Billboard Magazine's Best Rock Poster List

Billboard Magazine, for their article, THE 25 BEST ROCK POSTERS OF ALL TIME, in 2014, chose two of my Bill Graham posters—numbers 16 and 24 on their list.

#16 — My first poster for Bill Graham, in 1969, number BG-178 in the Fillmore series. Bill had chosen 12 collages for his Summer Series of concerts but allowed me to pick which image to use for each poster. I chose this image, because it fit well with The Who—the first band on my first poster—along with Woody Herman and His OrchestraSantana, The Impressions, and Ike and Tina Turner, among others, a heady line-up for a beginning. The image was also a favorite of mine that had three elements: an antique statue, the PAST: a landscape and sky with grazing horses, the PRESENT; and a mysterious gateway on the horizon, the unknown FUTURE—a visual poem about the tripartite aspect of time. Not all my images, of course, are open to such a literal interpretation. Whoever chose this image for Billboard gave me a thumbs-up for the "classical sculpture motif" and for my lettering, described as "more readable by humans" (great comment!)—a big change from much of the popular lettering of the time. Bill Graham agreed and praised my hand-lettering as artful and because "I can easily read it" he said. So I continued with similar styles, sometimes more elaborately drawn and arty but keeping them legible. Hand-lettering was a big challenge for me, at that time, so I used the same lettering style and format for all 12 of the Summer Series posters.

#24 — A Special Event poster for Bill Graham, featuring The Rolling Stones at Winterland, in 1972. This was after Fillmore West closed, a year earlier, ending the weekly poster series. A straightforward design—"One big image, right up front"—as Billboard puts it, an obvious nod to the Stones "Tumbling Dice" theme, and the magazine considers it positive that the poster is "without the tongue logo on it." Thankfully, no one suggested I include it, and this poster may have preceded the band's adoption of that in-your-face brand. An interesting story about how this design came together, I'll recount at a later time.

Find the original Billboard List here:

Author of this Post

David Singer "David Singer is best known as one of the early Fillmore artists, designing 75 posters for Bill Graham, from 1969 to 1990. This was the era before computers changed everything in graphics. Working mostly in the medium of collage, he has now integrated traditional analog cut-and-paste methods with current digital techniques. David singer currently lives and works in Petaluma, California."