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Splatt Gallery's History of Michigan Concert Posters
Volume Five - 1969 - Page Two
Newspaper ad with Aretha Franklin appearing as part of the Creative Arts Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 25, 1969.
The Creative Arts Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 25, 1969 through February 8th, with a full-page ad for a wide variety of acts including the ONCE group, the East Bound Mound, and Aretha Franklin.
A pair of ads for the Creative Arts & Experimental Arts Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan with an Aretha Franklin concert on January 25, 1969.
A full-page ad in the Ann Arbor Argus newspaper by Dave Baker with Aretha Franklin headlining the Creative Arts Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 25, 1969.
A poster/flyer for the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois, with Stevie Wonder and the “Motown Sound Soul Machine” appearing on January 25, 1969, his “first time in Chicago this year – don’t miss it!”
1969 would be the year of The Festivals with no less than twelve in Michigan alone, at least that many in numerous other states, and of course, the biggest of them all, Woodstock in August. A Woodstock website has counted up (40) of them and that was only including two of the Michigan ones, so it’s a fair estimate that there were one hundred to two hundred rock or pop festivals in North America in 1969.

The Michigan festival run of 1969 kicked off with the Delta College Pop Festival on January 26, 1969, near Bay City. This event was labeled as a "festival" so we're including it in the mix, but it would be the outdoor, multi-day events that would define the year.  

There is footage of the Stooges performance, some of it is duplicated in these two clips and the music is over-dubbed studio recordings, but they are a fascinating glimpse of Iggy in development, and pretty good quality to boot.



Newspaper ad for the Delta College Pop Festival on January 26, 1969, near Bay City, Michigan, with a line-up that included the Amboy Dukes, SRC, MC5, Rationals, UP, Wilson Mower Pursuit, Caste, Stooges, Third Power, New Breed, Bob Seger System, Trans Love Light Show "...and many other groups and surprises".  Admission was $2.50 per person.
The campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan was becoming a hotbed for dances, concerts, mini-skirt contests, the origination of the long-running series of “Freak Outs”, and other forms of optional entertainment with student and frat run parties and events at Brody Hall, Case Hall, Demonstration Hall, Holmes Hall, Hubbard Hall, Mayo Hall, Phillips Hall, Shaw Hall, Wells Hall, Wonders Hall Kiva, and Erickson Kiva, in addition to the Intermural Building, the Music Building, the Arena, the Auditorium, and the Student Union provided opportunities for local bands such as Bhang and The Maxx to play regularly, plus a constant flow of the other Michigan nationally touring acts, soon to lead to an innovative and flourishing poster scene in the early 1970’s.

Connie Keelan poster for the Spike Drivers included above.

Neil Diamond, the New York University medical student turned songwriter, hit pay dirt with his composition “I’m a Believer” recorded by The Monkees and embarked on a solo career, making his first Michigan appearance at the MSU Auditorium on January 26, 1969. Diamonds earliest recordings were released on Bang Records, the band Bhang from Holly, Michigan released one, impossible-to-find, single on their own Monster label

Neil Diamond – Cherry, Cherry (1966)

Newspaper ad for Bob Seger and Neil Diamond at the MSU Auditorium in East Lansing, Michigan, January 26, 1969, with photos that look nothing like either one of them.
On January 26, 1969, Tommy James & the Shondells premiered the song “Crimson and Clover” on the Ed Sullivan TV show (shown in the video below), and a week later it hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Tommy James & the Shondells – Crimson and Clover (1969)
Poster by Jack Jaxon for John Lee Hooker at the Vulcan Gas Company in Austin, Texas, January 30, 1969 through February 1st. Jaxon, became the first art director for the Family Dog, and was also a co-founder of Rip Off Press. Jaxon is credited with creating the first underground comic book, aside from the legendary “Tijuana bibles”, with his 1964 one-off called “God Nose”.
Full-page Motown Records ad for the single “My Cherie Amour” by Stevie Wonder, which was released on January 30, 1969.
Full-page Motown Records ad for the single “Runaway Child, Running Wild” by The Temptations, which was released on January 30, 1969. The video has the album version which is almost five minutes longer than the single, adding a nice instrumental section featuring Funk Brothers, Earle Van Dyke on Hammond organ, Joe Messina on electric guitar, and Dennis Coffey on distorted wah-wah pedal guitar.

The Temptations - Runaway Child, Running Wild (1969)

An ad, possibly by Terry Sharbach, for an appearance by The Rogues at Grandmother’s in East Lansing, Michigan, January 31, 1969, along with a self portrait (?) of the band.
Mickey Shapiro, who had run the short-lived Mickey’s Hideaway in early 1968, brought The Motor-Town Soul Revue to the Civic Center in Lansing, Michigan, January 31, 1969.

The Intruders were the first group to produce hits for the songwriting/production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and set the template for what would become known as “the Philly Sound”. Gamble and Huff’s success with the Intruders convinced Columbia Records to give them the money to launch Philadelphia International, which became the most successful soul label of the early ‘70’s.

