Heritage Auctions delivers vintage music posters to auction

If a music collector is in the market for vintage concert posters then Heritage Auctions’ “Vintage Music Posters” auction (coinciding with the auction house’s Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction) will be the place to bid into November 12.

The auction consists of incredible music posters such as a rare Velvet Underground beauty from 1966, a fully autographed Beatles promotion and a bunch of concert posters for Bob Dylan (including a stunning B&W handbill).

The following is a Q&A with Giles Moon, the Consignment Director Entertainment & Music Memorabilia of Heritage Auctions.

GOLDMINE: Why the decision to separate this auction from the Entertainment & Music Memorabilia auction running at the same time?
Giles Moon: Well, we felt that a collection of this quality and diversity really deserved particular recognition. The window card posters are especially rare and are seldom seen at auction … so to see so many in one sale is exceptional.

Velvet Underground And Nico Concert Poster "Andy Warhol Presents The Plastic Inevitable Show" (1966), Rare. Window card silkscreen on card stock advertising a series of shows at "New Shrine Of Pop Culture, The Trip, 8752 Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, May 3-18". The poster features a reproduction of artwork by Roy Lichtenstein as illustrated on the front cover of Newsweek magazine, dated April 25, 1966. The poster also shows a depiction of Warhol's Campbell Soup Kids to the lower right corner. Measures 14" x 22". In Near Mint Minus condition, with some minor toning to white areas and minor ink streaks to the Lichtenstein artwork, probably originating from the time of printing. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Velvet Underground And Nico Concert Poster “Andy Warhol Presents The Plastic Inevitable Show” (1966), Rare. Window card silkscreen on card stock advertising a series of shows at “New Shrine Of Pop Culture, The Trip, 8752 Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, May 3-18″. The poster features a reproduction of artwork by Roy Lichtenstein as illustrated on the front cover of Newsweek magazine, dated April 25, 1966. The poster also shows a depiction of Warhol’s Campbell Soup Kids to the lower right corner. Measures 14″ x 22”. In Near Mint Minus condition, with some minor toning to white areas and minor ink streaks to the Lichtenstein artwork, probably originating from the time of printing. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

GM: Can you talk a little about the The Plastic Inevitable Show poster (shown above). What was the significance of this show and why is this poster so rare?
Giles Moon: The show was a Andy Warhol inspired multimedia event featuring the Velvet Underground and Nico, with dancers, light shows and Warhol produced films. Although they were booked for two weeks of shows the Sheriff’s Department shut the venue down after only a few days. Significantly, during their stay in L.A., the Velvet Underground signed their first recording contract with Verve. The poster is rare, not many were produced and relatively few would have survived considering the shows were so short-lived.

Beatles Signed Vintage 1962 Year of Achievement Poster Reprinted from Mersey Beat (Liverpool, December 1962). A 15" x 20" poster on light orange paper with an individual photo in each corner next to which the corresponding Beatle has signed his name in red ballpoint ink: "John Lennon/ xxx", "Paul McCartney", "George Harrison/ xxx", and "Ringo Starr/ xxx". This poster was enlarged and reprinted from the December 19, 1962, issue of the Liverpool-based music paper titled Mersey Beat and printed by Swale Press Limited in Widnes. The original ad was taken out by Brian Epstein proudly listing the group's achievements from the first year of his management, including the following: Won Mersey Beat Popularity Poll (2nd Year); E.M.I. Recording Contract; Four B.B.C. Broadcasts; Two Hamburg Engagements; and Entered the Top 50 Within Two Days of "Love Me Do" Release. He also lists some of the upcoming events for 1963 including: the release of "Please Please Me", a Scottish Tour in January, a Helen Shapiro Tour in February, the list ending with "And Who Knows!" The photos on this poster were taken in November by Astrid Kirchherr in Hamburg. At the bottom is the contact information for Epstein, George Martin, Tony Calder, and the Fan Club. A rare and desirable piece of signed Beatle history, worthy of the finest collections and perfect for display. The signatures are quite early examples, dating from very near the date of the poster. For accuracy, we note several original flattened folds with tiny holes, pinholes at the corners, and restoration at the center vertical fold affecting a few letters of text. Fine condition. COA from Heritage Auctions. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Beatles Signed Vintage 1962 Year of Achievement Poster Reprinted from Mersey Beat (Liverpool, December 1962). A 15″ x 20″ poster on light orange paper with an individual photo in each corner next to which the corresponding Beatle has signed his name in red ballpoint ink: “John Lennon/ xxx”, “Paul McCartney”, “George Harrison/ xxx”, and “Ringo Starr/ xxx”. This poster was enlarged and reprinted from the December 19, 1962, issue of the Liverpool-based music paper titled Mersey Beat and printed by Swale Press Limited in Widnes. The original ad was taken out by Brian Epstein proudly listing the group’s achievements from the first year of his management, including the following: Won Mersey Beat Popularity Poll (2nd Year); E.M.I. Recording Contract; Four B.B.C. Broadcasts; Two Hamburg Engagements; and Entered the Top 50 Within Two Days of “Love Me Do” Release. He also lists some of the upcoming events for 1963 including: the release of “Please Please Me”, a Scottish Tour in January, a Helen Shapiro Tour in February, the list ending with “And Who Knows!” The photos on this poster were taken in November by Astrid Kirchherr in Hamburg. At the bottom is the contact information for Epstein, George Martin, Tony Calder, and the Fan Club. A rare and desirable piece of signed Beatle history, worthy of the finest collections and perfect for display. The signatures are quite early examples, dating from very near the date of the poster. For accuracy, we note several original flattened folds with tiny holes, pinholes at the corners, and restoration at the center vertical fold affecting a few letters of text. Fine condition. COA from Heritage Auctions. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

