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Tribute to the Lizard King

The Jim Morrison Project is an audio & visual anthology detailing the life of Jim Morrison through his poetry, film work, artwork, spoken word & music with The Doors.

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Check in to the ‘Morrison Hotel’ 40 Years Later

The Doors 1968

1970 was more than the dawn of a new decade. It was also the end of an era.

The year began with the breakup of the Beatles, wrapped up with the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and was also hallmarked by any number of other musical convolutions. The Rolling Stones did not release a new studio LP, The Who were still struggling to follow up "Tommy," and rock 'n' roll itself was on such shaky ground that, when the critics looked around and tried to prophesy what the "Next Big Thing" was going to be, most of them settled upon the crop of singer-songwriters who—let's be honest here—would barely have gotten a look in a year or two before.

The Doors - Morrison HotelAnd then The Doors released "Morrison Hotel," and, for 40 marvelous minutes or so, it was worth waking up in the morning again.

Dave Marsh at Creem called The Doors' fifth album "the most horrifying rock and roll I have ever heard," and that was a compliment. "When they're good, they're simply unbeatable." It was the best record he'd heard all year.

Rock Magazine and Circus unanimously agreed that it was The Doors' best record yet, and while it was maybe a little early to be making such pronouncements ('Morrison Hotel' was released in February 1970), Circus described it as "one of the best albums released this decade."

Which, coming hot on the heels of what had been the most tumultuous year in the band's career so far, must have been music to their ears. Jim Morrison was still reeling from the ugliness unleashed by the Miami bust for obscenity; the band as a whole was still shaken by the almost unanimously hostile reception that greeted their last album, "Soft Parade." Indeed, organist Ray Manzarek is still capable of summoning up a considerable quantity of bile when recalling the reaction which that record provoked.

"'How dare The Doors use horns and strings; who do they think we are? We want them to keep playing songs the way they are. How dare they add something to it because when they do that; they're not The Doors," Manzarek says.

He laughs.

"All right, all right, it's my fault; I take full responsibility. It was my idea to put on some horns and strings, get some jazz players," Manzarek says.

His voice oozing sarcasm, Manzarek remembers that album's planning stages. "We've done three albums and they're all exactly the same… there must be something we can do that's different."

There was, and they did it. And what happened? "A lot of people say, 'Oh, I don't like it, …'" he says

There was just one solution. "OK, we'll go back to the blues and do something down and dirty and funky. Here's 'Morrison Hotel.' The Doors back to the roots. And that's what we did. The Doors went back to the roots, the tight roots sound.

"The next leap would have been into synthesizers. We never quite got around to that, to the ARP, the Moog. We didn't quite get those in, but we definitely would have. And you can bet that had the synth been a little further along, or The Doors been a little further along, all those horns and strings on the 'Soft Parade would have been done by me. I would have found the horn sound or the string sound. …"

In the meantime, however, "Morrison Hotel" "was just back to basics." But not, Manzarek insists, as a reaction to the panning that "Soft Parade" received. "Not at all. It was our choice. Quite frankly, we didn't pay a lot of attention to the critics because, when it comes time for creation, you go into a different space where there's nothing but you and your music, and how can you make your music as good as it can possibly be at this moment in time?

"We live in our own room, all bands do. Imagine Jimi Hendrix doing anything that Jimi Hendrix didn't want to do. Whether its horns and strings or synths or back to basics, that's your decision, and that's what we did," Manzarek says. "We looked at one another and said 'OK, let's get funky. Let's get funky, let's do it'."

Just two external players were recruited—bassist Lonnie Mack and the mysterious G Puglese, a harmonica wizard who only later turned out to be John Sebastian. Compare that to the small army of auxiliaries who turned out for "Soft Parade;" and compare the relaxed, almost effortless feel of the music, again, with that which preceded it. If you want your Doors dangerous, there's no comparison.

"Morrison Hotel" is not the sole glimpse into this new-found funkiness around these days. Earlier this year, a staggering six CDs of live material culled from The Doors' four-show residency at the Felt Forum in New York provided us with the most complete examination yet of The Doors as a working band.

Dave Thompson (2010, August 10). Check in to the 'Morrison Hotel' 40 years later. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from www.goldminemag.com
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Guest Friday, 01 August 2014