The Intruders – (Love Is Like A) Baseball Game (1968)

A recording of Steve Mackay with Carnal Kitchen at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, “sometime in January 1969”, provided a fourteen minute version of a song called "Death City".  Later, Mackay will re-use the title for a comic strip that he wrote and drew, appearing in CREEM magazine.

You can hear that recording, and maybe purchase something from the Mutant Sounds bandcamp page here:

Carnal Kitchen – Death City (live in Ann Arbor) (January 1969)

A Capitol Records ad in the February 1, 1969 issue of Billboard magazine for two of their newest artists, Joe South and the Bob Seger System.
You’ve got to hand it to Mainstream Records, they released three albums by the Amboy Dukes in two years, and had an arts department that made some bitchin’ graphics for them. Ted Nugent made a line-up change to the band with each of the three records, on “Migration” Rusty Day had replaced John Drake on vocals.

Amboy Dukes – Loaded for Bear (1969)

On, or around, February 1, 1969, the first MC5 album, “Kick Out the Jams”, was released on Elektra Records. Shown here is the original cover art by Gary Grimshaw, which was rejected by Elektra.  
A small glossy print of Gary Grimshaw’s rejected art for the cover of the first MC5 album “Kick Out The Jams” signed by lead singer Rob Tyner.
Although we might prefer Gary Grimshaw’s rejected artwork for the cover of the first MC5 album, the released version is a rather brilliantly executed collage with the overlaying and the image fades that invite and reward close study. The art direction is credited to Elektra Record’s VP William S. Harvey. 

There is a section in the upper-right corner where Rob Tyner’s face is ghostly, only the nose and one eye emerging from the background of a dilapidated Grande Ballroom wall. Over this, the stars of an American flag interspersed fade in and out, and one particular star that appears over the corner of Tyner’s eye, accidentally positioned at just the right angle, looks shockingly like a mirror-image of the eye in the flag in Grimshaw’s painting!

A nice high-resolution image of the front cover of the debut album by the MC5, released in February 1969. A good story about photographer Joel Brodsky, who created the cover using one camera, is found at Retro Kimmer’s top-notch “Detroit Rock N Roll Magazine” blog linked below (which is also the source of the above image):

An Elektra Records promo poster for the debut album by the MC5, released in February 1969.
A full-page Elektra Records ad for the first album by the MC5, circa February-March 1969.
Poster/flyer by Gary Grimshaw, likely to promote the release of the “Kick Out The Jams” album by the MC5 in February 1969.
Picture sleeves from around the world, specifically France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden, for the title track single from the debut album by the MC5, “Kick Out The Jams”, released in February 1969.
Four national touring acts made their Michigan debuts at the Grande Ballroom during the first week of February, 1969, including Sweetwater, Jethro Tull, Savoy Brown, and Mother Earth. Unfortunately, no posters seem to have been made for these shows.

There was a poster by an unknown artist, with a Frank Zappa-looking character exploding dynamite, for a benefit concert on the night of February 4, 1969 to launch a new organization formed by WABX-FM radio, The Fifth Estate newspaper, Trans-Love, Zenta, and the White Panthers, called Legal Self Defense to create a community bail bond service, which reportedly raised $1,370.

The only known image, found in Eric King’s book, of a sweet poster/flyer by an unknown artist for a Legal Self Defense Fund benefit show at the Grande Ballroom on Tuesday, February 4, 1969, with MC5, Stooges, and UP. Printed in purple ink on lavender paper, it also has an image on the back side.

We have finally found a poster, by an unknown artist, for the “2nd Annual Tribal Stomp” and “Benefit for Legal Self Defense” show at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, Michigan on February 4, 1969. This may be the back cover of a magazine or newspaper, and does not list the Stooges, who also performed with the MC5 and UP, but it is a very cool find, even as only an online image, our heart would skip a beat if it turned up while flipping through a pile of old papers!
Two ads by Terry Sharbach for Baby Huey & the Babysitters at Grandmother’s in East Lansing, Michigan, February 5, 1969. Born James Ramey in Richmond, Indiana, he moved to Chicago at age nineteen to pursue a singing career. He formed his band in 1963, taking the stage name Baby Huey as a self-effacing joke about his 350-lb weight. The band released a handful of singles and their live act caught the attention of Curtis Mayfield who signed the singer, without the band, to his Curtom Records label.

During the recording of his first album, Ramey passed away at age twenty-six in October 1970, the album was posthumously released and became a legendary source for sampling by future hip hop artists.

Baby Huey – Hard Times (1971)

Two ads by Terry Sharbach for The Aorta at Grandmother’s in East Lansing, Michigan, February 6-8, 1969. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Aorta had a fluid line-up with ties to an assortment of Chicago-area bands including Illinois Speed Press, the Buckinghams, Rotary Connection, Chicago Transit Authority, New Colony Six, and H.P. Lovecraft, among others.

