Rock Posters

What makes vintage Rock Posters collectible?

Posters that promoted concerts have become one of the most popular collectibles in recent years.  They have all the ingredients that makes them viable collectibles and investments.

Posters that announced a concert or event began to become prominent in the 1940’s.  Usually printed on cardboard, these are tough to find today.  By the 1960’s the practice had become an art form, with elaborate designs and creativity at the forefront.

As Rock and Roll grew and became a mania, rock posters became a foundational piece in the culture.  By the mid-late 1960’s, there were several series of posters issued that today are extremely collectible and have set numerous record prices.

Epicenters of the music scene were also ground zero for some of these posters.  San Franciso, Detroit, and Austin, Texas, are three of the more prominent cities to influence the poster scene.

From 1965 to 1970-71, rival promoters in San Francisco included Bill Graham and Chet Helms (Family Dog).  Both issued posters to promote concerts at their respective venues, the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom.  In Detroit, Russ Gibb promoted concerts at the famed Grande Ballroom.  In the early 1970’s, the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas, attracted some of the era’s most prominent acts.  They were featured on a series of promotional posters that clearly had their own look and feel.  All across the USA and Canada there were similar scenes unfolding.

These posters are pursued by collectors today much for the same reasons sports cards, comics, TCG’s and other items are bought and sold.  First of all, the subject matter.  Bands or acts like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, and others remain popular today.  Name recognition is still very, very, high.

Secondly, print numbers.  For the early poster runs, these printings go from a few thousand pieces right down to a few hundred.  They were printed specifically to be pinned to bulletin boards and dorm rooms, or taped to telephone poles and coffee house windows, all to promote an upcoming event.  They were then torn down and thrown away.  So, the number of posters that survive today in decent shape is but a small percentage of those already small print runs.

Thirdly, the artwork.  Like comic books, artistic creativity features prominently in the posters.  Some of the more well-known concert poster artists like Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Gary Grimshaw and others, have their own followings.  Many of these artists crossed genre boundaries and are known for their work in advertising, comic books, and other platforms.

In the past decade third-party graders have also legitimized the hobby much as they have for cards and comics.  CGC, a well-known comic book and card grader, ventured into concert posters a few years back, providing confidence to newer collectors and creating a database of known material.

We offer a selection of posters, postcards, and concert tickets in our online store.  Our inventory includes much more than what you see, although we do have plans to expand those listings.  If you’re interested in music collectibles, please reach out, and in the meantime check out our listings!