Section One

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Jefferson Airplane
Jim Blashfield, 1967, after Herb Greene
Color photolithographic poster with halftone

Rock promoter Bill Graham helped guide the Jefferson Airplane band to success in the vanguard of the country’s anti-establishment hippie revolution. This advertisement for their 1967 concert at the Hollywood Bowl has all the elements of the classic psychedelic poster: searing colors, portraits of the musicians, ambiguous hand-drawn elements, and swelling letters that dance before the viewer’s eyes. Such advertisements suggested the dizzying, multisensory experience of many Fillmore dance concerts, which were charged with high-decibel music, light shows, frenetic movement, and, often, mind-expanding drugs.

The posters, visual symbols of the rock scene and the counterculture, began to vanish as soon as they appeared, grabbed by increasing numbers of collectors. Graham and other publishers produced extra quantities for retail sale, and poster stores opened in all the major cities. “Posters in every dimension and description . . . are being plastered across the U.S.,” Life magazine reported in 1967.