AICN EXCLUSIVE!! MORIARTY's Private Audience With The Doors: A Fan's Dream Come True!! PART ONE!!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
There are few things that have happened to me in my life that are more surreal than driving up to the security gate of a rehearsal studio in Hollywood, pressing a buzzer, and telling the woman who answers, “Hi, I’m here to see The Doors.”
Except, possibly, watching the gate swing wide, and hearing her say, “Come right in.”
Wait... let me back up a bit here and explain. I know that your first knee-jerk reaction is the same as mine was. “How can there be a Doors without Jim?” And I’m sure that’s a question that Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger and John Densmore have asked themselves many times over the years. By the time I became aware of the band, Jim was already a distant memory, a placemarker by the side of the autobahn of rock that was the ‘70s. I’ve grown up with the presence of Jim as one of rock’s great casualties, right up there with Jimi and Janis and Lennon and Brian Jones and Keith Moon.
My knowledge of The Doors started with me picking up a copy of NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE to read before I’d consciously heard a note of their music. I just read the back of the book and thought it was cool. I was 11 years old. And by the end of that book, I’d been completely seduced by the legend of this band from Venice, these guys who were supposed to provide the soundtrack to a revolution. I fell for the romantic shambling slow-motion wreck that was Morrison’s life, and I was completely smitten by the lyrics in the book. I hadn’t heard a note of music, and I was already convinced that this had to be the greatest band of all time.
And then I heard them.
If you’ve ever heard me talk about how pivotal it was to see STAR WARS in the theater at the age of seven, then you know I consider that event to be a lightning bolt to the forehead, formative.
That first listen to THE DOORS GREATEST HITS was the same thing. Proof that lightning strikes twice. It was a glimpse of something bigger and deeper and darker and crazier than I’d had before. The Doors sounded like the house band at the sleaziest bar in the most dangerous province of the most dangerous country on earth. They always sounded raunchy, like you shouldn’t be allowed to listen to them, no matter what they were singing about. The Doors were a dare. They were just barely in control, it seemed like, controlled chaos. Jim was amazing, sure, but what really won me over and made me a lifelong fan was the virtuosity of the players. Ray Manzarek’s keyboards were smart and fun and absurd and cool all at the same time. Robbie Krieger was one of the most distinct guitar players in rock. John Densmore was a player of class and restraint, and he knew how to turn up the power when he needed to. They didn’t sound like anyone else out there, and their recordings sounded fresh to me when I discovered them over a decade later.
It was love at first listen, and my love affair with the band got me through high school and college. And through my first years in LA. And through a difficult break-up. And through all sorts of down times. In fact, I find I still return to The Doors as my musical comfort food. They are the constant in my personal soundtrack that has always been there, that always gives me the same emotional connection even now, every single time.
Not quite a year ago, a friend of mine named Tim Sullivan mentioned a book to me called THE POET IN EXILE. Told me it was a novel by Ray Manzarek. He mentioned this in a sort of an off-hand way because he didn’t realize what The Doors meant to me. Once he’d said it, though, he realized what he’d done because of my Pavlovian response. I didn’t realize just how hungry I was for something... anything. I didn’t realize how much I missed The Doors as a presence. I didn’t know how much I craved something new. Then he tossed the premise of the book out there, and I was hooked:
What if Jim hadn’t died? What if he took off to save his own life, and spent the time since figuring out what he wants from the world? And what if he came back and got in touch with Ray?
In the hands of anyone except Ray Manzarek, I’d think the idea insufferable, but there was something that drew me to the notion of Ray writing it. I thought that it would be wish fulfillment with Ray as the Ghost of Christmas That Will Never Be. Tim pulled some strings somewhere and got me an advanced copy of the book. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it. Tim’s like me. He’s got a touch of the Forrest Gump to him. He manages to find himself doing incredible things and sometimes stops to pinch himself to see if it’s all for real. He’s one of those guys who knows everyone, and I figured he had his ways.
Man, I had no idea...
The book, for those of you who haven’t read it, is great. It’s not what I expected at all. The first thing that comes through loud and clear when you read it is that Ray loved Jim very, very much. The second thing you notice is that Ray is a damn good writer. The book is essentially a Socratic dialogue between “Roy” and his long-missing friend, who he finds alive and well halfway around the world on a small island. The poet fills in the details of the missing years, illustrating a series of epiphanies that I truly believe Ray wished for his friend. The book is beautiful and filled with hope and longing and nostalgia and even sorrow. Ray manages to build in some grief, some long-overdue closure. The last ten or so pages made me cry when I read them, and I’ve found myself loaning the book out almost constantly since or buying copies for friends. To me, it read like Ray closing out a big part of his life with real grace and a generosity of spirit. I remember thinking at the end of the book, “I hope Ray does something else soon.”
And that’s where Tim Sullivan comes back in.
Tim called me last week to talk about one of the things he’s working on. He’s working on two horror films I knew about (2001 MANIACS and SHE-FREAK), but he’s also working on something that he’d hinted at in the past. The new project is a script that Tim co-wrote with Chris Kobin and Ray Manzarek. Yeah... the real Ray Manzarek. It’s a picture called RIDERS ON THE STORM that’s supposed to start shooting at the start of the year with Eddie Furlong and Peter Stormare the first actors to sign on to what promises to be an ensemble road picture.
