Howlin' Wolf Poster 1967 BG-60 by Wes Wilson Fillmore Poster

Wes Wilson (1937-2020)


Howlin' Wolf, 1967


First printing lithograph, Excellent condition


Framed dimensions: 28 3/4" tall x 19 1/4" wide



Close-up of frame

Frame at angle


This poster was created by Wes Wilson for a 1967 show with Howlin’ Wolf, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and Harbinger Complex. The central image is an illustration of a nude woman with long hair and one hand extended palm up toward the viewer. At this time, Wilson was struggling with Bill Graham over money and this woman is pleading with Graham to be reasonable. It wasn’t going to work and after two more posters, they parted ways.



Wilson had also grown discontent with producing artwork related to a product. He always considered himself an artist; despite his success, and the exceptional artistic freedom he enjoyed, he was never entirely satisfied in the role of commercial artist.



“As to imagery, the human figure– primarily female– is prominent in his poster art. Often in association with various symbols, these figures express the philosophical and metaphysical consciousness of the artist and the counterculture. Wilson’s thoughtful treatment of Woman — the evocation of intellectual and spiritual depth, as well as wholesome sensuality.” – Walter Medeiros 



Many people think of psychedelic posters as announcing concerts by mostly white hippie acts. Bill Graham actually made a practice of featuring the leading African-American artists of that time—especially blues singers. This concert featured Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), who was very popular with the mostly white hippie audiences who frequented The Fillmore. Upon closer inspection, you can see that the name was misspelled as “Howling Wolf.”



With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists. AllMusic has described him as "a primal, ferocious blues belter with a roster of classics rivaling anyone else, and a sandpaper growl of a voice that has been widely imitated". The musician and critic Cub Koda noted, "no one could match Howlin' Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits."  Among Howlin’ Wolf favorites are Smokestack Lightning, Spoonful, Sittin’ on Top of the World, Back Door Man, Wang Dang Doodle, Little Red Rooster and Killin’ Floor.



Harbinger Complex was an American garage rock/psychedelic rock band from Fremont, California, not far from San Francisco, who were active in the mid-1960s. In the years since their breakup, their work has come to the attention of garage rock fans and collectors and has appeared on several retrospective compilations including the Nuggets 4-CD box set. They are best remembered for their 1966 song, "I Think I'm Down."

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