The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk
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The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk [Hardcover]

Paul D. Grushkin
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 16, 1987
From the 1950s through today, here is the complete visual history of the rock concert poster: the funkiest bills advertising Elvis, B.B. King, and Howlin' Wolf; the multicolored psychedelic hallucinations promoting the Grateful Dead, Dylan, and the Doors; the deliciously tasteless art for the Sex Pistols, Crime, and the Clash. From the Red Dog Saloon in San Francisco, where the psychedelic scene started, to CBGB, New York's punk Mecca, and beyond. 1,500 images searched out world-wide from clubs, attics, and bedrooms—as well as more formal collections—are reproduced in their original blazing colors.
Replete with firsthand history—including exclusive interviews with scores of insiders, poster artists, musicians, and promoters—this is the ultimate high for the rock music fan, required reading for the poster collector, a treasure trove for the graphic artist, and a riotous feast for anyone who digs pop culture.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Art of Rock: Posters from Presley to Punk + Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion + The Art of Classic Rock: Rock Memorabilia, Tour Posters, and Merchandise
Price for all three: $134.18

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This is a miniature edition of the full-sized title. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press (October 16, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896595846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896595842
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 10.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential guide to rock poster art! July 1, 2005
Bought it several years ago and I can't think of a book that i've refered back to as often as this. The in-depth coverage of the artrock scene is superb. It is epecially in-depth on the psychedelic era of the sixties when posters were in their renaissance.

CAVEAT EMPTOR!: Make sure you get the full size version NOT the pocket sized edition! Pocket size is nice but you will definately want the FULL SIZE version.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I know how good this book is my name is in it December 9, 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Back in the 60's I designed a rock poster that is now a collecters item. Very few people ever knew who designed it. I found the poster and my name on page 258 and in the credits he lists me as the artist. This man did his homework. If I'm there then he got the rock art scene covered down to the finest detail. Some of my oldest friends are only now discovering the poster from 1969 and what I created 35 years after the fact. It is my newest history book.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book - but buy the BIG version December 13, 2004
By Keith
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book - bought because of a recommendation of a "rock poster society" ( member. Just be aware that there is a "mini" version that makes a great stocking stuffer, but it's not the full size original. So, if you're paying $10 for a hardcover version online, assume it's the mini, not the $50 version, and you won't be disappointed.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a rip off August 26, 1998
By A Customer
I wish I saw the previous review before I bought this book, because let me tell you, it is 100% accurate. This book is a piece of trash; it's completely worthless. The whole point of this book is to show off this beautiful art and how can you do that on a 4 inch page? While paging through this book I pratically felt sick for spending the money on it, and also because of the disgrace it makes of the original. Please, don't make the same mistake I did; Don't waist your money on this book. Seek out an original in a used book store. It will probably cost quite a bit, but it's worth it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard-Cover CLASSIC! Paperback RIPOFF! August 19, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Art of Rock (or AOR to rock concert poster enthisiasts) is a classic work that every collector must have. The hard-cover, now out of print, is a much-sought-after reference book with wonderful illustrations.
In contrast, the paperback "reprint" is tiny in size and almost useless except for generating revenue for a publisher that misleads buyers into thinking that this is a faithful reproduction of the original. It isn't. Don't waste your money on the paperback. Search used-book sources for the original hardcover. The time it tales you to find it is well rewarded with superb illustrations of classic graphic artists of rock concerts in the 60's and 70's.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grushkin Great August 15, 2003
This is absolutely the most comprehensive collection of poster art celebrating rock n' roll. Whether thumbing thru and glancing at the artwork, or carefully reading the history behind each piece, it is a thoroughly enjoyable book. DON'T buy the paperback version of the book, as the images are a great deal smaller, and not near as magnificent as the hardcover edition.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars can you say zero stars November 20, 2003
I was unaware this "book" is only 4x5 inches.Kind of defeats the purpose of looking at posters.
Man, what a rip off. The type on some of the "posters" is so small,that you will need a magnifying glass to read what band it is for.
Don't waste your money
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very late-60s-San-Francisco heavy November 2, 2005
When this book came out in the 80s, it made a huge splash and it was the first book of its kind. It was a bestseller despite its size and expense and everybody had to have it. But I felt cheated by the subtitle (From Presley to Punk) because it's probably more than 75% Bill Graham-era psychedelic 60s posters. The earlier and later stuff felt tacked-on, with limited examples and little perspective. The author should have stuck to his strengths, or done more research. As it is, this book is obviously fantastic if you're interested in the west coast 60s music scene, but kind of a disappointment if you're looking for an overall history of the rock poster.

(this is a review of the original hardcover version, the paperback might be different)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what you think it is!!!
I have the original " The Art of Rock" and this one here I ordered to give a new copy to a friend and to my surprize when it came was a small book with out all the posters... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Toney O. Burkhart
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock Posters
Am illustrator/artist myself, so I bought it for a historical perspective on the unique illustration styles of the '60s Rock Era. Very well organized.
Published 4 months ago by tekenaar
2.0 out of 5 stars Careful!!
These 4" versions of this book are useless...make sure it's not the mini version when you buy's way too tiny to properly display the posters of this era...
Published 5 months ago by Crown Pimp
1.0 out of 5 stars Read description carefully.
This book is tiny. Like a gag book. A book for little mice people. Get out the magnifying glass! Very disappointing.
Published 8 months ago by nick clay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for the original
I bought this when it was first published back in 1987. The original edition is 11" x 13" and about 2 inches thick. I estimate it weighs about 15 pounds. Read more
Published 9 months ago by TLR
5.0 out of 5 stars Great pocket version
Supplement to the big book, this pocket version has many of the more recognizable posters. I am a poster collector and this is very neat pocket book.
Published 10 months ago by Craig
1.0 out of 5 stars error
be careful when ordering. I ended up with the small version when I thought I ordered the larger version. See how many people are saying the same thing.
Published 10 months ago by Michael Pavilaitis
5.0 out of 5 stars Outta Sight!
Large oversized pages and hundreds of color illustrations make this purchase worthwhile at double the reasonable price charged. Read more
Published 10 months ago by The Old Hippie
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awesome
Awesome book..I love the Fillmore Posters, this book brings back good memories. I grew up in the 60's and lsitened to all these bands.
Published 12 months ago by Barbara M Novobilski-Klein
1.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Rock
The Art of Rock is actually a decent book, only I sure didn't know it was printed in a 3"X3" format... I sure wouldn't have bought it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by James B. Felix
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