The Doors

Greatly Appreciated

The Doors  were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger.  They were among the most controversial, influential and unique rock acts of the 1960’s and beyond, mostly because of Morrison’s wild, poetic lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona.  After Morrison’s death on 3 July 1971, aged 27, the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973.  Three of the band’s studio albums, The Doors (1967), L.A. Woman (1971), and Strange Days (1967), were featured in the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  (More from Wikipedia)
Bruce Joyner connected with keyboardist Ray Manzarek (formerly of the Doors) and helped out on the recording sessions for the X album Under the Big Black Sun.  

Joyner left the Unknowns in 1983; when he began recording the full-length album Swimming with Friends with his new band the Plantations in 1986, both Ray Manzarek and X guitarist John Doe lent a hand.
(June 2011)
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There are some fine instrumental tracks on Andy Colquhoun’s 2001 solo CD, Pick up the Phone, America!, the Doors’ last hit song “Riders on the Storm” and the jazz standard “Harlem Nocturne” among them. 
(August 2011)
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In 1965, the first commercial synthesizer was made available by Robert Moog; major rock bands like the Monkees (Micky Dolenz ordered one of the very first Moog Synthesizers), the Rolling Stones and the Doors were quick to incorporate synthesizers into their music. 
(March 2012)
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There are two other medleys that were released in the wake of the hit song Stars on 45 Medley” (Beatles medley).  On what is probably his biggest hit album, In 3-D“Weird Al” Yankovic put together a hilarious medley called “Polkas on 45” where he performed a wildly wide-ranging medley (all while frantically playing the accordion) that ranged from Deep Purple, to Devo, to the Doors, to Foreigner, to Iron Butterfly, and even to Lawrence Welk
(September 2012)
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One of the best new wave albums I have acquired in recent years is Dangerous Dreams by the Nails; and the Allmusic (specifically Whitney Z. Gomesreview of the album states:  “The grandeur of the Doorsthe propulsion of Iggy Popand the moroseness of the Sisters of Mercy, combine with the Nails’ own talent to create the perfect vessel for riding high on a dark wave of depression.”  However, with all of that praise, the album still merited only a 2½-star rating.


(March 2013)

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The Los Angeles music scene was moving quickly during the late 1960’s, and Music Emporium went to see several of the new bands, with Iron Butterfly being a particular favorite and an obvious influence.  Their song set early on included their classic “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida” – the song title is basically a slurred “In the Garden of Eden” – plus two Doors songs, “Light My Fire” and “Back Door Man”.  Music Emporium started out trying to be as loud as possible but were more mellow by the time they hit the studio to record their album.  Unaccountably, Music Emporium played a lot of weddings and bar mitzvahs. 


(October 2013)

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Patti Smith is renowned for reworking well-known rock standards to fit her vision and also of adding shock value to her music that surely made Alice Cooper smile; and that was true of the band’s first single from 1974, “Hey Joe” b/w “Piss Factory”.  Patti Smith included a monologue about Patty Hearst (who had been kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army earlier that year) in the middle of her rendition of the 1960’s standard; while the latter song relates the salvation she received from the helplessness of her job on an assembly line after discovering a book by French poet Arthur Rimbaud (Jim Morrison of the Doors was similarly enthralled with Rimbaud). 


(February 2014)


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Anyway, the music is the hard part when doing psychedelic rock; for many would-be psychedelic rock bands, just about any lyrics will do, and the stranger the better.  I was planning to come up with some examples of those lyrics, but they were a little scarce on the Internet.  However, this excerpt from the Allmusic review by Todd Kristel of the Pebbles, Volume 3 LP actually does a better job of describing the songs than the lyrics themselves would: 


