Doors – The End

There is one thing I think of when I hear this song, and that is Apocalypse Now. The intro to the song really sounds like the end is coming. Robby Krieger’s use of slighty off notes adds to it.

Ray Manzarek: “To sit back in an audience and hear ‘The End’ come on at the beginning of Apocalypse Now, it’s absolutely thrilling.”

The song was on their self-titled debut album released in 1967. It ranked at number 336 on 2010 Rolling Stone magazines list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Doors developed this song during live performances at the Whisky a Go Go, a Los Angeles club where they were the house band in 1966. They had to play two sets a night, so they were forced to extend their songs in order to fill the sets. This gave them a chance to experiment with their songs.

They always played The End as the last song, but Morrison decided to play it early in the set, and the band went along. When they got to the part where he could do a spoken improvisation, he started talking about a killer, and said, “Father, I want to kill you. Mother, I want to f–k you!” The crowd went nuts, but the band was fired right after the show. The Doors had recently signed a record deal and they had established a large following, so getting fired from the Whisky was not a crushing blow.

Morrison sang this live as F–k the mother, rather than “Screw the mother.” At the time, the band couldn’t cross what their engineer Bruce Botnick called “the f–k barrier,” so they sanitized the lyric on the album. When Botnick remixed the album for a 1999 reissue, however, he put Morrison’s “f–k”s back in, which is how the song was intended.

Jim Morrison's Heartbreaker: Mary Werbelow's Abandoned Notebook - GonzoToday

“The End” began as Jim Morrison’s farewell to Mary Werbelow, his girlfriend who followed him from Florida to Los Angeles. It developed into an 11-minute  epic. Doors drummer John Densmore has said that Morrison wrote Crystal Ship about Mary also. That song was another goodbye song also. Werbelow and Morrison broke up in 1965 but saw each other off and on until she moved to India in 1969. He reportedly told her that the first four Doors albums were about her…Manzarek has said that parts of them were.

Mary Werbelow is a mystery to many. People still want to know if she is still alive. She gave a short interview in 2005 but has not been heard from since. She said in that interview that she never wants to talk about Jim again. Mary says she is tired. She has trouble sleeping. She says she’s not sure if she has done right by talking so much. She’s worried that others will seek interviews that she does not want to give. She wants that made clear: She does not want to talk about Jim anymore.

On July 3, 1971, Pamela Courson reported that she found him dead in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris. The cause of death was listed as heart attack; drugs were suspected. There was no autopsy. The coffin was sealed before his family or the American Embassy were notified. It was not until six days later that the Doors’ manager announced Morrison’s death to the world.

The End

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes again

Can you picture what will be?
So limitless and free
Desperately in need
Of some stranger’s hand
In a desperate land

Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the King’s Highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby
Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake, he’s long, seven miles
Ride the snake
He’s old and his skin is cold
The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here and we’ll do the rest
The blue bus is calling us
The blue bus is calling us
Driver, where you taking us?

The killer awoke before dawn
He put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door
And he looked inside
“Father?” “Yes, son?” “I want to kill you”
“Mother? I want to…”

Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rug, on a blue bus, doin’ a
Come on yeah
Fuck, fuck-ah, yeah
Fuck, fuck
Fuck, fuck
Fuck, fuck, fuck yeah!
Come on baby, come on
Fuck me baby, fuck yeah
Whoa
Fuck, fuck, fuck, yeah!
Fuck, yeah, come on baby
Fuck me baby, fuck fuck
Whoa, whoa, whoa, yeah
Fuck yeah, do it, yeah
Come on!
Huh, huh, huh, huh, yeah
Alright
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end

Rock Star Hologram Tours

It’s gone past simple holograms…they are now avatars (the ABBA reunion). For the sake of this post… I’ll call them holograms. This post is basically me arguing with myself and wanting some input.

I’ve thought about the subject of the dead rock star hologram tours off and on. I apologize for putting it so bluntly but that is what it is. Something in me just tells me there is something inherently wrong about this. So I hate to ask myself this…but would I want to go to a Jimi Hendrix show playing near me? Uh…yes I would and I feel bad about saying that. I would probably go and then hate the decision later. How could they capture Jimi Hendrix? I don’t see how someone could capture a performer like him…who was different every time he played.

I was surprised at my answer that I would even go. On the other hand, we have laser shows with bands’ music…so what is the big difference? We also have duets with Paul McCartney singing with John Lennon right now on Paul’s tour. When I saw The Who, there was Keith Moon singing “Bell Boy” in a film from a concert in the 70s while the current Who was playing. I also got to see Beatlemania with artists dressed up as The Beatles…somewhat different than this but is it really?

