If these posters could talk: The colorful history of the 'Velvet Underground' poster collection

It’s a question most collectors of vintage items often ponder while looking at their newly acquired items — “What was going on when this was new?”

For collectors of vintage rock concert posters, visions of the freewheeling 1960s San Francisco scene, complete with long-haired, beaded and barefoot hippies, and a faint whiff of patchouli fill the air. In the case of the extraordinary cache of posters found in an old California clothing store, that image is only a small part of the story.

It began in San Francisco, 1965, when Sandy Tucker opened a small boutique above his father’s jazz club. The Tiffany Jazz Club was a regular hangout for Lenny Bruce, Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, and performers included the legendary likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Stan Getz and Buddy Rich. The club was on the ground floor of a three-story building. The top floor had the Tuckers’ living quarters, while the second floor space housed Sandy’s shop, which he named the Velvet Underground.

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