Michael English, left and Nigel Waymouth, center, with Guy Stevens.
This collection of posters was created mostly by a pair of artists known collectively as 'Hapshash and the Coloured Coat'. In addition there are posters by other artists printed by the Osiris agency. They are mostly for music venues and events around London in 1967, but there are a number of one-off shop and gallery posters. The entire set consists of approximately 45 different images. Most are the standard UK poster size of 20 x 30 but a few are of different dimensions. The available information on these posters is gathered from the following key sources.
All images displayed on this page are the posters in my collection, except those marked as WANTED, which I am still looking to acquire. Please offer. Some of the posters are framed and matted.
Late in 1966 the London underground newspaper International Times held a launch party for their new paper. After the success of that event the promoters opened their own underground club, the UFO. Upon learning that other clubs in the US were printing posters for their events, they decided that this was a necessity for their events as well. In early 1967 Michael English was introduced to Nigel Waymouth and the two agreed to work together designing posters for these promoters. The two first chose the name 'Cosmic Colors', but produced only one poster under that name. Next they chose the name 'Jacob and the Coloured Coat', but produced only two posters using that name. In about March of 1967 the settled on 'Hapshash and the Coloured Coat', the name by which they are best known. Around the time that the two began working together the International Times formed an off shoot company to handle it's poster design and printing for the UFO club and others, it's name was Osiris Visions. Included in this series of posters are a few that the various artists did before Osiris Agency was formed. Also included are a few posters by artists other than English and Waymouth. Most notably Martin Sharp, Mike McInnerney and Greg Irons. Osiris lasted until the fall of 1968 when the demand for all things psychedelic had completely dried up. Osiris numbered their posters in five different series using a variety of numbering schemes (including omitting one or several numbers at a time).
OSIRIS VISIONS POSTER SERIES
The Osiris 100 Series
OA101 The Soft Machine Turns On. Promo poster for the band circa 1967.
OA102 Tomorrow/My White Bicycle. Promo poster for Parlophone records circa March 1967.
OA103 Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore Auditorium. Not an official Fillmore poster. Supposedly Hendrix commissioned it himself. There is a very rare version of this poster that omits the Fillmore details, and in the bottom right hand corner refers to the Are You Experienced? album with the Track Record logo and catalog number. Pictured here is the extremely rare Track records promo poster.
OA104 UFO Coming. June,1967.
OA105 Legalise Pot Rally. July 16,1967. By Mike McInnerney. This poster exists in at least two versions. The earlier one lacks the OA number.
OA106 Welcome Cosmic Visitors. 1967.
OA107 The Move at the UFO club. May 26, 1967. This Poster is credited as Jacob and the Coloured Coat
OA108 The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. There are two color variants of this poster, both are shown.
OA109 The Move at the Marquee. July 11, 1967. Artist: Michael English.
OA110 UFO Club July 10, 1967. There are two distinctly different variations of this poster, both shown here. I much prefer the gold through light blue silkscreen variant.
OA111 Unknown. Number probably not used.
OA112 The Soft Machine Turns On. Either a reprint or number reallocation of OA101.
OA113 Art/What's That Sound? Circa May 1967.
OA114 CIA-UFO July 28, 1967. Pink Floyd at the CIA-UFO Club. July 28, 1967.
OA115 Hung On You. A promo poster for a hip King's Road clothing boutique. Rare. This particular poster was the plate poster for the book High Art, by Ted Owen.
OA116 Save Earth Now. An early ecological poster.
OA117 The Mothers of Invention at the Royal Albert Hall, September 23, 1967.
OA118 The 5th Dimension, Leicester, September 1967.
OA119 Unknown Number. Number probably not used.
OA120 Dantalian's Chariot at the Roundhouse, September 22, 1967. Artist: Martin Sharp. Rare.
OA121 Jazz at the Roundhouse. Mike McInnerney, September 1967. Designed by OM Tentacle who was comprised of both Mike McInnerney and Dudley Edwards Very Scarce.
OA122 Unknown Number. Number probably not used.
OA123 The Who, I Can See For Miles. Circa October 1967. Track Records promo poster for the band.
OA124 Richard Bernstein Gallery, Amsterdam.
OA125 & 126 Unknown Numbers.
OA127 Incredible String Band at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, October 4, 1967.
OA128 Unknown Number.
OA129 Fairport Convention. Promo poster for the band, circa December 1967. Artist: Greg Irons.
OA130 & 131. Unknown Numbers. Probably not used.
OA132 Incredible String Band/ Mystical Pantomimes. March 1968. Tour poster various venues.
OA133 Unknown Number. Probably not used.
OA134 Julie Felix at the Royal Albert Hall. April 18, 1968.
The Osiris 200 Series
OA201 UFO, Love Festival. February 10, 1967. Artist: Michael English. (WANTED)
OA202 UFO, MK2. March 1967. Artist: Michael English (WANTED)
It is believed that there are only two posters in the 200 Series.
