Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Classic Posters - Interview With Poster Expert Dennis King by Michael Erlewine

Classic Posters - Interview With Poster Expert Dennis King by Michael Erlewine

Ratings: (0)|Views: 9 |Likes:
Published by Michael Erlewine
These are articles on concert-music posters and poster collecting from the site ClassicPosters.com founded by award-winning archivist of popular culture Michael Erlewine who founded All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Astrologyland.com and many other popular Internet sites. All articles copyright and written or produced by Michael Erlewine. Do visit ClassicPosters.com in its current incarnation.
These are articles on concert-music posters and poster collecting from the site ClassicPosters.com founded by award-winning archivist of popular culture Michael Erlewine who founded All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Astrologyland.com and many other popular Internet sites. All articles copyright and written or produced by Michael Erlewine. Do visit ClassicPosters.com in its current incarnation.

More info:

Published by: Michael Erlewine on Jan 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/12/2014

pdf

text

original

 
Interview with Poster Expert Dennis King by Michael Erlewine
 
Interview with Poster Expert DennisKing by Michael Erlewine
 Saturday, May 12, 2001 at D. KingGalleryBirth DataDennis King: September 24th, 1952Dennis King: Yeah, it was 7:16 PMOakland, California. And that's DaylightSavings Time.Michael Erlewine: What was your givenname?Dennis King: Dennis Michael King.And I grew up in the Bay Area. Here'ssome little groups of collectors anddealers that came out of the Bay Area,and it's really interesting to see thedifferent generations that got into this.And it's kind of funny, because I'm in akind of a limbo-age bracket.There's a number of people who areolder than me. There's a number ofpeople that are younger than me by twoor three years, like Jacaeber Kastor, butI kind of came out of the beatnik thingmore than anything, because I livedaround here. And I was a real big kidand I was real precocious. And youknow, I got kicked out of junior highschool for wearing Roman sandals andall this kind of stuff. It was like 1963 orsomething like that. So I used to cometo Telegraph Avenue, because it's in theneighborhood, and it was the Telegraphscene. If you talk to Country Joe or anyof those
guys … we talk about it
sometimes. But very interesting,because there's a real international andintellectual atmosphere around Berkeley
 Michael Erlewine: What year is this?Dennis King: Well, this is early '60sMichael Erlewine: Early?Dennis King: Late '50s early '60sDennis King: And I didn't realize it at thetime, but there was a very Japaneseinfluence, because I have come back tolook at that, to figure out where it allcame from. It wasn't really obvious tome, but you look at, you know, the
whole Alan Watts, Zen Buddhism….
 But there was something veryJapanese, in retrospect, about theBerkeley experience. And I can't quiteput my finger on it. That's why I go backand I try to pick up pieces of history, to
see where it came from…
 Michael Erlewine: The Beat experience
in general, I was here in 1960…
 Dennis King: So, at any rate, I basicallycame out of the whole Berkeley thing,more than San Francisco. I think the first
time… Well, interesting recollection is
FD-14, the 'Zig Zag' poster, was a bigdeal. I remember walking downTelegraph Avenue. It's sitting up in thewindow of Shakespeare & Co. Books,and you're looking at this thing sittin'here, saying, "My god! How the fuck didthey have the balls to put this thing upthere?," because everybody knew whatit was. And that was kind of my wholeperception of, well, what the hell's goin'on in the city?
 
