Sunday, July 4, 2010

Concert Posters: Real or Fake?

I bought this concert poster a number of years ago from a 1968 performance by the Jackson Five (and a long-forgotten group named Gadget), and I'm pretty sure it's genuine for a number of reasons. First is the battered condition. I'm always suspicious of concert posters in pristine condition. This one shows normal wear and tear, as well as evidence it had been taped up in a store window at some point, as each corner has marks where the paper has been pulled away when it was removed from display.

Second, the description of the Jackson 5 as a group is strong evidence of authenticity. They are cited as "Motown Recording Stars" as they often were in ads from 1968, even though they had not yet started recording for Motown. Most intriguing is the caption "with five musicians and three singers and dancers." The "three singers and dancers" were probably Michael, Marlon, and Jackie, and three of the musicians would have been Jermaine, Tito and Johnny. But who were the other two? I don't think Ronnie had joined the group yet., but even if he had, that still leaves one mystery musician.

Just for comparison, here's an example of a fake concert poster:

There is all kinds of evidence this is fake, the strongest being that Diana Ross had long since left the Supremes to pursue a solo career, not to mention the unlikelihood that she would have taken second billing to her protegees. And the fact that there are, like, a million of these posters for sale on eBay any given week also shows that it is being mass produced for sales to unsuspecting fans. Give me the stained, battered, unillustrated but authentic poster any day.


  1. Also the date ---- when it includes the year (1971) it's probly fake, most posters don't bother to list the year. This blog ROCKS

  2. Just to back you up a bit, j5c, that American Legion Hall is still at that location in Hammond. I grew up about ten miles from there.

    Also, I don't believe there is or ever was a Grand Theater in Gary. There was a Palace Theater in Gar that has long since been abandoned that still has the J5's name on what's left of the marquee.