Own A Handbill for An Incredible Run of Shows at The Showbox in Seattle

Incredible 1980 concert handbill featuring Police, Muddy Waters, Black Flag, and XTC at The Showbox in Seattle is for sale at auction August 8-9, 2020.

You don’t often see the Police, Muddy Waters, Black Flag, and XTC listed on a poster, let alone a handbill. But in Heritage Auctions’ upcoming August auction, we have one – all at the historic Showbox in Seattle in 1980.

AUCTION PREVIEW: View this vintage concert handbill.

Built in 1939 and originally named the Showbox Theater, the venue is an institution in Seattle. With various uses of it as a comedy club and supper club, it’s primarily known as a music venue. In 2018, it was given landmark status, preventing a developer from converting the building into an apartment building. Pearl Jam and Botch have filmed concerts there, among many others.

On this handbill from February 1980, there are plugs for a sold out show featuring the Police and the Specials, then a show with Black Flag (with Dez Cadena on lead vocals), then a Muddy Waters show, and the really compelling one: XTC.


So many legendary acts, all within a few weeks of each other. Not only did you have Muddy Waters and Black Flag on different nights, the pairing of the blockbusters the Police with two-tone ska legends the Specials at a sold out show was only something you could see during this time. (It was definitely not a ghost town on this night.)

The Police would soon go onto playing stadiums with their blend of reggae, punk, and new wave. But for this show, they were sharing the headlining spot with the Specials.

A special note is the XTC show scheduled on February 29, but February 29 was not on a Saturday that year. The show was either Friday, Feb. 29 or Saturday, March 1. XTC would stop touring for good only a few years later when frontman Andy Partridge had a full mental breakdown onstage and the band never made any money from touring.

This is great piece of memorabilia as punk transformed into new wave and hardcore, and the blues is a timeless genre.  

AUCTION PREVIEW: View this vintage concert handbill.

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Posted by Eric Grubbs

Heritage Auctions Entertainment Cataloger

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