It’s something that I think will happen in the near future for different stars no matter if we like it or not. Holograms have been around for a while. In 1977 The Who presented a promotional event just for their fans with this Keith Moon hologram (with the real Keith Moon in attendance) and in another event in 2009…obviously without the real Keith in attendance.

Keith is near the end of his life in this version…you can tell it’s older with the greenwash all around. The big difference is now …the holograms sing, move, and play their instruments or rather they appear to do that. There have been shows now built around Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Elvis, Ronnie James Dio, ABBA (who are very much alive),  Whitney Houston, Tupac, Billie Holiday, Wilson Pickett, and more.

The families are in control now and will decide. I’ll ask myself again…would I want to see the Hamburg or Cavern Beatles? The 1972 Rolling Stones? the 1969 Who? The 1950’s Elvis? AC/DC with Bon Scott? 1970 Janis Joplin? The Doors?

Yes to all the questions I asked but…I’m not sure how I would feel.

What do you think? Would it be unsettling to see a long-gone performer in their prime again a few feet from you? Would you go see a show (not really a concert) of your favorite deceased performer?

Now, on the other hand, there is another angle. If Bob Dylan, who is very much alive, would announce tomorrow that a 1966 version of himself was going on tour…would I go? Oh yes, I would and I would not feel bad at all. ABBA just did this also. So why do I think I would feel different about seeing Jimi, Lennon, Janis, or someone else that has long been gone?

Before you answer…now, current bands can play in Washington and be projected as holograms in London simultaneously…so it’s taken a huge jump. See the bottom video. No traveling in stuffy vans….just play at your local pizza joint and be somewhere else also. So our band could play in my garage and be on stage at Carnegie Hall and interact with the audience. I have to wonder how far it will go?

Doors – Light My Fire

The organ intro to this song by Ray Manzarek is one of most iconic intros in rock. I first heard this song as a kid and automatically loved it. It is the song that the Doors are most known by. I like the album version that is longer and has more of a solo.

This was included on their first album and it was a huge hit. The song launched them to stardom. Before it was released, The Doors were an underground band popular in the Los Angeles area, but “Light My Fire” got the attention of a mass audience.

The producers of The Ed Sullivan Show asked the band to change the line “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” for their appearance in 1967. Morrison said he would, but sang it anyway. Afterwards, he told Sullivan that he was nervous and simply forgot to change the line. No that didn’t fly, and The Doors were never invited back.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, #7 in New Zealand, and #7 in the UK in 1967. Frankly, that surprises me because I thought it would have been an international number 1.

This was the second single on their self-titled debut album. Break On Through (To The Other Side) was their debut single.

The four band members were credited for writing this song Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek.

Jim Morrison indicated in his notebooks that he disliked this song and hated performing it. He also seemed to resent that the popularity of the band derived from this song, which he had just a small part in writing.

The Doors didn’t have a bass player and none was credited because studio musicians were not credited. Carol Kaye claims it was her.

From Songfacts

Most of the song was written by Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, who wanted to write about one of the elements: fire, air, earth, and water. He recalled to Uncut: “I was living with my parents in Pacific Palisades – I had my amp and SG. I asked Jim, what should I write about? He said, ‘Something universal, which won’t disappear two years from now. Something that people can interpret themselves.’ I said to myself I’d write about the four elements; earth, air, fire, water, I picked fire, as I loved the Stones song, ‘Play With Fire,’ and that’s how that came about.”

Krieger came up with the melody and wrote most of the lyrics, which are about leaving inhibitions behind in flames of passion.

At first, the song had a folk flavor, but it ignited when Jim Morrison wrote the second verse (“our love become a funeral pyre…”) and Ray Manzarek came up with the famous organ intro. Drummer John Densmore also contributed, coming up with the rhythm. Like all Doors songs of this era, the band shared composer credits.

On the album, which was released in January 1967, the song runs 6:50. The group’s first single, “Break On Through (To The Other Side),” reached just #126 in America. “Light My Fire” was deemed too long for airplay, but radio stations (especially in Los Angeles) got requests for the song from listeners who heard it off the album. Their label, Elektra Records decided to release a shorter version so they had producer Paul Rothchild do an edit. By chopping out the guitar solos, he whittled it down to 2:52. This version was released as a single in April, and the song took off, giving The Doors their first big hit.

To many fans, the single edit was an abomination, and many DJs played the album version once the song took off.

Elektra founder Jaz Holzman recalled to Mojo magazine November 2010: “We had that huge problem with the time length – seven-and-a-half minutes. Nobody could figure out how to cut it. Finally I said to Rothchild, ‘Nobody can cut it but you.’ When he cut out the solo, there were screams. Except from Jim. Jim said, ‘Imagine a kid in Minneapolis hearing even the cut version over the radio, it’s going to turn his head around.’ So they said, ‘Go ahead, release it.’ We released it with the full version on the other side.”

