Sunday, April 23, 2006

Announcing a Week Without Dubya

Fillmore Closing Week Poster (David Sanger, 1972)
As I noted last week, we need to lighten up here at Kiko's House.

That notion came to me as I was looking out a window at the plum tree that fills much of the front yard of Kiko's House. I had just composed a really long and really serious post on King George.

It's spring here and the plum is a scarlet, pink and white feast for the eyes, as well as a perfect visual for remembering that there is more to life -- and blogging -- than nattering endlessly about our atrocious president. This in turn leads me to announce (as drums roll and trumpets blare) . . .


. . . That's right, no posts whatsoever on King George. (See * below for exceptions.)

Mind you, Kiko's House is not going to go current events-free for the next week. Nosiree. But we'll make an effort to leaven our loaf a little, including a run-down of the all-time favorite worst songs selected by visitors who responded to my Friday post. Look for it early in the week.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, the photo I posted last Sunday of the real Kiko and myself was a big hit. (Okay, Kimba commented on it.) So we're going to start a tradition of posting a kitty photo each Sunday at Kiko's House.

Today's kitty photo is part of David Singer's 1972 poster commemorating the closing of Bill Graham's legendary Fillmore West in San Francisco. If you look closely at the black and white photo montage, there are two kitties and one of them is dancing on a sleeping dog. (For a larger image, click here.)

Besides kitties, I know a thing or three about Graham, Singer and the Fillmore.

Bill Graham was an extraordinary rock impressario who booked hundreds of bands and solo acts into his Fillmore Ballroom (later the Fillmore West) Winterland. Graham had a nasty temper, but a heart of gold. The one time I met him he was busy picking up litter in the lobby of Winterland, a habit that he never broke even when fame and fortune came his way.

Graham drew on San Francisco's art community to commission a poster for each of the 287 concerts or concert series he put on from 1968 until the Fillmore West closed in July 1972 with a blowout that included the Grateful Dead, Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Creedence Clearwater Revival, It's a Beautiful Day, Boz Scaggs, and on and on and on.

The artists commissioned by Graham included David Singer, as well as Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Kelly and Mouse. Singer did the closing week poster, which was double the size of the standard BG (Bill Graham) poster.

The closing week poster is referred to as BG-287 by collectors like myself and is one of the more sought after in the red hot San Francisco psychedelic poster market. (BG-105, a Fillmore poster nicknamed "The Flying Eye" that was done by Griffin and autographed by Jimi Hendrix recently sold for $20,000. Not bad considering that these posters originally were stapled to utility polls all over the Bay Area. To see BG-105, click here.)

BG-287 is one of my favorites and hangs in the living room at Kiko's House.

It is a rare (although by no means 20 grand rare) first edition. Virtually all copies of the closing week poster being sold and traded today were printed for the "Fillmore Closing Week" record album. These posters were doubled folded to fit in the album, while my unfolded first edition was given to me as a going away gift by Ben Friedman, a sweetheart of a curmudgeon who ran the legendary Postermat around the corner from where I lived in North Beach in San Francisco many moons ago.

Anyhow, please enjoy A Week Without Dubya. I promise that we'll make up for his absence the week after.

-- Peace and Love, SHAUN

(*) This offer is good for one week only. This offer is void in the event of a Catagory Five news event involving the king or his court. This offer is void in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, American Samoa and other areas where the absence of any discussion about the abject state of the American presidency is illegal. All others pay cash.

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