Bob Masse Biographical Information
Bob has been into drawing since a child. Born in Burnaby, Canada he had
heated drawing contests with a cousin, seeing who could draw the most Bugs
Bunnies. He taught himself by using Mad Magazine. He would wait for the
magazine to come out and would copy the whole book, drawing characters.
His father being a non believer in allowances got Bob developing the
entrepreneurial spirit that has made Bob successful. As a kid he made
money creating cardboard Santa Clauses and decorating neighbors windows at
Christmas. He also painted pinstriped and flames on cars which invariably
got him into the car shows. There he began making Big Daddy Roth style
monster t-shirts for kids at school. He was a commercial artist at 11
After Bob graduated from High School he went to Art school which was
"...a big party". He became a regular at the local coffee houses and was
soon doing concert posters for the folk acts that came through town. He
was paid with free drinks, tickets and the opportunity to meet the musicians.
A few months into this they were commissioned to do a poster for an up and
coming young hot shot out of New York by the name of Bob Dylan. He wasn't
well known yet and Masse unfortunately got his name wrong advertising for
a Bob Dylon. I imagine this item is quite collectible nowadays!
As folk became folk-rock Vancouver started getting visited by the rock
bands of the day including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Steve
Miller, there was a change in attitude. Bob's posters started getting more
In 1966 Jerry Kruz, manager of the Afterthought and promoter of the
Afterthought Happenings concerts, asked Bob to join him on a 24 hour trip
to San Francisco to complete some business with the Grateful Dead. He was
about to learn about *real* psychedelia! They piled into somebody's
borrowed Mustang and headed south. "So here I am the next day waking up
in Haight Ashbury. It was wild. It was crawling with people. There were
shops all over the place, and everybody had long hair. I hadn't realized
how far behind we were. And everybody was into peace and love, they'd give
you food, they'd give you smokes, they'd give you dope - on the streets!"
Poster art was in full bloom at that time in San Francisco and there
were 2 main venues which produced posters. The Fillmore where Bill Graham
promoted shows and Wes Wilson did the posters and the Family Dog run by
Chet Helms featuring posters by Kelley/Mouse. Bob was influenced heavily
by his visit to San Francisco.
So Bob returned to Vancouver and began applying his newfound influence
to local projects. In this time he did a couple of posters for the
Collectors, a local up and coming group. He was invited to go to Los
Angeles with the idea that he was to do the album cover. The Collectors
were to be in Los Angeles for a couple of months and Bob, having stayed
briefly in a apartment over the Whiskey A Go Go , eventually rented a
suite in Laurel Canyon.
Masse lived the last two years of the 60's in Laurel Canyon. During
this time he got to hang around with the Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & The Holding Company, and
Taj Mahal, among others. He also was producing posters and album covers
during this time.
At the end of 1969 Bob returned to Vancouver and did posters for Moose
Valley Farms and Gassy Jack's among others. Eventually he teamed up with
old friend Pete Matheson and began producing commercial art work. He has
illustrated for McDonalds, The Expo Space Station, CP Air, among others.
He also designed many business logos.
Perhaps most exciting for collectors of concert posters is his plan to
reprint his best posters as limited editions as well as continue to do
concert posters for current touring bands.
On this website you will find both reprints from the 60's and 70's as
well as his current work. We hope you enjoy these images as much as we do.
(Info taken from "Nite Moves" 1/23/91 written by Rob Frith & John
McGlaughlin. I have modified and edited their original article)