Rebellious Jukebox: The Doors
You really have to fight sometimes to maintain how cool The Doors are, and that sometimes strikes me as odd. But then you have to consider that they hardly have an unsullied reputation — Morrison did as much to damage their image as he did to create it. When you can drink and do drugs and still get up on stage and sing you are rock ‘n’ roll but when you start to fail people step in pretty quickly to crucify you. Did the Oliver Stone film help? Hard to say, given that a lot of it was a smearing of unadulterated bullshit over a story already overly weighed down with bullshit.
What made me think to write this today? Well, I just managed to get hold of the two post-Morrison Doors albums and have been listening to them interestedly. Why don’t they work in the way that some records recorded by bands after losing their singer work? Perhaps because by the time Morrison left the group and the mortal coil they weren”t the same people they had been when they were in their hey day. Even on the last album, and the one previous, they had been moving towards something different. Perhaps these two albums, Other Voices
and Full Circle
give an idea of where The Doors might have ended up.
Those early albums and the later ones share the same sense of innovation that was a thread through all of the albums, I think what is lacking though is a true rock star. Morrison became iconic and there just wasn’t anyone left in the group who could step up and fill his shoes. Is this what The Doors would have been if they had never met Jim Morrison? No, because it is the journey through the Morrison years that shaped them. It is damned ballsy to try and go back out there when you have lost such a major element of your group. They had to do it before when Morrison was too drunk to perform but it is different when everyone knows he is never coming back. Seems like it taught Densmore something — that they aren’t The Doors without Morrison — he didn’t want to be a part of the revived Doors in 2001 and on the evidence there it seems he made the right choice.
The Doors were an aesthetic, a state of mind, a period of time — they were the product of the chemistry of four people coming together to make music — and when they hit their stride they were fucking amazing.
Now playing: The Cult – Love Removal Machine