This was the first song Robby Krieger wrote to completion. Jim Morrison did most of the songwriting for the album, but he needed some help and asked Krieger to step in. The 20-year-old guitarist asked him what to write about, and Morrison replied, “Something universal.”

There are some pretty basic, but effective, rhymes in this song:

fire
liar
higher
mire
pyre

A “funeral pyre” is a platform used in ceremonial cremations. The image evokes spirituality and ancient mythology, as well as death, one of Jim Morrison’s favorite topics. Robby Krieger objected to the line at first, but Morrison convinced him it would work in opposition to the love-based lyrics that dominate the song.

This was produced by Paul Rothchild and was recorded in late 1966 and then released in April 1967.

The song topped the Hot 100 for the first three weeks of July 1967. It sold over one million copies and was the first #1 hit for their record label Elektra. 

This was the first rock song to feature both a guitar and keyboard in the instrumental section.

A blind, Puerto Rican singer named Jose Feliciano recorded a Latin-tinged version of this song that reached #3 in 1968 and won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Performance, Male. For Feliciano, who also won the Best New Artist Grammy that year, the song was his breakout hit and introduced his style of acoustic, woodwind-heavy arrangements. Based on his “Light My Fire” performance, Feliciano was asked to sing the The Star Spangled Banner before Game 5 of World Series between the Tigers and Cardinals. He delivered the first non-traditional take on the National Anthem at a major sporting event, doing a slow, acoustic version and causing an uproar. Feliciano capitalized on the controversy by releasing his Anthem performance as a single, and it reached #50 in the US.

In 1968, Buick offered The Doors $75,000 to use this song in a commercial as “Come on Buick, light my fire.” With Morrison away, Krieger, Densmore, and Manzarek agreed to allow it. When Morrison found out, he pitched a fit and killed the deal.

This was the last song Jim Morrison performed live. It took place at the Doors concert at The Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12, 1970. Midway through the song, Morrison became exasperated and smashed his microphone into the floor, ending the show.

It was also the last song The Doors played live as a trio, as they continued without Morrison after his death. Their final performance took place at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on September 10, 1972.

According to Ray Manzarek on BBC Radio 2’s program Ray Manzarek’s Summer of Love, the baseline to “Light My Fire” was inspired by Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill.”

Manzarek told About.com how the keyboard solo came about: “It was exactly what we were doing at the time at Whisky a Go Go – letting the music take us wherever it might lead in a particular performance, just improvising. And that?s exactly the same way that solo came about.” 

She was a first-call studio pro at the time and had performed on a lot of the hits that were recorded in Los Angeles, including many of Phil Spector’s productions. She told Songfacts regarding her involvement: “The Doors weren’t there. Just a couple of the guys were there in the booth. We cut the track. I’m playing on that, but I don’t like to talk about it, because there’s too many fanatics about that stuff. I’m a prude. I don’t do drugs. I think it’s stupid. I think for people to be into drugs and to die on stage, I think that’s so stupid, and totally unnecessary. So I stay away from even talking about that. But I am on the contract, yeah, I played on the hit of that.” (Here’s our full Carol Kaye interview.)

The extended organ and guitar solos in the album version of the song are based on two of John Coltrane’s works: his 1961 track “Ole,” and his jazz cover of the song “My Favorite Things” from the motion picture The Sound of Music. 

Robby Krieger told Clash Music he put “every chord I knew into this song.” Most of the group’s songs to this point were three-chord compositions, so he wanted to do something more “adventurous.”

In concert, Robby Krieger never played the same guitar solo on this song. He would sometimes mix in bits of the Beatles song “Eleanor Rigby.”

Train covered this on the 2000 Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate. Lead singer Pat Monahan sang with the remaining members (Manzarek, Krieger, Densmore) on the VH1’s Storytellers dedicated to the Doors. Other artists to cover the song include Jackie Wilson, Etta James, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Will Young, UB40, B. J. Thomas and Beastie Boys.

Light My Fire

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire
Try to set the night on fire
Try to set the night on fire
Try to set the night on fire

Doors – Hyacinth House—- Sunday Album Cut

I’ve told this story before but I bought LA Woman at a family’s yard sale in the 80s for 10 cents I believe…it was in mint condition. I went through a Doors phase that a lot of teens go through. I never liked all they had but I do like a lot of their music. This song was love at first listen. This and the debut album are my favorite Doors’ albums.

Morrison could be a handful at times for the band. His singing always sounded ominous to me…like something was about to happen. The guitar riff in this song is light but very catchy and the song will stick with you.

