Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Back in the Day---Show Flyers





The above poster is from an art exhibit comprised of rock show flyers from the 1980s up until recently, mostly from the punk rock and grunge eras. I was there for many of these shows (sadly not the above one, though I saw Soundgarden a few years later (see here)---right before they hit the big arena) and have fond memories of the flyer days---some of which I made and put up myself. In those days, flyers had one specific function---to advertise a show. There was no Facebook or Twitter back then, you either had to know someone who was putting on a show, someone who was going or was in the band, or you saw a flyer on a pole. In the very early days, most of these shows happened in people's basements or sometimes in warehouses or condemned buildings. That Soundgarden show, above, was in the basement of a house. That was how many bands started and how some of them played for the entire life of their band.

Xerox machines were the primary tool for poster making, and cut-n-paste, collage and hand-drawn artwork were the main art styles. It has a specific look that can't really be reproduced by the computer-driven art of today. Raw, high contrast and underground, the art style matched the music scene of the time.

I still attend shows here and there, but I get advance notice of bands I am interested in right in my email box and then see accounts, pictures and footage of the shows on the internet after the fact. For me, it just doesn't match up to the immediacy, underground-ness and in-the-moment feel of the shows back in the day. Stated like the old-timer I am, I guess :)

5 comments:

  1. I remember those days ~ our fave go to was the little underground Ratskeller in B-town :))

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  2. My job was to make sure no-one else was watching and use the office photocopier to print fliers and fanzines. My bit of rebellion during those years of corporate hell! x

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  3. You said it. I love analogue too. Eighties warehouse bands were the thing for me, and all my friends sweating over cassette tape demos hoping to get "signed."

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  4. I can only dream of such times, I'm in the artsy/hipster area of town but there's nothing edgy, no feeling of rebellion. ;)

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  5. I remember walking through the big city in the early 90's and seeing entire blocks plastered with posters. You just don't see them anymore. Cool post!

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