“When the music’s finally finished and the crowd is all long gone, ….
within the poster lies the memories that linger and live on” Professor Poster
This “Poster From The Past” is unquestionably the most sought after poster of the psychedelic-era and the defining Fillmore image. If this is not the most famous image in Rock n Roll posters, it certainly is not far from first place!
It was 48 years ago on this day back in 1968 that The Jimi Hendrix Experience, John Mayall & the Bluesbre.akers and Albert King, played at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. Hendrix played on February 1st and 4th. In between those days he performed at the Winterland Arena, just around the corner from the Fillmore. Light show was provided by Holy See and McKay’s Headlights.
The two opening acts were said to be Hendrix’s biggest influences as a guitarist, Albert King and John Mayall, so this was quite a treat for guitar lovers! If you already don’t know, this iconic poster was created by the late and great Big Five Master,…Rick Griffin.(RIP 1991) The central image is of a bloodshot eyeball with wings and a rattlesnake’s tail emerging from a circle of fire. It also has an arm with claws holding a skull. Rick appropriated the image from the famed California auto detailer Von Dutch and added his own touches to reflect the psychedelic times. It was a symbol meaning something along the lines of, “the eye in the sky knows all and sees all”. Two authorized printings were done of this poster and a Silk Screen (limited edition of 500 signed by Rick) over twice the size of the poster. There are also pirate images found out there, so collectors BEWARE! It is not unusual to see first printings of this piece sell in the five figure price range!
Definitely one to share with your friends.
With out a doubt… Approved by Professor Poster
- Hailed by Rolling Stone as the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix was also one of the biggest cultural figures of the Sixties, a psychedelic voodoo child who spewed clouds of distortion and pot smoke.A left-hander who took a right-handed Fender Stratocaster and played it upside down, Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before Hendrix had experimented with feedback and distortion, but he turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began.But while he unleashed noise with uncanny mastery — see: the hard-rock riffs of “Purple Haze,” “Foxy Lady,” and “Crosstown Traffic” — Hendrix also created tender ballads like “The Wind Cries Mary,” the oft-covered “Little Wing,” and “Angel,” as well as haunting blues recordings such as “Red House” and “Voodoo Chile.” Although Hendrix did not consider himself a good singer, his vocals were nearly as evocative as his guitar playing.Hendrix’s studio craft and virtuosity with both conventional and unconventional guitar sounds have been widely imitated. His songs have inspired several tribute albums, and have been recorded by a jazz group (1989’s Hendrix Project), the Kronos String Quartet, and avant-garde flutist Robert Dick. Hendrix’s musical vision had a profound effect on everybody from Miles Davis to Sly Stone and George Clinton to Prince and OutKast. Hendrix’s theatrical performing style — full of unmistakably sexual undulations and showman tricks like playing the guitar with his teeth and behind his back — has never quite been equaled.Beyond his virtuosic guitar playing, gifted songwriting, ahead-of-his-time attention to studio production, and electric stage presence, Hendrix was also an icon that transcended music; nobody else from his era wore an afro better. In the decades since Hendrix’s death, pop stars from Rick James and Prince to Lenny Kravitz and Erykah Badu have evoked his look and style.
Born November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, Hendrix taught himself to play guitar as a teenager, listening to records by blues guitarists Muddy Waters and B.B. King and rockers such as Chuck Berry and Eddie Cochran. He played in high school bands before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1959. Discharged in 1961, Hendrix began working under the pseudonym Jimmy James as a pickup guitarist. By 1964, when he moved to New York, he had played behind Sam Cooke, B.B. King, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Ike and Tina Turner, and Wilson Pickett. In New York he played the club circuit with King Curtis, the Isley Brothers, John Paul Hammond, and Curtis Knight.
In 1965 Hendrix formed his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, to play Greenwich Village coffeehouses. Chas Chandler of the Animals took him to London in the autumn of 1966 and arranged for the creation of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with Englishmen Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums.
The Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” reached Number Six on the U.K. chart in early 1967, followed shortly by “Purple Haze” and its double-platinum debut album, Are You Experienced? (Number Five, 1967). Hendrix fast became the rage of London’s pop society. Although word of the Hendrix phenomenon spread to the U.S., he was not seen in America (and no records were released) until June 1967, when, at Paul McCartney’s insistence, the Experience appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival. The performance, which Hendrix climaxed by burning his guitar, was filmed by D.A. Pennebaker for the documentary Monterey Pop.
