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    Description

    Pow-Wow: A Gathering of the Tribes 1967 Human Be-In Event Poster (AOR-2.215). An original vintage first-printing concert/event poster, designed by Rick Griffin, for one of the most important gatherings in S.F. rock history: the Human Be-In, which took place on a perfect, beautiful day on Saturday afternoon, January 14, 1967 at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

    This specimen is in very used and aged condition (see below), but the special twist here is that this poster 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. Thus, it either hung in Cohen's home back in the 60's, or more likely, was up on the walls of the Family Dog offices on Gough Street in San Francisco.

    Anyone and everyone in 1960's San Francisco was at this event, which is why Griffin's artwork simply says "All San Francisco Rock Bands." So you had the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sir Douglas Quintet, the Loading Zone, Country Joe & the Fish, the Charlatans and others performing. Only Big Brother & the Holding Company w/Janis did not make it to the event. The Dead, btw, played "Morning Dew" for the first time ever at this show.

    The luminaries, hipsters, poets and others advertised on the poster include East-Coast LSD advocates Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (the future Ram Dass), Beat Generation poets Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder and Lenore Kandel, counterculture activist Jerry Rubin, comedian and civil rights activists Dick Gregory and Robert Baker, and even "Buddah" was on the bill - although the last one listed. ;-)

    To many, this event - referred to locally as just "the Be-In" - kicked off the Summer of Love. Ten to twenty thousand people gathered in the Polo Fields for the free happening, and by all accounts, it came off beautifully, without a hitch. Even the Hell's Angels played peacemakers. In a way, this event put hippies in the national spotlight for the first time. Jerry Garcia told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, "The first really pure event was the Be-In, the first time that the whole 'head scene' was out in force. It was publicized through completely underground channels - posters, word of mouth and that sort of thing." This was even before the birth of FM rock radio, so posters were an essential means of getting the word out.

    A desirable poster by one of the masters of S.F. psychedelic concert-poster art, and a must-have for any serious collector of same. Measures a shade over 14 ¼" x 22 ½" and grades to Very Good Minus condition. Very toned, obviously. Many tackholes in all four corners and the top center; "only" two at the bottom center. Two on the right margin as well, and a third one on "Ferlinghetti," the only pinhole in the artwork.

    There's also a 1 ¾" vertical tear at top center, once repaired with cello tape and then masking tape on the back but they've withered with age and the tear is open again. Cello tape pieces remain in the two upper corners, and a little spot of tape residue at the top center. Brown spot to the left of "Saturday" and water stain on the right edge to the right of "Buddha" and "Polo Grounds." Light horizontal creases throughout turning stronger in the big white margin at the bottom. Both bottom corners were nearly detached so recently reinforced with cello tape to prevent them from falling off and getting lost. Minor brown spotting in the image area, such as under the tiny word "flowers" and on "feathers" (both at the top of the artwork). A well-loved piece to be sure. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    Literature: See Grushkin, Paul, The Art of Rock - Posters from Presley to Punk, Abbeville Press, New York, 1987, p.197 (illus.).


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    6th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 29
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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