us LAST, as we will be the highest buyer in attendance. If you are looking for material to buy, see us FIRST as we will have the finest quality posters available in the world today.

If you are new to the hobby, please do your best to visit the show, as it will be a great opportunity to view a lot of material and learn what’s going on.

Many of the living legends in the business will be in attendance, including 1960’s artists Lee Conklin, Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, David Singer, Stanley Mouse and Randy Tuten. Contemporary artists such as Emek and Chuck Sperry will also be at the show.

Be sure to stop by our booth and say hello, it’s always great to put faces and names together. We hope to see you there!

Here’s a link to the show:

Last week we told you about a great new concert poster book that was coming to press titled Split Fountain Hieroglyphics. Many of you requested ordering information which was unavailable at press time. Now it is! Here’s a link to buy the book:

Frustrations of a Poster Dealer Part 1.

As has been previously discussed, the collector base for 1960’s concert posters is growing exponentially, on a worldwide basis. The single biggest contributor to this growth is the Internet. 


Now, any collector can research, discover and purchase posters from the comfort of their own home or office! But the rise of the Internet has also given rise to one of our greatest frustrations which is this: There is no way to accurately portray the awe inspiring beauty of these artworks in a 1 inch by 2 inch thumbnail photo! And a blowup to a larger image on a computer screen is just marginally better.

This prohibits many new potential buyers from actually jumping into the marketplace because they are making a purchase decision without understanding how powerful the experience is of actually seeing these posters in person.

Let me back track many, many years ago to when I first got interested in this amazing hobby. When I first started out, I tried to follow my own advice. I bought the books, perused the auction catalogs (they were still printed then) and did my research.

But it wasn’t until I made my first purchase, and received the poster in the mail that I became hooked. The poster in real life was 500 times more impressive than all the photos combined that I had seen on-line and in print. I still remember the surge of excitement I felt when I opened that package and held the poster in my hands. To put it bluntly, it simply blew me away! These posters are 1000 times more impressive to hold, view and display than the coins and stamps I was used to collecting. And I honestly replay this movie in my mind with total clarity, on a regular basis.

Which brings me to my next piece of advice. If you are a “Newbie” reading this, and considering the hobby, buy a poster…. ANY poster. In our store and in our auctions we have posters for less than $100.00. Get the poster and hold it in your hands. It will take mere seconds for you to understand what all the excitement is about. And you can also send the poster back for a full refund, if that’s what you choose to do.

Better yet, if you live on the east coast, come visit our Gallery. The hundreds of posters on display are a real treat to see. And we opened the Gallery so we could display these rarities on something bigger than a computer screen. Together, we can review the myriad of opportunities that we see in the marketplace today. So make some time and pay us a visit, we look forward to seeing you soon!

Wall Street Journal Concert Poster Report!

Two weeks ago we told you that our office has received a growing number of calls from people looking to diversify some of their assets away from the volatile stock market and into classic 1960’s concert posters, where ownership can be more rewarding on several different levels. 


We told you that some of these calls were coming from “big money” Wall Street type investors who were seeking the very best posters in the very best condition possible. These buyers are willing to pay whatever it takes to bring these sought after masterpieces into the marketplace. The thinking goes as follows:

“I’m going to own these posters for 10-15 years or longer. When I finally want to sell, it will be insignificant if I paid a bit more at the time. The key is I want the right material now, and the longer I wait , the more I will have to pay.”

This week, The Wall Street Journal reported on the new edition of the seminal book, “The Art of Rock”. This is a book that EVERY collector MUST own. The book has long been out of print. If you don’t already own this, buy your copy NOW.

The value of Wall Street exposure such as this to our fast growing marketplace cannot be overstated! Millions of the world’s richest investors are seeing this story, and the art, and many have a strong attachment and affection for the music and the era. The snowball grows larger with each passing day!

A link to the Wall Street Journal story is below.

Last week also brought news of another concert poster book that highlights 1960’s psychedelic concert posters from the Seattle area. This book comes out in 2 weeks and is highly recommended. Just 500 copies are being produced, so don’t delay, order your copy today here!

