Dreams Unreal: The Genesis of the Psychedelic Rock Poster


By Titus O’Brien, published by University of New Mexico Press. $39.95 Book + $6 Shipping (US lower 48 only; call for AK, HI, international rates) = $45.95



The music scene that sprang up across the Bay Area from 1965 to 1970 was energetic, immensely creative, and loudly outspoken. Bands needed theaters to play in, music promoters needed to get the word out about the shows, and a group of talented young artists producing dreamy, free-form work needed a medium of expression. Thus was born the psychedelic rock poster, one of the most explosively inventive, instantly recognizable, and profoundly influential aesthetic movements of the last century. A group of young visual artists provided perfectly trippy visuals to accompany soundtracks by bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, the Doors, and many more. These artists—including Lee Conklin, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Bonnie Maclean, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, Wes Wilson, and others created a new artistic genre: the collectible rock concert poster. Some are household names today while others are largely forgotten, but the poster art that gave visual life to the amazing music lives on in Dreams Unreal.

“Most rewarding are the book’s beautifully printed images. The high-quality color reproductions on heavyweight paper pop off the book’s oversized pages.”—Bruce Austin, New York-Pennsylvania Collector

200 color plates, 50 figs.
Published by University of New Mexico Press in association with the Albuquerque Museum.
9 x 11 in. 392 pages. Hardcover
January 2020