GM: The Beatles Year of Achievement poster (shown above) … this was reprinted from an actual page in Mersey Beat. Was this produced by Brian Epstein and for whom did The Beatles sign this for?
Giles Moon: Although we don’t know if it was Brian Epstein who had the poster produced, it was probably intended for promotional purposes. It is not known who the poster was originally signed for.

GM: How much does the fact that all members signed this poster drive up the bidding? Would it be worth nearly as much if only two members had signed it?
Giles Moon: The signatures really do make a great difference to the value. Unsigned, the poster is worth less than $1,000, but with all four signatures it’s possibly worth $10,000. A full set of signatures is worth considerably more than a partial set. When determining the value, it would depend which two of the four had signed the poster. A poster signed by John and Paul is worth more than one signed by George and Ringo.

GM: Isn’t it true that memorabilia signed by all four Beatles gets increasingly rare as the band’s career moves towards the end of the ‘60s?
Giles Moon: Yes, that is the case. By the end of the ’60s, The Beatles were no longer touring and were far less accessible so there would have been few opportunities for fans to meet them all in the same place at the same time.

Bob Dylan Isle Of Wight Festival Concert Posters (1970). Three paper posters promoting the two-day festival on August 29, 30, 1969. One is a black and white poster, with one half featuring an image of Dylan and the lineup for the two days. The other half of the poster shows a larger image of Dylan. The two other two are dayglo pink and green "Fiery Creations" posters. The Dylan poster measures 34" x 22.5" and the other two both measure 16" x 30". The Dylan poster is in Very Good Plus condition with some minor creasing and slight toning at edges. The green poster is Very Good Plus with two small black scuff marks to top left corner. The pink poster is Near Mint Minus with minimal wear. The 1969 Isle of Wight Festival is famous for the re-emergence of Bob Dylan, who was making his first live performance for three years, after a near fatal motorcycle accident in 1966. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Bob Dylan Isle Of Wight Festival Concert Posters (1970). Three paper posters promoting the two-day festival on August 29, 30, 1969. One is a black and white poster, with one half featuring an image of Dylan and the lineup for the two days. The other half of the poster shows a larger image of Dylan. The two other two are dayglo pink and green “Fiery Creations” posters. The Dylan poster measures 34″ x 22.5″ and the other two both measure 16″ x 30″. The Dylan poster is in Very Good Plus condition with some minor creasing and slight toning at edges. The green poster is Very Good Plus with two small black scuff marks to top left corner. The pink poster is Near Mint Minus with minimal wear. The 1969 Isle of Wight Festival is famous for the re-emergence of Bob Dylan, who was making his first live performance for three years, after a near fatal motorcycle accident in 1966. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

GM: Do you think Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize will drive the bidding up a lot more than the his posters are really worth?
Giles Moon: Well, I certainly think there will more interest though it will be hard to gauge if it will drive bidding up, as it’s hard to determine what the real value of these posters is! They so rarely appear at auction.