”It’s EASY RIDER meets THE SEARCHERS,” Tim told me. I believe in aiming high, and that’s certainly an ambitious combination. The idea of Ray directing a film of any kind intrigued me. If he’s as intuitive a filmmaker as he is a novelist, then it could be something worth getting excited about. Tim is producing along with Brett Nemeroff, and Tim explained to me that the two of them had also ended up working with Ray on a couple of other things.
My spider-sense started tingling. “What sort of things, Tim?” I asked.
”The sort of things you might want to see. The sort of things you’d rent out a rehearsal studio for.” I could hear how pleased he was, how much fun Tim was having getting around to his news. “And Brett and Chris and I were wondering... maybe you’d like to come out and SEE these things we’re talking about.”
”You mean... see The Doors?”
”Could be,” he said. And then he gave me the directions to the small, unassuming space where the band was going to be meeting on a Monday afternoon.
And that’s how I found myself standing in the lobby of that rehearsal studio, waiting for Tim to show up with Brett. I stared up at the pictures of Veronica Lake and Humphrey Bogart that dominate the upper walls of the lobby, and I smiled at how appropriate they seemed. After all, I can’t think of many rock bands where the convergence of cinema and music were more direct. Ray and Jim and Robbie met at UCLA, after all, where Ray and Jim were film majors and Robbie was studying history. Their songs paint very particular visual images, like the opening of “Riders On The Storm” or the entire frenzied crescendo of “The End.”
And then there’s Oliver Stone’s movie about the band from ’91. I know that Ray has lamented the film in the past, calling it “a white powder movie about a psychedelic band,” and I would imagine it’s hard to watch if you were actually there, actually part of that story. Your memories are never going to match up with what you’re seeing onscreen, filtered through someone else’s idea of what the band and the era was all about.
But for me, the film felt like the closest I’d ever get to seeing this band play. I especially love the film’s final image, as the credits play and Oliver pushes through the whole recording studio, showing us each member of the band in their spot, playing their part, happy and creating music, the propulsive “L.A. Woman” on the soundtrack. At the very end of this long steadicam shot, we finally find Val Kilmer as Jim, sitting on a toilet with the lid down, singing his ass off, so full of energy that it makes you wanna weep. To a lifelong fan, a moment like that is as good as it gets.
Or so I thought.
When Tim showed up, he was visibly pleased, a huge smile on his face. He knew he was about to make my brain melt. He walked me into the actual rehearsal studio, and I saw that it had been set up for a band to play onstage. I tried to remain calm, but when Robbie Krieger showed up, I could barely contain myself. Tim asked me to explain Ain’t It Cool News to Robbie, and I babbled out something about “fans” and “website” and then swallowed my tongue. It’s funny... I don’t get like this about filmmakers. But The Doors... they’re rock stars. Rock legends. It’s so much more impressive to me.
Ray Manzarek was the next one to show up, looking exactly like you’d expect. Ray’s got a great centered tranquil aura that he puts out, and even when he’s joking around (which appears to be frequently), he’s relaxed, never frantic. He and Robbie began to set up their equipment, and I asked Tim when Densmore would be there.
He shook his head. “It’s not John. Not for these shows. They’ve got someone else now.”
I was about to ask who when the studio doors opened, and Stewart Copeland of The Police walked in, followed closely by Ian Astbury, the singer from The Cult.
Tim laughed as my jaw hit the floor, Tex Avery-style.
”Is everybody in?” he asked me. “Is everybody in? The ceremony... is about to begin...”
TOMORROW: In Part Two, I’ll hear The Doors play their full 18 song set, and I’ll learn the details about when they’re playing, where they’re playing, and how you might be able to hear them yourself!!
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Aug. 27, 2002, 5:40 p.m. CST
Or a "Holy Shit!" moment. I'm not a huge fans of The Doors, but you can't argue their impact. But to see (most of) them playing again, and then have Stewart Copeland just turn up to bang the skins - goddamn.
Aug. 27, 2002, 5:50 p.m. CST
by Creamery Butter
I'm trying to be a nice talkbacker, so I'll just leave it at "yeesh".
Aug. 27, 2002, 5:56 p.m. CST
My business partner Pearry Teo knows Ray fairly well, ever since the VH1 special a couple years back in which he shared a 12 pack with the legend backstage. Ask Ray about it, he wrote a stellar review for Pearry's short film "Liberata Me". (www.ouijiboard.net if you doubt) Ray directed another film, on the Canon XL1 so Moriarty you may want to look into that. It was pretty good, and I am eager to check out Riders on the Storm. Have fun!!!! Geoffrey M. Gardner www.aaquinas.com
Aug. 27, 2002, 6:01 p.m. CST
is easily the most hilariously bad lyric/verse ever written in mankind's history and it still makes me cringe, still makes me feel embarrased for humanity. Still, even though Morrison was an egotistical bonehead who didn't realize how truly awful his poetry was, he did have a decent voice and the Doors were a pretty cool band at the time. and they definately did some some interesting things, they tried to push the envelop. now it all seems rather trite and ridiculous, but at the time it must have seemed really cool... you know, for teenagers who have the illusion that they are rebelling by buying rock albums and getting high (as if these recreational activities weren't whole heartedly approaved by "The Man"). but Dionysious? Magical Indians? oh please, get a grip Mr. Stone. but, aside from the myth and doofusness, the Doors had a neat thing going on way back when. and, shit, every artkid had his moment when he thought he was Jim Morrison. usually while high. and in their mid to late teens...
