What’s better than getting a peek at someone else’s collection? Whether it’s vinyl, CDs, cassettes, books, films or posters – call it nosy (we call it inquisitive) – but there’s something about getting a look at a collector’s most prized possessions, what they’ve gone to great pains to acquire, and what they’ve chosen to leave out of their carefully curated collection.
We can’t resist a good collection chat, which is why we delved into our resident poster aficionado, yamar3‘s collection.
Why gig posters?
Gig posters were a natural progression for me. I’ve been an ardent music fan (borderline fanatic) from my early teens, getting my first real job in order to save money for a CD player in the late ’80s/early ’90s. I had a small vinyl collection in my high school years that blew up to a massive CD collection while in college. Even at this point (in the era of the CD longbox), I would flatten every longbox and tack them to my walls for the album art. In the early 2000s, I stumbled on some gig posters for my main music concentration at that point (Phish) and let that exposure stem out to other bands. The rabbit hole opened at that point and I expanded into most every band and artist I could find that had artwork for shows.
It’s the combination of music I enjoy and appreciate with the art drawing from another’s vision and association with the same sounds that gets to me, I think. Many of the posters hung in our home are because the image speaks to me and/or my wife on some level. We may not listen to or even really know much of the band, but the art just resonates. Others are performers we appreciate combined with art the calls to us. Either way, it definitely brightens up the living space in a way we love.
Do you have a favorite poster in your collection?
Victor Moscoso’s 1967 Chamber Brothers poster, also known as Neon Rose #12. Not only a wonderfully made piece of psychedelia, but it’s also the basis/inspiration for much of the advertising for one of my favorite movies, Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. Framed and hung in our house since about a month after I picked it up. I find myself pretty picky about what ’60s material I opt to pick up – this was the only one that I knew I needed to have immediately. Unfortunately, with no reprints I also knew it had to be one that I’d want to pick up sooner than later.
Is there one that got away for you among gig posters?
Eh… unless you’re talking about original art or one-offs, I don’t see any poster as ever having “gotten away”. You may miss a price point – when you could have bought it for $100 and now it’s $1000 (or more) – but that’s about it. And yes… there are MANY I wish that I’d been able to buy sooner, mostly the ‘99/’00 era Phish Pollocks and a number of the 1998 Pearl Jam Yield Tour. Of those, I would probably put the 1999 Deer Creek Phish poster by Jim Pollock as the most “oof” of those because I actually attended the 2nd night of that run. But at over $2000 (and closer to $3000) being the going rate, I don’t expect that one to happen unless a winning lottery ticket enters this house.
Poster you’d buy tomorrow if you had the money?
Honestly, it’s really hard to pick a single poster – most of my acquisitions these days are very thought out and planned/pursued purchases. If there was a lottery ticket involved or if I had the opportunity, I’d probably start with a full set of Neon Rose prints by Victor Moscoso. Complete set of Bill Graham Series prints would also be amazing, but for these I’d need more wall space to manage that reasonably.
Poster you’ve sold or traded but wish you hadn’t?
Actually, a lot fewer than I’d expected to think of when I first considered this. The only one that really came to mind are the prints I had from the original Rolling Roadshow series put out by Mondo. These are events hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse where they screened iconic films at a location related to or in the movie. So Jaws on a floating screen just off the beach at Martha’s Vineyard. The Warriors at Coney Island. Bullitt at a road rally outside of San Francisco.
I had a complete set of the first year of Rolling Roadshow prints and it was a struggle to locate the last 2-3 of them. But the price offered by a movie poster collector in the UK was too high and I was struggling a bit too much from a divorce to pass it up.
I’d also say my original copies of Tyler Stout’s Lost Boys, Blade Runner, and The Thing posters (also from Mondo/Alamo) would sit in that realm. But as in the Roadshow prints, as long as you sell at a price you’re okay with at the time, you need to leave that as a done deal. If you ever want it again, it may cost more but you can get there.