Hyacinthus was a young love of the Greek God Apollo. Apollo accidentally killed him, and from his blood sprang the hyacinth, a plant with a fragrant cluster of flowers.

The line, “I see the bathroom is clear” could refer to the bathroom in the studio where the song “L.A. Woman” was recorded. At the time, Jim Morrison insisted on recording the vocal track remotely from the bathroom rather than in the studio with the rest of the band.

The song was written at guitarist Robby Krieger’s house, which inspired some of Morrison’s lyrics with its flowers (hyacinths) and cats (“lions”).

Hyacinth House

What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?
What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?
To please the lions in this day

I need a brand new friend who doesn’t bother me
I need a brand new friend who doesn’t trouble me
I need someone and who doesn’t need me

I see the bathroom is clear
I think that somebody’s near
I’m sure that someone is following me, oh yeah

Why did you throw the Jack of Hearts away?
Why did you throw the Jack of Hearts away?
It was the only card in the deck that I had left to play

And I’ll say it again, I need a brand new friend
And I’ll say it again, I need a brand new friend
And I’ll say it again, I need a brand new friend, the end

Doors – Riders On The Storm

Riders on the Storm sounds like a song some cool jazz midnight DJ (WKRP fans…think Venus Flytrap) would spin in the old days when they actually could pick what they played. It’s a song to chill out to and I’ve always liked it.

The song is off The Door’s last album with Jim Morrison…LA Woman. The song peaked at #14 in 1971 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada, and #22 in the UK.

This song evolved out of a jam session when the band was messing around with “Ghost Riders In the Sky.” It was Jim Morrison’s idea to alter the title to “Riders On The Storm.”

This would be the last song Jim Morrison recorded. He went to France and died a few weeks later.

Ray Manzarek: “There’s a whisper voice on ‘Riders on the Storm,’ if you listen closely, a whispered overdub that Jim adds beneath his vocal. That’s the last thing he ever did. An ephemeral, whispered overdub.” 

From Songfacts

The song can be seen as an autobiographical account of Morrison’s life: he considered himself a “Rider on the storm.” The “killer on the road” is a reference to a screenplay he wrote called The Hitchhiker (An American Pastoral), where Morrison was going to play the part of a hitchhiker who goes on a murder spree. The lyrics, “Girl you gotta love your man” can be seen as a desperate plea to his long time girlfriend Pamela. 

As it says in Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis, in 1962, while Jim was attending Florida State University in Tallahassee, he was seeing a girl named Mary Werbelow who lived in Clearwater, 280 miles away. Jim would oftentimes hitchhike to see her. “Those solitary journeys on hot and dusty Florida two-lane blacktop roads, with his thumb out and his imagination on fire with lust and poetry and Nietzsche and God knows what else – taking chances on redneck truckers, fugitive homos, and predatory cruisers – left an indelible psychic scar on Jimmy, whose notebooks began to obsessively feature scrawls and drawings of a lone hitchhiker, an existential traveler, faceless and dangerous, a drifting stranger with violent fantasies, a mystery tramp: the killer on the road.” 

The Doors brought in bass players Marc Benno and Jerry Scheff to play on the album. Scheff came up with the distinctive bass line after Manzarek played him what he had in mind on his keyboard. It took a while to figure out, since it was much harder to play on a bass than a keyboard.

Ray Manzarek used a Fender Rhodes electric piano to create the effect of rain.

This was the last song on the last Doors album with Morrison. Fittingly, it ends with the storm fading slowly to silence. The remaining Doors released two more albums without Morrison before breaking up in 1972. In 2002, Kreiger and Manzarek reunited as “The Doors Of The 21st Century.” Densmore, who says he wasn’t invited to join them, went to court and eventually got a ruling preventing the group from using The Doors in its name, so they changed their name to “Riders On The Storm” after this song. 

The single was shortened for radio play. Some of the piano solo was cut out.

In 2000, the surviving members of The Doors taped a VH1 Storytellers episode with guest vocalists filling in for Morrison. Scott Stapp from Creed sang on this track.

Creed contributed a version of this to the 2000 Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate. Creed also performed it with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger at Woodstock ’99. Krieger sat in on Creed’s “What’s This Life For” during the set.

Doors drummer John Densmore wrote a book called Riders On The Storm about his life with Jim Morrison and The Doors. 

Eric Red, the screenwriter of the 1986 film The Hitcher, has said that his screenplay was inspired by this song. He said in an interview with DVD Active: “I thought the elements of the song – a killer on the road in a storm plus the cinematic feel of the music – would make an terrific opening for a film. I started with that scene and went from there.”

