Home > Early Memorabilia > Posters of Rock

Posters of Rock

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 25 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 

Posters from the 1950s are eminently desirable to collectors of rock memorabilia. Concert posters in particular, can command high prices, with those of Alan Freed’s groundbreaking package tours (the first time black and white musicians shared a rock stage) particularly collectable. Concert posters are understandably rare (although you can find reproductions for sale), since so few have survived. Far more available, but still not exactly cheap, are rock movie posters and lobby cards from the era. They’re more plentiful, but still not exactly common items after all this time.

However, to really have any value, the posters need to be in very good or mint condition, although rarer ones in good condition will still sell. An excellent lobby card for the film The Girl Can’t Help It, which featured several 1950s rockers, sells for £175, with a poster for the same movie going for £300. That might seem high for a mere poster, but still quite reasonable for a piece of rock memorabilia, especially one that can be displayed (although, if you’re having any old posters framed, consult a professional framer first to make sure it’s done properly).

What to Look For

The most valuable concert posters are dated ones, advertising a specific show. However, they should only have the day and month of the gig. If they include the year, you know it’s a fake. Generic tour posters are still collectable, although much easier to fake, so you need to establish they’re real before parting with your money.

If you can find a poster advertising an early gig by a star, before they became famous, it’s going to be worth a lot more if you ever re-sell. Many 1950s concert posters are extremely plain, mostly black type with perhaps a black-and-white photo or a name highlighted in red. If you can find real posters of early Elvis gigs in Memphis or as part of the Louisiana Hayride, you’ve discovered a goldmine.

Why Collect Posters?

Posters are still the relatively cheap items in terms of early rock memorabilia, and the rarer ones will undoubtedly go up in value. They’re often easy to store (although you need to take precautions to ensure there’s no deterioration, since older ones are printed on cheap paper), which can be a huge plus if you’re amassing a large collection.

Movie Posters

Concert posters might be rare and expensive, but you can purchase movie posters quite easily. Since so many early rockers made films, this crosses the boundary between rock memorabilia and movie memorabilia.

Curiously, posters for American rock movies go for much more than those for British films. A poster for Expresso Bongo, one of the major British rock films of the time, can be found for less than £25.00 – perhaps because the American films are better known and held in higher regard (Americans have little respect for early British rock, seeing it as a pale imitation). So, if you’re really looking for investment items, go for the American films.

Some, like Don’t Knock the Rock from 1957, can bring £300.00, with an Elvis Jailhouse Rock poster being sold for £375.00. In other words, it’s a very nice market – not too expensive, but one that’s going to grow. Although you’re unlikely to become rich from collecting 1950s posters, the continual slow rise in value means you’ll turn a profit

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • mcan15
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    Before I throw them away, Is a 1995 & 1996 calendar of any interest plus a large badge from same time?
    5 September 2019
  • UncleBobL
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    I have a arge collection of Take That Fan mags that my daughter left behind when she moved out 25 years ago. Currently downsizing is there…
    19 July 2019
  • Jo-Jo
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    I have a signed tshirt, all 5 members from the 1992 tour at Bradford St George's hall. The shirts were signed & thrown off stage, also…
    15 April 2019
  • Jenjen
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    Hi I have a authenticated signed print from Take Thats Pray video on the beach in immaculate condition.... anyone habe an idea of value…
    17 September 2018
  • jan
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    i have all 5 signatures on their stage lighting plan for a concert i went to at Hammersmith Apollo. i think early 90s. i was also given a…
    22 July 2018
  • Jon Limbret
    Re: 1960s Magazines
    You can try asking beatchapter. They buy and sell all sorts of music magazines including nme melody maker disc sounds etc. But they do not list…
    30 May 2018
  • Mary Hagood
    Re: 1960s Tickets and Passes
    I have 1 Suffolk downs Beatles ticket unused white and 1 blue..i would like to sell them ASAPl
    20 May 2018
  • Jemma Bee
    Re: 1970s Clothing
    Hi there, I work in a charity shops and we have been donated a signed George Melly tie. Please could you advise on the value of this and where it…
    9 May 2018
  • Rach
    Re: Take That Memorabilia
    Hi, I’ve came across an old take that locket necklace in a black pouch and a watch (without the strap) they are both in excellent…
    5 January 2018