Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rex Membra - Franky Scaglione, Broomfield, 2012

Artist: Franky Scaglione
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Silkscreen
Size: 24 x 18
Event Date: 3.13.2012
Venue: 1st Bank Center - Broomfield, CO
Signed & Numbered in an edition of 100

This one is pretty straight-forward. From the artist:

"Rex Membra (Latin for king of limbs) is my interpretation of the sovereign timber... a translation from the king of dinosaurs. Lauding the big-bellied oak tree of the Savernake Forest (Wiltshire), I played with the annual rings and tied-in the rex-rooted limbs. [Over the course of the creative phases, I alternated spinning The King of Limbs and T-Rex's The Slider on my turntable, to get just the right inspiration.]"

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Distorted Suits - John Seabury, San Francisco, 1995

Artist: John Seabury
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Silkscreen
Size: 23 x 29
Event Date: 7.13.1995
Venue: Slim's - San Francisco, CA
Signed & Numbered in an edition of 300

It’s amazing to think this print is 21 years old.

The image here appears to be a heavily distorted family portrait at first, but upon closer inspection we find it's actually two men in suits strangling a third. Above, “Radiohead” is written in electricity. This image would fit right in on a poster for their 2016 tour. Also the gold and pink inks used for “Slim’s” and “Drugstore” set off the remaining colors nicely.

There was a time when this was near the top of my want list for Radiohead posters. I pined for this thing for years, and when I finally got a hold of one it got bumped straight to the top of my framing queue.

The artist, John Seabury (who is cool as hell), has said that the plan was for the paper to be cut to match the angled edges of the printing, but there wasn't time. When I had mine framed we made sure to cut the mat to match those angles.

You can find this print on eBay - there always seems to be one there with a $250 BIN. I consider that pretty reasonable considering the size.

The Radio Head - Justin Hampton, Seattle, 1995

Artist: Justin Hampton
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Silkscreen
Size: 11 3/4 x 23 1/8
Event Date: 7.10.1995
Venue: Sailors of the Pacific Union – Seattle, Wa
Signed, numbered edition of 100

This poster from Justin Hampton, the third co-creator of Post Ne-Explosionism (we’ve already discussed Jermaine Rogers and Emek), is one of the earliest screenprinted gig posters for the band I know of. It’s also got a complicated history.

I've seen people complain about the image being a literal translation of the band’s name, but this is understandable as it was still very early in their evolution. The Bends had just come out and it was two years before OK Computer. The band’s message was not yet as well-formed and prominent in their songs as it is today (Burn the Witch and such).

Here’s a quote about this poster from Justin himself:

"The original run, as in a lot of my really early posters, had no signed and numbered run. There were only 75 or so and they were only used for promotion of the show and I'd get a few extra as well. I decided to make a signed and numbered print run [in 1998] to make available to fans and did reprint it. The colors are much better on the 2nd printing, the run is of only 100 with a A/P set of 25."

So there are a few versions out there. First we have the impossible-to-find original 1995 unsigned/unnumbered poster with a run of 75:

Not mine - this image is from

The 1998 reprint, signed and numbered in a run of 100 with corrected colors and no “S.U.P.” stamp:

There is also the 2007 handbill version which is signed/numbered in a run of 250 and a set of progressive proof handbills from that same year limited to only 6 sets produced:

Also from Expressobeans

I have the 1998 reprint and the 2007 handbill, but the original from 1995 has always eluded me. There just aren’t very many left. Even finding the reprint for sale is a challenge now. I wouldn’t want to guess what these would go for nowadays, but the last one sold in 2009 for $250.00. The handbills come up a lot more often and tend to go for less than $50. Good luck with this one.

The Balloon Head Boy - Emek, Los Angeles, 2006

Artist: Emek
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Silkscreen
Size: 14 x 28
Event Date: 6.29-30.2006
Venue: Greek Theater – Los Angeles, CA
Notes: Signed & Numbered in an edition of 200

Even if you aren’t a poster nerd like me you’ve probably seen Emek’s work somewhere. Some of the most popular and iconic posters of our time are from Emek. In addition to being artist-in-residence for Erykah Badu, he has done some amazing work for Tool, Coachella, and just about every major touring band in the last 20 years. He is also one of the co-founders of Post Neo-Explosionism along with Jermaine Rogers and Justin Hampton. Emek has one of the biggest followings among all gig poster artists, and his posters consistently sell out lightning-quick.

I’ve even dedicated my entire bathroom to his work.

When this Radiohead poster dropped in 2006 it caught a lot of collectors off-guard. It’s so different from the rest of Emek’s work which is usually intricately detailed and exploding with color (with few exceptions). The image here, however, is muted and simple in addition to being mysterious and a little creepy. Balloon Head Boy made it onto a plethora of handbills and paper types including striped gold, cream velvet, and even a massive sheet of holofoil (man, I really want one of those). You can view all the different versions of this beast here.

This poster gravitates around $200 for the regular version and significantly more for color and paper variants. Even the more exotic handbills command top-dollar, some of them limited to only five produced. Those are more collector pieces, though. For Radiohead fans the regular edition poster should suffice.

I only have the regular poster and handbill versions. I have every intention of framing it, but it’s tough to find a frame/mat combo that match the colors and image. Plus my wife is a little creeped out by it, so it isn't exactly at the head of the line or anything.

Emek "doodles" a lot of his prints

Now, just for fun, here’s my Emek bathroom:

Yes, that is an LMFAO poster. It's still an Emek, dammit.

That All Points West poster is also technically a Radiohead poster.

