It was 40-yrs ago today when The Band took the stage for the 1st time known as The Band. Ironically, it actually marked the halfway point of the five band members (Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel & Garth Hudson) as they had been performing together as The Hawks (w/ & w/ out Ronnie The Hawk Hawkins & Bob Dylan's back up band several years prior to officially becoming The Band.
The Band had just finished recording its self-titled Brown Album (predominantly in LA) & promotor Bill Graham & The Band mgr Albert Grossman lined up a multi-night live session @ Fan Fran's Winterland (the same venue for The Band's last official live performance The Last Waltz).
Winterland has since been torned down, but The Band's music has lasted the test of time. Artist Randy Tuten created the concert's poster (as shown above). He recently told us that the original poster is hanging in a friend's residence. Check out famed Woodstock, NY photog Elliott Landy's pics from the moments leading up to The Band hitting the stage April 17, 1969, including the hypnotism of Robertson who fell ill prior to the shows.
Youtube.com has some of the live performance from '69, but no video footage.