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The Blackbird Posters

Stevie started the band Blackbird during his high school years in Dallas - probably the summer of 1970 when he was fifteen years old. Stevie recalled in interviews that it was when he was fifteen that he quit his job at the Dairy Mart and devoted his life to music. Blackbird is regarded by many to have been Stevie's first professional band. Stevie dropped out of school and the band moved to Austin on December 31, 1971. Stevie left the group in the fall of 1972.

He had been in other bands before Blackbird - The Chantones, Brooklyn Underground, Lincoln, Liberation - but no concert posters from those 1960's childhood bands have surfaced on the market to my knowledge. The Blackbird posters are likely the very first concert posters created by a true poster artist for an SRV band.

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Click on each to see a larger image.

All are 14x22 silkscreen on posterboard by artist Robert A. Burns except number 6. One hundred of each of the Burns posters were created, and they were rarely equaled  from a purely artistic standpoint among all SRV concert posters ever made.  Number 6 by Michael Priest, ink on 11x17 paper, quantity unknown. The quantities known to exist as stated below are those which I have seen in the marketplace. Hopefully there are others in private collections.

First row, left to right:
1. April 9, 1972. The oldest SRV poster known to exist. Copies known to exist: four. One in the fan club president's collection. Notice it also lists Krackerjack, which is the band Stevie joined after Blackbird.
2. May 21, 1972. Copies known to exist: three. One in the fan club president's collection.
3. June 4, 1972. Copies known to exist: two. Also lists Krackerjack. Now in the fan club president's collection.
4. June 5-10, 1972. Copies known to exist: four, though there have been five sales. One in the fan club president's collection. Do you know whose face is in the clouds? It's Rondo Hatton, a favorite actor of the poster artist. In February 2013, one of these poster was auctioned for $1191. That is the best estimate of value for the Burns posters now.

Second row, left to right:
5. July 3-8, 1972. Copies known to exist: three. One in the fan club president's collection (at last!!). The most recent known sale was $1026.
6. July 14,21,28, 1972. Copies known to exist: six or more. One in the fan club president's collection.
7. September 4-9, 1972. The most famous of the Blackbird posters, "The Silver Surfer." Copies known to exist: three. One in the fan club president's collection.
8. Exact date unknown, (May?) 1972. Copies known to exist: three.One in the fan club president's collection.

Thanks to Robert A. Burns for the information on his posters. Poster number 6 copyright Michael Priest; all others copyright Robert A. Burns. 

Please contact me if you can provide corrections or additions to this information.

  Robert A. Burns was the art director for several films, including the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He was a world authority on actor Rondo Hatton, and a noted genealogist. He took his own life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 60. Burns was known for his wry and irreverent humor, which he displayed when saying goodbye to friends on his website, www.robert-a-burns.com. "I've never understood why people would stay in the theater after it became obvious that the rest of the movie would not be enjoyable," Burns wrote. "Due to physical and psychological reasons too tedious to bore anyone with, it became obvious that the rest of my movie would not be enjoyable, so I left the theater (me and Elvis, you know.)"