David Byrd designed this beautiful piece, which was used as a tour blank for the Rolling Stones. These were created for shows in 1969 and are most commonly seen without any venue information printed in the bottom area. Color printing is an expensive process, so it would be costly and inefficient for local promoters to design and print their own color posters for just one or two shows. So the national touring company would design a color poster ahead of time, complete with a large blank white space, usually at the top or bottom. Then a large quantity of these “tour blanks” would be printed. The local venue, date and ticket-prices for each stop on the tour would be entered into the blank space as needed.
In early 1968, at the recommendation of art school chums who were running things for Bill Graham at the new Fillmore East in Manhattan, David Byrd signed on as the exclusive poster & program designer, creating posters for Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, the Who, Traffic, Iron Butterfly, and the Grateful Dead. In 1969 Byrd created the first version of the Woodstock poster, but when the venue changed the organizers couldn’t find Byrd and had Arnold Skolnick hastily design the “dove and guitar” poster more commonly associated with the event. That same year, Byrd created this graphic for the Rolling Stones 1969 Tour that tragically ended at Altamont.
This was the Rolling Stones' first US tour since July 1966. Instead of performing in small- and medium-size venues to audiences of screaming girls, the band was playing to sold-out arenas with more mature crowds that were ready to listen to the music. The tour set lists were derived mostly from 1968's Beggars Banquet album and the forthcoming Let It Bleed. During the tour, many (including journalists) felt that the ticket prices were far too high. In answer to this criticism, the Rolling Stones decided to end their tour with a free concert in San Francisco which turned out to be the infamous Altamont on December 6th.