Printed in England by Frank Westlake of Bindweed Press. Mint condition, perfect corners, no tears or marks, no discoloration, crisp ink, clean. Originally a motorcycle club started by the Bishop family on March 17, 1948 in Fontana, California, with a name first suggested by Arvid Olsen who had served in the “Hell’s Angels” squadron of the Flying Tigers in China during World War II. The club held a number of parties for various reasons, and this particular party on February 3, 1967 at California Hall in San Francisco, was a fundraiser for Hairy Henry Kot, a prominent member who had been arrested in mid-December 1966 for leading a hippie parade down San Francisco’s Haight Street with “Digger” Phyllis Wilner (more about her on diggersdocs) standing on the back of his bike – she had only been in San Francisco for four months when this image was taken. The crime is the centerpiece of the poster.
The man responsible for it all, Sonny Barger, who created the Oakland chapter of the Hell’s Angels, was friends with Janis Joplin, who had just started with Big Brother and the Holding Company, and had recorded their first album also in mid-December, from the 12th – 14th, 1966, and were open to performing since the album wasn’t due to release until August 1967.
This poster is basically a Janis Joplin hippie prison-release benefit concert before she was famous and sponsored by the Hell’s Angels. Posters don’t get much cooler than this.
California Hall, 625 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA
Once the location of Joint Ventures, 3161 24th Street, San Francisco, CA