Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    The Doors 1969 Aquarius Theatre Los Angeles Concert Poster for Big Homecoming Show A rare specimen of a thin-paper concert poster made to be "wheat-pasted" (glued) to construction sites and fences around Hollywood, CA to promote the Doors' comeback night in their hometown on July 21, 1969, which was recorded for their live album, Absolutely Live.

    A stylistically unique and unusual Doors concert poster, with artwork done by a member of their camp, Leon Bernard. His signature-credit appears in the bottom right corner, along with the date of the shows... "21 July '69, Moonday." Bernard made a play on words because this Doors gig was on a Monday night, and when he designed the poster, Neil Armstrong's famous walk on the moon was scheduled for that very day. But alas, NASA moved the historic Armstrong walk up one day, so it occurred on July 20.

    The black & white artwork is stark and very 'modernish' for the time. In the artwork itself, the only discernable words are "Doors" and "Celebration." Beyond that, what the art depicts is up to the viewer's imagination. In very small print within and around the artwork, however, the needed information for any concert poster is given: "Aquarius Theatre" inside the white circle; "Live!" in white print on black background below that; and the date & poster artist buried down in the lower right-hand corner. Very avant-garde.

    The Doors had been in exile since Jim Morrison's bust that winter for indecent exposure in Miami. This night was heralded as their big comeback in their hometown, and the advance buzz around L.A. was deafening. The Soft Paradehad just been released, and the band had had a recent smash hit with "Touch Me." Elektra Records was holding Monday-night concert showcases that summer in the Aquarius Theatre, which was covered on the outside with brilliant psychedelic artwork because Tuesdays thru Sundays, Hair was having its inaugural Los Angeles run there.

    And the reviews of this Doors homecoming were positively glowing. Morrison, especially, was cited as being confident, relaxed, self-assured and chatty. And you know they were tight and paying attention because Elektra was rolling tapes for the live album. And indeed, the subsequent Absolutely Live record was largely recorded on this evening. And part of the album cover was photographed this night, also.

    As the essential reference book The Doors on the Road (Shaw, Omnibus) relates, "Jim Morrison dispenses with his rock star persona, sports an outlandish full beard, and delivers a vocal performance that is nothing short of outstanding. He skillfully interacts with the audience in an unusually casual and easygoing manner, sometimes amiably seated on a stool at center stage. His introduction to the audience goes something like, 'For a long time we've wanted to record a live album. Tonight's the night... but we're going to keep it loose and almost casual. Ready? Let's go!'"

    A couple of the reviews afterward:
    Cash Box trade magazine: "The Doors emerged from many months of self-exile to give a native Los Angeles crowd one of the best and most powerful exhibitions of music performance ever witnessed locally. Morrison came back... and then some."

    Los Angeles Free Press: "The electricity in the air, the magic that was created that evening, was a testament to the fact that whatever it was the Doors had when they were younger, they not only had again in spades, but had the added virtue of being as sublime and self-assured as they were once brash and vulgar.

    "There was Jim Morrison, singing, if anything, better than even his greatest fans thought he could sing."

    After the second show, the new Doors movie Feast of Friends is shown to the remaining audience members.

    As mentioned, this poster was printed on very thin stock, and was intended to be 'wheat-pasted' up around Hollywood, using a wet broom and glue that's a decades-old practice. As a result, hardly any of these survived, and indeed we know of less than five that have ever surfaced, probably more like three, and this is certainly the first one Heritage Auctions has ever had in its possession.

    Poster measures 18 x 24" and grades to Very Good Plus, being very toned on both the front and back, although much of that could be attributed simply to the aging of the newsprint-thin paper used for this poster. Minor surface creases throughout, especially some long vertical ones. Tiniest of paper losses on the upper half of the right margin. Small brown stain on the verso. COA from Heritage Auctions.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2019
    16th-17th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 864

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Nov 17, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 5 days left to consign to the 2021 May 1 - 2 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Just got the Stallone catalog and it is stunning! The best ever.
    Greg S.,
    Los Angeles, CA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search