Hendrix’s next albums — Axis: Bold as Love (Number Three, 1968), Electric Ladyland (Number One, 1968) — were major hits and he quickly became a superstar. Stories such as one reporting that the Experience was dropped from the bill of a Monkees tour at the insistence of the Daughters of the American Revolution became part of the Hendrix myth, but he considered himself a musician more than a star. Soon after the start of his second American tour, early in 1968, he renounced the extravagances of his stage act and simply performed his music. A hostile reception led him to conclude that his best music came out in the informal settings of studios and clubs, and he began construction of Electric Lady, his own studio in New York.
Hendrix was eager to experiment with musical ideas, and he jammed with jazz fusionists John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, and members of Traffic, among others. Miles Davis admired his instinctiveness (and, in fact, planned to record with him), and Bob Dylan — whose “Like a Rolling Stone,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and “Drifter’s Escape” Hendrix performed and recorded — later returned the tribute by performing “Watchtower” in the Hendrix mode.
As 1968 came to a close, disagreements arose between manager Chas Chandler and co-manager Michael Jeffrey; Jeffrey, who opposed Hendrix’s avant-garde leanings, got the upper hand. Hendrix was also under pressure from Black Power advocates to form an all-black group and play to black audiences. These problems exacerbated already existing tensions within the Experience, and in early 1969 Redding left the group to form Fat Mattress. Hendrix replaced him with an army buddy, Billy Cox. Mitchell stayed on briefly, but by August the Experience was defunct. In summer 1969 the double-platinum Smash Hits (Number Six) was released.
In August 1969, Hendrix appeared at the Woodstock Festival with a large, informal ensemble called the Electric Sky Church, and later that year he put together the all-black Band of Gypsys — with Cox and drummer Buddy Miles (Electric Flag), with whom he had played behind Wilson Pickett. The Band of Gypsys’ debut concert at New York’s Fillmore East on New Year’s Eve 1969 provided the recordings for the group’s only album during its existence, Band of Gypsys (Number Five, 1970). (A second album of vintage tracks was released in 1986.) Hendrix walked offstage in the middle of their Madison Square Garden gig; when he performed again some months later it was with Mitchell and Cox, the group that recorded The Cry of Love (Number Three, 1971), Hendrix’s last self-authorized album. With them he played at the Isle of Wight Festival, his last concert, in August 1970, a recording of which would see release in 2002. A month later he was dead. The cause of death was given in a coroner’s report as inhalation of vomit following barbiturate intoxication. Suicide was not ruled out, but evidence pointed to an accident.
In the years since his death, the Hendrix legend has amplified through various media. Randi Hansen (who appeared in the video for Devo’s 1984 cover of “Are You Experienced?”) became the best known of a bunch of full-time Hendrix impersonators, even re-forming the Band of Gypsys with bassist Tony Saunders and Buddy Miles, who, briefly in the late Eighties, was replaced by Mitch Mitchell.
Well over a dozen books have been written about Hendrix, including tomes by both Redding and Mitchell; David Henderson’s ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky is generally considered to be the most authoritative bio, while Charles R. Cross’s Room Full of Mirrors delves deepest into Hendrix’s early years in Seattle.
Virtually every note Hendrix ever allowed to be recorded has been marketed on more than 100 albums, some of which mine his years as a pickup guitarist; various bootlegs and legitimate live concerts and jam sessions; and even taped interviews and conversations. A controversial series produced by Alan Douglas, who recorded more than 1,000 hours of Hendrix alone at the Electric Lady studio in the last year of his life, garnered attention through the mid-Nineties. With the consent of the Hendrix estate, Douglas edited the tapes, erased some tracks, and dubbed in others, with mixed results. Radio One collected energetic live-in-the-studio performances by Hendrix and the Experience recorded for British radio in 1967; the later BBC Sessions mined the same material more thoroughly.
