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Splatt Gallery's History of Michigan Music Posters
Volume Twelve - 1976
The Michigan 1976 Bi-centennial state license plate on a bed of official bi-centennial postage stamps. Plans to celebrate America’s two hundredth birthday had been in progress for ten years, we can expect to see plenty of stars and stripes.

Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart had recorded the song “200 Years Old” that had appeared on the Bongo Fury album, here is an extended version that features additional keyboards by George Duke.

Zappa/Beefheart/Mothers – 200 Years Old (extended version) (1975)

The last page of Stanley Mouse’s 1975 Monster calendar, for January 1976.
The cover of the January 1976 issue of the French magazine “Rock News” with Iggy Pop on the cover and feature story on Ron Asheton’s New Order.
Two page froms the January 1976 issue of the issue of the French magazine “Rock News”, dedicated to Ron Asheton’s Los Angeles-based band New Order, with members Dennis Thompson (drums), Dave Gilbert (vocals), Ray Gunn (guitar) and James Recca (bass).
Cover art by Gary Ciccarelli for the January 1976 issue of CREEM magazine.
A Diversified Management Agency (DMA) ad featuring Salem Witchcraft, Holy Smoke, and Kurbstone Beauteaze in the January 1976 issue of CREEM magazine. Holy Smoke logo by Gary Grimshaw.
The front page of the January 1976 issue of Extra CREEM, a 24-page insert found in a limited number of CREEM magazines that focused on the Metro Detroit, Michigan, Northern Ohio, and Ontario, Windsor, Canada region.
A new artist, who signed his work in block letters “CHIVE”, created this poster/ad for Tom Rush at Michigan State University in East Lansing on January 8, 1976.
A full-page Capitol Records ad in the January 10, 1976 issue of Billboard magazine for Grand Funk Railroad’s single “Take Me”.

Grand Funk Railroad – Take Me (1976)

An Arista Records ad in the January 10, 1976 issue of the British music trade magazine Music Week for the single “Higher and Higher” by Martha Reeves, her cover of the 1967 Jackie Wilson hit from her one album with Arista.
Nice graphics by an unknown artist in this ad for Iron Butterfly at the Silver Dollar Saloon in East Lansing, Michigan. It appears that the band performed three nights, January 13-15, 1976, and that a fourth show was added, but cancelled.
An ad for the Full Moon record store in Rochester, Michigan with an ad for Dan Fogelberg at Ford Auditorium in Detroit on January 18, 1976. A second ad for the same show with a very different looking Dan Fogelberg, and also an ad for Peter Frampton at Cobo Arena in Detroit on January 23rd.
The schedule for Chances Are in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the second half of January 1976, including the second Michigan appearance by Cheap Trick, January 21-24, 1976. Other bands on the schedule include the City Boys, All in Love, Melosdioso, Hot Foot Highway, Lightnin’ and Foxx. As you may recall, Cheap Trick’s first Michigan appearance was a six-night gig at The Brewery in East Lansing in January 1975.
Photo by James Pearson Duffy of the view of northbound Cass Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, with the sign for Cobb's Corner on right, circa 1976. An entry in John Sinclair’s Coatpuller column in the January 22, 1976 edition of the SUN newspaper mentions Shadowfax with Bill Hodgson and Dave Opatik holding down Cobb’s Corner, “with recent guests Rusty Day, Wayne Kramer, and a host of hundreds”.
Moving back to Detroit from Ann Arbor didn’t prohibit the SUN newspaper from running their second “Win a Pound of Colombian!” sweepstakes, this ad is from the January 22, 1976 edition.
Anticipation for the first Michigan appearance by Patti Smith, coming to Detroit on March 9th, first seen in the January 22, 1976 edition of the SUN newspaper, The State News newspaper ran their first ad for Smith’s March 10th show in East Lansing in their February 11th edition.
An ad for the Ann Arbor debut of Cheap Trick, at Chances Are, January 22-24, 1976. Their first Michigan shows had occurred almost exactly a year earlier with six shows at The Brewery in East Lansing. They would perform at Chance Are/Second Chance eleven times in 1976.
A Warner Bros Records ad/poster for the second UK tour by Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen, which commenced in Southampton, England on January 23, 1976. Shows from this tour were recorded and compiled for the album “We’ve Got A Live One Here!”, which would end up being the group’s final record.
Peter Frampton made an early year blitz of Michigan shows, starting with Cobo Arena in Detroit on January 23, 1976, followed six days later with a repeat at the same venue on the 29th, the following night, January 30th at the Bowen Fieldhouse in Ypsilanti, then back to Cobo for two more shows, February 2nd and 3rd.

