Punk music has a flavor of characters to check out. There’s The Clash, The Ramones, and of course the Sex Pistols. The latter is quite a handful. For starters, the Sex Pistols prime years didn’t even last half a decade. Punk posters reflect that aesthetic. Finding Sex Pistols posters requires a bit of research, due to how many shows were cancelled. Anytime this group stepped in front of the press, you might have to decide as a venue if the show was still a go.
Sex Pistols posters might be easy to find, but finding posters for cancelled shows like the one above takes a little bit of digging. The 1976 “Anarchy in the UK” original tour poster supposedly went for $5,000 on eBay due to the cancelled shows following an explicative-laden, nationally televised interview. Reproductions of this poster, however, go for close to $20. Finding other posters from cancelled shows would be my top priority after learning this info. It is important, however, to differentiate between the actual posters from the time and the reprints all over.
For example, the image above can be purchased for $9.99 on eBay and elsewhere. Reprinted posters with the same image also retail for less than $20. This route is likely the easier option for a majority of punk poster collectors, as originals require quite a bit more work. The good news is, there are a handful of punk posters out there that are much easier to obtain.
Slightly more affordable UK punk poster option
The artwork shown above radiates punk. The hostage demand note appearance reflects the likely destruction of multiple posters to create this one. If it didn’t involve destruction, it’d be a shock to hear. This poster might be in most people’s price range as it’s under $20 at the moment. An interesting note for punk poster collectors as well is the involvement of The Clash in this particular poster. The Clash just started as the Sex Pistols hit the road for this doomed tour. I can’t think of a better way to start out then having front row seats to such talent and yet such disfunction.
There is a difference between the UK and US posters for the Sex Pistols: the US ones don’t have the same backstories. The Sex Pistols definitely caused a ruckus after making their way across the pond, just not in the same capacity. With that being said, posters for the US shows are less destructive in comparison to their UK counterparts.
Somewhat affordable US option
If you’re looking for a punk poster created by one of the best, look no further than this David Byrd illustrated poster. In addition to this Sex Pistols graphic for their one US tour, Byrd created posters for Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly, Ravi Shankar, and a host of others. From band posters to working with Warner Brothers on major motion pictures, this poster is from another level of artist. Because this particular poster is signed, it’s a bit pricier at $75. An unsigned copy will definitely be cheaper, but also won’t hold the same caliber of collectability as this particular version. Signed artwork can cost quite a bit more than this, so if you’re a big Sex Pistols fan this seems like one to grab.
As always it comes down to whether you’re looking to create a collection of monetary value or of sentimental value. Both are available and just depend on how punk you want to be.