Aug. 27, 2002, 6:05 p.m. CST
No offense to you, Moriarty; it's obvious you love The Doors very passionately, and I'll grant they did some amazing things. That said, there are few things sadder than a washed-up rock star who doesn't know when to move on (Mick Jagger? Pete Townsend? Pink Floyd?). If Morrison, Hendrix and Lennon today, I hope they'd be retired and not embarassing themselves the way Clapton and others of his generation have ("It's In The Way That You Use It"? Geez.). I've heard Manzarek a few times on Fresh Air with Terri Gross, and he is absolutely painful to listen to. The worst kind of purple prose used to deliver all that hippy-dippy shit about what a wonderful period it was and what a genius Morrison was and blahblahblah and when he's run on and on for 40 minutes it makes you want to kick your radio out of the dashboard. I've heard a lot of people interviewed, and few have made me so sick of listening to their fawning pap. I'm disgusted by the fact Ray is getting "The Doors" together with only two of the original members when one is still alive. I'm disgusted that Copeland's OWN band refuses to ride the Nostalgia Train so he's riding one with somebody else's band while that somebody else is still around. I'm disgusted they're using Ian "Suck" Astbury, the brilliant genius obviously on par with Morrison, as indicated by the hit songs "Fire Woman" and...ummm...yeah. Come on, even Glenn Danzig does a better Morrison impression. All that being said, though, Moriarty: Congratulations. Congratulations on meeting a couple of guys from a band you adore, congratulations on a major coup with this MASSIVE score of a meeting/interview (I don't have to be a fan to know this is monumental), and congratulations with continuing to be one of the most sincere, well-spoken contributors to the site. Don't let naysayers like me get you down; I may not personally be thrilled with the potential this project has to sully the good name of the original, but there's no denying this is good work on your part and an amazingly lucky break.
Aug. 27, 2002, 6:18 p.m. CST
sad. just sad. I wonder if Ray Manzarek goes bowling with Pete Townshend.
Aug. 27, 2002, 6:19 p.m. CST
at least have the dignity to call the band "almost but not quite the doors"
Aug. 27, 2002, 6:30 p.m. CST
by otis von zipper
Mr. Manzarek, besides creating some timeless music with his Doors bandmates, is credited with the discovery of the band X. He also produced and played on their first 4 albums, and the album Los Angeles alone guarantees all involved a place in rock n' roll heaven. Despite these achievements, I have zero interest in seeing a Doors reunioun minus Morrison and Densmore. Sounds about as worthwhile as a Beatles reunion with Michael Bolton and Lionel Richie filling in for Lennon and Harrison.
Aug. 27, 2002, 6:34 p.m. CST
by Devils Halo
no Jim = no DOORS... it's just the Manzarek show.
Aug. 27, 2002, 6:54 p.m. CST
i wasn't alive during the doors heyday so it's possible they held some social relevance outside of being catchy rock band. listening to it now, the rock and roll is ok, but the "poetry" and "social message" sounds really pretty silly. but 'moonlight drive' is very nice. and stewart copeland kicks ass.
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:02 p.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:05 p.m. CST
by Darth Phallus
The Doors music inspired so just way too many bands to even mention here. Some good, some really good, and some not so good. ANd that's the music of the doors which inluded Morrison's voice and ouvre yes, but Krieger, Densmore, and Manzarek created the actual music with a definite blending of unique styles in a fresh, new way. Plus all wrapped up in a pop song to boot! Try that today! Plus Morrison, though initially trying to be Mick Jagger, really invented what we've come to know as the whole "modern" ROXTAR myth. The whole dark doomed rocksexgod poet thing starts with him and ends, so far, with Cobain. The fact that the music lives on today after thirty years ("Hello, I Love You" "Light My Fire" "L.A. Woman")is proof enough that they deserve their place in the pantheon of rock. Plus Morrison was the chief influence of Iggy Pop who is just the baddest motherfucker on the planet bar none and for that alone the Doors will always RULE!
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:11 p.m. CST
Maybe not smartest, but my fave lyricist, and social commentator is Manson, what a great band they are. Check out 'HOLY WOOD', I wonder if Moriarty has... I think he's a fan. Monster Magnet's song 'Melt' off 'GOD SAYS NO' is a great rock track off a great rock album, their band is really influenced by comics. And the original OASIS cd is great. So who is the smartest band in America today (Dylan is a little too old...)?
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:17 p.m. CST
Man, I hope you're happy.
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:21 p.m. CST
... that, musically, the doors suck huge ass. yes, jim had mystique and may/may not have been a poet. but an amazing musical quartet they were not. they generated attention because jim was intriguing, had some memorable moments pushing the free expression envelope on stage, and died very young. but that's all you can say about the doors. no offense moriarty - meeting them would be cool anyway, especially the hyper-intelligent manzarek. but i would rather drive a stake through my foreheard than listen to another frickin' doors song.
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:24 p.m. CST
I was crazy into The Doors in high school too. As far as the Oliver Stone movie goes I think it still holds up as one of his best. Robert Richardson's cinematography with all the golden-amber pre-flashing and fog filters is just fucking mesmerizing. On the topic of the *new*Doors; I love amalgam bands too. Personally for me the greatest Rock & Roll band from the 60's isn't The Beatles or The Stones. It's The Dirty Mack! However, the question that intrigues me more than "What if Jim Lived?" is "What Would The Doors be Like If They Decided to Go With Iggy Pop As His Replacement?" But that's enough music geeking out for now.
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:27 p.m. CST
Being a big doors fan myself and Jim Morrison being the genius he was (or is?) I wanna watch the Doors no matter who is playing.
