Collecting Concert Posters: Dealers’ Voluminous Pride and Joy

Concert posters, those awe-inspiring pictures of yesterday can now be obtained online without a special trip to a record store like in the 1970s and 1980s.

At postergeist.com you can gain expertise from 32 years of collecting posters on one website. You simply click on which artist you want to see posters of, from Janis Joplin to The Grateful Dead. There are also new stuff categories in which to buy posters from and links are added regularly. There are even handbills and cards available.

“In recent years the field of concert poster art has expanded greatly, leaving many collectors to wonder just what is an original concert poster,” said writer Jacob Grossi. “The most relevant material is the material that actually had an authorized use in the production of the event.”

Grossi says his concern with many of the signed and numbered silkscreen/fine art type posters is the reason they exist. He said the problem of insignificance arises when the promoter and/or artist arrange for a poster which is for underground sales only, never saw the light of day prior to or during the event, and played no role in the production of the event at hand.

“The key is information,” Grossi writes.

Paul Getchell has been buying, selling, and trading concert posters and memorabilia for over 30 years.

He admits he has a low-tech web site (paulgetchell.com) but lists numerous references for the best finds there.

At postercentral.com you can view posters as old as ones like Marvin Gaye’s and Jimi Hendrix’s performances at the Hollywood Bowl. A 1964 poster shows a very young Bob Dylan. Others show Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones. The website is always looking to buy old cardboard telephone pole posters that must be from the 1960s or older. However, the condition is not important.

“Even if you know of a poster like say from a friend, I’d love to know about it,” says Pete Howard, who runs the site.

Also on the site you can see posters of old bands like The Byrds from the 1960s and The Beach Boys. Howard is also interested in obtaining obscure artists’ posters from the 1950s and 60s. He does not collect anything from the 1970s to the present.

One website, dking-gallery.com, sells Mylar sleeves to store your concert posters in that you buy from them. The webmaster says he has been collecting posters since 1967.
Rockpostercollector.com suggests that when collecting concert posters to think about what you want to do with them, get out there and see what exists, information on value and what is available past and present. Also concentrate on your favorites.

“Some folks find they enjoy the buzz of the deal and become both dealers and collectors,” the site states.

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