The Doors released the album “Morrison Hotel” on February 1, 1970. The cover photo of The Doors with a recently cleanly shaved Jim Morrison was taken on December 17, 1969 by photographer Henry Diltz through a front window at the aptly named Morrison Hotel.
Here’s a cool vintage photo of front window at the Morrison Hotel at 1246 S. Hope St. Los Angeles, California.
Here’s what Henry Diltz said about the cover photo shoot,
“We parked the VW van and walked in. I told the guy at the desk we were going to take a few photos and it would take but a few minutes and he said we couldn’t without the owner’s permission and the owner wasn’t there. I thought, You’re kidding! It was a transient hotel and it was empty! I saw him leave the desk and get in the elevator. Right on the cover, you can see the lit elevator numbers right under the ‘son’ in ‘Morrison.’ I said ‘Quick you guys, run in there!’ They jumped right behind the windows and hit their places without shuffling and I shot. I shot one roll of film, starting close to the window, and then I backed across [Hope] street with a telephoto lens. So we finished the whole thing in about five minutes and the guy never saw us. We pulled it off though, like a guerrilla photo shoot.”
The building in it’s current state looks nothing like it did when the photo was taken but you can clearly make out where the window used for the photo is.
Here’s a few alternate shots of The Doors taken in the doorway to the Morrison Hotel.
The now abandoned building is only a few blocks away from L.A. Live and The Staples Center. The boarded up window on the left is where the cover photo was shot.
Finally, here’s a cool vintage promotional poster for The Doors Morrison Hotel album.
After this photoshoot the band headed down the road and took the “Hard Rock Cafe” photos that appeared on the back cover.