In honor of the late Dave Shelton, this week we’re featuring a gig poster from a 1987 show at the legendary Sheffield Avenue location of his club Medusa’s. Artist Rob Schwager lived in Chicagoland back then, and created this image for a packed bill featuring punk bands the Meatmen, Straw Dogs, and Rights of the Accused alongside rockers Redd Kross.
Schwager is now based in Florida, and he told me through e-mail that he wishes he’d held onto every flyer he made back in the day. When he still lived here, his passion for live music found an outlet via his professional life as well. “I used to work security at the Metro during the 90s, and also designed and hand-printed some gig posters for shows there and at Double Door,” he writes. “I did the work under the name ‘Trucker.'”
Some of the posters that Schwager made during this period are featured in the 2004 book Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion, edited by Paul Grushkin and Dennis King. We’re thankful to him for allowing us to post this blast from the past in tribute to the eclectic programming that made Medusa’s such a thriving and exciting community.
We continue to accept submissions of fantasy gig posters (for a show from the past, or one you think should’ve happened). To participate, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact information, and your original design or drawing (you can attach a JPG or PNG file or provide a download link). We won’t be able to publish everything we receive, but we’ll feature as many as possible while the pandemic continues. Your submission can also include a nonprofit, fundraiser, or action campaign that you’d like to bring to the attention of our readers. We’re also always happy to hear about gig posters for current shows, whether in-person or livestreamed; e-mail us at the same address.
Not everybody can make a fantasy gig poster, of course, but it’s simple and free to take action through the website of the National Independent Venue Association–click here to tell your representatives to save our homegrown music ecosystems. And anybody with a few bucks to spare can support the out-of-work staffers at Chicago’s venues–here’s our list of fundraisers. Lastly, don’t forget record stores! The Reader has published a list of local stores that will let you shop remotely.
ARTIST: Rob Schwager
GIG: Meatmen, Redd Kross, Straw Dogs, and Rights of the Accused at Medusa’s on Sunday, June 14, 1987
ARTIST INFO: Tiny Bird Press
FUNDRAISER TO KNOW: Medusa’s shirts, masks, and posters are available for sale on Etsy. Proceeds will go toward the expenses associated with Dave Shelton’s memorial service (on Saturday, August 22) as well as to an animal-focused charity being created in his name.