When the 71-year-old Ray Manzarak was asked by the Somerville Journal in March 2010 if he turns up or turns off Doors music when he hears it on the radio. Manzarek said, “Oh, God, turn it up! Are you kidding? Living up in northern California, it rains a lot, so they play the heck out of ‘Riders on the Storm.’ And when that comes on, I crank that sucker, man.” 

When he recorded this song, Jim Morrison had already decided that he was going to leave the band and go to Paris, where he would die. Some of the lyrics in this song (“girl, you gotta love your man…”) relate to his love for his girlfriend Pam Courson, who went with him to France.

At the end of this song, there are sound effects of thunder, and the faint voice of Jim Morrison whispering, “riders on the storm.” This was envisioned as his spirit whispering from the beyond.

Riders on the Storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm.

There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirming like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If you give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeah.

Girl you gotta love your man
Girl you gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah.

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm.

Riders on the storm (X4)

Doors – Love Her Madly

This is one of the Door’s radio hits that I like. I bought the album LA Woman at relative’s yardsale for 10 cents when I was around 12. I went through a Doors phase and even bought the An American Prayer album with a lot of spoken word poetry by Jim Morrison. That ended my fascination with Jim and the Doors. I do like some of their radio hits…my phase lasted around 6 months.

LA Woman is a good album and was the last album they recorded with Jim Morrison, who died shortly after it was released. The album peaked at #9 in 1971.

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger wrote this song on a 12-string guitar. It is about the numerous times his girlfriend…later his wife Lynn, threatened to leave him. Krieger said: “Every time we had an argument, she used to get pissed off and go out the door, and she’d slam the door so loud the house would shake,” 

The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100 and #3 in Canada in 1971.

 

From Songfacts

Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek recorded a new version with Bo Diddley for the 2000 Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate.

This was recorded in a very casual atmosphere. The musicians all played together, with no overdubs. They produced it themselves, which meant they could relax and make their own rules. The whole album was recorded in just two weeks.

The group’s longtime producer Paul Rothchild had this to say in an interview with BAM magazine: “That’s exactly the song I was talking about that I said sounded like cocktail music. That’s the song that drove me out of the studio. That it sold a million copies means nothing to me. It’s still bad music.”

Along with “Hello, I Love You,” “People Are Strange” and “Soul Kitchen,” this was used in the movie Forrest Gump. It plays in a scene where Jenny (Robin Wright) runs out of a motel with a black eye.

The title is a twist on a phrase Duke Ellington popularized. At his concerts, he would say, “we love you madly.”

The Doors didn’t have a bass player, but sometimes used one in the studio to beef up the low end. On “Love Her Madly,” Jerry Scheff, famous for his work with Elvis Presley, played.

Love Her Madly

Don’t ya love her madly
Don’t ya need her badly
Don’t ya love her ways
Tell me what you say

Don’t ya love her madly
Wanna be her daddy
Don’t ya love her face
Don’t ya love her as she’s walkin’ out the door
Like she did one thousand times before

Don’t ya love her ways
Tell me what you say
Don’t ya love her as she’s walkin’ out the door

All your love
All your love
All your love
All your love

All your love is gone
So sing a lonely song
Of a deep blue dream
Seven horses seem to be on the mark

Yeah, don’t you love her
Don’t you love her as she’s walkin’ out the door

All your love
All your love
All your love

Yeah, all your love is gone
So sing a lonely song
Of a deep blue dream
Seven horses seem to be on the mark

Well, don’t ya love her madly
Don’t ya love her madly
Don’t ya love her madly

Toronto Rock and Roll Revival 1969

Since I posted Paul McCartney’s Concert for Kampuchea yesterday I thought I would concentrate on the festival John Lennon popped up at in 1969… The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival. Unlike Kampuchea which was spread out on multiple days and nights, this festival was held on one day September 13, 1969.

John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band just played fifties songs plus John’s new song that Beatles rejected…Cold Turkey. The reason for the fifties’ songs was because the band had limited time to rehearse and they wanted to do songs they all knew.

It was a great festival lineup but it’s remembered mostly by John Lennon’s participation. The Doors were the headliners and John only agreed to do it

The concert was conceived by promoters John Brower and Ken Walker with financial backing from Eaton’s department store but stymied by poor ticket sales, the venture began to lose support. The festival was almost canceled but Brower called Apple Records in the UK to ask John Lennon to emcee the concert. Lennon agreed to appear on the condition he would be allowed to perform.

The Lennons flew in from England with a makeshift band that included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Alan White, and Yoko. They arrived at the backstage area at about 10 p.m, while Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys were singing Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll to an audience of about 20,000.

Lennon was quoted as saying “I threw up for hours until I went on” because it had been three years since he played live in a concert setting. The band went on and did a good job…ragged but it was a hastily assembled band with only a rehearsal on the plane ride and backstage.

