October – Grateful Dead Tour of the Great Pacific Northwest 1968 [ Back to Gallery ]
Reminiscent of a WANTED broadside poster from the 1800’s this poster gave Notice to music fans that two of the top San Francisco garage bands, the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service would be coming their way. There were six stops on this tour via Oregon and Washington and all venues used the same tour poster with just the locations changed in the bottom outlined square. Only one of these venues, The Crystal Ballroom used red ink for their venue while all others were done in black Ink.

Sometimes simple can be the best design for an attention getting poster and this one was sure to be NOTICED. What’s interesting and ironic about this poster is that it is made to look old and beat-up, but most psychedelic poster collectors will strive to find a mint copy of this poster. Mint copies do exist such as this one, but hey - a used one looks even better! There have been stories that a group of these posters were burnt along the edges with a blow torch to make them look even more used – maybe posters that survived from a burnt building where they were hung? Personally, I have not ran into one and quite frankly would not know how to tell one that was burnt in 1968 to one that was burnt in 2013.

I think the team-up of the Quick and the Dead was a perfect combination. I heard both bands in the sixties and both had that great garage band feel and sound along with being more than approachable to their fans. In 1968 both the Dead and Quicksilver were doing mostly cover songs from black blues artists with the dead also offering up bluegrass overtones. To me these were the best of times for both bands. Obviously the Grateful Dead progressed further in music writing and exploration than Quicksilver, but those early years of 1966 through 1968 really had the magic of that San Francisco Sound which has been in my head for nearly 50 years.

Another great addition to the Vintage Concert Posters collection of such a magical time – I wish I could have been to every show on this tour!
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