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    FD-14 Big Brother & Holding Co. 1966 "Zig-Zag Man" Genuine Counterfeit Concert Posters (2). A lot of two bootleg San Francisco concert posters for Big Brother and the Holding Company, with brand new singer Janis Joplin, and Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Avalon Ballroom on Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, 1966.

    This pair of highly unusual posters comes from the personal archives of Bob Cohen, the man who co-owned the Family Dog and ran it with Chet Helms from early 1966 until the firm's demise in late 1968. For a full description of the "Zig-Zag Man" poster, its background and its importance, please refer to our listing of the first printing of this poster in this very auction. That said,

    The story of the Zig-Zag Man "Genuine Counterfeits" is one of the best stories the hobby's ever had, and always bears repeating. This poster was so popular in 1966 that it became the first psychedelic concert poster to be "illegally" reproduced. Enterprising pirates simply made their own copies off one good FD-14 original, and started selling them in head shops and hip stores in the Haight and around town. When Mr. Helms caught wind of this, he had "Genuine Counterfeit" rubber stamps made up and headed out with his posse (as the story goes), invaded the retailers and, rather than confiscate the boots or tear them up, branded them with this scarlet letter, "Genuine Counterfeit," down at the bottom. That'll show them!

    Don't forget, this is the one concert poster whose original design proclaimed at the bottom, "What you don't know about copying and duplicating won't hurt you." Holy smokes, Zig-Zag Man! You can almost put the irony in your pipe and smoke it.

    So naturally, decades later, these ostensibly worthless knock-offs became collector's items in themselves - IF they have the Dog's rubber stamp on there - and not easy to find, either. The paper's cheap and these two specimens are pretty hammered, but what a fun history behind them, and they carry the great provenance of being the Family Dog's own archived specimens. You can practically smell Chet Helms' angst-filled DNA all over them.

    The whiter one measures 14 ¼" x 19 5/8" and the heavily toned one measures 14 1/16" x 19 5/8". If we had to guess, it does look like they're from the same run. All bets are off when it comes to grading these, given their unique nature. Allow your eye to be your judge, as both are beaten up in their own way and probably would be graded in just Fair condition were they genuine. Oh, wait... they are genuine... genuine counterfeits.

    COAs from Bob Cohen and from Heritage Auctions.

    Literature: See Grushkin, Paul, The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk, Abbeville Press, New York, 1987, p.96 (illustrated).

    To view Bob Cohen's biography, "A Patriarch of the San Francisco Scene," please click here.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2020
    8th-9th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 572

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