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
For over 50 years, John Mayall has served as a pioneer of blues music, rightly earning him the title, “The Godfather of British Blues.” In 2013, John signed with producer Eric Corne’s label, Forty Below Records, and has since been experiencing a true artistic and career renaissance.
This revival continues with the release of a brilliant new studio album titled “Find a Way to Care,” produced by John and Eric at famed House of Blues Studios in Encino, California. About the new album, Corne says, “I really wanted to feature John’s keyboard playing on this record. He’s truly one of the most lyrical, economical and underrated keyboardists around. We also wanted to change things up a bit after the success of “A Special Life” and the addition of a horn section on several tracks was a really fun way to do that. As good as the last album was, I think this one is even better.”
On the new album, John adds harmonica on two songs, as well as a classic guitar track reminiscent of Hubert Sumlin or Muddy Waters on the latter’s legendary “Long Distance Call.” He is joined by his killer touring band: Rocky Athas (guitar), Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums). The release of “Find a Way to Care” comes on the heels of Mayall’s internationally-acclaimed, “A Special Life” in released in 2014. “I’d easily put this one among Mayall’s best efforts – and that includes ‘Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton,’ ‘A Hard Road’ and ‘Blues from Laurel Canyon!'” (about.com)
Earlier this year, John and Forty Below thrilled the blues world with the release of the historical Bluesbreakers album, “Live In 1967,” featuring the three original members of Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. “Sunken treasure doesn’t get much better” (Classic Rock Magazine). A second set is slated for a 2016 release.
John Mayall was born on the 29th of November 1933 and grew up in a village not too far from Manchester, England. It was here as a teenager that he first became attracted to the jazz and blues 78s in his father’s record collection. Initially it was all about guitarists such as Eddie Lang, Lonnie Johnson, Brownie McGhee, Josh White and Leadbelly. However once he heard the sounds of boogie woogie piano giants Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis, his desire to play in that style was all he could think of. At the age of 14 when he went to Manchester’s Junior School of Art, he had access to a piano for the first time and he began to learn the basics of this exciting music. He also found time to continue learning the guitar and a couple of years later, the harmonica, inspired by Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter.
After his two years at art school, he joined the art department of a major department store while starting to build up his own record collection that was to be his source of inspiration to play the blues. At age eighteen when he was due for National Service he spent three years in the Royal Engineers as an office clerk in the south of England and in Korea all the time playing whenever he got a chance. As no-one seemed to be interested in this type of music, John felt pretty much of an outsider throughout his twenties until 1962 when the news broke in the British music magazine Melody Maker that Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies had opened a club in Ealing devoted to blues music. After Britain’s ten year traditional jazz boom had about run its course, a new generation was ready for something new. Out came the amplifiers, guitars and harmonicas and out came young enthusiasts from all over the country eager to sit in and form their own groups.
This was all the encouragement thirty-year old John needed and, giving up his graphic design job, he moved from Manchester to London and began putting musicians together under the banner of the Bluesbreakers. Although things were rough at first, the music quickly took off thanks to the popularity of the Rolling Stones, Georgie Fame, Manfred Mann, The Animals and Spencer Davis with a young Steve Winwood. John also backed blues greats John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, and Sonny Boy Williamson on their first English club tours.
After a couple of years and many personnel changes, Eric Clapton quit the Yardbirds and John quickly offered him the job as his new guitarist. Although John had previously released a couple of singles and a live LP for Decca, the now classic collaboration between Eric and John resulted in the all-time best-selling classic album, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton. However, by the time it was entering the charts, Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce had left to form Cream. So began a succession of future stars who would define their roots under John’s leadership before leaving to form their own groups. Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood became Fleetwood Mac. Andy Fraser formed Free, and Mick Taylor joined the Rolling Stones.