Doors Playlist

  • 40 Second Wonder ;)
  • A Night With Jim Morrison at The Alta Cienega Motel
  • Adolf Hitler is still alive
  • Aldous Huxley interview-1958 (FULL)
  • Alice Cooper-Desperado (Live)
  • Back Door Man- The Doors( Live in Seattle ) RARE
  • Blondie Vs The Doors - Rapture Riders'88 (7-inch mix edit)
  • Cartoon About Governor Charlie Crist's Pardon of The Doors Singer Jim Morrison
  • Charlie Crist wants  to give The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison a full pardon:)
  • Dawn's Highway Trailer Small.mov
  • Doors On Backtrax-Interview On Jim Morrison Pt.2
  • Doors On Backtrax-Interview On Jim Morrison Pt.3
  • Doors On Backtrax-Interview on Jim Morrison Pt.1
  • Doorstown: Jim Morrison and The Doors Documentary
  • Feast Of Friends - The Doors Documentary
  • Jim Morrison   The Last 24 Hours - documentary
  • Jim Morrison & Women
  • Jim Morrison Alta Cienega Motel Room 32
  • Jim Morrison Backstage at "Bakersfield Civic Center " 1968 Footage
  • Jim Morrison Pere Lachaise Cemetery Valeri's Cupcake Medallion #4
  • Jim Morrison in "Florida State University: Toward a Greater University"
  • Jim Morrison in an Airplane
  • Jim Morrison on Why Fat is Beautiful | Blank on Blank | PBS Digital Studios
  • Jim Morrison pardon on track
  • Jim Morrison receives pardon in Florida
  • Jim Morrison, The Weird Dawn of Dreams
  • Jim Morrison: His Final Hours - "Final 24"
  • John Densmore On taking Acid With Jim Morrison.
  • Members of The Doors Discuss The Genesis of "Mr. Mojo Risin'"
  • Patricia Kennealy-Morrison on Jim Morrison
  • Rare Live Footage of The Doors and Jim Morrison
  • Riders on the Storm - The Doors HD
  • STORY OF THE DOORS AT NEW ORLEANS, WAREHOUSE DECEMBER 10, 1970 {HD}
  • Salli Stevenson & Jim Morrison 1970 Interview
  • THE DOORS - Rare promo video of Light my fire
  • THE DOORS IN HD - JIM MORRISON - THE END - LIVE IN CONCERT - AMAZING !!!!
  • THE DOORS ROBBY KRIEGER TALKS JIM MORRISON PARDON
  • THE doors - Live at the Bowl `68
  • The Doors   Soundstage Performances 1969
  • The Doors "Rock Is Dead" Rare The Complete Session! 1969
  • The Doors (The Crystal Ship)
  • The Doors (Wild Child rare version)
  • The Doors - Bakersfield 1970 (Synced footage)
  • The Doors - GLORIA - dirty version (music video, fantasy cut)
  • The Doors - L.A. Woman - HQ (official music video)
  • The Doors - Let It Slide
  • The Doors - Light My Fire (Live In Europe 1968)
  • The Doors - Light My Fire [HD]
  • The Doors - Love Street
  • The Doors - Moonlight Drive [HD]
  • The Doors - No One Here Gets Out  Alive A Tribute to Jim Morrison
  • The Doors - R-Evolution 2013 (Official DVD Release)
  • The Doors - Riders On The Storm (ORIGINAL!) - driving with Jim
  • The Doors - Roadhouse Blues (Live)
  • The Doors - Roadhouse Blues, BEST version (live in N.Y. 1970) [music video]
  • The Doors - Ships With Sails (HQ Audio)
  • The Doors - Spanish Caravan (From "Live In Europe 1968" DVD)
  • The Doors - The Changeling Live RARE 8mm Home Movie
  • The Doors - The Future Starts Here - full album / video collection (the doors essential hits)
  • The Doors - The Soft Parade
  • The Doors - Touch Me
  • The Doors - Waiting for the sun
  • The Doors - When The Music's Over (LIVE IN EUROPE 1968)
  • The Doors - Wishful Sinful
  • The Doors - rare - backstage before a concert
  • The Doors Are Open (Full Movie)
  • The Doors Aura Studio Demos (1965) [Early recordings of the Doors]
  • The Doors Back Door Man Live at Matrix "San Francisco" 1967
  • The Doors Break On Through "Promotional & Publicity Film" 1966 HD New Footage
  • The Doors Break On Through at "She-Bang" 1967 New Good Quality
  • The Doors Break on Through Live at "Boston" 1970
  • The Doors Build Me a Woman Live at Aquarius Theater "Private Rehearsal" 1969
  • The Doors Five to One Live at Cleveland Public Auditorium August 3 1968
  • The Doors Five to one / Spanish Caravan Live at "Philadelphia Arena" 1968
  • The Doors Full Concert at "Cleveland Public Auditorium" Cleveland 1968
  • The Doors Live 1968
  • The Doors Live at "Felt Forum" NY 1970 First Night HQ Early Show
  • The Doors Live at Beat Club 1972 Full TV Show
  • The Doors Live at Chicago "Chicago Coliseum" 1968 Full Concert Bootleg
  • The Doors Morrison Hotel Silent 8mm Film Footage 1969 The Changeling 12 11 70
  • The Doors PBS Studio 1969 Full concert
  • The Doors When the Music's Over Live at Matrix "San Francisco" 1967
  • The Doors at '"Murray the K In New York" Full Outtakes 1967
  • The Doors | People Are Strange (Official Video)
  • The Doors, Mr. Mojo Risin The Story Of LA Woman
  • The Doors, Spanish Caravan Live, Madison Square Garden, New York Jan 24, 1969
  • The Doors- Five to One
  • The Doors- Light My Fire Official Live
  • The Doors: Mr. Mojo Risin - The Story of LA Woman extras
  • The Doors: When You're Strange
  • The Warehouse - Bill Johnston
  • Turn out the Lights - Jim Morrison's last night on stage
  • When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors (HD Theatrical Trailer)
  • the doors live light my fire hollywood bowl 1968

Featured Book

The Doors On The Road
by Greg Shaw provides a comprehensive timeline of live performances, reviews of the shows, stage antics of the performers, gossip related to the events, and recording sessions.

The only time i really open up is onstage. I feel spiritual up there. Performing gives me a mask, a place to hide myself where I can reveal myself. I see it as more than performing, going on, doing songs, and everybody in the theater on common ground.

—Jim Morrison

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