Brian Howard with the poster he designed for the 1963 concert in Epsom, top. As he looked when, as the 19-year-old rock promoter he signed the Rolling Stones to play the concert for £60, centre, and, right, the photograph that all the band signed for him on the night they played, December 14, 1963.
When Brian Howard, a local music promoter, booked an all but unknown band at Epsom Baths Hall in December 1963, he thought he was taking a risk paying them as much as £60 for the concert.
Instead, it was a sell-out and he found himself in at the beginning of what was to prove one of the two best-known and successful bands in Rock and Pop history: The Rolling Stones.
Now, 50 years on, Brian is finally selling the original advertising poster he designed himself for the gig, and it will go under the hammer at Fernhurst, Sussex, auctioneers John Nicholson on Friday, December 13.
The showpiece of a vintage collection that also features memorabilia linked to The Beatles, Georgie Fame and Doctor Who, the poster marks a moment in time when the Stones were on the cusp of super stardom and about to release their first hit single, ‘C’mon’.
Brian recalls: “I booked them a few months before they’d released their first record and although I always signed bands that were ‘on the up’ and likely to make it big, it was a big risk at the time.”
He added: “It turned out that my biggest success was in signing The Stones. Their Saturday night fee was £60 – £70 – they’ve done rather better since then! When I arrived at The Hall that evening, Saturday, December 14, there was a crowd of about 500 waiting for tickets! It was a complete sell-out.”
Brian is also selling a photograph of the band, autographed by every member on the night of the concert, including guitarist Brian Jones who died in 1969.
Brian, who is pictured here today with the landmark poster, as well as at the time of booking the Stones in 1963, is looking forward to the viewing on December 9 at the auctioneers prior to the sale.
That £60 he paid in 1963 would be worth just over £1000 today, so if he makes the £5000 estimate for the poster, it would certainly prove to have been a sound investment.