In Memoriam: Pop Artist Dave Roe

International Times, August 1970



I’ve just received the extremely sad news that Dave Roe (known more recently as David Fairbrother-Roe) passed away last year. Dave was the artist in residence for all three original Isle of Wight festivals and created their outstanding visual identities. With much more than advertising, PR and promotional material, he imbued the occasions with his unique sense of fun and zany Scouse humour. 

We originally met Dave through my brother, Bill, at the Royal College of Art. During the festivals he was an item with our sister, Jo. Our events would never have been the same without him. Dear old Bean, as he was always known to us. R.I.P. Your contribution to the Isle of Wight Festivals will live on as long as the music.

Ray Foulk
Co-Promoter, Isle of Wight Festivals 1968, 1969, 1970












Montage: Claire Palmer


David Fairbrother-Roe was a Liverpudlian illustrator. He studied at the Royal Academy in London in the mid 60s before tuning in and turning on and becoming a prolific popartnik. His academically-trained technique put him head and shoulders above many of his autodidact contemporaries producing psychedelic art. In 1968, 1969 and 1970, Dave was the artist who produced the posters, programmes and tickets for the Isle of Wight Festivals: Britain’s most famous 60s rock festivals (the UK’s Woodstock). The most famous of these is the ‘Psychedelic Drummer’ poster… one of the original posters reportedly now hangs in Noel Gallagher’s living room.

Dave’s work includes original photos of Jimi Hendrix performing at the Isle of Wight festival (his last UK concert). In the 1970s, Dave produced acclaimed album covers for Jon Anderson of Yes and Nazareth. He also produced ‘science fantasy’ cover art for the Pern novels of the Tolkienesque writer Anne McCaffrey. McCaffrey called him in a letter the ‘king of dragon artists’, and his talent for dragon-painting led him to work on an album on Dragonlore with Jon Anderson.



Artwork for Jon Anderson’s Olias in Sunhillow













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15 Responses to In Memoriam: Pop Artist Dave Roe

    1. i have a full unused box of the matches , never seen them before

      Comment by Matin on 29 January, 2015 at 8:56 pm
    2. I’d be interested in buying it Martin if you wish to sell.

      Comment by Tom on 18 February, 2017 at 9:27 pm
    3. I have 2 psychedelic posters by David.
      One called jackpot and one called polyscope

      Comment by Gary wife on 19 March, 2017 at 9:16 pm
    4. Hi,

      Would you be interested in selling the posters?

      Comment by Christine on 15 November, 2018 at 2:13 am
    5. Yes I would feel free to contact me on email below. [email protected]

      Comment by Gary Wife on 17 November, 2018 at 6:58 pm
    6. In ’67 or ’68 I bought a ‘Shakespeare’ tin tray, from Carnaby Street, as a xmas present for my dear sister and brother in law. This tray, to my knowledge, has always been on display in their kitchen, and everybody loves it…….and the tray was designed by a certain Dave Roe. Cheers Dave, and Love always, Paul x.

      Comment by Paul Truin on 10 May, 2020 at 10:16 am
    7. Lovely to see this, Dave was my cousin he produced some wonderful work….still have programme etc from IOW. He did a really cool christmas card in the 60’s, tone drop pic of himself, black on pink stock. I had loads of his wrapping paper…could be buried in the loft 🙂 Steve Roe (my father dropped Fairbrother on my birth certificate)

      Comment by Steve Roe on 4 February, 2021 at 1:51 pm
    8. Worked with Dave on the IOW. Lovely guy. RIP.

      Comment by Keith on 18 February, 2021 at 9:35 pm
    9. If anyone has anything they would like to sell contact me [email protected]

      I love all things from that era.. Anything considered

      Comment by Da on 25 October, 2021 at 5:22 am
    10. If anyone is interested in an original Dave Roe IOW poster, please check out the one available at or contact me at [email protected].

      Comment by Paul Hennessey on 11 November, 2021 at 11:28 am
    11. Dave and Joan were my cousins who lived in Cathedral Road, Liverpool. Sadly, I have just learned of his passing. [email protected]

      Comment by Jan Kupeczek on 21 March, 2023 at 8:41 pm
    12. My name was John Standring but changed to Jan Kupeczek when I discovered my father in poland and a brother and sister there. I believe his twin sister Joan Kaye lives in St.Helens.

      Comment by Jan Kupeczek on 21 March, 2023 at 8:53 pm
    13. Sad news indeed Jan. He was an amazing artist. Had tea at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool with Joan and her son a few years ago, with Ray the organiser. They were lovely people.

      Comment by Claire on 21 March, 2023 at 8:54 pm
    14. I would love to see Joan again. Haven’t seen her for many years. Last saw Dave in London when he entertained members of Yes after they had finished their album “going for the one”

      Comment by Jan Kupeczek on 22 March, 2023 at 7:44 am
    15. Claire, hello. I wrote to Joan and she told auntie Jean she did not know me. I would like to meet her again as the only cousin I am in touch with is John Morrison on the Isle of man. If you are still in touch with Joan can you please ask her to contact me. I was John Standring, auntie Hazel’s son. Thank you.

      Comment by John Standring on 22 March, 2023 at 8:23 am

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