Every item in The Vault is a documented original, unless otherwise noted. We have acquired each item from its original artist, the production company that staged the concert, the photographer that took the photograph or the performer that played the music. In some cases, we have purchased from the secondary market only after carefully verifying authenticity and condition. The vast majority of our collection comes from the archives of Bill Graham Presents, which was carefully managed by BGP from 1966 until our acquisition, and is now managed and preserved by The Vault. Upon request, we offer Certificates of Provenance signed by the archivist.
I have seen posters you have on your website offered for lower prices on other sites and in online auctions. Why should I buy from you?
We own the copyright to posters in the BG (Bill Graham), BGP (Bill Graham Presents), F (Fillmore), BGSE (Bill Graham Special Events), FME (Fillmore East), FDN (Fillmore Denver) and many in the Commemorative Series (COMM). We know what is authentic and what is bootlegged or copied because we own the original negatives and/or printers' plates from which the original posters were printed. Our website presents and sells ONLY original, authentic posters and other concert art.
Outside of our own copyrighted art, we've assembled a superb collection of other original and historic posters from series and venues across the globe, being cared for in state-of-the-art facilities. The provenance of each acquisition is impeccable; the due diligence of each item's heritage – second to none.
We have observed copied, bootlegged and poor-condition concert art sold in many online stores or auctions. We strongly encourage those who wish to purchase concert art from the 1960's thru today to come to our site because we, and only we, can guarantee the authenticity and condition of items we sell to buyers, a guarantee which comes in most handy when a buyer subsequently wishes to sell their concert memorabilia.
Our archivists and customer service representatives are available to answer any questions before or after purchase and we offer a return policy if, for any reason, you are less than delighted with your purchase (domestic orders only).
Poster, Ticket and Handbill Printings and Variations
Most 2nd and 3rd printings pertain to posters from the BG (Bill Graham poster series of 1966-71) and the FD (Family Dog poster series of the same time period). Once promoters realized that psychedelic art "collectors" were tearing down the posters advertising their concerts, additional printings had to be run in order to market the shows. Later versions of the posters were sometimes printed for hippie poster shops or to satisfy the poster artist with a changing artistic vision. Most poster printings have very slight variations such as paper stock and size, small notation markings on the poster or different ink colors. Within individual printings, some nuances may occur during the course of a print run such as a change of paper stock or ink. These variations are indicated by the notations of A, B or C. Whenever these differences are significant we always present separate images of these printings on our website (for a good example see BG29).
Is there a difference in quality between 1st and subsequent printings?
"Quality" is a subjective term. As noted in the previous paragraph, different poster printings may be on different paper stock, which one might consider a difference in "quality". You can be certain of one thing; all posters in The Vault, regardless of printing, are in mint condition unless otherwise noted.
What is the difference between a proof and a poster?
A proof is a "test" of the final printing process by the printer to make certain that the four color image is rendering exactly as the artist intended. The final proofs we have available at The Vault are the final step in this process and rare in number. They usually have a color bar along one side of the paper's edge. This should be visible in the image detail for the item.
Will you give me a valuation of my poster collection?
We do not offer valuations for insurance or other purposes.
Does the WV watermark I see on the poster image appear on the poster?
The watermark is strictly an identifying copyright mark for the website photo image.
Do you have posters available that are not displayed on the website?
Wolfgang's Vault has two missions. We are offering our archives for sale to the public, but it is equally important to us to preserve the legacy that these archives represent. In the spirit of this second mission we strive to keep at least one of every item in our possession.
Would you be interested in buying my posters?
Although on rare occasion we purchase individual items or small personal collections, it is not a normal practice for us.
We will consider secondary market purchases under very specific conditions. Should you wish us to make such an evaluation, please contact Customer Service through the website or telephone so that we may obtain further information as to whether we would consider such a purchase. Should we have an interest, we will ask you to pack all items for shipment to our offices and we will issue a call tag for U.P.S. pick up. To evaluate items for authenticity and condition we must make a physical appraisal of all potential purchases. Upon conclusion of our inspection we will either make you an offer or return the items at our cost. We do not evaluate items for purchase any other way.
Condition of Product
Virtually all items for sale on our website are in mint condition. If an item has any condition flaws, it will either be stated in the product detail, shown by the image, or a customer service representative will be in be in touch to describe the condition before the order is shipped. A small number of items that were part of Bill Graham's personal collection show some damage from the May 7, 1985 firebombing of his San Francisco office. The attack stemmed from Graham’s open and honest criticism of President Reagan’s visit to Bitburg Cemetery published in the San Francisco Chronicle. We have made every effort to show the extent of the damage on each product in the product detail screen image and will contact you by email or phone should remaining inventory not reflect that condition.
Because there is no developed “standard” of condition ranking, we have made it company policy to not make any statements that guarantee condition. What one purchaser might consider “near mint” might be far different from what another views as such. If for some reason the item you purchased does not meet your expectations, you may return it (domestic orders only). Please refer to our Returns and Exchanges policy below.
