May – A Tribute to Dr. Strange – Alton Kelly’s Hand Colored Poster - 1965! [ Back to Gallery ]
Wow, what an incredible poster to add to the Vintage Concert Poster’s Collection; certainly one of the top posters I’ve acquired and is being posted early, as I know nothing in upcoming month is going to match this one!

This poster was Alton Kelly’s personal copy of “A Tribute to Dr. Strange Dance and Concert” held on October 16, 1965 at Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco. What obviously makes this poster very special is the hand coloring, which was done by Kelly at the time of the event. Later, Kelly signed the poster and gave it to his business partner Stanley Mouse; one could not ask for a better provenance!

Now a little bit about the significance of the poster and event – “A Tribute to Dr. Strange” was of incalculable importance in the early psychedelic and counter culture movement taking shape in San Francisco in late 1965. In fact one may say this was really the first psychedelic event to take place in the City of any real significance as the Acid Test did not come to the City until early January 1966. Combined with the Acid Tests, it consituted “ground zero” of the whole psychedelic movement where people attending found themselves with seemingly other strange and underground people looking for an avenue into self-awareness and good times, fueled by psychedelic drugs and new music. In essence, A Tribute to Dr. Strange was the official coming-out party for the counter-culture and the new music now hitting the City. In addition, “A Tribute to Dr. Strange“ was the first production of the Family Dog! And while the official FD numbered series starts with Chet Helm’s FD1 “Tribal Stomp”, it was really “A Tribute to Dr. Strange” that was the official beginning of the Family Dog.

What is also interesting to this event/poster is I have "A Tribute to Dr. Strange" handbill that apparently was used at the ticket table where someone with artistic ability decided to do some drawings of the people attending the event on the backside of the handbill, along with checking off names of invited guests. It is more than interesting to see this sketch, because as they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. I will plan on putting this handbill on display in the News and Views section at a later date to share.

In looking back you can pretty much name the most influential events of the early psychedelic movement – A Tribute to Dr. Strange, The Acid Tests, The Trips Festival and The Human Be-In being the standouts of that time!
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