The Osiris 300 Series
OA301 Luv Me. Promo poster for Luv Me Film Productions. 1967. Artist Credit: Jacob and the Coloured Coat. Also Exists without an OA number.
OA??? Tomorrow, My White Bicycle. Promo poster for Parlophone records for the release of the album, stock number R-5397. Artist Credit: Jacob and the Coloured Coat. I have included this poster in the 300 series due to the artist credit of Jacob and the Coloured Coat even though it is not numbered. Like the Luv Me poster, this one measures approximately 12 X 20. These two posters are the only one to use that credit. Extremely Rare. This poster was the plate poster for the book High Art, by Ted Owen.
OA 302 & 303. Unknown Numbers. Probably not used.
OA304 Zappa on the Toilet. Offset. 1967.
OA305 Jimi Hendrix and the Move at the Royal Albert Hall. Offset. November 14, 1967.
OA306 Incredible String Band in Glasgow. Offset. Late 1967 or early 1968.
OA 307 Leap Year. Offset. 1968. Photo of naked girl leapfrogging over naked boy.
The OAS series. Brian Epstein presents: Sunday at the Saville. All are by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat and all are offset.
OAS1 Jimi Hendrix Experience, and others. August 27, 1967.
OAS2 Traffic, and others. September 17, 1967.
OAS3 Jimi Hendrix Experience, and others. October 1, 1967.
OAS4 The Who, and others. October 15, 1967.
The Osiris 400 Series.
OA401 Hapshash and the Coloured Coat. Double size silkscreen to promote the first album by the same name. Hapshash also designed the album sleeve.
There was only one poster in the 400 series.
The Osiris 500 Series.
OA501 Arthur Brown. Offset, 1967. Designer unknown. Black and white photograph with colored eyes.
OA502 Jimi Hendrix. Offset, 1967. Track Records promo poster. Black and white photograph. The originals of this poster are printed on a newsprint type of stock where as the bootlegs are printed on a glossy stock.
OA503 Che Guevara. Offset, 1967. Designer unknown. Black and white photograph.
There were only three items in the 500 series.
The Osiris 600 Series.
OA601 Unknown Number.
OA602 Buy Granny Takes a Trip and Join the Brain Drain. Poster promoting Waymouth's clothing boutique, Granny Takes a Trip. Silkscreen, 1968.
There was only one poster in the 600 series.
Other Hapshash Related Pieces
In addition to the Osiris series of posters listed above Michael English, Nigel Waymouth and collaboratively Hapshash and the Coloured coat also created artwork for the following diverse group of items.
This lovely poster was created to advertise the March and April, 1968 calendar at the Middle Earth Club, a London nightclub of the era. It featured performances by The Family, The Nice, The Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Soft Machine, Fairport Convention, Julie Driscoll and John Mayall's Blues Breakers. The reason it is not included in the above poster series is because it was printed by a printer other than Osiris/TSR and is not numbered as part of their series. The poster is far scarcer than most of the Osiris series of posters. Art is by Michael English after Hapshash and the Colored Coat.
This poster by Hapshash and the Colored Coat was for the First International Pop Festival held in Rome, Italy from May 4th through the 10th, 1968. This was done after the Osiris Series of posters and was printed by different printers on a glossy stock. Art is by Michael English.
This incredibly scarce poster was for a show at the Middle Earth Club August 24-25, 1968. The design duo of Hapshash and the Colored Coat produced this item as well using the background art for the Rome Pop Festival above and then adding in all of the new details. The bands that played this affair included Traffic, The Incredible String Band, The Pretty Things, Fairport Convention, and not to be left out The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. This is the only copy I have ever seen.
Pictured on the left is a poster for the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream, an event held on April 29th, 1967 to raise legal funds for the International Times newspaper. Although The Who were billed earlier as appearing, only Pete was at the event. Pictured on the right is an enlargement of the performer list. Again, these come in a variety of colors due to the printing technique used. Art is by Michael McInnerney.
This poster was designed by Adrian George, another prominent artist of the period and occasional collaborator with Osiris Visions. to be included in the Who album " The Who Sell Out " as a pin up poster. In practice, they were included in only the first either 500 or 1000 copies of the UK Mono version of the LP. This LP is quite scarce with the original poster.
This is a tour program for Julie Felix's tour in 1967 by Hapshash and the Coloured Coat. Shown on the left is the folded out cover. Shown in the middle and on the right are two of the interior pages.
Hapshash and the Coloured Coat designed the front and back cover of this pocketbook sized edition entitled "Love, Love, Love, The New Love Poetry". First Published in 1967 by Corgi books. This is a book of poetry compiled by Pete Roche.
Issue # 1 of the UK underground magazine Albion with front and back cover artwork by Hapshash and the Colored Coat from May of 1968.
