Music has a way of connecting people. Ask anyone about the first time they saw their favorite band and chances are you will be met with a faraway look and an increasing smile as they recall the emotions that memory conjures up. Music does that. Goosebumps, chills, tears, smiles – all ways people respond to the music that they love.
Just as compelling as the music, are the posters that were created to advertise the concerts. Art so vivid and eye-catching you would think Picasso himself created them. At the time, little known bands like Nirvana and Primus were quickly catapulted into the spotlight from the Pacific Northwest music scene. What role did that early concert poster art play in these bands rise to fame? For many, the answer—a huge role.
Flyers stapled haphazardly to telephone poles, glossy 11X17’s hung prominently in record store windows all in an attempt to attract interest in the latest bands’ concert. You might even have an old, crumpled handbill or a poster ripped from a telephone pole – a souvenir of a night where you fist pumped and headbanged elbow to elbow with hundreds of other screaming, singing fans.
But what about the artists behind those concert posters? The ones that feverishly drew colorful, quirky and often racy designs, that helped to make these once little known bands household names? Mike King, a name synonymous with concert posters, without him, the Pacific Northwest grunge scene may not have been as illustrious and far-reaching. He created art for bands the likes of Nirvana, The Flaming Lips, and Mudhoney, just to name a few. In the last two decades, Mike has created over 5,000 concert posters. Some of those posters are now worth thousands!
Over a span of 5 days, Mike King painstakingly went through concert posters in the GoCollect offices to cull out fakes, repair originals, and to reminisce over the inspirations behind the art and to regal us with stories so vivid you could imagine you were there.
In the next coming weeks and months, GoCollect will be expanding into the fairly new and exciting market of concert posters. The stories behind them, interviews with their most prolific artist Mike King, and images of the incredible artwork will all be flooding our blog and social channels. Stay tuned as we celebrate the amazing concert poster art and the imaginative artists behind them.
In the meantime, we would love to see the concert posters you have collected and your memories and stories behind them!