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    Black Sabbath, Joe Walsh, Arthur Lee & Love 1970 Bill Graham Concert Poster Signed by Artist. An original first-printing concert poster (it was only printed once) advertising Bill Graham's BG-257/258 concerts at the Fillmore West auditorium in San Francisco, and attractively signed by its creator, Norman Orr.

    This double-sized poster carries a Native American Indians theme, very popular with hippie culture of the day, and was designed symmetrically with each long weekend getting half of the poster. On the left you have Love with Arthur Lee, the James Gang featuring Joe Walsh, and Black Sabbath featuring Ozzy Osbourne playing from Thursday to Sunday, November 19-22, 1970.

    Arthur Lee and Love out of Los Angeles were very familiar faces on the San Francisco concert scene, having played there for years and headlined the fourth Family Dog dance-concert (FD-4) back in '66. The James Gang with future Eagle Joe Walsh were riding high on their most successful album ever, James Gang Rides Again, out about four months. And we don't need to tell you how virginal Black Sabbath must have been, to be third-billed like this. Ozzy & Company's self-titled debut album had been released in America in June, but took two months to even enter Billboard's Top LP's chart. Meanwhile their second album Paranoid had also been released by Warner Brothers, two months before this set of shows, but itself would take three months to first enter the charts. It was slow going for the Prince of Darkness in these early days.

    On the poster's other half, rock 'n' roll revival band Sha-Na-Na was headlining after a huge career boost from their popular appearance in the Woodstock movie that spring. Blues-rock guitarist Elvin Bishop, late of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, had formed the Elvin Bishop Group and was breaking into his solo career. And Oakland's Tower of Power would chart 10 albums in the 1970's, but hadn't started yet.

    It's interesting to note that nowhere on this poster does it say the words "Fillmore West." Graham and his venue had the scene pretty much to themselves by now, so perhaps artist Orr felt it wasn't necessary and didn't see a good spot for it. Or perhaps it was an oversight. Either way, all you have is what it always said at the top: "Bill Graham Presents in San Francisco."

    Measures 28 1/8" x 21 1/4" and grades to Near Mint condition for just a couple of slight handling imperfections to its glossy surface. Basically looks and feels like it was printed yesterday. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    Literature: See Grushkin, Paul, The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk, Abbeville Press, New York, 1987, p.141 (illustrated).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    6th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 434

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