China Doll - 1967

Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley 


China Doll, 1967


First printing, lithograph, Condition: Near Mint


Framed: 25 3/4" tall x 19 3/8" wide





Original Portrait of a Young Girl by Georg Buchner

Detail, bands

Close-up of frame

Close-up of frame

Frame at angle


This haunting yet beautiful image of a woman’s face peaks through a red-orange haze that leaves a myriad of questions in the mind of the beholder.  One of the psychedelic era posters that would look great in any room, the bands featured were Canned Heat and Allmen Joy. Alton Kelley found the image on a postcard and it was from a painting by German artist Georg Buschner Mignon (1858-1914)  called Portriat of a Young Girl.



Family Dog promoter Chet Helms decided to bring his successful shows at the Avalon in San Francisco to Denver in September 1967. The facility, technically just named after its address, 1601 West Evans Ave, became instantly popular and was dubbed the “Denver Dog.”



The Denver police hated the idea of a hippie haven in their city and had done all they could to stop the club from opening but Helms was way too smooth for them and met all legal requirements. When the club finally opened, Helms and his staff were subjected to a barrage of harassment and illegal searches. This prompted them to get a restraining order against John Grey, the rabidly anti-drug detective who had promised: "I'm going to rid Denver of all long-haired people."



It was Canned Heat's bad luck to show up just as the police figured they'd get one of the bands and hoping the bad press and legal troubles would slop over on Helms. On Saturday night October 21, 1967, the police sent an informer with some weed to Canned Heat's hotel to socialize a little and get the band high. Lead singer Bob Hite swore that the band members (knowing the city's reputation) actually didn’t have drugs with them that night. He stashed a lid in the sofa which the police naturally found and they arrested everybody on charges of marijuana possession -- still a big offense in those days.



Manager Skip Taylor was forced to sell off Canned Heat’s publishing rights to Liberty Records in order to cover the $10,000 bail to get the band out of jail. The Canned Heat song, “My Crime” immortalized the bust and this was the start of the band’s reputation as the bad boys of rock, the heavy-duty incorrigibles that led them to become one of the favorite bands of the Hell's Angels and other outlaw biker clubs.



The music and attitude of Canned Heat afforded them a large following and established the band as one of the popular acts of the hippie era. After appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals at the end of the 1960s, the band acquired worldwide fame. Canned Heat appeared at most major musical events at the end of the 1960s, performing blues standards along with their own material and occasionally indulging in lengthy 'psychedelic' solos. Two of their songs – "Going Up the Country" and "On the Road Again" – became international hits.



Allmen Joy was a psychedelic garage band that, while hitless, were big enough to convince another group, the Allman Joys, to change their name first to Hour Glass  and then the Allman Brothers Band.

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