It’s important when you see these recommendations to act without delay. It’s the little things that combine for success in our hobby. Don’t wait for books to sell out and for museum exhibits to shut down! Become a member of The Rock poster Society, buy the books we recommend, attend the museum exhibits we tell you about. It all adds up to a lot of fun and puts you on the leading edge of the most lucrative collectibles opportunity in the world today!

Wall Street Journal article:

1960’s Concert Poster Book article:

Not All Paper Assets are Dead! (Grateful or otherwise)

What started out as a trickle in early June has become a steady stream of phone calls on a daily basis now. People are telling us that they are tired of watching the violent, daily changes to their investments. 


They want to diversify some of their funds into an asset they have long term confidence in and that will give them short term pleasure. For a growing number of collectors, rare 1960’s Rock Concert posters fit the bill perfectly! It’s widely acknowledged that these incredible works of art are now trading at literally pennies on the dollar when compared to more established collectibles markets like coins, stamps, comics and baseball cards. Not only do these posters represent a rock solid value, they also provide wonderful enjoyment when displayed in your home or office.

Make no mistake about it, this superior value proposition of these posters is only temporary and prices are correcting upwards as the tiny available supply is being overwhelmed by a steady, growing demand. This upward trend in prices started slowly about 5 years ago and has been picking up steam of late.

In addition to demand from diversification, prices are moving upwards for Mint Condition posters as condition/state of preservation continues to be more appreciated with each passing year. These posters were produced in tiny quantities and not many have survived in undamaged condition.

It’s universally recognized that the best investment most people make is in their own home. Do you know why? Because there is no way to get a daily quote on the value of your home and there is no way to sell it with the push of a button. This means they don’t call their real estate broker up in a panic to sell if the market is temporarily soft. People stick with their home for the long haul. This means that the way the market is structurally set up encourages people to do the right thing and ultimately come out way ahead.

The same can be said for collectibles in general and for concert posters specifically. Pick up a few choice items, enjoy their ownership through the years, and watch the desirability and appreciation for these rare artworks steadily grow. The value will always be there and you will find their ownership thoroughly rewarding every step of the way!

You’ll sleep a lot more soundly too!

Beatles Candlestick 49th Anniversary!

This week will be the 49th anniversary of one of our favorite concert posters of all time .. and one of the most historically important concerts of all times! 


August 29, 1966, The Beatles played their final concert at Candle Stick Park in San Francisco, California. Wes Wilson was commissioned to do the poster for the event and just 300 copies were made, according to Wes.

If you were to own JUST ONE 1960’s rock concert poster, serious consideration should be made to making this the issue you should target. Here’s why:

1) This is the ONLY psychedelic Beatles poster EVER created! All earlier issues were release in the “boxing style” format.

2) This poster was created by the legendary artist, Wes Wilson. Wes is one of “The Big 5”, and is one of, if not THE, most influential psychedelic concert poster artists of all time.

3) As mentioned earlier, just 300 copies were produced. Based on standard survival rates of the era, less than 15% (45-50 copies) still exist in ANY condition, and just the few that have miraculously escaped the past 50 years in Mint Condition are considered major museum pieces.

4) This poster possesses unparalleled historical importance as the last concert held by the most important musical group in history!

When you consider that this poster can still be found for under $10,000, it’s easy to understand why many collectibles experts believed that 1960’s Rock Concert Posters represent a simply phenomenal bargain. To learn more and see the example that PAE has for sale, click here.

Don’t Buy Another Poster Until You Do This!

There’s an old adage among all collectibles dealers, “don’t buy the “(insert any collectible here), before you buy the book! What this is saying is that Knowledge is King! 


In addition to owning a library of proper reference material, I would highly suggest that you immediately become a member of The Rock Poster Society, known as “TRPS”.

Membership is just $30.00 and includes a T-Shirt, newsletter, access to member events and other goodies. In addition, TRPS serves to promote the hobby of rock concert poster collecting and is very supportive of the artists as well.

