Item #1481 Collection of Showbills & Ephemera Concerning Influential Seattle Band the U-Men. PUNK UNDERGROUND -- Posters.
Collection of Showbills & Ephemera Concerning Influential Seattle Band the U-Men

Collection of Showbills & Ephemera Concerning Influential Seattle Band the U-Men

Seattle and Portland: The U-Men, Various. First Edition. A significant ephemera collection consisting of 13 showbills and announcements for influential Seattle underground band the U-Men. Dates range from 1982 - 1985. Of the ephemera, eight items are showbills designed to be stapled to telephone poles; three of those are offset, one is silk-screened with embellishment by hand ("blood" drips on the poster supporting the Cramps) and the balance are photocopies.

All but two shows were in Seattle, the non-Seattle venues were Community World Theater, Tacoma, and the Satyricon, Portland, OR. The show supporting the Cramps was canceled (as was the entire Cramps tour). One poster (a show with the Gun Club) is custom framed in black steel molding. (This poster appears on p. 97 of Instant Litter Posters from Seattle Punk Culture by Art Chantry (Real Comet Press, 1985). One handbill promoting a live performance is printed on a "barf bag" and the other handbill advertises the release of the band's first record, the first to be released on Bombshelter Records. An eight-page newsletter from Bombshelter Records (May 1984) announcing the release the U-Men record is also included. Condition: One poster, promoting the U-Men in a show with Johanna Went and a Target Video production, suffers slight loss at upper left corner, and the Community World Theater poster has old creases and a closed 3" tear. Generally Very Good, with staple holes on all but three of the posters.

. Very Good. Item #1481

A vital and now-mythologized Seattle post-punk combo that inspired the grunge movement, the U-Men were stylistically unto themselves. As inspired by 1960s garage-band titans the Sonics or Don Van Vleet, they were equally influenced by Alfred Jarry's innovations in theater.

Shows were performative as well as aural, presenting a visual equivalent of agit-prop while channeling Tristan Tzara absurdism. The frenzy that erupted at live shows led to the unprecedented canceling of 13 consecutive shows, compelling the band to perform under assumed names, such as MiG Moto and the Ubangi Sound Shapists or, in a poster in this collection, The Omen.

With limited opportunities in Seattle, the band blazed a fresh trail to points east, becoming the first band from Seattle's underground to tour the US. That was prior to the established circuit of clubs, so the band, traveling in a pink school bus emblazoned Tacoma Hillbillies, relied on DIY spirit in cities between Seattle and New York, thence Texas and Southern California. Bombshelter Records issued only the U-Men record before the label dissolved. Business partners Russ Battaglia and Bruce Pavitt then formed Fallout Records. Pavitt soon departed to transition his indie-cassette/fanzine, Subterranean Pop, into Subpop Records, while Battaglia established his record store-skate shop as a Seattle indie institution. Of the internationally known bands that emerged during the grunge explosion, every single combo cites the U-Men as a significant influence.

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Price: $450.00