[Avalon Ballroom] | Handbills from the height of the psychedelic revolution
1,200 - 1,500 USD
Property of Strider Shurtliff
A collection of 54 handbills, ca. 1966-1969
Printed handbills (various sizes, but most 7 x 5’’). Printed in numerous colors with different elaborate poster art and illustrations on each; some occasional wear, short marginal tears, and browning, but prints are all quite bright, clean, and unfaded. Each in a plastic sleeve, housed in a 3-ring binder.
Handbills from the height of the psychedelic revolution
The Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco’s Polk Gulch was a stronghold of the psychedelic scene. While it was only open for 3 years, it operated at arguably the peak of the counterculture and psychedelic movements, from 1966-1969. The handbills here feature fliers for the Grateful Dead, The Doors, Velvet Underground, the Charlatans, Country Joe and the Fish, Captain Beefheart, James Cotton Blues Band, among numerous others. The Dead played the Avalon 29 times in its brief 3-year run, and it was among their favorite venues.
“The differences between the Fillmore and the Avalon were at once glaringly obvious and terribly subtle. For Jerry, they lay between Chet [Helms] ‘who never appeared to be doing anything, as opposed to Bill [Graham], who appeared to be doing everything.’ The Avalon was a ‘good old party, the Fillmore was ‘the thrill of opening night.’ … To the Beat poet Michael McClure, the Fillmore sounded better and had a better dance floor, but the Avalon’s superior light shows made him feel ‘like I was part of a massive work of art’” (McNally 148).
McNally, Dennis. A Long Strange Trip. New York: Broadway Books, 2002