Pink Floyd – Earliest Known Concert Poster, for two Oct. 1966 Shows / One of two known examples
Undocumented until the 2018 discovery of the only other known example, this poster advertises seven events presented by the London Free School at All Saints Hall, London in October 1966.
Two of these, on October 14 and 21, were ‘Pop Dance’ shows featuring The Pink Floyd (with Syd Barrett.) These were likely The Pink Floyd’s third and fifth shows using that name, and took place 4 months before the release of the group’s debut single, “Arnold Layne.”
The events were fundraisers for the London Free School, an adult education project inspired by American free universities. Other performers included British free improvising group AMM, Trinidad Steel Band, future Pink Floyd collaborator Ron Geesin, and Joel (listed on the poster as ‘Joe’) and Toni Brown, recently arrived from Timothy Leary’s psychedelic community at Millbrook, who provided ‘light projection’ on October 14th.
London Free School’s organizers included Pink Floyd managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King, and the producer of the band’s debut single, Joe Boyd. Though short lived, London Free School helped birth the Notting Hill Neighbourhood Service (an early drug and legal advice center), the Notting Hill Carnival, the International Times underground newspaper, and the UFO Club, an important venue in the development of Pink Floyd.
Pink Floyd’s first All Saints Hall show, on September 30, drew a small crowd, but word of mouth was good, and by the next two dates, advertised here, they were playing to a full house of over 300. The audience included Emily Young, who with her school friend Angelica Houston, was involved with the Free School. Nicknamed ‘the psychedelic schoolgirl,’ she was reportedly the inspiration for Syd Barrett’s song—and the second Pink Floyd single– “See Emily Play.”
Printed in blue ink on thin green stock, the poster measures 20” x 30”. It is in near excellent condition, with some minor creasing, a long flattened diagonal crease in the lower left corner, and some barely noticeable small areas of age-related discoloration. There has been some very minor restoration to fix edge wear and some small holes, and it displays beautifully.
From the collection of a founder and editor of International Times. An impossibly rare Pink Floyd artifact, from the dawn of the psychedelic era.
Note: The comprehensive Pink Floyd Archives site reproduces the only other known example of this poster, previously sold by us, as the first listing in their Posters & Handbills section. The second listed poster is a different poster for these same Pink Floyd shows, printed by Floyd co-manager Andrew King’s girlfriend, Wendy Gair (the image is likely sourced from a small photograph in Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s book Inside Out.) As the poster listed here includes two dates prior to the Pink Floyd shows, it’s likely this was created before the Wendy Gair poster, but this is impossible to say definitively. In any case, we know of no other example of either.
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