Rock on at SFO Int’l Airport

Here’s another reason why it’s a good thing when you have a long time to spend at
San Francisco International Airport: the current exhibition of music posters from the late 1960s.

SFO  Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead January 24–26, 1969 Artist: Rick Griffin. Courtesy of Mark Rodriguez –

The posters on view hail from San Francisco from 1966 to 1971, when very cool and now collectible graphic art was produced and printed on handbills and flyers to promote concerts put on by the likes of Bill Graham at the Fillmore and Chet Helms, leader of the Family Dog, which produced concerts at the Avalon Ballroom.

SFO Van morrison

Van Morrison October 20–22, 1967 Artist: Wes Wilson Courtesy of Ron Schaeffer –

Poster artists of the time took inspiration from such varied sources as Art Nouveau masters, advertising art, the art of of hot-rod car culture and, clearly, ‘trips’ they took to far off places.

SFO 13th floor

3th Floor Elevators (Zebra Man) September 30–October 1, 1966 Artists: Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco From the collection of Marilyn and Michael W. Lucas

The exhibit includes more than 150 posters, postcards, handbills tickets and other ephemera on loan from members of the Rock Poster Society and will be on display through March 2015 in the pre-security area of the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby at San Francisco International Airport.

Photos of San Francisco’s Fillmore District at SFO


Carousel/Father & Daughter, 1950 by David Johnson

My buddy Michael Johnson sent me a note last week:

“My dad’s photography work is up at SFO’s international terminal.”

Boy is it!

Not sure why I didn’t know this before, but Michael’s dad is David Johnson. And David Johnson “was the first African American student of Ansel Adams. In Adams’ school, Johnson was advised to photograph his own neighborhood and document the faces and places with which he was most familiar. He subsequently became an important chronicler of black life in San Francisco in the middle part of the 20th century.”


Couple Dancing, SF c.1952; David Johnson

An exhibition of Johnson’s work “San Francisco’s Fillmore District 1940s -1960s”  is at San Francisco International Airport, in Terminal 1, B3-Gate 36 through the end of January.

Go see it.