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:43 p.m. CST
by Radagast T Brown
... for me, anyway, was reading "No One Here Gets Out Alive," digging into the music a little bit, then tracking back to all the influences Morrison name-dropped way back when (Huxley, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Brecht/Weill), and realizing what a talentless little alcoholic stain Morrison really was by comparison. He could sing pretty well given the right lyric and tune, granted, but he was NO GODDAMN POET.
Aug. 27, 2002, 7:45 p.m. CST
...but in the interest of full disclosure, I always thought the Doors sucked unholy amounts of ass. I never held it against the many friends I had who thought Morrison was some kind of God, but I never, y'know, GOT it. To me, Morrison started the whole frat-boy-as-rock-star thing which led down the highly dubious road which Creed, Pearl Jam, et al do to such disgusting self-importance now. It's ironic that some people consider Morrison to be the first real "punk," when, frankly, if he had never shown up, I think rock 'n' roll wouldn't have gotten so self impressed and pretentious that it needed punk to come along and clear the drain, so to speak. I mean, Iggy Pop adores JM, and Iggy's permanently cool, and I do like The Cult, etc., but outside of the Grateful Dead, The Doors are the one band that I never, never, NEVER will be able to listen to without getting severely annoyed. Lizard King, HA! IMHO, you can't like the Doors and dislike Creed. Just not consistent.
Aug. 27, 2002, 8:01 p.m. CST
Aug. 27, 2002, 8:09 p.m. CST
A delete function. Sorry, y'all, but I really kicked high into asshole gear with that last post of mine. I'm not gonna lie to you, that really is how I feel about the Doors, but I really should have toned it down for public consumption. I guess I'm used to www.stonerrock.com, where you can edit crap or delete it completely, if you regret what you wrote. Of course, with the flame wars and no-lifers that occasionally pop their heads over the side on this site, that might cause as many problems as it solves, but hey...sorry 'bout that.
Aug. 27, 2002, 8:23 p.m. CST
The Tea Party; tell me, tell me, TELL ME you know what I mean. Out.
Aug. 27, 2002, 8:25 p.m. CST
What about poor ol' Billy Duffy?
Aug. 27, 2002, 8:26 p.m. CST
yeahbabyyeah, you'd rather drive a stake through your forehead? PLEASE, by all means, do us a favor and do just that, ok? I remember seeing Stone's The Doors and being more captivated by the music then by the movie. And so I bought the film soundtrack. Now when I was that age, around the beginning of my teens, I mostly collected film scores because I just couldn't really get into 'normal' music and my huge love for film gave me an appettite for all things film. When I went to buy a soundtrack, I would be sure no one I knew was around because I was embarrassed by my aversion to rock and pop and everything non-film score. So The Doors was one of my first actual music albums. I remember listening to the tape in my cheap walkman and realizing how great the sound was; it was hypnotic, strange, compelling, haunting,and totally relevant. After awhile, I would eventually buy the film on DVD, buy several books, buy t shirts, and of course all of their albums several times over because of re-releases and collector sets and such. Over a decade has passed since I was first exposed to the Doors and my love for them has nor waned one bit. They were truly legends and there will never be a band like them again, to me at least. And Ray was always the most talented one; I remember seeing footage of him playing the organ AND singing because Jim was either too fucked up or refused to play that night. There is just something about sitting in the dark with a candle lit, drinking, and having that wonderfully dark and mystical sound of the Doors flow around you and through you...
Aug. 27, 2002, 8:47 p.m. CST
Aug. 27, 2002, 10 p.m. CST
Hey, Pole of Justice, I appreciate the apology, but come ON, man - Creed? Jim Morrison took shits that were bigger than the singer of that piece-of-shit excuse for a band. Anyway, Mori, great story, man, and I'm jealous as fuck, but did it need to be here? No offense, as I really like your writing and the stories and inside tips that you share with us, but I really think that this one could've stayed at the bar.
Aug. 27, 2002, 10 p.m. CST
They covered "The Whiskey Song" from Weill and Berthold Brecht's "Three Penny Opera", and did a remarkably authentic version of it. I also have to give credit to Bobby Darrin for doing the same 15 or 20 years earlier with "Mack the Knife"; unfortunately, because of the time he did it he had to give it a smooth loungey veneer, but it still took some balls. And yeah, there are still some songs by The Doors I dig. It's just Manzarek, Morrison and the cultish fans that bug the bejeebus outta me.
Aug. 28, 2002, 1:08 a.m. CST
by Syd Mead
The best use of Jim's poetry was Lisa Simpson on the Duff Beer ride after she drank the water. Maybe IF the Simpson's went on tour doing covers of all the Doors classics with Homer fronting. Or some guy in a costume like the Blue's Clues Tour...THAT would be entertainment. At least it would be worth sparkin' up a fat one over it and passing it around. If you heard American Prayer or whatever the hell the Doors album is called without Jim...it just ain't the same mojo. It's cool that you met them Drew but I don't think I'd pay to hear them.
Aug. 28, 2002, 2:14 a.m. CST
No, no, no. I loved their stuff too, still do. The VH1 special was bearable, a little creepy, but just served to emphasize the absence of one crucial element. Which, of course, meant everything. Astbury did a creditable cover or two, but come ON. It was a one-time balancing act, as all originals are: Jim's voice, lyrics (admittedly shite at times), that sick organ swirl and the crisp percussion and guitar, those melodies. Let it die, boys, and let it therefore live forever. Where does it stop? It's bad enough those greedy old fucks The Glimmer Twins are hauling their carcasses through another unnecessary world tour. But do we really have to fear The Police with Billy Idol, Andy Summers and Ringo? Led Zep with Peter Noone and Richie Sambora? Queen with Chris de Bergh? Talking Heads with Ricky Martin? Shit, where's the Scotch...
