How Does The Doors` Debut Record Translate To Us Today?

June 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Music, Top Story

Why do The Doors still speak to us today? Why do their songs ring true to us today? The first record, The Doors, was released on January 4, 1967. The recording took place the previous August (8/24-8/31/1966) at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, Ca. Paul Rothchild was the producer and Bruce Botnick was the engineer. The label was Electra and a four-track machine was employed to record 11 well-rehearsed songs.

Apparently, The Doors had worked out all the kinks on these 11, when playing at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. I can only imagine the excitement of these early sets at this Sunset Boulevard legend of a club! I picked up this debut record on itunes the other day, after recalling the scene in Apocalypse Now that features The End. By the way, for just $8 you can get an in tact version of the record, the way it was originally released, just a bit slower.

Well, I`ve failed to answer my initial question. I`m thinking on it still. I like this piece in Slant Magazine, which was written (by Sal Cinquemonti) for the 40th anniversary release of The Doors in 2007. Sal touches on what I would consider to be a vital reason for the durability of both the band and their songs. One thing is for sure, it`s a damn tight band.

Sal mentions the tension, the undercurrent of surging thought (which may be a result of changes going on in the 1960s), bubbling up to the surface, even on the debut! But why do so many film students ultimately end up in Rock? That`s the real question, Horatio.

Is ‘The Soft Parade’ The Doors Worse Album?

June 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Music, Top Story

The Soft Parade was released in June of 1969. I picked it up on itunes yesterday. I never owned it back in the day. I`m rebuilding my Doors collection from the ground up, and only need the first one (with Light My Fire) and Waiting For the Sun to complete my collection. I will link for you an original review of The Soft Parade, that appeared in The Rolling Stone, written by Alec Dubro and having a publication date of 8/23/1969.

Soft Parade is The Doors Black Sheep record, and gets the most scathing reviews from the critics, if not the fans. I wonder if we`re still in the same place, in terms of assessing it`s significance (or lack of it) in either The Doors career or even the very history of Rock `N` Roll? One thing I`ll have to note, The Doors invested a lot of time and effort in the record. They spent 11 months recording it (from July 1968-May 1969) at Electra Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, CA.

Brass and strings was a no no in rock at that time. But it was okay for Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago Transit Authority (I may be setting a little discussion here about whether brass and strings has a place in rock.) SP sounds good to me today. I love Touch Me, penned by Robby Krieger, the guitar player. I`m not having issues with Soft Parade, for now. Shaman`s Blues, interesting. Runnin` Blue, very inventive! Let`s give it a fresh look, what say you?

When You`re Strange: A Film About The Doors

March 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Music

I was thumbing through The Chronicle this morning to see what films are coming to South By Southwest. I got excited when I saw that a new documentary about The Doors is coming. From what I`ve read so far, it looks great. It helps also that I`m a Doors Junky! It`s called When You`re Strange: A Film About the Doors. It`s directed by Tom Dicillo. *(A good review of Doors Doc.)

The case has been made that let a few years go by, and The Doors will resurrect back from the dead. I don`t ever brush them aside myself. For me, their immortality is a given; they are permanently framed in the Picture Gallery of Rock. Jim`s poetic prowess is rubbing off on me, just a scintilla perhaps? “Like a dog without a bone or an actor out on loan, Riders On the Storm.”

Never before seen footage (1965-1971), snippets of an art film of Jim`s from UCLA, no talking head gremlins, a 13 song CD released on March 30th, footage from Isle of Wight and Ed Sullivan…all about the Art of The Doors! Lookin` forward to When You`re Strange. Aren`t you? *(my photo of The Doors doing Touch Me on The Smothers Brothers with a full ensemble of strings and horns-SURREAL!)

“When the Music`s Over, Turn Out the Light!”

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Music

john lennon vToday is the anniversary of the death of John Lennon; it happened twenty-nine years ago as of today. Seems like yesterday. As Lester Bangs said, John was just a man. The worship of The Beatles was/is just a fantasmagorical illusion of their fans. But John was only forty years old. He was startin` to write his best stuff with Double Fantasy. He plays a stunning guitar part (use of the wammy bar) on Walkin` On Thin Ice, that was recorded on the very day he died.

I had seen Lester Bangs just a few months before he wrote this piece for the LA Imagine iiiTimes, Thinking the Unthinkable About John Lennon. Lester is just saying that he was past his prime. We are still shocked by Bangs` honesty. But Lennon left his mark on history, and that will never die. *(In case you`ve forgotten, it`s a message of PEACE!) I visited the Dakota and Strawberry Fields Park in December of dakota2005. Yea, The Dakota largely looms eerily on the edge of Central Park, with such ghosts as Rosemary`s Baby. Don`t know why Yoko still lives there? *(my photo-SFP)

“I don`t know which is more pathetic, the people of my generation who refuse to let their adolescence die a natural death, or the younger ones who will snatch and gobble any shred, any scrap of a dream that someone declared over ten years ago.” Lester Bangs    Okay, Lester, I feel guilty, I`m amongst that group of fools. Worthless sentimentality is the Fools Gold that keeps me tickin`.

“Who Do You Love?” Twenty-Five Songs Added to the Grammy Hall of Fame

November 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Music

grammy songsThe Grammy Hall of Fame awardees for 2009 were just announced yesterday. Twenty-five songs that are at least twenty-five years old can qualify for the award by ‘the academy,’ if they are deemed to have “qualitative or historical significance.” The special Grammy Hall of Fame award was started in 1973 and 851 songs are included so far. Several standouts this year are: California Girls (The Beach Boys), Twist and Shout (The Isley Brothers) and As Time Goes By-“A kiss is just a kiss.” (Dooley Wilson).BoDiddley

As I look over the list, all the tracks look interesting to me, but just a few grabbed my attention this morning. Bo Diddly`s Who Do You love? is most famous for its funky rhythm and has been used countless times in various Rock & Roll riffs. Quicksilver Messenger Service forged its sparkling career from the shakin` rhythms of this song. The Doors` classic Riders On the Storm is on there also, fairly close to the bottom. What is the lyric of Jim Morrison all about, really?

So review the list, please…There are quite a few here that are fuzzy for me, and could stand a fresh spin. If you read this, Big Band and Classic Jazz (Thomas Durnin), I`m requesting Dipper Mouth Blues by King Oliver & His Jazz Band. P.S. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! (source-Daily Contributor)