In 1969, with his popularity blossoming in the USA, John caused somewhat of a stir with the release of a drummer-less acoustic live album entitled The Turning Point, from which his song, “Room To Move” was destined to become a rock classic. He received a gold record for this album. Attracted by the West Coast climate and culture, John then made his permanent move from England to Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles and began forming bands with American musicians. Throughout the ’70s, John became further revered for his many jazz/rock/blues innovations featuring such notable performers as Blue Mitchell, Red Holloway, Larry Taylor, and Harvey Mandel
In 1982, motivated by nostalgia and fond memories, John decided to re-form the original Bluesbreakers. Mick Fleetwood was unavailable at the time so John hired drummer Colin Allen to join with John McVie and Mick Taylor for a couple of tours and a video concert film entitled Blues Alive. Featured greats were Albert King, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Etta James. By the time Mick and John had returned to their respective careers, public reaction had convinced Mayall that he should honor his driving blues roots. In Los Angeles, he selected his choices for a new incarnation of the Bluesbreakers. Officially launched in 1984, it included future stars in their own right, guitarists Coco Montoya and Walter Trout.
Throughout the eighties and nineties, John’s popularity went from strength to strength with a succession of dynamic albums such as Behind The Iron Curtain, Chicago Line, A Sense of Place, and the Grammy-nominated Wake Up Call that featured guest artists Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins and Mick Taylor.
In 1993, Texas guitarist Buddy Whittington joined the Bluesbreakers and for the next ten years energized the band with his unique and fiery ideas. Making his recording debut on Mayall’s Spinning Coin album, he proved to be more than equal to following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors. Other modern classics followed. Blues For the Lost Days and Padlock On The Blues, the latter co-produced by John and his wife Maggie, featured a rare collaboration with his close friend John Lee Hooker. On Along For The Ride, Mayall re-teamed with a number of his former mates, including Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, as well as ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller, Billy Preston, Steve Cropper, Otis Rush, Gary Moore and Jeff Healey. The younger generation was well represented by teenage guitar sensations Shannon Curfman and Jonny Lang. In 2002, Stories debuted the Billboard blues charts at #1.
At a 70th Birthday celebration in aid of UNICEF in Liverpool, a concert was filmed, recorded and released as a DVD and double CD in December 2003. Along with the Bluesbreakers, it featured old friends Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor and Chris Barber. The BBC also aired an hour-long documentary on John’s life and career entitled The Godfather of British Blues and to coincide with the release of Road Dogs in 2005, John was awarded an OBE by The Queen’s Honours list. In the Spring of 2007, John Mayall’s 56th album release, In The Palace Of The King, was an entire studio album that honored and paid tribute to the music of Mayall’s long-time hero of the blues, Freddie King. All garnered great reviews, critical and popular acclaim and represent Mayall’s ongoing mastery of the blues and his continuing importance in contemporary music.
In addition, over the last ten years, Mayall released live recordings on his own online label, Private Stash Records. (Some still available from his website johnmayall.com. They included Time Capsule (containing historic 1957-62 live tapes), UK Tour 2K, (from a 2000 British tour), Boogie Woogie Man, (a selection of solo performances), Cookin’ Down Under, (a live DVD from Australia) and No Days Off, (another British live show).
By October 2008, the years of heavy touring were beginning to take their toll on John and he reluctantly announced his decision to take an indefinite break and permanently retire the name “Bluesbreakers.” It was a sad occasion to say farewell to Buddy and the guys after twenty years of great music and camaraderie but things had reached another turning point. This caused quite a stir in blues circles and led to rumors about total retirement. Happily for the fans, early in 2009 Eagle Records called upon John to come up with a new album. Feeling much revived after months away from music, he put together a new band for the project.
A few years ago, Buddy Whittington had introduced John to a fellow Texas guitarist, Rocky Athas and he recalled how impressed he’d been at the time. Luckily he answered the call and was eager to come on board for the proposed album. With the need for a rhythm section of dynamic strength, John turned to bassist Greg Rzab who recommended his fellow Chicagoan Jay Davenport on drums. Finally, the three guys were put together with keyboardist Tom Canning and within two days of meeting up in Los Angeles, the album Tough was in the can. It had taken all of three days in the studio and ever since its release and a growing schedule of world tours, a new era was born.