Returns and Exchanges
We have a ten-day return policy (for domestic orders only). These ten days begin when an order reaches its shipping destination. In addition, we guarantee your order against damage that may occur during the shipping process. If your package arrives damaged you should refuse delivery of the package so that it will be returned to us. Please then advise us immediately that you have refused the package. Should you notice the damage after delivery please contact us immediately so that we may start a UPS damage claim. To make a return or exchange, simply contact Customer Service within 10 days of receiving the package and you will be given an RA (Return Authorization) number. Please ensure that the RA number we give you is clearly marked on the outside of your shipping box. Also, pack your return securely. We recommend you use the same packaging materials that it was original shipped in, and that you insure the shipment for your protection. You are responsible for all return shipping costs. COD shipments will not be accepted. We are not responsible for lost or stolen packages. We recommend using a courier that can track your package with a tracking number. Subsequent to an approved authorization, a credit to an account can take up to 30 days.
Caring for your collection
- Poster Framing - To best protect your vintage rock poster, it is best to frame your poster with a UV glass or plexiglass protective covering to keep it from fading. It's also a good idea to keep it out of harsh or direct sunlight. Your framer should use only acid free archival products (paper, board or tape) to frame the piece.
- Poster Storage - Many poster experts recommend that only Mylar (or its equivalent) is "archive safe" for postage storage. Plastics, vinyl, and other storage materials slowly oxidize, releasing harmful acids, which slowly disintegrate paper. Mylar-D is a storage material specifically developed for the long-term storage of historically important documents. It is the same archival material in which the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta are stored and is used by leading museums worldwide. While other materials may not begin to noticeably damage your posters for 2, 3, or even 5 years, Mylar D is considered completely inert for up to 400 years. A simple internet search will garner many leads for acquiring Mylar sleeves.
Two years before Woodstock, over 200,000 hipsters gathered in Monterey, California for a three day celebration of music that embodied the themes of the new counter-culture and became the template for all future music festivals.
Record producer and band manager Lou Adler, along with John Phillips [Mamas & the Papas], produced Monterey Pop on the site known for the long-running Monterey Jazz and Folk Festivals. In the spirit of "Music, Love and Flowers", just about all the artists performed for free, and all money went to charity.
Thirty-two bands played - stars like The Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel and The Byrds shared billing with groundbreaking new acts, showcasing the first major American appearances by Jimi Hendrix and The Who, as well as the first major public performances of Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Laura Nyro, Steve Miller and Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.
Hendrix, taking cue from Pete Townshend's guitar-smashing, capped his Monterey performance in a firestorm, making hearts sing as he set his still wailing guitar on fire and taunted for more flame during his riveting rendition of "Wild Thing".
As reflected by music writer Rusty DeSoto, "Monterey Pop was a seminal event: it was the first real rock festival ever held, featuring debut performances of bands that would shape the history of rock and affect popular culture from that day forward."
The festival was later hailed as a triumph of organization and cooperation and was subject of an acclaimed documentary by noted documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker.
The people came and listened
Some of them came and played
Others gave flowers away, yes they did
Down in Monterey
Down in Monterey
Young Gods smiled upon the crowd
Their music being born of love
Children danced night and day
Religion was being born
Down in Monterey
The birds and the airplane did fly
Oh, Ravi Shankar's music made me cry
The Who exploded into fire and light
Hugh Masakela's music was black as night.
The Grateful Dead blew everybody's mind
Jimi Hendrix baby, believe me, set the world on fire, yeah
His Majesty, Prince Jones, smiled as he moved among the crowd
Ten thousand electric guitars were groovin' real loud, yeah
You wanna find the truth in life
Don't pass music by
And you know I would not lie, no I would not lie,
No, I would not lie
Down in Monterey
Three days of understanding
of moving with one another
Even the cops grooved with us
Do you believe me, yeah?
Down in Monterey
I think that maybe I'm dreaming
Down in Monterey
Did you hear what I said?
Eric Burdon and the Animals
Concert promoters created handbill versions of many of their posters and used them as sidewalk handouts and dashboard fliers to promote upcoming shows. Many of the handbills are double-sided, with poster art on one side and a calendar of upcoming shows on the other. These handbills represent an important element of rock concert history because they were hands-on marketing tools that united promoter and patron.
All orders are shipped from our facilities in Reno via United Parcel Service (UPS) or United States Postal Service (USPS). If Standard Shipping is selected, your order may ship via UPS or USPS based on size and weight. With UPS we offer online tracking of your order while it is in transit to you, which includes insurance for the full value of your purchase. USPS shipments are uninsured and cannot be tracked.
All orders placed on this site are subject to product availability. Please allow ten days for our photographic prints to ship (these products are produced to order and require a high degree of printmaking skill and attention to detail). All other items are shipped within three business days of when your order is placed. We do not ship on Saturdays, Sundays or national holidays. All shipping delivery times are in addition to this order processing time.
If your order is going to be delayed due to out-of-stock items, weather conditions or any other factors, you will be notified by email within 48 hours of your order being placed. You will be given an approximate ship date at that time and will have the option of canceling your order, or retaining the order with its new ship date.
Depending on your location and the shipping service you selected, your order will take from one to ten days to be delivered once it has shipped.
We take great care to ensure that your order is carefully packaged so that it arrives in the same mint condition in which it left our facilities. Most historic series posters are of a size to fit in flats. Posters shipped in flats are surrounded by 2 inserts. Oversized pieces will be shipped in heavy-duty tubes.
Please see the HELP section of the website for more Purchase, Return and Exchange information.