Just like Bob Seger, Frampton probably didn’t realize that his next album, a double-album of live recordings from 1975, would be his career breakthrough. In Frampton’s case, the record was already on the shelves at the time of these Michigan concerts, having been released on January 6th. On April 10, 1976, it became the #1 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart and remained in the top spot for ten weeks, ultimately becoming the best-selling album of the year.

Seger’s “Live Bullet” would be released on April 12th.

The “Frampton Comes Alive!” album yielded three hit singles. The single version of "Do You Feel Like We Do" was edited down from the 14:15 album version to 7:19, still about twice the length of the average hit single and one of the longest ever to make the top 10, longer than The Beatles' "Hey Jude" by eight seconds.

Peter Frampton – Do You Feel Like We Do (single edit) (1976)

A full-page A&M Records ad for the album “Frampton Comes Alive!” by Peter Frampton, released just prior to his five Michigan shows over ten days, from January 23, 1976 through February 3rd.
Poster/ad by Jeff Yerkey for Dizzy Gillespie at Michigan State University in East Lansing on January 24-25, 1976.

Yerkey commented, “I created this as a single color litho offset. We rarely had money for more than one color, and usually ran 500 to 1,000 units. It was difficult to get this much ink coverage from our printer in Lansing without streaking.”

And a red version of Jeff Yerkey’s poster for Dizzy Gillespie.
Another ad for Dizzy Gillespie at Michigan State University in East Lansing on January 24-25, 1976.
An ad for Salem Witchcraft opening for Canned Heat in Lima, Ohio on January 25, 1976, with a “fabulous light show with Exploding Bombs!, Flashing Guitar Duels, and Smoke Filled Stages”.
A beauty of a poster by artist Frank Carson for a second “Night of the Hurricane” benefit show by Bob Dylan, held at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas on January 25, 1976. The first “Hurricane” benefit had taken place at Madison Square Garden in NYC on December 8, 1975 as the final show of the first leg of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Dylan had taken up the cause of boxer Rubin Carter, imprisoned for a 1966 triple-murder, Dylan wrote and recorded the song “Hurricane”, included on his 1976 album “Desire”.

The announcement of a second benefit show was made from the stage of the Madison Square Garden show, that a New Orleans promoter named Clyde Carson, would produce another "Night of the Hurricane" in his city's Superdome. Just ten days before the scheduled show, it was re-located to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The last-minute change and poor publicity led to only a half-capacity attendance, some concert attendees, unaware of Carter and his legal troubles, thought that the benefit was for the victims of an actual hurricane.

Dylan had second thoughts about the show, but was convinced to carry through with it when he learned that Stevie Wonder and Isaac Hayes had been added to the bill. The seven-hour event may have been musically successful (although reviews were mixed), but it was a disaster financially. For some reason, the Houston Astrodome charged over ten times their normal rental rate, and the promoter’s other expenses were overly elaborate, leading to a net loss on the concert.

The poster artist Carson, who was also the brother of the show’s promoter, asked for Dylan’s permission to distribute the poster prior to the show, but Dylan didn't allow it, apparently he didn't like his portrait. Only 100 copies were printed.
Poster/ad for KISS at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan for three nights, January 25-27, 1976. There are a number of readily available videos from these shows, including an onstage presentation of gold record awards to the band members.

KISS - 100,000 Years with Award presentation (live in Detroit, Michigan) (January 1976]

KISS - Live in Detroit, Michigan (January 1976]

KISS - Live in Detroit, Michigan (private film) (January 1976]

Poster by for Music Mann Tours Ltd. of Canada offering a show package including bus transportation to the KISS concerts at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan, January 25-26, 1976.
Bob Seger started the year opening a show for REO Speedwagon in Johnson City, Tennessee on January 10, 1976, followed by three shows opening for a Blue Oyster Cult tour, shown here are ads for Binghamton, New York on January 25, 1976 and for Albany, New York on January 27th.
Diana Ross and husband Bob Silberstein on the cover of the January 26, 1976 issue of People magazine.
Discount Records ad following Carol King’s concerts in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 26-27, 1976.
Aretha Franklin holding a Grammy award on the cover of the January 27, 1976 issue of the British music magazine Blues & Soul.
Artist Richard Amsel’s enduring portrait of the Divine Miss M from the 1973 tour poster, still enticing on this listing for Bette Midler’s five concerts at the Masonic Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan from January 28, 1976 through February 1st.
A full-page Atlantic Records ad for Bette Midler’s third album “Songs For The New Depression” with tour dates including her shows at the Masonic Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan from January 28, 1976 through February 1st.
Full-page poster/ad by Chive, legible enough to read “art by Midnight Chive”, for John Hartford at Michigan State University in East Lansing, January 29-30, 1976.
Newspaper ad for KISS at the Rose Arena in Mount Pleasant, Michigan on January 30, 1976. Oddly, only one month into the year, this would be the final Michigan appearance by KISS in 1976, contrasted with at least eleven shows in 1975 and at least sixteen Michigan shows in 1974, their first year of touring.
A newspaper ad announcing that the KISS show at the Rose Arena in Mount Pleasant, Michigan on January 30, 1976 had “Sold Out!”
Although there would not be any more Michigan shows by KISS in 1976 after the four shows in January, it remained a very active year for the band, launching two major tours behind two more albums. The band capitalized on America’s Bi-Centennial with the “Spirit of ‘76/Destroyer Tour”.

