Classic Posters -The Art of Rock by Paul Grushkin
Classic Posters -The Art of Rock by PaulGrushkin
by Michael ErlewineMost fields have at least one indispensablebook, something that every collector has toown. If there is an indispensable book for theconcert-music-poster collector, than it has tothe "The Art of Rock," by Paul Grushkin. Thefact that there is no other book remotelysimilar makes this true by default. But even if there were many competitive books, I cannotimagine there being a better book, moreinformation in a single volume about rockposters, their history and culture, and thewhole collecting scene, in general. Period. Thisis the Muhammad Ali of poster books, the oneand the only, so far.
The Art of Rock by Paul Grushkin
Well-known author Paul Grushkin has somethirty years of experience working withposters, including a stint as archivist for BillGraham Presents, and many years working withWinterland Productions. He was a foundingdirector of the Bay Area Music Archives and theMuseum of Rock and Roll in San Francisco.From my viewpoint, Grushkin's approach isoutstanding for two main reasons, the first isposters, posters, and more images of posters --over 1500 in all. And second is his liberal use of the interview style, real-life quotes and articlesfrom the actual people who made the historythemselves. This makes the book so much morethan just one author's viewpoint. The majorityof the text is in the words of the individualswho created all this, the artist, promoters,printers, collectors -- just about anyone of importance who was on the scene at the time.What there is of the author's commentaryserves to knit all the interviews together,enhancing what is presented.And the book is massive, a very much oversizedvolume (11 x 13 inches) of over 500 pages. Itweighs a ton. The publishing of this booksingle-handedly transformed the world of rockposters and poster collecting. It shows clearlywhat great pieces of art rock posters are. Farmore than just pieces of nostalgia, Grushkin'sbook points out that rock concert posters arenot only important historical documents, butvaluable and collectable pieces of art.The book manages to cover everything from theboxing-style posters from the 1950s all the wayup through the punk and new-wave posters of the late 1980s. Paul Gruskin and poster-guruDennis King are working on a second volume"Art of Modern Rock," due out perhaps as earlyas the Fall of 2003.