Aug. 28, 2002, 2:41 a.m. CST
Nice one M. Very cool indeed. Must see the boys when they come over here.
Aug. 28, 2002, 5:42 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
Aug. 28, 2002, 7:20 a.m. CST
To be fair, I am both intrigued by this and yet sickened. I bought the DVD and had to return it... I love Ray's work on his solo projects, and also appreciate Robbie and JOHN...whose drum phrasing was an important part of the music, keyed to the effect of the vocals. BUT....this 'Reunion' sickened me. I dig the Cult..as THE CULT....but in my opinion, you don't get a guy because he has Jim characteristics or vocal phrasings...who can't do Morrison? It is like Elvis but different... First, the use of the name....I don't know how I feel about this, but it HAS a precedent, with Ray singing, which was okay, and made sense. I did hear Jim Carroll was involved, writing lyrics. WTF??? This is a GOOD choice for the new 'Doors' ...a true poet, and he has his own band...he SINGS...but I guess he doesn't sing 'Morrison' style!!! See, that would have been a risk that made sense. Real potential. The issue here was THIS JIM couldn't DO "Riders On The Storm"....they'd be forced to create new revolutionary music. Guess it was too tough. Danzig? Well, as a Danzig fan..why not? He can, as noted 'do' "The Jim"...and he has an edge to him. Dangerous..kinda. But, not the poetic type. I'm just not happy with this billing, and I guess the equivelent would be NIRVANA with Courtney on vocals? Hey, what about Brad Pitt? Which brings us to my horrid experience recently of having downloaded a cover of 'Lithium' by some idiot called "Papa Roach"...oh YEAH!!! There he was, nails polished black, gothed out, over emoting his heart out, emphasis on "I'm so horny" just to make sure everyone GOT IT. Add some weak guitars , a metal drummer and bassist and you have the ANTI Nirvana. Dude didn't 'get' the song! Weird Al has more of a grip on the Nirvana sound...go figure. Hey, I'm sure Papa Roach is a decent band, and I'm sorry my first exposure to them was a butchering of a Nirvana song. Where does all of this lead? Jim died. Kurt died...maybe suicide, maybe not..I don't know anymore...but the point is, and you can bear this out with the non-dead lead singers (Supposedly...) of Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, et al, that the show just DOESN'T go on without the singer, folks. One exception..AC/DC..they pulled it off....but wasn't this new guy PICKED in a way by the old one? Heard that somewhere. All in all, I want the 'old' Doors, but unless Jim IS on that island, I will take NEW Doors with an actual creative spirit, ala Jim Carroll. Other than that, I will be happy to fork over my money to see a DIFFERENT band featuring Ray and Robby with a few NEW songs, Ian, whatever..just don't try to pass it off as a band-aid. Oh, and a final note... Who the hell made all of you people critics of poetry? "Supposed Poet"? Look, ANYONE is a poet....you just need a frigging notebook and some haiku to claim a legit hold on that title...if you want to say BAD poet, that's cool..just add why....and one 'Bad' piece of prose doesn't doom you....all of the 'Greats' have poetry they gloss over in those great collegiate Great Poets 101 classes. To end this long blast of incoherence, Jim and Kurt were bad examples....the purpose of art is to be around to continue to express it..not die young. So, for all of you up and coming rock stars..steer clear of spped,smack,booze,shotguns, bizarre wives...and sometimes small planes. Use your best call on that one.
Aug. 28, 2002, 7:49 a.m. CST
Fuck this shit! The Doors were a great rock band. One of the best. So what if there's only two of them left playing. Life's short. No one's got a time machine so you can't go back and see these people in their prime. Or when they 'mattered'. Fuck that man. Go and see them. It's nostalgia. It doesn't last.
Aug. 28, 2002, 8:36 a.m. CST
I can't stomach Morrison personally, but the Doors influenced a lot of things I do like and for that, I appreciate. They had great keyboards, too. It's hard not to get swept up in Moriarity's excitement, I'm glad he got this opportunity. If I got to meet Dylan, I'd probably be the same way (except much more incoherent). Looking forward to part 2.
Aug. 28, 2002, 8:50 a.m. CST
AC/DC wasn't the only band to survive a lead singer change. There's also Van Halen (the first time they tried it), Pink Floyd, Genesis, Black Sabbath (well, I like Dio anyway), Sol Invictus (you'll just have to trust me on this one), um... that's all I can think of right now. sk
Aug. 28, 2002, 9:23 a.m. CST
by TV CASUALTY
Don't get me wrong - I mean, I respect their music, and their contribution to musical and rock n' roll history, but I just don't have any taste for their flavor of music. I DO love the Cult though, and have since the Southern Death Cult days. And The Police are high up on my list too. So yeah, this may not be the real Doors, but as collaborative efforts go, it's pretty fucking cool. Enjoy yourself Drew, I look forward to the next chapter of this little saga. And, as usual, ignore the naysayers posting here - I'd knock someone out to be in your place right now...
Aug. 28, 2002, 9:28 a.m. CST
If the Doors were playing on a transistor radio...caked in mud...at the deep end of a swimming pool...from the next room over...and you were on codeine.
