I’m super stoked about our September 23 sale featuring an embarrassment of riches for music fans, especially us rockers. While culling through the sale, my mouth watering (and my eardrums ringing), I selected five items that stand out as significant to me personally–rarities that I would absolutely love to display in my media room. Here they are, listed chronologically:
1. BG-142 Jefferson Airplane 1968 Live-Album Fillmore West Poster Graded 9.6.
Psychedelic concert posters such as the one offered were more about design and cool factor than actual information, though, of course, you could glean the info if you read carefully. While this ornately designed poster was probably poured over by numerous Jefferson Airplane fans, you wouldn’t know it by the condition—it looks like it was printed yesterday! Not only is it a beautiful (and beautifully preserved) piece, it advertises an historic concert, promoted by Bill Graham at the Fillmore West. Six of the performances were recorded for the Airplane’s first live album, Bless Its Pointed Little Head. As a huge fan of psychedelic rock and the art it inspired, I absolutely love this poster. One interesting note: in small print at the bottom of the poster, it says tickets for the event were available at City Lights, the legendary San Francisco bookstore/publisher co-founded by poet and social activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Far out!
2. Woodstock Festival Rare Original Promotional T-Shirt 1969.
Like Charlton Heston in The Omega Man, I’ve seen the Woodstock feature film multiple times. I’ve watched various documentaries about the festival, listened to the soundtrack more times than I care to admit, and in general obsessed over “three days of peace, love, and music” more than anyone except, perhaps, Woodstock founder Michael Lang (may he rest in peace). We’ve sold several vintage Woodstock T-shirts previously, including one that belonged to Graham Nash, but this is our first time offering this rare design that includes the name and date of the historic event. The shirt has some typical wear, but it would look fantastic framed and placed among some albums by bands that played the show. Or, better yet, it would be incredibly cool to actually wear it to a music festival—talk about concert cred!
3. Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin 1969 Texas Int’l. Pop Festival Concert Poster.
Taking place just two weeks after Woodstock, the Texas International Pop Festival has always interested me, not only because I love the psychedelic ’60s, and not only because such acts as Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and Santana played there, but also because I live in North Texas not terribly far from the speedway in Lewisville (12 miles north of Dallas) that hosted the event. It fascinates me to no end to think that there I was, toddling around my house during the summer of ’69 when right up the road Robert Plant was belting out “Dazed and Confused” and “Communication Breakdown” before an audience of hippies, music fans, and curiosity seekers. In 2019, my wife and I went to the 50th-anniversary celebration of the event, heard cool stories from attendees, and checked out some vintage memorabilia on display. A copy of this groovy poster was one of those items.
4. Black Sabbath Paranoid Stereo UK First Pressing LP Vinyl Record With Management Mentioned (Vertigo, 6360 011).
Without question, original Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osborne is my favorite musical entertainer of all time, thanks to his unique voice, his awesome stage presence, and the fact that he always surrounds himself with incredible musicians. His first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, are tied for my favorite albums ever recorded by anyone. Third on my list just might be Paranoid, the highly influential release that put the “heavy” in heavy metal. The title track, “Iron Man,” and “War Pigs” get most of the airplay on classic rock radio these days, but songs like “Electric Funeral” and “Fairies Wear Boots” deserve a listen as well. And if you only know “Planet Caravan” from Pantera’s 1994 cover version, you should definitely check out the original track on this groundbreaking LP.
5. Rush Self-Titled Original Canadian First Pressing LP Vinyl Record (Moon, MN 100).
Back in 1975, when I was eight years old, my brother bought a copy of Rush’s Fly by Night, the Canadian rock band’s second album. I was blown away by the title track as well as such fascinating and strangely literary-sounding tunes as “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” and “Rivendell.” Then I discovered their self-titled debut record, which sounded much different with more of a Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple vibe. The aural difference, I would find out later, was primarily because Rush was recorded before the erudite Neal Peart took over as the band’s drummer and chief lyricist. I love both albums, as well as such follow-ups as Caress of Steel, 2112, and Moving Pictures, but this is the one for collectors as only 3,500 first-pressing copies were produced.