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