Aug. 28, 2002, 9:31 a.m. CST
by TV CASUALTY
you forgot Genesis and the Misfits. Whoa, that's probably the only time I'll use those two bands in the same sentence...
Aug. 28, 2002, 9:34 a.m. CST
The Doors had their share of fame and fortune - but for a band that is now somehow connected with the greats of all-time, they seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time getting fucked up and not paying much attention to their music. They sold their songs to commercials, recorded music drunk (Morrison's true demon was alcohol) and generally didn't seem to greatly care what their music did or went following their first album. They were an image band. Pure and simple. It's that image of warrior-poet that was embraced by audiences and connected with what was, at best, generic pop songs with the occassional masturbatory wank-out - verse, chorus, verse chorus, bridge, chorus. It was and is poetry for teenagers. - a comfortable channel to rebel through. A prolific band at their height - their constant stream of albums revealed much filler and tunes flat ripped-off from other lesser knowns. However, despite all this, they managed to crank out some truely classic, timeless tunes like "The End" (self-important wank-out that manages to connect) and 6 or 7 others that are still played at those parties in your friends basement where fifteen people go outside to smoke a single joint and think they're high because they feel "itchy". Jim Morrison was the original disgruntled rock star, he found a niche in cool and exploited it. So yes, influence is everywhere - image conscious self-important no talent hacks everywhere claim the Doors opened their minds to music. Its 'cause they don't know what else "cool" people are supposed to listen to. To some extent, some of the blame has to be put on Oliver Stone - who loved the band because it was more representative of a time and place in American culture - Vietnem and the death of the Love generation - but the film protrayed Morrison as a rock Deity and our generation took it for gospel. So there was a second Doors revolution that washed over all our unsuspecting heads, and the band became bigger than they were perhaps meant to be. Having said that, I think that now it has become a rite of passage that the first time you get high, or a little drunk someone is invaribly going to throw on the Doors - it just seems like the thing to do, and there in echoes a certain cultural impact that, while not a product of the music, is a product of the attitude - and what's more rock and roll than that?
Aug. 28, 2002, 9:58 a.m. CST
It was the MUSIC that made The Doors, not ol' Jimmie-boy. You could put any heroin addict up at the mic reading his shitty sixth grade english class poetry assignment that he wrote after sniffing wood filler putty that he stole from shop class, as long as you got the music to back it up. I saw a poster at a music store once that was a picture of Jim Morrison with the caption "An American Poet". I almost threw up. I dig the Doors, because of the music. It's not always about the lead singer.
Aug. 28, 2002, 10:58 a.m. CST
It seems that you had a life-defining moment. Fuck all the cocksuckers that say without Jim there are no Doors. I'd rather see that then Dennis DeYoung without STYX or Bachman w/o the Turner and Overdrive. I've seen the WHO twice in '89 and the '96 Quadrophenia show(a life-defining moment for me) and I'm seeing them on Sat w/o John Entwistle and of course I never saw Keith Moon play, but fuck it it was and will be the WHO for me. The name is just something that's on the ticket, it's what it feels like for the fan that really counts.
Aug. 28, 2002, 11:02 a.m. CST
by TV CASUALTY
Damned eloquent posting...
Aug. 28, 2002, 11:10 a.m. CST
of course, at least NewOrder had the decency to change their name from JoyDivision when Ian Curtis killed himself. They knew it'd have been wrong to tour as JoyDivision without him, and as interested as I would be in seeing Manzarek and Astbury and co., I think they should change their name from The Doors as well.
Aug. 28, 2002, 11:23 a.m. CST
...sorry guys, but I gotta call this one as I see it. A whining, pretentious pretty boy, with a completely unjustified persecution complex and Messianic tendencies so far beyond his reach it borders on high comedy, moaning about how no one understands, despite the millions of records sold. The Doors, or Creed? Tomato, tomAHto...
Aug. 28, 2002, 11:24 a.m. CST
Mori, did you ask those guys if Morrison's experimental film "HWY: An American Pastoral" was ever going to be released? Just wondering. I'm no Doors fan, and even went through an active period hating them after a girl who was a big fan dumped me, but am midly curious about seeing this film. Also, Manzark is one of the best keyboardists in rock. Period.
Aug. 28, 2002, 11:25 a.m. CST
I don't consider the Doors "hacks" per se, but they truly are one of those bands that in generated by the industry of counter-culture. And, I would put to you that any band that gives 12 minute long songs about incest and armaggedeon is most defintely a band setting an image. These self-important masteurbatory wank-outs are precisely the ones that promote the idea of the Doors as visionary musicians - but if you pay attention to the music, its mostly repetitive, their seems to lack any kind of organic reason for the song to grow - I'm sorry, it sounds forced and at best an excuse for Jim to go all 60s era "controversial" for the sake of it. I don't know - a song like "The End" - it strives for some level of understanding of human interaction and at times feels like it gets there. Other Doors songs are no different from anything else recorded in the day = Touch Me, LA Woman. My question: What made the Doors more poetic than, say, the Eagles? Whay are they considered a greater, more artistic band? Lyrically, the Eagles maybe had the better stuff - but they never get the same kind of examination - I have to ask why, and I think its simply a product of style over substance. BTW, I hate the fucking Eagles more than the Doors.