John Lennon:  “The ridiculous thing was that I didn’t know any of the lyrics. When we did Money and Dizzy, I just made up the words as I went along. The band was bashing it out like hell behind me. Yoko came on stage with us, but she wasn’t going to do her bit until we’d done our five songs….Then after Money there was a stop, and I turned to Eric and said, ‘What’s next?’ He didn’t know either, so I just screamed out ‘C’mon!’ and started into something else.”

Little Richard: “I remember the show that people were throwing bottles at Yoko Ono. They were throwing everything at her. Finally, she had to run off the stage. Oh, boy, it was very bad.”

John Lennon: And we tried to put it out on Capitol, and Capitol didn’t want to put it out. They said, ‘This is garbage; we’re not going to put it out with her screaming on one side and you doing this sort of live stuff. And they just refused to put it out. But we finally persuaded them that, you know, people might buy this. Of course it went gold the next day.”

John Lennon and Yoko’s setlist

  • Blue Suede Shoes.
  • Money (That’s What I Want)
  • Dizzy Miss Lizzy.
  • Yer Blues.
  • Cold Turkey.
  • Give Peace a Chance.
  • Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)
  • John John (Let’s Hope for Peace)

Performers 

John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

Whiskey Howl

Bo Diddley

Chicago

Junior Walker and the All Stars

Tony Joe White

Alice Cooper

Chuck Berry

Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys

Jerry Lee Lewis

Gene Vincent

Little Richard

Doug Kershaw

The Doors

Kim Fowley The Master of Ceremonies

Screaming Lord Sutch

Doors – L.A. Woman

I’m not a huge Doors fan but I do like some of their songs…this one I really like.

This song was the title track to the Door’s last album with Jim Morrison released in April 1971. The remaining members released two more albums, Other Voices and Full Circle, which both sold poorly.

The Doors performed this live only once, in Dallas at the State Fair Music Hall on December 11, 1970. The only live recording of this is on the bootleg If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another. The band wanted to bring more musicians along to simulate the studio sound, but Morrison died before they could launch the tour.

This song wasn’t released as a single. The album peaked at #9 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1971.

Keyboardist Ray Manzarek: “A song about driving madly down the LA freeway – either heading into LA or going out on the 405 up to San Francisco. You’re a beatnik on the road, like Kerouac and Neal Cassady, barreling down the freeway as fast as you can go.”

From Songfacts

“Mr. Mojo Risin'” is an anagram for “Jim Morrison.” He repeats the phrase at the end of the song faster and faster to simulate orgasm. Early blues musicians often referred to their “Mojo,” like in the Muddy Waters song “Got My Mojo Working.”

A mojo is a Hoodoo charm, usually a bag filled with items like roots, lodestone, rattlesnake rattles, alligator teeth, charms, coins – whatever does the trick. Different bags would be used for different purposes: If the bag were red, it would be a mojo for love and you would have to put a personal item, such as hair or bit of clothing in order for the mojo to work. If the mojo were made out of a black bag it would be for death. Many white listeners, including Jim Morrison, thought mojo meant sexual energy, and that is how it’s usually interpreted today, in part due to Austin Powers movies. 

Morrison recorded his vocals in the studio bathroom to get a fuller sound. He spent a lot of time in there anyway because of all the beer he drank during the sessions.

The Doors needed extra musicians to record this. Jerry Sheff (famous for his work with Elvis Presley) was brought in to play bass, Marc Benno to play guitar. Sheff and Benno were going to tour with the band, but Morrison’s death canceled those plans.

Morrison got the idea for the “City of Night” lyric from John Rechy’s 1963 book of the same name. The book describes a sordid world of sexual perversion, which Morrison translated to Los Angeles.

They put this together in the studio and recorded it live with no overdubs. It came together surprisingly well. Guitarist Robby Krieger has called it “the quintessential Doors song.”

The first line, “Well, I did a little down about an hour ago,” is a reference to a barbituate, specifically Rorer 714.

Billy Idol covered this on his 1990 album Charmed Life, his version hitting #52 in the US. Idol was in the 1991 Oliver Stone movie The Doors, but had to take a smaller role because of a 1990 motorcycle accident that limited his mobility.

At a press conference to promote the album, Idol explained that he had been playing “L.A. Woman” for years and was a big fan of the song. He would often use it to audition new band members.

The Doors produced this album with Bruce Botnick. Paul Rothchild, who produced their first five albums, did not want to work on this because he didn’t like the songs. He produced an album for Janis Joplin instead.

In 2000, the surviving members of the Doors taped a VH1 Storytellers episode with guest vocalists filling in for Morrison. Perry Farrell, formerly of Jane’s Addiction, sang on this.

