King Crimson – Impossibly Rare 1969 UK Promo Poster – Pre Debut Album / Ian McDonald Collection

An impossibly rare King Crimson silkscreen on foil promotional poster dating from the group’s earliest days, from the collection of band co-founder Ian McDonald (1946-2022.)

According to the book In The Court of the Crimson King, just 100 of these posters were produced in 1969, and posted around London by band members, including McDonald, which explains why almost no copies have survived.  The poster was designed by Barry Godber, a friend of the band’s lyricist Pete Sinfield, who also created the iconic artwork for the band’s debut album, In The Court of the Crimson King.

From Wikipedia: Barry Godber (1946–1970), a computer programmer friend of Sinfield’s, painted the design for the album cover. He used his own face, viewed through a mirror, as the model. Godber died in February 1970 from a heart attack, shortly after the album’s release. It was his only album cover; the original painting is now owned by Robert Fripp.  Fripp had said about Godber’s artwork ‘ Peter [Sinfield] brought this painting in and the band loved it…The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man, and on the inside it’s the Crimson King. If you cover the smiling face, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. What can one add? It reflects the music.’

McDonald was a co-writer on ever song on King Crimson’s acclaimed debut, as well as playing saxophone, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, Mellotron, harpsichord, piano, organ, vibraphone, as well as singing backing vocals and co-lead vocals on “I Talk to the Wind”.

After leaving King Crimson, McDonald went on to co-found the rock band Foreigner, who sold over 80 million albums worldwide.

This poster was sold at an auction of Ian McDonald’s personal effects after his death.

20″ x 30″.  Silkscreened on very thin foil coated paper, there are numerous light handling creases and some waviness to the poster, but because of the foil/thin paper construction, we’d imagine most examples had this issue. Overall the poster is in very good condition and will frame beautifully.

The only example we’ve seen of this extremely rare poster.  With Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity, and the original auction house description card.


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