Counterfeit UK Osiris/Hapshash Posters

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One area I’ve been researching extensively is the UK concert posters made in the 1960’s by Osiris, especially those designed by Hapshash & The Coloured Coat (Michael English and Nigel Weymouth.) A few years back “newly discovered” copies of some of these came to the market in significant numbers—one story was that these were found by a former driver for The Beatles, another was the classic “the family of the original printer found them in the attic.”

Brad Rogers of has done pioneering research into this topic, and has shown convincingly that these “newly discovered” posters are nothing more than recent (and very high quality) counterfeits, being sold as genuine. I’ve spent a good deal of time speaking with Brad and comparing his examples to a small collection I bought (which had been in storage for 20+ years and were thus beyond the shadow of a doubt genuine.)

The counterfeits include:
Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore (the most common bootleg)
Pink Floyd CIA-UFO
The Who “I Can See For Miles”
The Who at the Saville Theater
Fifth Dimension Club Leicester
Tomorrow My White Bicycle
Arthur Brown OA 501
Julie Felix at the Royal Albert Hall
The Move at The Marquee
Pink Floyd at the UFO double size by Michael English.

The best way to know if a poster is genuine is to compare it to a known original—but if that isn’t possible, here’s the short version:

The originals are silkscreens, while the bootlegs are instead printed.
On the originals you can easily see areas where the screens (and thus layers of ink) didn’t exactly line up, and there is a bit of one
color bleeding out from underneath another color. There are also areas where a lot of one color of ink is built up over lot of another color ink, and there is a three dimensional aspect to the color. On the bootlegs, the ink flat as can be–clearly not ink on top of ink. On some of the original posters, you can see tiny silver flecks of ink over the solid color fields.

There is a lack of detail in the reproductions as well. And the paper used for the bootlegs just isn’t the same—as Brad says, “it looks brand new, because it is brand new.” I agree—my “like new” originals, carefully stored for more than 20 years, have aged—the paper has mellowed over 40 years. The bootlegs are bright white on the reverse.

For a really detailed explanation of how to tell the difference, I highly recommend Brad’s site—his research is without equal on this obscure but important subject:

The scan at the top is an original Who at the Saville Osiris/Hapshash poster available at Recordmecca—where we also have never bootlegged Jimi Hendrix at the Saville and Soft Machine/Arthur Brown at the UFO posters as well.

(and thanks Brad, for much info I’ve included here.)

My weird wild world

Though I’m in my 36th year of collecting records and music memorabilia, the subject still fascinates me and occupies most of my waking hours (ok, some of that is because of my website, Recordmecca, where I sell high-end rare records and music memorabilia– but I still spend altogether too much time thinking about this stuff in my “off” hours.)

I’m regularly traveling the world looking for records, concert posters, documents, ephemera or other music related stuff–or spending endless hours researching my finds online, in books, etc.–or talking to other like-minded individuals about the subject at hand.

So I figured a blog would be just the way to use up whatever minimal “non-record” time I have, and maybe share some of the more interesting stuff I’ve found for collection or my website, ask questions of the collector community, and talk about some of my research. So that’s my rationale. And here goes…

“Bob Dylan In Concert” acetates

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If you know me, you may know of my passion for collecting Bob Dylan stuff. I’ll be featuring many interesting Dylan collectibles in this space in the coming months– so I thought it only fitting to start off with something truly rare from Dylan –two original acetates of the unreleased 1964 album “Bob Dylan In Concert.”

This album was originally supposed to be released by Columbia Records between Dylan’s albums “Another Side of Bob Dylan” and “Bringing It All Back Home,” but was never issued, probably because Dylan was coming up with so much new studio material. Two different track listings were contemplated–version one with songs from Town Hall and Carnegie Hall, NYC, 1963; and version two with some substitutions thought to be from Royal Festival Hall, London, 1964. The legendary San Francisco music critic (and Dylan friend) Ralph J. Gleason was hired to write liner notes, but the album was never issued.

Over the years a few cover slicks for the album have surfaced–but to my knowledge, no vintage acetates have ever been found–until now. I was fortunate enough to obtain these from Gleason’s family–evidently once in a great while miracles do occur. (Gleason, while working at Fantasy Records in the 70’s, cut at least one duplicate of the second acetate–you can see it on the Searching For A Gem website–undoubtedly using the 1964 original above as a source.)

For those of us who love the details, here goes (notations transcribed exactly as they appear on the label stickers for the 1st acetate, and the sleeve for the 2nd disc):

Version One:
Job No. 77110-Ref Mono l Bob Dylan Att: T.Wilson
1) Ship Comes In 2) Davy Moore 3) Percy’s Song 4) NO Rag 5) Old Riley

Job No. 77110- Ref Mono ll Att: T.Wilson
1) Woody Poem 2) Lay Down Your Weary Tune 3) Dusty Old Fairgrounds 4) John Brown

Version Two:
Job 77182 Bob Dylan Side #l Tom Wilson
1. Davey Moore 2. The Gates of Eden 3. New Orleans Rag 4. Old Riley (Seven Curses) 5. The Walls of Redwing

Job 77182 Bob Dylan Side #ll Tom Wilson
1.If You Gotta Go 2. Mr. Tambourine Man 3. Hero Blues 4. Turn, Turn To the rain & The Wind 5. Eternal Circle

If you want to read more about the “Bob Dylan In Concert” LP, I highly recommend the wonderful SEARCHING FOR A GEM Dylan site (particularly these pages):

Sorry, but these aren’t for sale–but check out the Recordmecca site for some other very cool Dylan rarities.

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