The Kaleidoscope, Hollywood
The Earl Carroll Theatre
The Earl Carroll Theatre
Have You Ever Seen A Round Concert Poster ??
The Kaleidoscope was a psychedelic rock venue conceived of by Skip Taylor, located in Hollywood on the Sunset Strip. Taylor was the manager of the blues boogie band Canned Heat and with no doubt was looking to create a premier Fillmore type music venue in the Los Angeles area. The Club was off to a rocky start in 1967 the location for the first Kaleidoscope show, a two day event was to be at 1228 Vine Street which met with opposition and a last minute injunction stopped the show. The show was relocated to the Embassy Ballroom in the Ambassador Hotel, at 3400 Wilshire, which was the location of the legendary Coconut Grove Ballroom.
While looking for a permanent location, The Kaleidoscope establishes a temporary venue for its bookings at Ciro's at 8433 W. Sunset Boulevard a posh nightclub from the 1940s which in the 1960s became a Rock n' Roll Club under the same name. The nightclub also served as the host during the recording of the 1965 Dick Dale album "Rock Out With Dick Dale: Live At Ciro's".
In 1968 The Kaleidoscope takes up residents at the Earl Carroll Theatre located at 6230 Sunset Boulevard. where it was a whole lot easier to get the necessary permits at a location that already has had live entertainment and dancing. The Earl Carroll Theatre built in the 1940s by Broadway impresario and showman Earl Carroll which was touted as an "entertainment palace". The glamorous supper club-theater offered shows on a massive stage which featured two 30' revolving turntables and staircase with swings that could be lowered from the ceiling. The building's façade was adorned by what at the time was one of Hollywood's most famous landmarks, a 20-foot-high neon head portrait of entertainer Beryl Wallace, one of Earl Carroll's "most beautiful girls in the world".
The Kaleidoscope featured many top West Coast rock acts, with an emphasis on local bands such as The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, Jefferson Airplane and many others. To advertise these concerts The Kaleidoscope used a unique series of posters which were round, with a 18.5" diameter and like Bill Grahams Fillmore Posters or Chet Helms Family Dog Posters this was a numbered series. There was no poster #11 or no poster #12
Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Canned Heat 1967
Kaleidoscope Poster #1
April 14-16, 1967 Jefferson Airplane headlines this ill-fated first show at the Kaleidoscope where an injunction stops the show at 1228 Vine Street as advertised on the above poster but as the show must go on the venue was changed to the Embassy Ballroom in the Ambassador Hotel. Jefferson Airplane had just released their second album "Surrealistic Pillows" and had a charting single with "Somebody To Love". Sharing the stage this night was The Grateful Dead, who had there own cult following and who just released there first album simply titled the "The Grateful Dead" and Lastly Canned Heat rounded out this show, who were a LA favorite Blues Boogie Band.
Jefferson Airplane "White Rabbit"
The Doors, Peanut Butter Conspiracy, UFO 1967
Kaleidoscope Poster #2
Kaleidoscopes second show April 21-23, 1967 The Doors headline this three day event which is at Ciro’s, a nightclub at 8433 W. Sunset Boulevard. The Doors who were a local favorite who had just released there first album in January and are about to become bigger than life Please Note although The Doors did play at Ciro's, it was only ever advertised as The Kaleidoscope. The Doors shared the stage with Peanut Butter Conspiracy another LA band who's first album was showing moderate success. This is by far the toughest individual poster to find within the whole Kaleidoscope numbered series.
Canned Heat, The New Age, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band 1967
Kaleidoscope Poster #3
May 12-13 1967 Kaleidoscope third show was at Ciro's 8443 Sunset Strip - Canned Heat just signed a recording contract with Liberty Records in April which produced their first album "Canned Heat" Also on the bill was The New Age who traveled to Los Angeles to be a feature in the Culver City filming of the Arthur Dreifuss-directed movie The Love-Ins, so while in L.A. they played at The Kaleidoscope and a few others shows on Sunset Strip. Lastly on the bill was the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. A complete evening with a psychedelic light show provided by New Glory Lights.
