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.