Doors drummer John Densmore said in the The Story of L.A. Woman documentary: “The metaphor for the city as a woman is brilliant: cops in cars, never saw a woman so alone – great stuff. It’s metaphoric, the physicality of the town and thinking of her and how we need to take care of her, it’s my hometown.”

Ray Manzarek put his UCLA film studies to use when he made a video for this song that was issued on a collection of Doors material called R-Evolution in 1985. To make the video, Manzarek combined archive footage of the band with new material he shot in Venice Beach, California. The actress Krista Errickson stars as the “LA Woman”; the male lead is John Doe of the band X – Manzarek produced their first four albums and directed two of their videos.

L.A. Woman

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows

Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light
Or just another lost angel, city of night
City of night, city of night, city of night, woo, c’mon

L.A. woman, L.A. woman
L.A. woman Sunday afternoon
L.A. woman Sunday afternoon
L.A. woman Sunday afternoon
Drive through your suburbs
Into your blues, into your blues, yeah
Into your blue-blue blues
Into your blues, ohh, yeah

I see your hair is burnin’
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin’ down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
Never saw a woman
So alone, so alone
So alone, so alone

Motel money murder madness
Let’s change the mood from glad to sadness

Mister mojo risin’, mister mojo risin’
Mister mojo risin’, mister mojo risin’
Got to keep on risin’
Mister mojo risin’, mister mojo risin’
Mojo risin’, gotta mojo risin’
Mister mojo risin’, gotta keep on risin’
Risin’, risin’
Gone risin’, risin’
I’m gone risin’, risin’
I gotta risin’, risin’
Well, risin’, risin’
I gotta, wooo, yeah, risin’
Woah, ohh yeah

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows

Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light
Or just another lost angel, city of night
City of night, city of night, city of night, woah, c’mon

L.A. woman, L.A. woman
L.A. woman, your my woman
Little L.A. woman, little L.A. woman
L.A. L.A. woman woman
L.A. woman c’mon

Songs That Were Banned: The Doors – Love Me Two Times

This was released as a single in December 1967, the same month Jim Morrison was arrested at a show in New Haven when he delivered an on-stage rant against a police officer who confronted him backstage with a young girl.

This incident, combined with the lyrics of “Love Me Two Times,” scared them away from some family-friendly radio stations that refused to play the song. The song was considered to be somewhat risqué for radio airplay, being banned in New Haven for being “too controversial”.

Robby Krieger credited a rather obscure song for inspiring the guitar lick on this song: “Southbound Train” by John Koerner, whose trio Koerner, Ray & Glover was one of Krieger’s favorite acts.

The song peaked at #25 in the Billboard 100 in 1968.

From Songfacts

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger wrote this song after their keyboard player Ray Manzarek implored the band members to go home and write some songs. Krieger came up with this one “Light My Fire” in about an hour. It was a rare Doors song where lead singer Jim Morrison did not contribute lyrics.

Krieger’s lyrics were inspired by both The Doors going on the road and American soldiers going to Vietnam. The theme is sex as a way to survive in strange times, and the need to be “loved two times” before going away. Keyboard player Ray Manzarek called it, “Robby’s great blues/rock classic about love and loss, or multiple orgasms.”

Through most of the song, Jim Morrison left off the “s” in “two times,” creating a double meaning to the phrase.

This continues the theme on Strange Days of an uncertain future. It continues the story of the estranged lover from “You’re Lost Little Girl.”

Although this was released as a single and became a hit, it was recorded for the first Doors album, but didn’t make the cut. When it came time to record the second Doors album Strange Days, “Love Me Two Times” was ready to go.

Ray Manzarek played a clavinet on this track.

Aerosmith recorded this in 1990 for the Air America soundtrack. In 2000, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek added slide guitar and keyboards to the existing recording, which was remixed & included on The Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate. >>

In 2000, the surviving members of the Doors taped a VH1 Storytellers episode with guest vocalists filling in for Morrison. Pat Monahan from Train sang on this.

Love Me Two Times

Love me two time, baby, love me twice today
Love me two time, girl, I’m goin’ away
Love me two time girl, one for tomorrow,
One just for today
Love me two times
I’m goin’ away
Love me one time, could not speak
Love me one time, yeah, my knees got weak
Love me two time, girl, lasts me all through the week
Love me two times, I’m goin’ away
Love me two times, I’m goin’ away
Alright, yeah
Love me one time, could not speak
Love me one time, baby, yeah, my knees got weak
Love me two times, girl, lasts me all through the week
Love me two times, I’m goin’ away
Love me two time, babe
Love me twice today
Love me two time, babe, ’cause im goin’ away
Love me two time, girl, one for tomorrow,
One just for today
Love me two times, I’m goin’ away
Love me two times I’m goin’ away
Love me two times I’m goin’ away

Doors – Roadhouse Blues

I’m not a huge Doors fan but there are songs I like by them and this one is one of my favorites. The song peaked at #50 in the Billboard 100 and #41 in Canada in 1970. This was the B side of the song “You Make Me Real.”

