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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Signed 13th Floor Elevators Handbill

13th floor elevators handbill
Look at this signed "Spaceman" handbill from the Avalon Ballroom. It's got the signatures of Tommy, Ronnie, John Ike, Bennie Thurman, Dan Galindo & Chet Helms. It really doesn't get any better than this unless the owner gets Roky, Clementine, Danny Thomas, Powell St. John to sign it. But still, Danny, Bennie and Chet are amazing additions to this piece.

The building that came to be called the Avalon Ballroom was built in 1911 and was originally called the Colin Traver Academy of Dance. The Avalon Ballroom was founded by Bob Cohen, impresario Chet Helms and his music production company, Family Dog Productions, which had offices on Van Ness.

The Avalon occupied the two top floors with an "L" shaped second-floor balcony surrounded the first-floor along the south and western walls, and the dance area was in front of the elevated stage in the northeast corner where musicians performed. The entrance doors were downstairs, and opened onto Sutter Street.

In its 1960s heyday, two bands typically performed two sets during the evening beginning about 9:00 p.m. Many local bands, such as Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Steve Miller Band, served as backup bands, as did the early Moby Grape and headliners such as the 13th Floor Elevators.

Extraordinary posters advertising each event were produced by psychedelic artists, such as Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelly, and Victor Moscoso. This 13th Floor Elevators handbill is part of that.

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