Canned Heat "Rollin' & Tumblin'" 1967
Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Buffalo Springfield Type 1
Kaleidoscope Poster #4
March 22-23, 1968 Jefferson Airplane headline the opening of The Kaleidoscope at 6230 Sunset Boulevard the Earl Carroll Theater in Hollywood along with Canned Heat who had a hit single and popular album. Buffalo Springfield were initially on the bill but canceled these two nights. Fever Tree replaced them, a band from Houston who would soon have a hit with “San Francisco Girls.” The type 1 poster shown above show with the Buffalo Springfield graphics and the Type 2 poster shown below have the Fever Tree graphics. Complete with a psychedelic light show provided by Omega's Eye.
Jefferson Airplane "Somebody To Love" 1967
Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, Fever Tree Type 2
Bo Diddley, Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Clear Light 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #5
March 29, 1968 The Doors headline this show on Friday Night they were not mentioned on posters printed for this date, suggesting they were a last-minute addition or surprise guest. sharing the stage was Bo Diddley who at the time was working in the studio on his album "Super Blues" with Muddy Waters and Little Walter. Peanut Butter Conspiracy had released their second album "The Great Conspiracy" and finally Clear Light who had just released their first and only LP. Complete with a psychedelic light show provided by Omega's Eye.
"It's A Happening Thing" 1967
The Youngbloods, Spirit, Genesis 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #6
The Youngbloods were a American folk rock band about to release their second album "Earth Music" the follow up to 1967's Youngbloods sharing the stage with Randy California and Jay Ferguson and Spirit released their self titled first album in January of 1968 the show finished off with Genesis which was not the lads from England, complete with a psychedelic light show provided by Omega's Eye.
Genessis "She Is Beautiful" 1967
Canned Heat, Travel Agency, Evergreen Blue Shoes 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #7
April 8-11, 1968 "The Easter Kaleidospecial" This was a Monday to Thursday billing, a sign that the Kaleidoscope intended to be a full time nightclub. Canned Heat just released there second album "Boogie with Canned Heat" in February of 1968 sharing the bill were Evergreen Blue Shoes and Travel Agency, while not well known, played around Hollywood and both ended up recording albums. Complete with a psychedelic light show provided by Omega's Eye.
Canned Heat "Evil Woman"
H.P. Lovecraft, James Cotton Blues Band, Mint Tattoo 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #8
April 12-14, 1968 as noted on the poster this was a one year anniversary for The Kaleidoscope, one year since the ill-fated first show which stopped by an injunction but as the show must go on the venue was changed to the Embassy Ballroom in the Ambassador Hotel and the rest is as they say history On this anniversary show finds H.P. Lovecraft honing their chops along with the James Cotton Blues Band the formed in 1967 after Cotton left the Muddy Waters Band and Mint Tattoo a short-lived San Francisco band. Complete with a psychedelic light show provided by Omega's Eye.
H.P. Lovecraft "The Drifter" 1967
Quicksilver Messenger Service, Kaleidoscope, Flamin' Groovies
Kaleidoscope Poster #9
April 19-21, 1968 concert at Kaleidoscope featuring Quicksilver Messenger Service and Flamin’ Groovies and a band of the same name Kaleidoscope with multi-instrumentalist David Lindley who had just released there second album "A Beacon from Mars" along with Quicksilver Messenger Service a psychedelic rock band who will release their first album in May and the Flamin’ Groovies finish the night, complete with a psychedelic light show provided by Omega's Eye.
Quicksilver Messenger Service "What About Me"
Moby Grape, Hourglass, Mt. Rushmore 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #10
May 17-18, 1968 Moby Grape released their second LP in January of 1968 which charted at top 20 in Billboards Album Charts sharing the stage with Moby Grape was The Hourglass (Greg & Duane Allman, later to become the Allman Brothers) who just released there second album on Liberty Records "Power of Love" and Mt. Rushmore who hailed from San Francisco and played a heavy blues rock style with psychedelic elements.