The “Destroyer” album, released on March 15, 1976, was produced by Bob Ezrin who had a deep Detroit connection through his work with Alice Cooper, Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, and the album contained the band’s tribute to the Motor City with the lead track “Detroit Rock City”, co-written by Ezrin.

Here is a fun video of KISS performing “Detroit Rock City” on an ABC television broadcast of The Paul Lynde Halloween Special, which was broadcast on October 29th, 1976.

KISS – Detroit Rock City (1976)

The second album to be released by KISS in 1976, their sixth overall, had the fantastic cover artwork by artist Michael Doret, whom, as we saw earlier, also designed the cover for Brownsville Station’s 1975 album “Motor City Connection”.
A full-page ad for the Silver Dollar Saloon in East Lansing, Michigan by Gordon Carleton from the January 30, 1976 edition of the State News newspaper. We inserted the upcoming show schedule over the drinks specials on the saloon door, and it’s a pretty impressive list with Tommy James & the Shondells, the New Tony Williams Lifetime, the Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Patti Smith.
The McDonald’s fast-food restaurant in East Lansing, Michigan tried its hand at being a night club, with guitarist Rick Karlson appearing on January 31, 1976.
A full-page Capitol Records ad in the January 31, 1976 issue of Billboard magazine for Grand Funk Railroad’s tenth studio album. It was their first album not to make the top ten on the Billboard 200 albums chart since their second album, which had peaked at #11.

It was intended to be the band’s final album, but an unlikely fan named Frank Zappa had other ideas.

The winners of the 1975 CREEM Readers Poll, published in the January 31, 1976 issue of Billboard magazine.
A full-page Buddah Records ad in the January 31, 1976 issue of Billboard magazine that uses the painting by Victor Gadino for the album cover for “The Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips”, a ten track compilation album that included a live version of “The Way We Were” that was recorded at the Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan in August 1975.

Gladys Knight & the Pips - The Way We Were / Try to Remember (1976)

Poster by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley commemorating the 10 Year Anniversary of KSAN-FM radio in San Francisco, California, January 31, 1976.
For the first time in 13 years, Playboy magazine did not assemble a single All-Star band based on their reader poll, instead, they broke out four sub-categories, Country-And-Western, Pop/Rock, Jazz, and Rhythm-And-Blues in the February 1976 issue. The results were even lamer than ever, Linda Ronstadt in both the C&W and Pop/Rock with just a change in outfit, the fourteen to fifteen piece horn section of prior All-Star bands was replaced by Doc Severinson on “brass”, Edgar Winter was in the jazz group on woodwinds(?), and the entire R&B group was a bunch of white guys from Scotland.

The only redeeming factor, as always, were the great caricatures by artist Bill Utterback.

“Volkseinschma” by Jim Shaw of Destroy All Monsters in Issue #2 of Lightworks magazine, February 1976.
Illustration by Gary Ciccarelli for the front page of the Extra CREEM supplement in the February 1976 issue of CREEM magazine.
An ad “promoting” Detroit as a vacation destination in the Extra CREEM supplement of the February 1976 issue of CREEM magazine.
An Epic Records ad for Ted Nugent on tour, starting on February 1, 1976 in Toledo, Ohio, for a total of eleven shows in the month, ending with a show in Lansing, Michigan on February 27th, then another eleven shows in March with Bad Company.
The schedule for Chances Are in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the month of February 1976, beginning with the Doowhop Band on February 1, 1976, followed by Mojo Boogie Band, Masquerade, Chopper, All in Love, Express, Sky King, Friends Roadshow, Sam & Dave, Brainstorm, Eldorado Rose and Hot Foot.
Newspaper ad for Peter Frampton and Gary Wright at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan with a 3rd show added by popular demand on February 2, 1976. The other two nights were on each side of the added show, on January 29th and February 3rd. Combined with a show on January 23rd, the twin bill ended up selling out four nights.
A full-page ad from Bob Bageris and Bamboo Productions congratulating Peter Frampton and Gary Wright for four sold out shows at Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan, on January 23rd, January 29th, and February 2-3, 1976.
Volume Twelve - 1976 - continues - HERE
An ad for Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes at the Silver Dollar Saloon in East Lansing, Michigan on January 26, 1976.