Poster Child

The Psychedelic Art & Technicolor Life of David Edward Byrd


A stunning retrospective on the art and stories behind one of rock ’n’ roll’s most influential cover artists


ISBN: 9781949480405 Category:

David Edward Byrd, Robert von Goeben


Poster Child chronicles the life and art of David Edward Byrd, one of the foremost graphic artists of twentieth-century culture. Told in a deeply personal, strikingly honest conversation with author Robert von Goeben, Byrd shares his journey through sixty years of rock ’n’ roll, theater, and movie artistry. Pioneering iconic visual styles that have come to define rock music, Byrd created posters for concerts and album art for legends such as the Who, Lou Reed, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar, Traffic, Van Halen, the Grateful Dead, Kiss, and Jimi Hendrix—whose kaleidoscopic 1968 poster created for the Jimi Hendrix Experience tour was voted #8 in the Top 25 Rock Posters by Billboard. Byrd went on to design celebrated imagery for Broadway theater hits, including Follies, Godspell, and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. With brutal honesty and raw vulnerability, this stunning retrospective shares the artist’s journey through family trauma, excess, career detours, rehab, and, ultimately, love, success, and recognition.

Additional information

Weight 1572 g
Dimensions 27.9 x 31.1 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 26 October 2023
Number of pages 176
Format Hardback
Contributors Foreword by Marc Myers
Dimensions 27.9 x 31.1 cm
Weight 1572 g


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David Edward Byrd is one of the world’s most renowned graphic artists. His acclaimed music art includes work for the Rolling Stones, the Who, and the Grateful Dead, as well as the original poster for the 1969 Woodstock festival. His 1968 poster for Jimi Hendrix is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He then moved on to Broadway, where he created iconic posters for Follies, Godspell, and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. He was later the art director for Advocate magazine and the senior illustrator at Warner Bros. Consumer Products for twelve years. He has had retrospective shows in Los Angeles, New York, Sarasota, and Seattle. Byrd lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Jolino Beserra, who is a celebrated mosaic artist, and their six four-legged street thugs.

Robert von Goeben has contributed to many publications, including Upside magazine, CNET, HotWired, the Good Men Project, and Bold Italic. He is the author of many books, ranging from lifestyle titles to children’s books. His recent book Deep Cuts is an offshoot of his popular trivia show. A music executive at Geffen Records in the ’90s, he then moved to San Francisco to become a successful investor and entrepreneur. Robert is a professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Marc Myers, a music journalist who regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal, is the author of Why Jazz Happened, Rock Concert: An Oral History, and Anatomy of 55 More Songs. He is also the founder of JazzWax, which is a three-time winner of the Jazz Journalist Association’s best blog award. He lives in New York City.

Jolino Beserra is a master mosaicist whose career was inspired by a summer working on Los Angeles’s renowned Watts Towers. He lives in Los Angeles.