First Psychedelic Rock Poster "The Seed" 1965 Charlatans Original Artwork (122900)

Currency:USD Category:Memorabilia / Music - Rock Start Price:5,000.00 USD Estimated At:10,000.00 - 15,000.00 USD
First Psychedelic Rock Poster  The Seed  1965 Charlatans Original Artwork (122900)
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The first psychedelic rock poster, created in 1965 by George Hunter and Mike Ferguson for the Charlatans opening of the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. There is some mouse damage on right side and some minor tears near center. This was the poster announcing the performance that never happened. There is another version with the actual performance date of June 21. This ain't that one.When Mark Unobsky borrowed $5000 from his parents to open a television western style saloon (Think “Gunsmoke’s” Long Branch Saloon) in the Comstock Lode townof Virginia City, he and his friends had no idea that they would make Rock-n-Roll history by inventing the music, culture and lifestyle known as “Psychedelic”. This poster, the one going up for auction, is a main part of that history. When Unobsky along with his business partner Chandler Laughlin, who had run several “Coffee Houses” decided that they were bored with the jukebox that was tucked away in a corner of the saloon, they decided to bring in a house band. They were asked by a friend to try out a so-calledband from San Francisco known as The Charlatans. The Charlatans were “so-called” because they had never actually played any gigs as a band, but, they did practice a lot….for like, two years.It took some effort to get them motivated
enough to leave the comforts of “The City” and their practice routine, to make the trip to Nevada. In fact, Dan Hicks, the drummer in the band, had to be bribed with a $100 bill to make the journey. Coincidentally, they arrived about the same time as Owsley Stanley’s new re-discovery, LSD, showed it’s little sugar cubed head. Mark & Chandler, in a moment of pot induced thought, felt it would be different and a bit more entertaining to have the band “Dose Up” before playing the audition.They did, waited and once the hallucinogenic took hold, all hell broke loose. It was never recorded exactly how the bandplayed for that audition, suffice to say, Chandler and Mark were laughing so hard, they hired the band for not just their musicaltalent, which they didn’t really witness, but their comedy value.Planning the big night, the partners decided that because the band would be
“Tripping” each audience member would receive a tab of “acid” upon entering the concert, blurring the divide between the performers and the audience (It became known as The Red Dog Experience). The band was scheduled to play nightly beginning June 1st. Laughlin decided to enhance the experience, so they enlisted their friend Bill Ham, to try out his new invention, a light box that would radiate around the venue pulsating with the beat of the music (The first light show). Now that they had a band (Well, so-called), a legal hallucinogenic and a “light show,” they needed a way to let people know. That’s when Charlatan member George Hunter conceived the idea of a poster to advertise the event. Now, there had been posters and flyers in the past, but they always featured publicity photos of the act or acts (Like “The Beatles’” Candlestick Park poster). Hunter decided to do a poster
in the style of an old circus poster, hand drawn with the faces and names of the band members as well as the date of the performance, June 1st thru15th. Impressed by this art, Alton Kelly, one of thegroup who had come up for the event from San Francisco, would later become one of the pre-eminent poster artists of the 1960’s as a founding member, along with Chet Helms and others from Virginia City, of “TheFamily Dog.”Unfortunately, the band was so stoned and “tripped out,” (At least, that was the rumor), they couldn’t make the original opening date and it had to be moved to June 21, a week later. So, Hunter went to work on another poster with the date of June 21st, scrapping the original. As you can see by the date on the one we’re putting up for auction, it is dated June1-15, making it one of the scrapped originals. THIS poster, the one known as “The Seed”
by poster collectors and experts, is the “Holy Grail” and without it, we probably wouldn’t have the ones from Bill Graham or “The Family Dog” (Name inspired by a dog that hung out up in V.C. by the way). While there are some condition issues, it’s place in Rock-n-Roll history is pristine.

Dimensions: 14"x 21"
Date: June 1-15 1965
Country (if not USA):
State: Nevada
City: Virginia City
Provenance: The Historic V & T Railroad Depot Stockpile of Pierce Powell's Western Memorabilia