Blues-Rock Bash

Blues Rock Bash poster from March 1966 Paul Butterfield Jefferson Airplane concert poster BG-3

Wes Wilson (1937-2020)


Blues-Rock Bash, 1966


First printing lithograph, Excellent minus condition


Framed dimensions: 26 1/2: tall x 20 7/8" wide



Close-up of frame

Frame at angle


“A Blues Rock Bash” is the title of this image, which features The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Jefferson Airplane. The image is shaped like a human head and the lettering forms the facial features. As an early Bill Graham poster, these were printed in small quantities, making them very scarce today.



This was the first time Chicago's Butterfield played for Bill Graham after blowing the roof off the Avalon Ballroom three weeks earlier for Chet Helms and the Family Dog (FD-3 poster). Graham swooped in and stole the band's attention and exclusive rights going forward, then chided Helms for sleeping in (as hippies did) and missing business opportunities like this.


Besides Paul Butterfield on vocals and harmonica – "Nobody could blow like Butter," Bonnie Raitt once said – the BBB also featured stellar guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, later stars in their own right. The Elektra Records band was midway between its self-titled debut album from fall 1965 and the classic East-West, to be recorded and released this summer.


By having the unusual in-between Saturday night date at Harmon Gym at UC Berkeley, the Airplane were returning to the site of one of their very first gigs ever. As complete unknowns, they had appeared there on October 30, 1965 with Larry Hankin (of the improv group The Committee). A few weeks before this gig, the band had finished recording their debut album, Takes Off, for RCA Records, which would be released in August - the same month that East-West came out.


This was also partly a charity event on Saturday night... at the bottom it states, "Part of the Proceeds Go to Univ. Friends of SNCC,” the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee.

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