Sam Cooke/Jackie Wilson Memorial Auditorium Concert Poster (1959). Jumbo window card tour blank printed on card stock for a "Dance & Concert" in Chattanooga, Tenn. Wed. June 10. The poster announces "Supersonic Attractions of '59" listing the lineup with photos of the headline acts and their hit songs including Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, Marv Johnson, the Spence Twins, Falcons, Jessie Belvin, Baby Washington, Sil Austin and his Big Band, Johnny Watson, Cliff Driver and his Organ Combo, the Delloes, Hank Moore and his Band, Emmett Davis M.C., and the Pips. Printed by "Globe Posters, Baltimore". Measures 22" x 28". In Very Good condition, with small area of loss to lower right corner, corners and edges worn, general toning and discoloration to white areas. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Sam Cooke/Jackie Wilson Memorial Auditorium Concert Poster (1959). Jumbo window card tour blank printed on card stock for a “Dance & Concert” in Chattanooga, Tenn. Wed. June 10. The poster announces “Supersonic Attractions of ’59” listing the lineup with photos of the headline acts and their hit songs including Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, Marv Johnson, the Spence Twins, Falcons, Jessie Belvin, Baby Washington, Sil Austin and his Big Band, Johnny Watson, Cliff Driver and his Organ Combo, the Delloes, Hank Moore and his Band, Emmett Davis M.C., and the Pips. Printed by “Globe Posters, Baltimore”. Measures 22″ x 28″. In Very Good condition, with small area of loss to lower right corner, corners and edges worn, general toning and discoloration to white areas. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

GM: What other items stand out, in your opinion, in this poster auction? 
Giles Moon: There are some remarkable posters featuring artists before they were famous, such as Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin — some are the earliest known posters for these performers and they are being offered for the first time at auction.

There’s also fantastic collection of vintage window card concert posters printed by Hatch Show Print of Nashville who are still around today. They produced many posters for the Grand Ole Opry shows and we are very lucky to have some fine examples including legendary artists such as The Carter Sisters and Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.

Johnny Cash Salem-Roanoke Valley Civic Center Concert Poster (1968). Rare. Jumbo window card tour blank printed on card stock for a show in Salem, VA., Fri. Sept. 20. The poster shows a full length image of Johnny Cash with guitar in hand "In person - Johnny Cash Show. JOHNNY CASH & Tennessee Three, Statler Bros., June Carter, The Carter Family" and "Carl Perkins". Measures 22" x 28". In Very Good Plus condition. Restored, including touched-in areas to Johnny's face and some lettering. Some buckling, corners rounded. Interestingly, although June and Johnny had married some months before this concert date, this tour blank poster was printed well in advance, so it still shows her in the lineup as "June Carter" not June Carter Cash. This oversized Johnny Cash poster is rare and highly sought after. The much smaller 14" x 22" version of this poster sold at Heritage in 2015 for $4,500. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Johnny Cash Salem-Roanoke Valley Civic Center Concert Poster (1968). Rare. Jumbo window card tour blank printed on card stock for a show in Salem, VA., Fri. Sept. 20. The poster shows a full length image of Johnny Cash with guitar in hand “In person – Johnny Cash Show. JOHNNY CASH & Tennessee Three, Statler Bros., June Carter, The Carter Family” and “Carl Perkins”. Measures 22″ x 28″. In Very Good Plus condition. Restored, including touched-in areas to Johnny’s face and some lettering. Some buckling, corners rounded. Interestingly, although June and Johnny had married some months before this concert date, this tour blank poster was printed well in advance, so it still shows her in the lineup as “June Carter” not June Carter Cash.
This oversized Johnny Cash poster is rare and highly sought after. The much smaller 14″ x 22″ version of this poster sold at Heritage in 2015 for $4,500. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

GM: Do you think there’s a sleeper?
Giles Moon: Well, I do think there will be a lot of interest in the Johnny Cash posters. (One) from 1968 (shown above) and is particularly desirable as it’s particularly large. Heritage has only ever offered a smaller version of this poster which realized $4,500 so it will be intriguing to see what the oversized one achieves, opening at just $750!

Go to www.ha.com to get set up for bidding now.

About Patrick Prince

Patrick Prince is the Editor of Goldmine

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