PAY ATTENTION - Jermaine Rogers, Houston, 2003

Artist: Jermaine Rogers
Type: Gig Poster
Print Method: Silkscreen
Size: 32 x 23
Event Date: 10.1.2003
Venue: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion - Woodlands, TX
Signed & Numbered in an edition of 250

As a poster collector I have a lot of favorites, but this 2003 gig poster from legendary co-founder of Post Neo-Explosionism Jermaine Rogers is in my personal top five posters of all time.

In terms of content, this is something that could only be created by an artist who is also a true fan of the band. A crowd of people cover their eyes and turn away from a horizon filled to the sky with huge figures representing, sex, death, money, religion, and other societal distractions. A single figure in the foreground, #72, is trying to warn the others and you, the looker, about the impending swipe of the menacing “protektor.” The warning, “Pay Attention,” headlines the top of the poster in large, red letters, bright against the blues and greens of the rest of the image.

Take a moment to look at all the detail on this one - there’s a lot going on that isn’t immediately apparent. The whole thing is like a visual Radiohead song.

This particular poster is iconic among Radiohead fans as well as gig poster collectors in general. It’s not cheap, usually selling between $200-$400. There are also numerous test print, line art, handbill, postcard, and artist-defaced versions. Here's one of the many, MANY versions "defaced" by Jermaine himself:

I actually have two copies of this poster, one framed and one in my flat file. The framed one hangs in my office where I see it every day. I already know it deserves a nicer frame and some color-matched matting. Someday.

Here's my framed version along with a few detail shots:

The Headless Bear - Hatch Show Print, Nashville, 1995

Artist: Hatch Show Print
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Silkscreen
Size: 14.5 x 23
Event Date: 9.11.1995
Venue: Starwood Amphitheater
Unsigned, unnumbered

If you're familiar with gig posters, odds are you've heard of Hatch Show Print out of Tennessee. Well, they did a Radiohead poster (kinda). In September of '95 the boys opened for R.E.M. in just the right place and time to merit this very rare printing from the folks at Hatch.

Rumor has it there is a version of this poster without the field of color behind the bear, but I've never seen one. What I have seen are rough versions with permanent creases and pinholes. This one is different in that it is utterly flawless. It's even got some bleeding on the back from when these were printed and stacked.

In terms of Radiohead poster collecting, this is among the toughest gets. They just don't come up for sale much, and when they do they're usually a little beaten up. Even then they seem to sell in the $300-$400 range. Luckily there is a smaller and cheaper paster version (featuring a cowboy from Westworld) that may or may not be from Hatch Show Print. We'll talk about that one another time.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The UFO Landing - Darren Grealish, Boston, 1995

Artist: Darren Grealish
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Lithograph
Size: 11 x 17
Event Date: 5.26.1995
Venue: Paradise Lounge
Signed, numbered edition of 500

Here is one of the very first Radiohead posters I bought. It's an ideal get for new collectors, too. In addition to being easily available on sites like eBay, it contains some cool imagery and bright colors and fonts. It's also a standard frame size so you don't have to pay out the ear for a custom job. With its thick paper and shiny ink, this one looks even better in person. Highly recommended.

The Blue Radio Tower - Dan Paulus, Seattle, 1995

Artist: Dan Paulus
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Lithograph
Size: 8.5 x 19
Event date: 04.01.1995
Venue: Moe's Mo' Rockin' Cafe - Seattle, Wa
Unsigned, unnumbered

This is one of the rarest Radiohead posters I've ever come across. In my years of collecting I've only seen one, and you're looking at it. I suspect these were made to paste onto telephone poles, and somehow this one survived.

While collector's tend to give posters with a literal interpretation of a band's name a hard time, I find this one is beautifully simple and balanced. The paper is extremely thin even for a pole paster. It looks as though this particular show was sponsored by the local rock station and was completely free to attend. That's pretty remarkable considering The Bends had just come out. It wasn't much longer before a free Radiohead concert was unheard of.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Dragonfly Girl - Joe Whyte, Toronto, 2003

Artist: Joe Whyte
Type: Gig Poster
Print: Lithograph
Size: 28 x 20
Event Date: 10.15.2003
Venue: Skydome - Toronto, ON, Canada
Signed, edition of 300

This was my first Radiohead poster and the one that got me hooked on the poster hobby in general, so it’s a great poster to start this blog.

The image, a monochromatic, slightly off-center woman with dragonfly wings, doesn’t bring to mind any specific RH lyrics, but it is impactful, surreal, and beautiful. The red/black theme is characteristically Radiohead for this time period. The first time I slapped this one into a frame and stepped back to look, I was immediately hooked on the poster hobby.

I bought this one in 2006 for $20, but the prices have been trending up slightly as of late. Generally these tend to sell for less than $50. Still, it’s a steal at that price.

While most of my framed prints are done professionally, this is one I put into a $10 ready-made poster frame when I first got it and there it remains to this day.

Welcome to the Radiohead Poster Blog

I've been collecting Radiohead posters for over ten years. I keep everything - gig posters, tour posters, promos, general merch, and even that weird little Feral keychain. In fact I can count on one hand the Radiohead posters I don't have. So I've decided to start showing them off and, in the process, create a sort of online database of Radiohead posters I always wished there had been when I first started collecting.

With the advent of Burn the Witch, Daydreaming, and the impending LP9 followed by another tour, I figured this may be the best possible time to start putting this thing together.

When I run out of Radiohead posters, I'll start posting other posters of note that I've picked up over the years. That should take a while, though.