Aug. 28, 2002, 11:29 a.m. CST
by Wonko The Sane
Iron Maiden. Bruce Dickinson replaced Paul Di'Anno for their third album 'The Number of the Beast' and led them through their most successful recording period. However, they did stumble quite a bit when Bruce left the band and was replaced by Blaze Bayley for two mediocer albums...Thank God they got Bruce back a couple of years ago. As to Ian Astbury of the Cult: I've always liked the Cult, and 'Beyond Good and Evil' is one of the better rock albums to come out in the past couple of years. While I'm unsure of him leading the Doors, I'd give Ian the benefit of the doubt with one concern: he's more of a full throttle singer, and I think that the music of the Doors requires more subtlety than I've seen him deliver live. I'd definitely pay to see them for this gig, though.
Aug. 28, 2002, 1:28 p.m. CST
I never liked The Doors. And I say that with pride, because that means I don't have to count myself among the truly intolerable kinds of people who have been filling this talkback with embarrassing, maudlin tributes to the memory of a fat, pathetic, untalented drunk. Yes, I'm trolling.
Aug. 28, 2002, 1:39 p.m. CST
pay attention to what this guy does. he is as close to a shaman lead singer since Morrison.
Aug. 28, 2002, 2:19 p.m. CST
...I didn't forget Genesis - they're on my list. And while I can tell you're a Misfits fan from your handle, they don't belong on a list of bands that remained succesful after the departure of their lead singer. Like Mr. Danzig said, the Misfits HE was with would never do a song called "I Wanna Be A NY Ranger". And somebody mentioned Iron Maiden - good call - they DO belong on the list. sk
Aug. 28, 2002, 3:24 p.m. CST
The mere mention of The Doors brings a smile to my face. Keep us posted man, I'm all up for it.
Aug. 28, 2002, 3:36 p.m. CST
...and I'm glad Jim Morrison is dead and not spouting out drunken second rate poetry. The Doors' great performances consist of an intoxicated pretentious fool falling on his ass saying whatever bullshit comes to his head.. greatness my balls... "ride the snake", c'mon! what an asshole! The Doors movie was terrible too.. and to think, people see this fool as some kinda messiah, all those fucking posters of him in the cosmos and books about how "legendary" he is.. fuck that, Jim Morrison was a worthless druggie and a bad poet in a rediculusly self indulgent band (with a shitty guitarist), and the organ is still not cool in rock music.. fuck this..
Aug. 28, 2002, 3:43 p.m. CST
Aug. 28, 2002, 3:48 p.m. CST
Hell yeah...I love the Tea Party! For you Americans who may not have heard of the Tea Party, they are a trio from Ontario that bore a remarkable resemblance to the Doors when they first hit it big in Canada in 93. Jeff Martin, the lead singer, had Jims voice, hair, leather pants, stage mannerisms etc. etc. The weird thing was that he took offense to being compared to Morrison at the time (even though he used blatantly obvious Doors influences in his lyrics). All the same, their music kicked ass...kind of like a weird hybrid between the Doors and Nirvana with a smattering of Led Zeppelin for good measure. And by the way, Creed sucks the sweat off a dead mans balls.
Aug. 28, 2002, 4:25 p.m. CST
by Billy Talent
He does the best Morrison around. I don't have a problem with these sorts of reunions. Maybe the Stones, The Who et all are a little over the hill, but I don't think they're any more irrelevant than Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock or Nine Inch Nails.
Aug. 28, 2002, 4:25 p.m. CST
by Billy Talent
He does the best Morrison around. I don't have a problem with these sorts of reunions. Maybe the Stones, The Who et all are a little over the hill, but I don't think they're any more irrelevant than Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock or Nine Inch Nails.
Aug. 28, 2002, 5:23 p.m. CST
I dont love the Doors but I will say that they were at least a real rock band none some piece of manufactured crap like Creed, or some rip-off band. everybody thinks Ian Astbury is a perfect replacement for Morrison. Bullshit. Astbury is a Morrison wanna-be. At least Morrison was an original. AND i dont even like Jim Morrison and I still will acknowledge that there was something unique and special about him.
Aug. 28, 2002, 5:32 p.m. CST
Try to picture a less than attractive guy spouting out bad poetry and acting pretentious on stage. He would be scoffed at.. But because it's a handsome, charismatic figure it's celebrated. Face it... every generation of young white boys need an attractive, iconic figure to emulate.. Elvis, Vedder, Paul Williams. It's a continuous cycle of predictable behaviour. I can't stand it when I see that awful 'door' poster of Jim with his arms ouststretched hanging in some dopes room like some qausi-christ figure. I can'help but think they saw the "Lost Boys' and figured they better build a shrine to Jim as well. We live in a shallow culture that rewards the beautiful. Of course this is no suprise but what's puzzling is that it's often times the 'unatractive' that worship a dousche like Morrision makeing his legend grow. I think the Doors made some nice music.. but let's leave it there.. there are far too many others more deserving of our worship. like Burle Ives.
Aug. 28, 2002, 7:46 p.m. CST
Didn't read any other talkbacks, none of that matters-Moriarty, if you get a chance to read this, THANK YOU! Your feelings about The Doors match mine almost 100%. Except I think I feel even more intensly (but that's just my perspective from reading this article). I had actually heard about this project but thought they had convinces Densmore to be a part of it. Stewart will do very nicely though I'm sure. His recent work with Oysterhead (live-the CD is only OK) was outfuckingstanding! It's about time he gets around to playing more. Ian was alway just fuckin' cool so when I heard about this I didn't have any problems with him singing either. Everybody KNOWS it's not "The Doors" without the original 4 members, but so fuckin' what! These guys HAVE NOT reemed their fans for the last 20 years with endless lame releases and merchandise. So if they actually want to go out and play some shows, put a couple bucks in their pockets, right-the-fuck-on! I'll be there! Looking forward to part 2.
