Poster boys

Letraset poster from 1971, by me
Two coincidences collided fortuitously recently. First, regular readers of this blog will know I've had the painters, decorators and carpet layers in. Well, I also insulated my loft (I didn't do it myself, obviously, but handyman Danny did) which  involved bringing out some boxes that I've had since I moved down from Guildford 25 years ago - and a big roll of old posters. These were mainly from the late 60s and early 70s, gig posters from Surrey Uni and Guildford Civic Hall. I unrolled and photographed some and put them on Facebook.

Hand-drawn poster by me, 1970. I had a version printed on silver paper!
I decided to put a couple of them on Ebay: a psychedelic Edgar Broughton Band one in gold and brown (below) and a Sun poster of David Bowie (neither by me!) and was surprised at the prices I got for them. Then, out of the blue I got an email from Alexander at Briggs Vintage Concert Posters with a scan of a hand-drawn poster I did for Surrey Uni Rag Ball, featuring the band Yes (above). I assumed he'd seen it on Facebook, but my copy was yellow on silver. So I searched for myself on Google Images (as you do) and found the above poster, which was on sale at Beat Books (scroll down to item 285). It had already been sold, so I have no idea what it made. In any case I was rather flattered to be in such good company!

Edgar Broughton Band poster by Mal Dean (?) printed by Screen Dream
So, Alex popped round to the Pipes Museum and bought some of my posters, plus the odd flyer from the vaults, including one for the Bob Dylan Isle of Wight festival. Most of them were in fact Letraset posters like the one for Kevin Ayers at the top of this blog, printed silkscreen in two colours. I learnt the technique from my good friend and mentor Rick Welton, and in fact some of the posters I sold were his designs from the first Guildford Festival in 1969. Alex was really interested in the hand-drawn psychedelic stuff, however.

Hand drawn screen-printed poster by me, 1968
While he was round, we got talking about Poppa Ben Hook, the Guildford Arts Lab house band. And I mentioned I had six unreleased demo acetates of their tunes. He thought Record Collector might be interested in releasing a limited-edition vinyl record of them, and some time later I was contacted by Rob of Pop Classics and they now have the tracks. I was concerned about permissions, that I was only in contact with one band member, Al the drummer, but he said go for it. Watch this space!

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