The Virtual Museum – The Earliest Known Pink Floyd Concert Poster

We’ve just listed on the Recordmecca site the only known example of the earliest known Pink Floyd concert poster–or perhaps more accurately, a poster tied for that honor.  Previously undocumented, this poster advertises seven events (including two shows featuring The Pink Floyd, with Syd Barrett) presented by the London Free School during October 1966 at the All Saints Hall in Powis Gardens, London.

These were probably The Pink Floyd’s third and fourth shows under that name, and took place nearly 5 prior to the release of their debut single, “Arnold Layne”.  Pink Floyd had a good deal of name confusion prior to these shows–according to Glenn Povey’s definitive book Echoes: The Complete History of Pink Floyd, prior to the London Free School shows, they had alternated between a number of names, including The Tea Set, Pink Floyd Sound, Pink Floyd, before settling just before these shows on The Pink Floyd (during this time, they were even mistakenly billed as The Pink Freud!)  And of course, by the time of their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets, they had jettisoned the “The” and reverted to Pink Floyd.

But back to the poster.  These shows were benefits for the London Free School,  a community adult education project inspired by American free universities. The organizers of the LFS included Floyd managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King, and the producer of their first single, Joe Boyd.  Though short lived, the London Free School helped give birth to The Notting Hill Neighbourhood Service (an early drug and legal advice center in London), the Notting Hill Carnival, the International Times underground newspaper, and the UFO Club (an important venue in the development of Pink Floyd).

Other performers on the poster include the British free improvising group AMM, 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, billed as providing light projection for The Pink Floyd on October 14th.

The poster is printed on thin green stock, measuring 20” x 30”.  It’s in excellent condition, with a small name written  neatly on the back.  And as we said above, this is tied for the earliest Floyd poster.  On page 38 of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s book Inside Out, there is a tiny photograph of a different poster advertising these same The Pink Floyd shows, but only the Floyd shows.  Printed by Floyd co-manager Andrew King’s girlfriend, Wendy Gair.  As the poster listed here includes two dates prior to the Pink Floyd shows, it’s likely it was created before the poster in Mason’s book, but it’s impossible to say definitively.   We know of no other example of either.  (it’s $12,500).

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