TRPS also holds the largest concert poster show in the U.S.A. each October, in San Francisco. Join today, and if you don’t think your membership is worth multiples of what you pay, let me know and we’ll pick up the tab! Be sure to tell the folks at TRPS that we sent you!

To join The Rock Poster Society, click here!

To see a list of the best reference books on concert poster collecting, click here!

Millions See 1960’s Concert Poster Exhibit !

Last week we discussed the Bill Graham Exhibit which is currently appearing at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Ca.. Once again, we implore you to go see it, it will exceed your expectations. 


This week I would like to tell you about another major exhibit that brought 1960’s Concert Posters into the mainstream consciousness.

Last year, for 6 months, there was a Huge and Spectacular Display of posters that were exhibited at The San Francisco International Airport. We went to see the exhibit and came away with the following thoughts:

1) The exhibit was truly massive, and professionally executed. Kudos to the curator, Ben Marks and all those involved in this project in any way.

2) These amazing posters, when displayed side by side, provide an overwhelming feast for the eyes!

3) Literally MILLIONS of people saw this exhibit.

4) Most people we talked to that were viewing the exhibit were BLOWN AWAY by the art, and many asked where these posters could be found, and of course, how much are they worth?

5) These posters DO have widespread, mainstream appeal. It’s simply a question of exposing this exciting collectible and artwork to the general public. That’s the hard part. The desirability and appeal of these artworks sell themselves once seen.

6) The Internet does not do these posters justice. These posters MUST be seen in person to be truly appreciated. A one inch thumbnail provides less than 5% of experiencing the real thing. Even blown up pictures on a large monitor fail to scrape the surface of the true experience of viewing these posters firsthand. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see these posters make their way into art galleries and museums, it truly is love at first sight.

7) Take a look at the wonderful article on this exhibit. Not only does it provide a fabulous overview of the posters, it also shows you through several photos how impressive this exhibit was! To see the article, click here!

Bold as Love

Jimi Hendrix The greatest Guitar player of all time? Even by Rolling stones recent calculation of the top 100 guitar players


http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-guitarists-20111123 this legend stands alone. But regardless of what criteria you choose to measure, his impact on music and style is undeniable. Without doubt, Jimi was the most captivating character of the decade. More than any other artist from the era Hendrix was a cultural icon, he truly exemplified the art and attitude of the 1960's. His innovative style, his laid back persona, his wardrobe, his lifestyle, his message and his music all add up to the status of deity in Rock and Roll mythology

Musically, Hendrix was an innovator beyond compare, creating with an electric guitar what had never been previously imagined. A gifted songwriter and a virtuosic player all added up to musical genius. His mastery of the fret board , control of feedback, and use of state of the art effects created a signature sound that many have imitated but never recreated. He left a wake that is still being felt today . His tragic early exit left fans wanting more and left the world wondering what if…

At the pinnacle of rock and roll collectibles as well , Hendrix memorabilia demands top dollar and sets record level values at auction. His impact on the poster-collecting world is well proven also. Hendrix posters are some of the most valuable and sought after in the entire genre.

This month we are offering a small, focused selection of Hendrix posters, with the crown jewel being an ultra rare (one of three known) 1969 cardboard Miami Jai Alai poster that is sure to end up in the most advanced collection. So, Enjoy this opportunity to bid on these artifacts, the winning bidders will surely be overjoyed.

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Art and collectibles - Rock Posters are the best of both worlds

Hey poster fans. On the heels of one of our most successful sales, PAE continues to illuminate the value and beauty of this world class collectible. During these uncertain economic times, tangible assets such as our beloved posters are finding their place as some of the most stable investments around. 


Two recent articles illustrate how the rest of the collecting community forges ahead gaining greater levels of value and credibility. Check out the following press;

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-profit-from-investing-in-art-2011-09-02

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/waggon/story/2011-09-01/Gold-in-the-attic-Furniture-coins-and-hellip-Ninja-Turtles/50224150/1 - uslPageReturn

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