A rare original promotional flyer for the Purple Gang's 1967 single 'Granny Takes a Trip'.
The fabulous artwork was designed by Nigel Waymouth.
The Purple Gang peaked in one of the most important years in contemporary music history, indeed they rubbed shoulders with 1967ís hierarchy.
Originating from the Northern outpost of Stockport they managed to grab the attention of Joe Boyd (he of Pink Floyd, Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention et al fame) and one of 1967ís important scene makers and they were to be heard in the all important 1967 hangout the UFO club.
Thanks to Alexander at Briggs Posters for the background.
Although not Hapshash related this poster was just too 60's to pass up.
Bootleg and Reproduction Hapshash Posters
At present, there are a number of Hapshash and Osiris posters around that are, IN MY OPINION, bootlegs. That is, they have been created well after 1967 and likely in the late 1990's in order to sell to an unsuspecting and unknowing public. These posters all have the following traits listed below, but the most obvious and telling trait is that they seem brand new, like they were made yesterday, (which they probably were). These are available from a variety of sources on e-bay as well as occasionally in the traditional auction house market although I've noticed that most of the reputable houses are no longer selling them.
The bottom line on these posters is that unless you are an expert yourself, or are incredibly sure of where a particular poster has been for the last 40 years you should assume that the poster you are buying is a bootleg. This holds especially true of posters bought on E-bay.
UPDATE JUNE 2004: Well there seems to be some contention on the matter of whether or not these posters in the market really are bootlegs. I have been contacted by one Philip Townsend of the UK who claims that they are in fact "real". As far as I can tell he is the person who supplies the E-bay sellers and local record shops. He has been unable to provide any evidence to back up his claim other than to say that "he was right and I am wrong". HIS story is that they came from the daughter of the printer. He did however let on that were 7000 pieces that had been printed up and were available in "as new" condition to this day. So, whether or not they were printed in the 80's or the 90's they are now really worthless. With 7000 available spread over a dozen or so images that ought to make them worth about 10 Pounds each or so. If they could find a buyer. My recommendation if you are interested in purchasing these is to hold off, as they will get cheaper.
Click here to see the e-mails from Phillip Townshend regarding the authenticity of same. I've let him tell his side of the story via his own e-mails to me.
UPDATE APRIL 2007:
Click here to see renowned dealer Jeff Gold of Recordmecca in Los Angeles' comments on these posters from April of 2007. Jeff has 35 years of experience dealing in rock memorabilia and posters.
MY ORIGINAL OPINION STANDS HOWEVER, THESE POSTERS WERE NOT PRODUCED IN THE 1960's. Period.
Following is a list of the posters in this group that have been bootlegged:
Brown OA 500 Series
5th Dimension Leicester
Move at the Marquee
Richard Bernstein Gallery
The double size Pink Floyd at the UFO club is printed on the same paper stock as
some of the others, that is: one side is plain white matte paper and the other
is a semi gloss or "waxie" texture. What are the odds that the same
paper stock would be used on a poster from 1967 and another from a couple of
10. The other key method to determining a bootleg from an original is to see how many layers of ink there are, or how many print runs were required to print the poster. On the originals you can clearly see where one layer of ink ends and another starts or overlaps it. On the bootlegs it looks like the colors are all part of the same print run with no depth or layering.
Pictured on the left is the back of an original Julie Felix poster, OA 134. Pictured on the right is the back of one of the recent bootlegs. Although it is a little difficult to distinguish in a digital picture, there is a marked difference between the original pictured on the left and the recent bootleg pictured on the right. When laid next to each other the original has a mellowed yellow/cream color to it while the bootleg has a bleached, bright incredibly white look.
Here is a good example of the real vs. the bootleg. Pictured on the left is a real Julie Felix OA 134. Pictured on the right is the modern bootleg. Notice that the colors on the bootleg are more muted and that some of the fine details have been lost. Also, when looking closely at the bootleg you can see a very fine over spray of some of the ink colors. In other words there are fine dots of pink in the black or vice versa. This does not occur on the real ones and is one of the key identifying characteristics of the bootlegs.
This OA 109 The Move at the Marquee Club is an obvious reproduction. The key to distinguishing between the real ones and the originals on these is the overspray of colors on the bootlegs. If you look closely you can see tiny bits of silver in the green or green in the silver etc. etc. In addition the paper color on the back is snow white in color.
This bootleg of a Michael English poster for the Pink Floyd at the UFO Club predates his work with Hapshash and the Colored Coat and the Osiris series of posters. The bootlegs on this poster can be distinguished by their incredibly bright white paper as well as being printed on paper that has a "waxie" texture on one side.
Characteristics of a REAL Pink Floyd OA 114.
The following pictures and text are from an E-bay auction of a REAL Pink Floyd at the CIA-UFO club. This item appeared for sale by Jeff Gold of Recordmecca in Los Angeles in April of 2007. I have copied it with his permission as his photos and description are excellent.