Moby Grape "Omaha"
Them, Incredible String Band, Sons of Champlin 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #13
May 24-25, 1968 Van Morrisson Left the band in 1966 and at this period in time Them just released an album in January titled "Now And Them". Sharing the bill will Them is the Incredible String Band were a psychedelic folk band formed in Scotland, who in March Released their album "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" Finishing with the Sons of Champlin who will soonbe in the studio for capitol records to work on there first album released in 1969.
Iron Butterfly, Life, Things to Come 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #14
A great photo design created by Mike Salisbury adds something a little special to this round Kaleidoscope Club poster for a two day event May 31-June 1, 1968 shows headliner Iron Butterfly who was about to release their second album "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". Sharing the bill are the bands Life and Things to Come.
H.P. Lovecraft, Kaleidoscope, Don Ellis 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #15
June 7-8, 1968 H.P. Lovecraft were a Chicago band who would ultimately move to San Francisco and at this time were working on there second album "H.P. Lovecraft II" sharing the bill was the band Kaleidoscope was an eclectic psychedelic band fronted by multi-Instrumentalist Dave Lindley. The Don Ellis Orchestra which was a brilliant and forward looking big band, playing weird time signatures with electric instruments and generally ahead of its time.
Love, Rhinoceros, Taj Mahal 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #16
The June 14 and 15, 1968 performances by Los Angeles band Love featuring Arthur Lee, Pete Johnson from the Los Angeles Times describes a line around the block for Love. Love rarely played live, and almost never outside of California, because Arthur Lee didn't like to fly. Sharing the bill with love was Elektra Records project "Supergroup" Rhinoceros who were in Elecktras brand new studios hammering out their first album "Rhinoceros" and rounding out the bill was Taj Mahal's who in August will release his first album "Taj Mahal"
Love "Hey Joe" 1966
Electric Flag, Illinois Speed Press, Smokestack Lightnin' 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #18
Electric flag was American blues rock band who just released there first album "A Long Time Comin'" in March. Illinois Speed Press was an early band with dual lead guitar whe were a Chicago band transplanted in California.
Sly and the Family Stone, Canned Heat, Sons of Champlin 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #19
July 4-5, 1968 Canned Heat plays their authentic blues interpretations, augmented by their own exceptional instrumentation. Sharing the stage this holiday weekend with Canned Heat were San Francisco's Sly And The Family Stone who earlier in the year released the single "Dance To The Music" which let the world know that psychedelic soul was on the march. Also on the bill were the Sons of Champlin who will soon sign a record deal with Capitol Records.
Spirit, The Kaleidoscope Orchestra, "Independence Day Spectacular" 1968
Kaleidoscope Poster #20
The Kaleidoscope Club's "Independence Day Spectacular" July 6, 1968 event is features Spirit and the Kaleidoscope Orchestra alongside "The Kaleido-Kadettes, luscious showgirls, a movie, live animals on stage, lights, stars too big to name". Measuring 18.5" in diameter
Canned Heat "Live at Topanga Corral"
"Live at Topanga Corral"
Canned Heat Live at the Kaleidoscope 1968
Live at Topanga Corral was an album released in 1971 by Canned Heat. The recordings were taken from a 1968 concert at The Kaleidoscope in Hollywood, California and not at the Topanga Corral as the title suggests. Canned Heat were under contract to Liberty Records at the time and Liberty did not want to release a live album, so manager Skip Taylor told Liberty that the recordings had been recorded in 1966 & 1967 at the Topanga Corral and released the record with Wand Records to avoid legal complications. The record has been bootlegged and reissued countless times, and was issued by Wand Records as Live at the Kaleidoscope.