“This compilation features Higher Elevation’s ‘The Diamond Mine’, a showcase for the nonsense rambling of disc jockey Dave DiamondTeddy & the Patches’ ‘Suzy Creamcheese’, which manages to rip off both Frank Zappa and ‘Louie Louie; Crystal Chandlier’s ‘Suicidal Flowers’, which sounds like the Doors drenched in fuzz guitar; William Penn Fyve’s ‘Swami’, which is such a self-conscious attempt to evoke 1967 that it’s hard to believe it was actually released that year; Jefferson Handkerchief’s ‘I’m Allergic to Flowers’, which was presumably intended as a novelty songCalico Wall’s ‘Flight Reaction’, a fascinating acid-damaged glimpse into the mind of a passenger who’s sitting in an airplane before takeoff and worrying about a possible crash; the Hogs’ (allegedly the Chocolate Watchband under a different name) ‘Loose Lip Sync Ship’, which consists of an instrumental passage that mutates into Zappa-influenced weirdness; the Driving Stupid’s ‘The Reality of (Air) Fried Borsk’ and ‘Horror Asparagus Stories’, which feature precisely the kind of grounded lyrics that you’d expect; the Third Bardo’s ‘Five Years Ahead of My Time’, a genuinely good number even though it doesn’t sound five minutes ahead of its time; [and] the Bees’ ‘Voices Green and Purple’, which made the Nuggets Box Set along with the Third Bardo song . . . ”  

(July 2015)


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The Stooges (also known as Iggy and the Stooges) are the prototype of proto-punk. Like MC5, they are a Detroit band, or more properly an Ann Arbor band. As Stephen Thomas Erlewine observes in his Allmusic article: “Taking their cue from the over-amplified pounding of British blues, the primal raunch of American garage rock, and the psychedelic rock (as well as the audience-baiting) of the Doors, the Stooges were raw, immediate, and vulgar. Iggy Pop became notorious for performing smeared in blood or peanut butter and diving into the audience. Ron [Asheton] and Scott Asheton formed a ridiculously primitive rhythm section, pounding out chords with no finesse – in essence, the Stooges were the first rock & roll band completely stripped of the swinging beat that epitomized R&B and early rock & roll.”
After seeing a concert by the Doors, Iggy Pop (using the moniker Iggy Stooge) formed the Stooges in 1967 with Ron Asheton (guitar), Scott Asheton (drums), and Dave Alexander (bass). As an opening act for MC5, the Stooges lucked into a major label contract when the Elektra Records talent scout signed both acts.  
(December 2016)
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As readers of these posts know, I love to find religious references in the most unlikely places; and I recognized the repeated lyric, “O King Live Forever” (and some of the other vocals as well) as coming from the Book of Daniel – the line was said several times during the Bible story, and once by Daniel while he was famously in the lions’ den.  Greg Shaw didn’t know where the ideas had come from; he speculated that it could have been from something Jim Morrison of the Doors had written.  Since Iggy Pop is clearly singing “O King” rather than “Old King”, I passed along what I knew to Suzy Shaw at Bomp! Records, saying that this Stooges song should really be named O King Live Forever
I should point out that many of the songs by the Stooges on Wild Love don’t have official names, so Greg Shaw was coming up with his own titles based on what he was hearing. 

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This is taken from the write-up by Greg Shaw in Destination: Bomp! for the SS-20 song “Arnold Layne”:  “Once in a while I get enthusiasms that few others seem to share, and this was one of those.  I was in awe of Bruce Wagner’s ability to squeeze original ideas out of the boneyard of rock guitar cliché, and I particularly love what he did with old songs.  We cut stuff by people including the Seedsthe StoogesLove, and the Doors, in each case adding something new to songs I thought had already been done to perfection.  Against this, SS-20 had Madeleine Ridley’s morbid, gothic poetry, a blend I found intriguing.”
Two of the trademark covers by SS-20 are given on the Dream Life album.  Side 2 opens with “My Eyes Have Seen You” that had appeared on the second album by the DoorsStrange Days, which incorporates the usual Doors flourishes; and the album closes with a fine, extended interpretation (running nearly 10 minutes) of “Penetration” that had appeared on the third album by the StoogesRaw Power.  Both songs are basically performed in the same style as the rest of the album, but the individual character of each of the two songs comes in quite clearly.  I must say that I would have a hard time coming up with the name of another band who performs convincing covers of such a wide variety of rock songs. 
(December 2017)
Last edited: April 3, 2021