The next couple of years saw John and the band tour extensively. A leaner four piece line-up gave John more room to stretch out as an instrumentalist and the band’s chemistry hit new heights. After being invited to do a guest spot on Walter Trout’s latest album, John met engineer/producer Eric Corne. John was so impressed that he asked Eric to record his new album “A Special Life” Greg, Jay and Rocky flew in for the sessions which took less than a week to record and the end result is one of John’s best albums ever, with it’s deep devotion to blues and roots music. Accordion legend C.J.Chenier makes a powerhouse guest appearance on a couple of tracks, including one previously recorded by his father, Clifton Chenier. The album also includes three new songs penned by John and a reworked Mayall classic to go along with covers of Jimmy Rogers, Albert King, Sonny Landreth, Jimmy McCracklin, Eddie Taylor, as well as a new song by band members Greg Rzab and Rocky Athas.
Albert King (guitar, vocals; born Albert Nelson on April 25, 1923, died December 21, 1992)
As an electric guitar player who focused more on tone and intensity than flash, Albert King had a tremendous impact on countless rock and roll guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield and Stevie Ray Vaughan. King was also one of the first bluesmen who crossed over into the world of soul music, signing with Stax Records and recording such classic songs as “Born Under a Bad Sign” and “Crosscut Saw.”
Albert King was born Albert Nelson on April 25, 1923, in Indianola, Mississippi, the same town where B.B. King grew up. As a child, he sang with his family’s gospel group at a church where his father played the guitar. When King was eight, his family moved to Forrest City, Arkansas, and he would pick cotton on plantations in the area. Around that same time, King bought his first guitar, paying only $1.25. His first inspiration was T-Bone Walker.
King began working as a professional musician when he joined a group called In the Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas, in the late Forties. He then moved north and played drums with Jimmy Reed, both onstage and on several early Reed recordings. In the early Fifties, King moved to Gary, Indiana, and then, in 1953, to Chicago. It was in Chicago that King cut his first singles, “Lonesome in My Bedroom” and “Bad Luck Blues,” for Parrot Records.
The electric guitar quickly became King’s primary instrument, his preferred instrument being a Gibson Flying V that he played left-handed, holding it upside down and tuning it for a right-handed player. A huge man, weighing more than 250 pounds and standing six-feet-four, King was a commanding physical presence onstage.
In 1956, King returned to St. Louis and formed a new band. He resumed recording in 1959 and scored his first minor hit, “I’m a Lonely Man.” The song was written by Little Milton, who was an A&R man for Bobbin Records, the label that released the record. King recorded for several other small labels during this period, including King Records. In 1961, he scored his first major hit, “Don’t Throw Your Love on Me Too Strong,” which reached Number 14 on the R&B chart.
King’s real breakthrough came in 1966, when he moved to Memphis and signed with Stax Records. Working with producer Al Jackson Jr. and backed by Booker T. and the M.G.’s, King recorded such classics as “Crosscut Saw” and “As the Years Go Passing By.” In 1967, Stax released Born Under a Bad Sign. The title track became King’s best-known song and has been covered by many artists, including Cream. King played many shows at promoter Bill Graham‘s Fillmore East and the Fillmore West venues. One show was recorded and released as the album Live Wire/Blues Power.
In 1969, King performed live with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, forming what was called an “87-piece blues band.” During the early Seventies, he recorded the album Lovejoy with a group of white rock singers and an Elvis Presley tribute album, Albert King Does the King’s Things. King continued to tour throughout the Seventies, and in June 1970, he joined the Doors onstage at a show in Vancouver, Canada.
King’s sound underwent a major change in the Seventies, as he teamed up with the Bar-Kays and the Memphis Horns on the albums I’ll Play the Blues for You and I Wanna Get Funky. That partnership gave his music a much funkier sound than it had on his earlier recordings, and the former album’s title track became one of his signature songs. King also worked with Allen Toussaint and some of the Meters during this period.
During the Eighties, King received considerable praise from many young blues guitarists, most notably Stevie Ray Vaughan. The two appeared together on the Canadian television show In Session in December 1983, a performance that was issued on CD in 1993. One British writer described Vaughan as a “young Texan who apparently believes that Albert King is God and the Lord should be praised regularly.”
King continued to perform until his death from a heart attack on December 21, 1992. At his funeral, Joe Walsh played a slide-guitar rendition of “Amazing Grace” as a tribute to King.
From Eric Clapton, Michael Bloomfield and Johnny Winter, to Joe Walsh, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Derek Trucks and beyond, the influence of Albert King’s husky vocals and his signature Gibson Flying V guitar will live on forever.