Fred Patterson (Senior Archivist) has a history, a great deal of it in LA. Here are a few of his small posters and handbills from the scene, circa the late 1970s.
Fred says: Back then, practically the only way one could advertise an independently promoted show was by drawing up a poster and circulating it at other people’s gigs. There was no money to have them drawn up to look professional. Press-type was used for a readable font, or it was all hand-drawn, with a photo of the group added. Then it was taken to a copy store and Xeroxed. It helped if the poster had a striking image to attract attention. The great punk rock group Black Flag succeeded with its cool posters with art by Raymond Pettibone (several are here). I drew three of these posters (enlarge + look for the “phast ’79″).
If I were a genius, I would have saved at least one copy of every poster I ever saw–there would be hundreds. Somehow, these survived the years of moving and shuffling things around.