Velvet Underground – Ultra Rare Alternate BG-8 Handbill

An extremely rare alternate one-sided handbill for The Velvet Underground at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1966. While Fillmore poster collectors know and love the classic BG-8 handbill, this alternate handbill with a review of the Velvets from the Los Angeles Times is very little known, and was just recently added to Eric King’s comprehensive guide to Psychedelic Posters. We sent photos of this very handbill to Eric, who responded by adding this notice to his website and upcoming guide: “After BG-8 notes add: *There also exists a handbill for this event which is only a version of the Los Angeles Times review printed on pale pink paper without any version of the BG-8 image on the other side. This handbill is not included in the numbering system of this Guide because this Guide is limited to items which bear the images designated by number by the original copyright holder, Bill Graham Presents. Nevertheless collectors should be aware this version exists. This version adds, “Coming to the Fillmore Auditorium” in the upper corner and, “FRI., SAT., + SUN. MAY 27,28,29” in the lower right corner. Also on this version the vertical lettering “Los Angeles Times” in the upper corner is not solid black lettering as it is on the handbills with the BG-8 image on the other side. In this case the lettering is hollow.” We discovered this handbill in the archives of legendary San Francisco music critic Ralph J. Gleason, stapled to a copy of the ultra-rare BG-7 handbill (see photos below of the handbills stapled together.) The two had 2 long flattened horizontal mailing creases, and had obviously been sent to Gleason by someone at the Fillmore trying to get publicity for the two shows. The handbills have been separated, and we are selling the Velvet Underground handbill only; the photo here is only for illustration purposes. 7″ x 8 1/2″ and is in Near Mint minus condition, with two long flattened horizontal mailing creases and the pair of staple holes. We know of no other example of this handbill to have been offered for sale, anywhere. This handbill comes the collection of the late Ralph J. Gleason (1917-1975;) one of the most influential jazz and pop music critics of all time. He was a central figure in the San Francisco rock scene, helped organize the Monterey Pop Festival, and co-founded Rolling Stone magazine. Bill Graham himself credited Gleason with suggesting the Fillmore Auditorium to him as a site for concerts, while the Family Dog met with Gleason at his home to discuss their idea to stage dance concerts, prior to their first show at the Longshoreman’s Hall. This is a rare opportunity to obtain a super rare handbill from the personal collection of one of the key figures of the San Francisco Scene. On request, we will gladly provide a certificate of authenticity stating that this handbill came from the Ralph J. Gleason Collection.

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