Interview with Poster Expert Dennis King by Michael Erlewine
 
The Zig-Zag Poster 
 I don't remember when I first got over tothe Haight, but at some point I went overto it with somebody and went to one ofthe things in the Pan Handle. It was oneof the early things and I just don't
…1966 sometime. But then I started
heading over to the city a bit more, but Iwas still pretty young at that time. I was14 and a half or 15. I was out and about,all over the place. And that's when Istarted picking up posters.And you know, if you go to the posterstore, they used to be a buck. And itwas like, Ok, I gotta' scrape together acouple a bucks to buy a couple postersevery once in a while. It's like, you know,
at that age, it was kind of … if there
were things going on, it was a big deal.So, at any rate, that's kind of how I gotinvolved in the poster scene. And it kindof went on from there. What really
touched it off, I think, was early '70s …
around 1970. I used to be into comicbooks when I was a kid. I startedreading comics in 1956, and I kept abunch of the stuff, and I went to a fleamarket and I realized somebody wastrafficking used comic books. So I took abox of mine out there and sold them alloff, and then, you know, started to getinto that whole paper scene. Andrealized, "Hey, there's a couple of guysout here." This guy who's doing comicbooks, he's got a couple posters. So Ipicked up a poster or two, and then onething led to another and I realized, wait
a minute… It's kind of like
the way a lotof people collect or the way I see a lot ofpeople collecting over the years. It's like:These are the ones I really want. Youknow, get the ones I really want.And then you see some other ones andyou say, hey, this one's pretty good too;let's pick this one up. And by the timeyou realize where you are, you say god,you know, I've already got half of thesethings. These other ones aren't so bad.You start pickin' these up. You startworking on a set. So by the time 1971 or1972 rolled arou
nd it …1971 I guess, I
was out looking for collections. I wasbuying them and keeping a set formyself and selling some other ones offto pay for my collections, which is alsosomething I did with comic books andlater I did too with baseball cards, whichI made a lot of money off of andsurvived off of, for a very long time.So I kind of started out in flea markets.And I never reacted really well to beingin a dirty, dusty flea market, bakin' in thesun all day. It didn't last very long forme. That lasted less than a year. I said,"To hell with that." I did posters on theside for a really long time. I starteddoing comic books for my first paperedcollectables library, I put myself mostlythrough college doing that.Michael Erlewine: Just right here intown?Dennis King: Yep, I graduated fromBerkeley here.
 
Interview with Poster Expert Dennis King by Michael Erlewine
 
And I ended up in… I used to go and do
comic book shows a lot. There was bigcomic book show down in San Diego. Itwas the big deal once a year, andStanley Mouse used to come downthere, came down a couple of times. Hewould air brush t-shirts. And Rick Griffinwas down there with GordonMcClelland, who was representing himat the time. Rick would come downevery year and he'd be at the show.There was actually a little fringe posterthing going on down at the comic bookshow. And so I did a little bit of comicbook stuff down there. And then when Igot out of college in 1976, I actually gota teaching credential too, and I taughtfor 3 months and I said, "Fuck this."You know, it's like nobody cares. Itaught high school. Nobody cared. Theydidn't give a damn. There was a wholebig political thing in the administrationand I said this is not why I'm here. I'mout.I wasn't really interested in doingbusiness. I had always been pretty anti-business, even though I was doing akind of flea market business on the side,anyway. But I had a friend, whograduated business from Berkeley, andhe'd always wanted to have a retailestablishment. And we were going to dokind of a comic books, sportscollectables, posters -- all papercollectables. And he was going to run it,and I was going to travel around andbuy things to bring back and sell. Hehad all these ideas, like we were goingto pipe laughing gas into place, sopeople would be happy when they buythings.And anyway, we spent about 2 or 3months, basically putting everythingtogether, finding a location, figuring outhow to do the financing. And he had likea girlfriend, who just turned 18. He gothooked on her and was gonna' getmarried. She said, "I'm not going to getmarried to a guy who runs a store doingthis kind of stuff." And so he ended uppitching the whole thing and became acommodities worker, which he still is.And after my spending all this time Isaid, "You know, fuck it! I put all thistime into this, I'm just going to do itmyself." And just intuitively I thought,you know, maybe there's a place here.Maybe there's a place in Berkeley. Icould see this place. There's a little, kindof alcove where they have like somelittle tiny stores, off Telegraph Avenue.And I saw it in my mind. And I went overand I looked around and there wasnothing. But there was a door that hadsome plants and a couple of broomsand things sitting there. It was really acloset with a glass door.So I went to the guy at the place nextdoor and said, "Hey, what do they dowith that closet over there?" "Oh, go talkto Willie." So I went down to talk to Willieand I said, "Hey, you know, what aboutthis place here. Can you rent me thisplace?" And he was a really funny guy.He's a Chinese guy. He was probablypushing 70 years old, and he used towear a Chairman Mao cap, and he used
to go around… He hated everybody. He
was like, "I hate niggers, I hate whites, Ihate chinks" -- all this stuff. He said, "Butyou know kid. You're all right. I like you!"[Laughs].And he said, "You got guts man. I'll tellyou what. I'll rent you that place for $50a month." And so I rented this 4 foot by12 foot closet for $50 a month and put acouple portfolios of posters there, putsome comics on the wall, put some

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->