Originally known as The Exceptions, the group that composed Aorta at the time of this show at Grandmother’s released their first self-titled album.

Aorta – Aorta (album) (1969)

Graphics for the Kokaine Karma column by Bob Rudnick and Dennis Frawley in the February 7, 1969 issue of the East Village Other newspaper in New York City.
The Bob Seger System opened for Capitol Records label-mates the Beach Boys for a couple of shows in Texas, on February 7, 1969 in San Antonio and in Austin on February 11.
Poster by an unknown artist for the February 1969 schedule of events at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, commencing with Commander Cody & his Lost Planet Airmen, February 7-8, 1969 and culminating with Janis Joplin at the University Events Building on March 15th.
James Render poster, for the Wilson Mower Pursuit with the Shaggs and Teegarden & Van Winkle at Something Different, February 7-8, 1969.
Unknown poster artist for the MC5 at the Crow’s Nest West, February 7-8, 1969.
James Render poster, for Frost and Train at the Village Pub in Birmingham, Michigan, February 7 1969, with Wicked Religion and Grey Fogg the following night. Wicked Religion was Bob “Catfish” Hodge before he formed the band bearing his moniker.
Poster by James Render, for Fleetwood Mac at the Silverbell in Auburn Hills, Michigan, February 8-9, 1969, with the Woolies and Tea opening the first night, and Teegarden & Van Winkle with Mandala opening the second night.
Village Pub, February 9, 1969James Render poster.

This benefit for the Birmingham Youth Assistance Program would be the biggest show ever presented at the Village Pub, with a total of ten bands. The line-up included the bands that would play most often at the Village Pub - Third Power, Stuart Avery Assemblage, Red, White & Blues, and The Train.

The Shaggs on this bill were not the sisters from New Hampshire whose “Philosophy of the World” album later became a cult classic, but this is where it gets complicated. The Shaggs were a band from Miami, Florida that came up to Detroit and became involved in the Hideout scene, and recorded a single on Palmer Records. The band decided to return to Miami, but their manager, Ray Skop, stayed in Detroit and put together a new band, also called The Shaggs.

Back down in Miami, the Florida Shaggs released a single for the Power Records label, while Skop got the Michigan Shaggs a record release on Capitol Reords. We have all of those gems for your listening pleasure here, and as an added bonus, there is the song “Stop and Listen” by the Milwaukee, Wisconsin band The Shag, which is the best of the bunch.

The Shaggs – Ring Around the Rosie (Palmer) (1966)

The Shaggs (Michigan) - Mean Woman Blues (1969)

The Shaggs (Michigan) – She Makes Me Happy (1969)

The Shaggs (Florida) – Hummin (1967)

The Shag – Stop and Listen (1967)

Ad for The MC5 with The Maxx at Freakout No. 2 at the Union Ballroom in East Lansing, Michigan, February 8, 1969. The review in the State News called them “totally depraved”.
The Freak Out series at the MSU Union Ballroom in East Lansing, Michigan continued through February 1969 with #’s 2 through 5. Our favorite poster of the bunch is #3, by an unknown artist, with The Frost, anticipating the look of the punk flyers of the 80’s and 90’s.

Freak Out #5 featured the one-hit wonder, husband and wife duo, Friend & Lover, from Chicago, who made the most of their hit with Detroit audiences, from opening for Cream at Olympia Stadium to a twenty-show run in August 1969 at the Raven Gallery in Southfield.

Friend & Lover – Reach Out of the Darkness (1968)

Poster by Robin Sommers for a Zenta Rock & Roll Revival, featuring the band UP, at the Depot House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, February 9, 1969.
Ad for an appearance by Canned Heat at the Masonic Auditorium in Detroit, Michigan, scheduled for February 9, 1969, but re-scheduled to February 17th due to a snow storm on the East Coast that prevented the band from traveling.
Terry Sharbach poster/ad for Spot & the Blotters at Grandmother’s in East Lansing, February 11-22, 1969.
A tiny 200-seat club in New York City, called Ungano’s punched way above its weight class with the quantity and quality of acts that it attracted, and was a favorite hang-out for Jimi Hendrix, who would often join the bands on-stage, most famously playing bass one night with Mountain in September, 1969.

Ungano’s was also a welcoming venue for Detroit bands that came to NYC, beginning with this week-long gig by the Detroit Wheels, February 12-18, 1969.

Glorious proof, by an unknown artist, of the two “lost” MC5 shows, February 12-13, 1969 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

February 12, 1969 – UWM Union Ballroom – The MC5, The Corporation, The Earth, Raw Meat, The Cloud, and lots more

February 13, 1969 – O’Brad’s Lounge, 827 E. Locust – The MC5, The Corporation, The Earth, Raw Meat, The Cloud, and a myriad of surprises

Volume Five - 1969 - continues - HERE