Let’s get one thing straight; I really love gig posters. Much like the LP album cover, the artwork created for gig posters is priceless, and has given us some of the finest works of pop culture art. Just look at what folks like Frank Kozik and Dirty Donny have done. It seems like, especially in my town, there’s a real hate on for gig posters on city poles.
An eyesore? Is culture some sort of annoyance to these people? In this little Canadian city of ours, some dude has not only taken it on himself to feverishly remove all gig posters from the poles, but this shithead feels it necessary to replace them with his own posters telling us all how illegal gig posters are. Yeah, there are other ways to advertise, but small local bands can’t afford the big spreads in the city papers; doing so doesn’t even make any sense, as most of the people these bands are trying to attract haven’t picked up those rags in a long time, if ever. Yes, local radio, including the government run public stations do help to promote shows, but they couldn’t possibly mention them all. So, what are small bands trying to get the word out supposed to do?
Well, there is social media, and many bands and promoters use this to get the word out. But, when people are out and about on a Saturday night, roaming around the entertainment districts looking for something to do, nothing beats point of contact advertising. Plus, many of the posters can be considered works of art themselves. Perhaps there is a portion of society that feels this cheapens the look of their neighborhood, but if you live in and around the entertainment district in your city, why would you think postering wouldn’t be happening? Perhaps we need to go back to gluing the posters to poles again. Yeah, that’s right – a little Carnation’s milk and water in a spray gun and Bob’s Your Uncle – shit is glued to the pole.
Taking a quick look back at many of the gig posters I have had created for either my bands or shows I was working on, we took special care to make sure these things looked real good. There were fantastic artists out there that got involved and either created our posters for free or gave us a damn good price on them. This wasn’t just a bunch of scribbles on a page shoved up on a pole to piss off the neighbours, they were real life connections between folks trying to promote artistic culture in our town. So why is there such an uproar now? Why do we have shitheads running around ripping down gig posters almost immediately after they’ve been put up? It infuriates me.
Now, I don’t do much of this anymore, and thank fuck for that. If I had to deal with this right now, I’d either be hunting these idiots down, or I’d probably give up and stop. It makes no sense to put time and effort into something when it is just being sabotaged from all angles. Social media is allowing the word to get out faster and more efficiently than ever. It almost seems useless to spend the time postering when shitheads like this just following along with boxcutters are rip them all down. If you see these assholes, tell them what you think about it. Be careful though, one of them is right fucking nutcase with a boxcutter in his hand. It sickens me that such a great artform and collective cooperation between artists, promoters and musicians is being vilified by a small group of haters. Where would rock and roll be without the great posters from the Fillmore, or the great work of Frank Kozik? Yet again, it’s the tyranny of the majority destroying art, and it’s bullshit. Food for thought. – FATS