John Sebastian from the Lovin’ Spoonful played the harmonica on this recording. He is identified on the album as “G. Puglese” because he was afraid to be identified with The Doors because of Morrison’s arrest at a concert in Miami when he was accused of exposing himself to the crowd. Morrison was convicted of indecent exposure and sentenced to six months in jail, but he died while the case was being appealed. In 2010, Florida governor Charlie Crist granted Morrison a pardon, clearing him of the charges.

The album was called “Morrison Hotel.” Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said this on how they came up with the title of the album:

“Ray (Manzarek, keyboards) had been driving around downtown LA, and he saw this place called Morrison Hotel. So we decided to go down and shoot some photos there, but the guy who owned the hotel wouldn’t let us inside it. I guess they thought we were hippies. There were a lot of drunks and bums hanging around that area. Anyway, we snuck in there real quick when he wasn’t looking and got the shot that became the cover of Morrison Hotel.”

From Songfacts

When Jim Morrison got drunk, he liked to sing blues numbers at The Doors jam sessions. This in one of the songs he came up with at one of those inebriated sessions.

If there was an actual roadhouse that inspired this song, it was probably the Topanga Corral, a windowless nightclub in the counterculture enclave of the Topanga Canyon, where Jim Morrison lived. To get to the venue you had to take Topanga Canyon Boulevard, which is full of twists and turns – you really did need to “keep your eyes on the road, your hand upon the wheel.”

The Corral, where Little Feat and Canned Heat played and Linda Ronstadt was often spotted in the audience, burned down in 1986.

There was a cabin behind the Topanga Corral that many sources say Morrison bought for his girlfriend, Pamela Courson. This could be what provided the line, “In back of the Roadhouse they got some bungalows.”

Guitar great Lonnie Mack played bass. The Doors usually did not use a bass player.

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger joined Creed on stage at Woodstock ’99, where they performed this. It is on the Woodstock ’99 CD.

This is the first song on Morrison Hotel. The album was a return The Doors’ earlier style. On their previous album, The Soft Parade, they used a lot of strings and horns. Morrison didn’t do much on that album because he was drunk for most of it and had nothing to do while all the instrumentation was being worked out. Before The Doors had a record deal, they played many Blues songs in their long club shows.

Outtakes from one of Morrison’s recording sessions were used to dub his voice into a version of this on the 2000 tribute album Stoned Immaculate, where he duets with John Lee Hooker.

In 2000, the surviving members of the Doors taped a VH1 Storytellers episode with guest vocalists filling in for Morrison. Scott Stapp from Creed sang on this.

This was released as the B-side of “You Make Me Real.”

The Doors occasionally recorded old blues songs, but even though this sounds like it could have been one of them, the wrote it themselves.

This has been called “the ultimate bar song,” and it continues to be played by bar bands everywhere.

Status Quo covered this song on their 1972 album Piledriver, and the song quickly became a live favorite for the band. The group was wildly successful in England, and like many UK acts, was influenced by American rockers, often doing successful covers (their version of John Fogerty’s “Rockin’ All Over The World” went to #3 in the UK). They were never able to conquer America, however, in part because they didn’t tour there until 1973.

Roadhouse Blues

Ah keep your eyes on the road, 
Your hands upon the wheel. 
Keep your eyes on the road 
Your hands upon the wheel. 
Yeah, we’re going to the roadhouse, 
Gonna have a real good-time. 

Yeah, the back of the roadhouse, 
They’ve got some bungalows. 
Yeah, the back of the roadhouse, 
They’ve got some bungalows. 

They dance for the people 
Who like to go down slow. 

Let it roll, baby, roll. 
Let it roll, baby, roll. 
Let it roll, baby, roll. 
Let it roll, all night long. 

Do it, Robby, Do it! 

You gotta roll, roll, roll, 
You gotta thrill my soul, alright. 
Roll, roll, roll, roll-a 
Thrill my soul. 

*improv* 
Passionate Lady. 
Passionate Lady. 
Give up your vows. 
Give up your vows. 
Save our city. 
Save our city. 
Ah, right now. 

Well, I woke up this morning 
And I got myself a beer. 
Well, I woke up this morning 
And I got myself a beer. 

The future’s uncertain 
And the end is always near. 

Let it roll, baby, roll. 
Let it roll, baby, roll. 
Let it roll, baby, roll. 
Let it roll, all night long.