This is a rare and very early piece created by the father of the psychedelic poster revolution, Wes Wilson, for shows at the Fillmore in early June 1966. At this point in the development of the psychedelic style, lettering was becoming distorted, bending, melting, filling shapes or pulsating in an effort to reproduce or at least mimic the psychedelic experience. It is estimated that only around 1,200 of these posters were printed at first, and this one was from the first printing.
We see local band Quicksilver Messenger Service topping the bill followed by the Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. The Grateful Dead had recently returned from Los Angeles and were living out in Marin County on the Oolompali Ranch so they loaded up the vans and trucked across the Golden Gate for this show. The Mothers, were about a month away from releasing their first album and later in October charted a hit single, “Trouble Every Day.”
Frank Zappa wrote the song (worth listening to!) in 1965 after watching news coverage of the Watts Riots. Originally dubbed "The Watts Riot Song", its primary lyrical themes are racial violence, social injustice, and sensationalist journalism. The musical style—featuring multiple guitar tracks and a harmonica—much more closely resembles blues than mainstream rock and roll. Producer Tom Wilson of MGM Records signed the Mothers to a record deal on March 1, 1966, having heard only this song and believing them to be a "white blues band." Well, sort of.