The Archive of Chet Helms
Now available for purchase are The Family Dog archives and personal collections of Chet Helms. The archives include: Rock 'n’ Roll memorabilia at large, rare concert posters, handbills, banners, t-shirts, jackets, show programs, signed record albums, original Family Dog contracts for concerts in the 1960s, Family Dog memorabilia, drawings, paintings, and photographs, as well as Tribal Stomp related ephemera that were accumulated during Chet’s lifetime in San Francisco. The archives include everything he collected relating to the 1960s counter culture: literature, current events, publications, videos, artifacts, interviews, etc. His archives also include many of Chet’s personal photographs from the early days to shortly before his death.
The archives reveal the historic legacy of the cultural revolution that took place in San Francisco and helped spawn a new consciousness. As the promoter of The Family Dog, Chet helped develop the concept of the modern rock concert, and was one of the founding fathers of the 1960s 'Peace' and 'Equality for All' movements that swept the nation and the world. Chet was also brought together Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, which helped shape the San Francisco Sound. Many have said that without Chet Helms, there would be no Grateful Dead, no Jefferson Airplane, no Big Brother and the list goes on. He promoted other acts like the Charlatans, the Great Society, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Peter Tosh, The Clash and countless others. Chet Helms continued promoting catalyzing concerts throughout the 1960s at the Fillmore Auditorium, Winterland, the Avalon Ballroom, Family Dog on the Great Highway, Family Dog in Denver (Denver Dog), and Family Dog at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland. Overall, he promoted more than 600 concerts.
Chet promoted a Family Dog Revival concert, the Tribal Stomp at the Greek Theatre in 1978, and another monumental three day concert event in Monterey in 1979, The Tribal Stomp in Monterey. The archives include the ‘Tribal Stomp’ sign that was positioned over the door of the Family Dog office at 18th and Missouri Streets on Potrero Hill between 1978 -1979.
Chet was one of the principal promoters of the event, ‘The 30 Year Anniversary of the Summer of Love’ in 1997, which took place in the meadows behind the Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park. Posters and handbills from the event are included in the estate.