Monday, 19 May 2014

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, Jimi Hendrix Experience Fillmore Auditorium

As I said in my earlier post about the Hapshash and the Colour Coat poster UFO Coming, I had bought two Hapshash and the Coloured Coat posters in the late 1960's: one of Pink Floyd and the other of Jimi Hendrix:

Jimi Hendrix Experience Fillmore Auditorium (signed by Nigel Waymouth) 1967

It is a really great image and the story is that it was designed for Hendrix and not for the Fillmore concerts it names. Printed on gold paper in 1967 it has some of their favourite Hapshash and the Coloured Coat details: UFOs, mystical and astrological symbols, Mucha-style borders, silhouetted trees, flowers and the dragon from Mucha's poster Lorenzaccio (which was also used on the cover of the mysterious magazine, Albion.) Certainly it represents Hendrix resplendent in native American ('Indian') costume possibly more akin to his thoughts than the Indian artwork inspired cover of his second album Axis: Bold as Love, released in December 1967.

Axis: Bold as Love LP cover

The Mucha dragon looms above the mystical symbols, as it does on the cover of Albion.

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat: Jimi Hendrix detail
Firstly, as in the Albion cover, the all seeing eye in the magical triangle which is surrounded by the Zodiac signs for Cancer and Virgo (which I suspect are the birthsigns of Michael English and Nigel Waymouth) plus the astrological symbol for Jupiter which is, apparently, exalted in Cancer. All this is contained in an arrangement of concentric and sometimes offset circles/ovoids containing various elements, but, importantly, flowers which are repeated in UFO Coming. This circular/ovoid graphic trope is one Hapshash and the Coloured Coat use in other graphics, for example the LP Supernatural Fairy Tales by Art (1967)

Art: Supernatural Fairy Tales

Welcome Cosmic Visitors

which has the added dimension of the zodiac, Save Earth Now and OZ No 13

OZ 13: Catherine and the Wheel of Fire, June 1968

There is a message hiding in the circular motifs to the right of Jimi's leg.

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat secret message

There are some variants of this beautiful poster. One has an adddition of an advertisement for Are You Experienced with the Track Records information.

Also omitted on this variant are the details of the concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium. Are You Experienced was released in May 1967, so this variant must have been produced around this time. The Fillmore concerts were a month or so later, in late June 1967, which would suggest that that version was completed in June or July. One variant of this is shown in High Art by Ted Owen: on page 125 the copy seems to be on green-gold paper and all the blue colour is a much lighter turquoise shade. 

Recently the artwork for this poster was sold and it shows the variant with the Fillmore Auditorium concert dates.

The original artwork

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