Canned Heat emerging onto the scene in 1966, was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson and Bob "The Bear" Hite. Hite took the name Canned Heat from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson titled "Canned Heat Blues", which was a song about drinking methanol from the cooking fuel or Sterno. The song features the refrain "canned heat, mama, sure, Lord, killing me". Canned Heat garnered international attention and secured their spot in the annals of rock 'n roll history with their performances at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and in 1969 they had a headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival.
Wilson was already renowned for his distinctive harmonica work when he accompanied veteran bluesman, Son House, on his rediscovery album, "Father of the Blues." They were joined by Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine, another ardent record collector capable of blazing the fretboard at a moment's notice and was a former member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry "The Mole" Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and lastly in rhythm, Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra on drums who had played in two of the biggest Latin American bands, Los Sinners and Los Hooligans and then with The Platters, The Shirelles, T-Bone Walker and Etta James.
The Many Faces of the Earl Carroll Theatre
Did You Know ?
In 1953, Las Vegas showman Frank Sennes reopened the theatre as a nightclub under the name "Moulin Rouge". The popular TV contest show Queen for a Day was broadcast from the Moulin Rouge during part of the show's 1956–1964 run.
In late 1965 the theatre became the "Hullabaloo", a rock and roll club capitalizing on the popularity of the television variety show Hullabaloo.
For a brief period in 1968 it was a psychedelic rock venue known as The Kaleidoscope.
In 1968, the theatre was redecorated in psychedelic art style and the 20-foot-high neon head portrait of entertainer Beryl Wallace was removed and theatre was renamed the "Aquarius Theatre", and rededicated as the home of a long-running Los Angeles production of the Broadway musical Hair.
For many years, the Earl Carroll Theater was used for the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon
In the fall of 1993, the theater was the venue for Fox Network's The Chevy Chase Show under the name "The Chevy Chase Theater".
In the late 1990s, the theater was acquired by the cable television channel Nickelodeon. The name of the theater was changed to "Nickelodeon on Sunset" and it became the headquarters for Nickelodeon's West Coast live-action television production.
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Keep It In the Groove -- Let Us Know You Were Here Too !!
Fox Music (author) on July 01, 2020:
The building still stands and is be remodeled slated to open in 2020 -- Cheers
LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on June 16, 2020:
That Earl Carroll theater looks amazing. I would love to see the inside.
Fox Music (author) on April 30, 2020:
Thank You Maciej, I am glad you enjoyed this article about Kaleidoscope concert posters.
Maciej on April 30, 2020:
Thank you, great memory
Fox Music (author) on March 25, 2020:
Thanks Bill, sounds like a great time was had by all and I agree that Canned Heat had an energy and sound that which was never truly captured on tape --- Cheers !!
Bill Larstead on March 25, 2020:
Went to the final 6230 Sunset location about 12 times yet still missed a good many shows! My absolute favorite was from June 22-23rd 1968: H.P. Lovecraft, Don Ellis Orchestra & headliners Kaleidoscope! Got to hear a 25 minute version of Taxim w/ Solomon Felthouse standing on one leg while playing a Turkish Saz! Wish I had gone Every Week!!! Best vibes in town w/ Canned Heat being almost the “house band” since they were there every other week. None of their studio albums ever captured their magic sound Live! Phenomenal energy from these great guys who always put a smile on my face!!!
Fox Music (author) on June 20, 2018:
That's Cool Jennifer -- These Are Round Concert Posters for the Sixties Rock Venue the Kaleidoscope
jennifer sanders from edson alberta on June 20, 2018:
I love creating kaleidoscopes with photos I have taken
Fox Music (author) on May 21, 2015:
Yes I Agree for the Brief Period of Time The Kaleidoscope was Open they Created a Great Series of Unique Concert Posters
TZNelson on May 12, 2015:
Thank You for Sharing This Hub-Page -- These Round Concert Posters Are Very Unique.