Father’s Day June of 2015 I went to visit my daughter and son-in-law in San Marcos, Texas. She had a great plan for my special day. First a visit to a special exhibit of Rock n Roll concert posters of the 60,s, 70’s and 80’s, then dinner at an Oyster bar, followed by live rock music at a local watering hole.
These posters were to advertise live shows at venues in Austin like The Vulcan Gas Company, .Antone’s, and Armadillo World Headquarters. They cover a period of time from 1967 to 1982. Some of these posters predate the great psychedelic poster art of the early 60’s in San Francisco. Way before Austin become known as”the live music capital of the world” it had a vibrant local music culture. These posters capture that time period perfectly. The poster artists include Gilbert Shelton, Jim Franklin, Kerry Awn, Michael Priest, Danny Garrett, Guy Juke, Ken Featherston, and NOXX. The posters cover styles from psychedelic and realism to punk.
The posters were collected by Tom Wilmore and a few other generous donors. There are over 140 posters and handbills in the collection. The earliest posters are mainly from the Vulcan Gas Company and they are very psychedelic. The posters from Antoine’s are very realistic portraits of all of the great blues musicians that played there. The owner of Antoine’s insisted that the musicians be honored with realistic representations of their appearance. The later posters and handbills give us a glimpse into the vibrant Punk Rock scene that was happening in Austin in the early 80’s. Many of these posters and handbills were made by the famous Punk artist NOXX.
Jim Franklin was the main artist who did all the psychedelic poster art for the Vulcan Gas Company and Armadillo World Headquarters. Ironically, he studied art at the University of San Francisco. He is credited with making the Armadillo the symbol for Rock and Roll counterculture in Texas. He drew Armadillo’s for the covers of albums for Freddie King, Commander Cody, and Shiva’s Headband as well as for the posters of Armadillo World Headquarters.
Congratulations to Texas State University for putting on such an amazing art show. It was a mountaintop experience. The experience was made even sweeter because I shared it with my Daughter and Son-in-law!
There is an awesome book that has been published by the University of Texas Press called “Homegrown: Austin Music Posters 1967-1982”. You can find it on line at Amazon as well as many other sources. The book comes in paperback as well as a hardback coffee table book. Enjoy the pictures I took.
This experience has inspired me to write a series of blogs on rock n roll bands from Texas in the early 60’s. I will write about The 13th Floor Elevators, Bubble Puppy, Shiva’s Headband, and Bloodrock. Next up will be the amazing story of The 13th Floor Elevators…