Aug. 28, 2002, 8:21 p.m. CST
give me the Music Machine or Love anyday
Aug. 29, 2002, 4:33 a.m. CST
I have been a Doors fan for as long as I can remember, and there was one thing that gravitated me towards their music : Jim Morrison. Althought a flawed and controversial figure, Morison is without a doubt, the most charismatic frontman in rock's history, in my honest opinion. Those of you who have ever seen a live Doors performance via viseotape, etc. know that there is an undeniable stage prescense that Morrison had that you just couldn't put your finger on. I'm the frontman in a band myself, and Morrison had that indelible aura while he was on stage that all of us who do lead vocals in a band strive for. When he was on stage, the fans were HIS and his alone. He was the puppetmaster pulling the strings of each and every one of the people in attendance. That's a rare gift very seldom seen today... if ever. Sure he was a drug addicted, alcoholic, sometimes pretentious, always controversial figure... but there's no debating his status as a rock and roll icon. To see Ian Astbury take Jim's place on a "Doors" reunion tour turns my stomach. Astbury isn't one half the entertainer Morrison was, and his attempts at covering Morrison's vocal style are laughable, at best. One need look no further than the CD "Stoned Immaculate - A Tribute To The Doors" and Astbury's terrible rendition of "Touch Me" to instantly know that astbury's the wrong man for the job. This is yet another attempt by Manzarek to cash in on the fame and notoriety of The Doors legend and another way to live on the laurels of his past glory as a part of the band. As far as Manzarek's "love" for Jim... I always noticed that his love sometimes bordered on the homoerotic when certain comments were made about his "love" for Jim. "I know that if Jim Morrison hauled it out on stage, I would have wanted to see it!" comes to mind instantly... for my money, Krieger was the most talented musician in the band anyway. Hell, if they just wanted a fill in who could imitate Jim, they needn't have looked any further than Jeff Martin from The Tea Party... download their song THE RIVER and tell me you don't agree. Also, the guy is the spitting image of Jim on stage. Anyway, my point is... there's only one THE DOORS.. and without Jim... they're anything but...
Aug. 29, 2002, 10:52 a.m. CST
by TV CASUALTY
Good point, I missed the part where you were talking about continual success. For the record though, I wouldn't touch the "new" Misfits with a 10 meter cattle prod. Because they fucking SUCK.
Sept. 3, 2002, 3:29 p.m. CST
Fat, bearded days, anyone? I like the Doors. I used to be ashamed of it but now I embrace it. The main thing I didn't like about the movie was how slutty they made Nico, but then again this wasn't Nico and The Doors: The Movie, so I looked past it. Nico, by the way, wanted to take Morrison's place after he died. I think the Doors toyed with the idea for a bit but it never fell through. Nico, however, covered "The End" and it is so beautiful I can't even express it in words.
Sept. 4, 2002, 4:38 p.m. CST
by Electric Tsunami
Arthur Lee is out of jail and on the road. He's aping all the Love songs but he's got a whole new band (so much for purists). Sean Boniwell has done some revival shows in the past couple of decades but it is lacking the energy that I've seen Robby Krieger play with the 2 times I've seen him. Sky Saxon of the Seeds is a loose cannon, anyone want to see him come back again? I caught the Standells in Vegas at the Las Vegas Grind (all original lineup) and some people were bitching that they prefered the modern bass player that had filled in the previous year at Cavestomp. Then there's the Leaves ("Hey Joe"). Have we covered the LA sixties scene completely now?
Sept. 5, 2002, 11:57 p.m. CST
the doors are playing in cali this friday at the SPeedway on the harley davidson tour, awesome man...im so there
Sept. 6, 2002, 5:26 a.m. CST
i think that the doors misic is the best in human history. music played by the doors make me think
Sept. 7, 2002, 11:50 a.m. CST
by Old Hippie Chick
I have been reading about this reunion "tour" and I haven't really come to any conclusions about it yet. All I can say is this...I have been a Doors fan (and a J. Morrison fan as well) for 36 years. Their music still means as much to me as it did back then, even though times (and yes, even I) have changed, and though I have many current favorite bands as well. Some of the references in the Doors' music as well as in Jim's poetry may sound archaic and outdated, but only because it is being listened to or read with ears and eyes that may need to find a point of reference. I am not a fan who eats, drinks, sleeps and smokes the Doors 24/7, but I still feel that little thrill when I listen to Waiting for the Sun or The Soft Parade...there's just something magical about that music that will probably stay with me forever...and beyond. Thanks for letting me join the discussion and much love to you all. I'm glad to see so many people (of all ages and locales) still enjoying this particular brand of magic! Peace.
Sept. 9, 2002, 2:52 p.m. CST
i think its a bunch of shit that ian ashbury is singing for the doors. he sounds nothing like jim and doesnt even resemble him. im a huge fan of the doors and im gonna go to the concert. but boo ian off stage. get val. if there was anyone that could be jim, it would be val kilmer. ian sucks, and sounds like shit.
Sept. 19, 2002, 1:23 p.m. CST
I for one can't wait to see the second show(in Toronto). The Doors ROCK! Always have and always will. This band changed rock music and made us all think a little--what is wrong with that. WE owe them a shot at this "New Doors" thing. Nobody can replace Morrison-everyone knows that-and to his credit-Ian doesn't try. Things change(The Changeling)--get ovet it!
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:47 a.m. CST
That would be funny
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