How a Possible Encyclopedia Entry For Flyers Might Function

Aesthetic Approaches and Actions

In almost every large city in America, vestiges of flyer art (also spelled as flier and alternatively known as gig posters and handbills) made for band gigs or concerts remain on traffic and light poles, kiosks, the sides of buildings, cramped record store spaces, and just about anywhere that one can use glue, wheat paste, tacks, thumbnails, tape, and staples. Due to being made by a variety of promoters, designers, band members (as varied as Mick Jones from the Clash and David Yow of Jesus Lizard), and fans, multiple flyers for one show often exist. These works are found in various shapes and sizes, including standard letter copy machine size (8.5 x 11), legal letter size (8.5 x 14), or larger formats such as 11 x 14 . Artists range from self-taught, “naïve” amateurs (an example seen above) to schooled design students and professionals who use a variety of means to reproduce the work, including digital printing, xerography and photocopying (black and white, color, and split fountain printing, seen below), offset/linotype printing, and silkscreening. Continue reading

Recent Donations, Acquisitions, and Fanfare!

As many readers of this page are aware, we succesfully curated a month long show at the DIVA gallery in downtown Eugene, Oregon during the month of March, highlighting several hundred posters from the punk archive. In the process, we met new friends and supporters, plus we were able to acquire many new pieces for the collection. The week prior to the show’s opening, Jeff Nelson, drummer for Minor Threat, 3, and Senator Flux, plus the co-owner and original graphic designer for Dischord Records, let us purchase 250 copies from his vast early hardcore collection, many of which he had never shared before. We were unable to afford his eBay auctions for the originals, so once contacted, Nelson was generous enough to spend hours making copies and preparing the packaging for us. In addition, he also loaned us a handful of screened, mid-late 1980s color posters, which we showcased in a large vitrine. One of Nelson’s early works, made with crayon, that succinctly highlights the punk, DIY, handmade aesthetic can be found below, for a Teen Idles show.

As word of the show travelled through the invisible waves/code of the Internet, Mike Huard, bassist for the the well-regarded Houston punk band AK-47, which lasted from 1979-1984, discovered us through a University of Oregon newpaper article on-line that previewed the show. Mike was also very kind, donating almost a dozen copies of flyers and articles about the band, which helps fill in gaps for our collection of the early Ozone City scene, which includes large holdings of Really Red and Hates flyers. Mike has also contacted other members of the band, so we hope that our collection can continue to expand, providing breadth and depth to our southern coverage. See the excellent sci-fi themed, hand drawn flyer below, printed on orange paper, for a gig at the notorious venue the Island.

The second night of the opening we held a film and panel discussion event, previously mentioned in our overview of the show on this page, which found a roomful of eager people sharing stories and memories, including one of the bass players from the infamous California hardcore band Circle One. Roxy Epoxy, the former lead singer of the Epoxies, who is now busy working on a solo project, DJ radio show, and other adventures, donated several incredible Epoxies posters, including rare, specialty silkscreens and glossy gig posters. Although too large for our scanner, see the poster below for a glimpse of the keen style.

Gretta Fine, singer and bass player of Bang Bang, one of Chicago’s premier nu wave/dirty dance punk outfits, donated three silkcreened posters to the collection during the week the show opened, adding to our contemporary Midwest collection. The posters were large format, and our scanner had some difficulty capturing an image, so just a sliver is found below. She has also provided a sly, insightful narrative that we hope to integrate into our book chapter on women in punk, which should be completed in rough draft form in ten weeks. We are presenting an introduction to the chapter in Davis, CA, at the University of California, for a folklore conference in the next few weeks. The paper is entitled, Punk Gig Flyers as Urban Folk Art.

Although Brenton (Break the Chains), a zine enthusiast and longtime punk fan, was not able to make the opening, he contacted us shortly after the opening, informing us of his own binder of local Eugene hardcore and punk gig flyers that he has safely stored and gathered over the last ten years. He also showed us some amazing early Black Flag flyers, a few very rare, that were given to him by an aunt who once dated Chuck Dukowski, bass player of the band. Needless to say, we took deep pleasure in his stories and in the fact that he loaned us the binder so we could make dozens of copies of flyers documenting the bustling Eugene-area hardcore scene of the last decade. See the bristling handmade gig flyer below.

In addition, Brenton introduced usto his roommate Sean Schock, drummer for the recent line-up of the Detonators and Happy Bastards (Profane Existence). Not only do stark b/w flyers grace the walls of his room, but he was generous enough to donate records, CDs, and gig flyers to our collection. To follow up, we recorded a video interview with Bruce Hartnell, the singer of the Detonators, who grew up across the street from Dez Cadena of Black Flag. In fact, the interview took place at the DIVA gallery, which featured three Detonators posters, including one Bruce made for the last Dead Kennedy’s show! Bruce and Sean also play in the instrumental mariachi-punk-surf band Los Mex Pistols. See their mutant spider skull party gig flyer below.

Lastly, we do keep busy purchasing inexpensive pieces from collectors around the world, many of which will soon be featured on this page. Below is a Black Flag original, apropos since we have been mentioning the band, that we were able to acquire at a very affordable cost, since it is both late period and does not feature any readily identifiable “significant” artist, although the design is very appealing and atmospheric.

Contact us here if you would like to contribute to the collection, make suggestions, or join the community.

Be well, and sincere thanks to all the helpers and contributors! David/LOTD