San Francisco Sound at the Great Highway

San Francisco Sound poster by Sue Martinez 1970 Great Highway Tripsichord Indian Puddin' and Pipe

Sue Martinez


San Francisco Sound at the Great Highway, 1970


First printing lithograph, Excellent condition


Framed dimensions: 17 7/8" tall x 22" wide



Close-up of frame

Frame at angle


This poster was an appropriate close-out for the venue that had succeeded the Avalon Ballroom for Family Dog Promoter Chet Helms. It was July 1970 and time to tuck the hippie Utopian Dream and psychedelic era into its bed of history. The title reprised the iconic Wes Wilson poster from October 1966 labelled, “The Sound” with a dancing long-haired woman, but this time with clothes on, in fact, warm clothes, signifying the direction of many of the hippies that fled the hard-drug-addled Haight Ashbury for communes in Marin County and other nooks and niches around the country.



The concert was actually not produced by Helms, but by Matthew Katz the former manager of the Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, It’s A beautiful Day and others. He was the manager of Indian Puddin’ and Pipe and gave the Seattle-based group that name to replace West Coast Natural Gas. [Katz structured his contracts so that different line-ups could appear under a given group's name, anytime and anywhere he desired. A line-up of Indian Puddin' and Pipe had already been in existence, but Katz would nevertheless rechristen West Coast Natural Gas with the name as well. Katz was quite a character – worth reading more about….]



Tripsichord grew out of group called The Ban who were formed in the Santa Barbara area in 1965. The group moved to Los Angeles and changed their name to Now. They moved to the Bay Area in 1967 and changed their name to Tripsichord Music Box. Their first recordings, made at the end of 1967, appeared on the San Francisco Sound compilation Fifth Pipe Dream. They shortened their name to Tripsichord sometime in 1970. The group recorded the material for their only album in 1969 but it was not released until 1971. San Francisco Sound was the record label owned by Matthew Katz and Tripsichord was signed to him as well, this concert essentially serving as an offering of his bands.



The artist for this piece was Sue Martinez and not much is known about her. Like many of the unsung women artists of the psychedelic period she may not have been able to contribute as much to what was largely a “boy’s club,” back in those days.

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