January 15, 2014

Gary Grimshaw, who made posters for Detroit's Grande Ballroom like the posters they were doing for the Fillmore out in San Francisco.

Posters for the Ballroom's house band, The MC5, and, when they came to Detroit, bands like The Who, Cream, and Led Zeppelin.

Grimshaw has died at the age of 67. 



More posters here.

IN THE COMMENTS: Seeing Red was reminded of the poster for "Fantasia" on its rerelease in the 60s, and I find it. Here:




I also find this interesting Snopes article on Disney and drugs, examining the claim that "The personalities of the dwarf characters in Disney's animated film version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs represent the seven stages of cocaine addiction." That claim is determined to be false, nor is there evidence "Fantasia" was originally intended to be drug-related, but there's direct evidence that on rerelease in 1969, "Fantasia" was marketed to drug users:
After [Fantasia's] 1969 rerelease proved a cult hit among college-age kids looking for a hallucinogenic experience, conservative groups began picketing movie theaters for screening Disney's animated "drug fantasies." Hippie-era moviegoers liked to sit in the front row, even on top of each other, smoking pot and offering advice to Mickey.

The company asked the theaters to promote the film not as typical Disney fare, but "now you sell Fantasia as you did Easy Rider. Hip youngsters come to see it as a special kind of trip."

Disney didn't exactly discourage the connotation. Psychedelic posters and other ad materials featuring Chernobog and the dancing mushrooms called it "The Ultimate Experience," while the promotional kit quoted one underground review: "Disney's Fantasia: A Head Classic: Representation of sound as color does resemble tripping on STD, LSD, THC and various other letters of the alphabet."

9 comments:

Seeing Red said...

The "Fantasia" poster from the 60s when it was re-released has the same look.

Carol said...

The posters were so interesting because they were...practically unreadable.

So you could spend a lot of time staring at it.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's that 60s "Fantasia" poster. The intention to suggest hallucinogenic drugs is clear. You were invited to get high and go see that movie, and it was much talked about at the time as a movie to see while high. I think there a sequence with mushrooms dancing about that considered a deliberate drug reference in the original film, not just the 60s marketing.

Ann Althouse said...

Snopes quotes Disney marketing:

"After [Fantasia's] 1969 rerelease proved a cult hit among college-age kids looking for a hallucinogenic experience, conservative groups began picketing movie theaters for screening Disney's animated "drug fantasies." Hippie-era moviegoers liked to sit in the front row, even on top of each other, smoking pot and offering advice to Mickey.

"The company asked the theaters to promote the film not as typical Disney fare, but "now you sell Fantasia as you did Easy Rider. Hip youngsters come to see it as a special kind of trip."

"Disney didn't exactly discourage the connotation. Psychedelic posters and other ad materials featuring Chernobog and the dancing mushrooms called it "The Ultimate Experience," while the promotional kit quoted one underground review: "Disney's Fantasia: A Head Classic: Representation of sound as color does resemble tripping on STD, LSD, THC and various other letters of the alphabet.""

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the closeup on the 1969 "Fantasia" poster. Chernobog is the central character shows, and the mushroom guys are there too.

St. George said...

Aoxomoxoa

Look for awhile at the china….

Jim Lindgren said...

The first poster is for the Doors and the MC-5. I saw the Doors on their last tour in the fall of 1968 (had 4th row seats, amazing concert, Clapton stepping forward to play the wah-wsh pedal on White Room, ...).

I remember seeing the MC-5 several times. They were known for playing particularly LOUD (they had a wall of amps behind them) and for their iconic signature line that heralded their intense shows:

"Kick out the jams, motherf**kers, Kick out the jams."

They were a much better live band than on albums.

Jim Lindgren

Jim Lindgren said...

Oh, and I also saw Fantasia for the first time in New Haven in a theater near the campus during its psychedelic run (ca. 1970-71). There was open dope smoking going on with no one seeming to care.

I remember finding it a very strange and uneven movie, more impressive than satisfying.

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