The “Bad Boys” of reggae, veteran band Inner Circle, will celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018, and their latest single, fittingly, is a cover of a 50-year-old song, The Doors’ “Light My Fire.” The reggae remake of the rock classic (produced by Inner Circle, released on DubShot Records/SoundBwoy Entertainment) features Samoan American reggae star J Boog and Jamaican dancehall sensation Konshens—and it developed from a bout of insomnia.
“I couldn’t sleep one night and the story of Jim Morrison was on TV, he was singing 'Light My Fire' in a laid back way and I was like, this guy has a reggae attitude,” Inner Circle bassist Ian Lewis recalled in an interview with Billboard on the phone from the band’s Circle House studios in North Miami. “Then J Boog came here, he was chilling at our studio and the idea came to me to do 'Light My Fire' because I thought it was a wicked song,” Ian continued. “Reggae is that natural kind of music that can wrap itself around anything so the song just came off of a vibe, it wasn’t planned.”
Meschino, P. (2017, August 11). Reggae Veterans Inner Circle Premiere 'Light My Fire' Video, Share Plans for 50th Anniversary: Exclusive. Retrieved from www.billboard.com
Most of the allure of Oliver Stone’s The Doors, a rockumentary about the quintessential 60s rock band of the same name & its controversial lead singer Jim Morrison, comes from the renown of the band itself and the appeal of good old rock. So, going into the movie, as you watch the brilliance of Val Kilmer’s performance and his striking & uncanny inhabitation of Jim Morrison’s persona, it does in no way seem like a let-down. The characters are still young and enthused & seem to be going somewhere.
Further, the movie builds up around intriguing premises of lesser known influences on Morrison, like the time he witnessed a dead Native American on a road. But, all this clouds one’s ability to realize that from the very beginning, the film has been on a downward slide into obscurity and stupor.
Raina, P. (2017, August 9). 10 Movies That Went From Wonderful To Awful. Retrieved from www.tasteofcinema.com
Except for today’s drug problems, about the only thing that remains from the Summer of Love is the music and it underwent a big change between June and September 1967. The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and that album, strikingly different from previous Beatles music, was hailed by many as a classic.
Personally, I never cared for the psychedelic character of the album or the Beatles’ change from clean-cut guys to bearded wonders. Still, as a rock ’n’ roll disc jockey, I had to deal with the change.
In case you don’t remember, the No. 1 song this week 50 years ago was “Light My Fire” by the Doors. It featured Jim Morrison—who would die a few years later of an overdose—with his growling voice and a driving organ lead. I loved the song then and still do.
Johnston, D. (2017, August 8). A half-century Ago, Summer of Love Was Full of War, Peace. Retrieved from www.starexponent.com
In a place as frenetic as West Hollywood can be, it’s easy to drive through or walk by the city’s busiest intersection without realizing the substantial rock ‘n’ roll history that pervades the neighborhood where Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards cross paths.
Most everyone knows that Room 32 at the Alta Cienega Motel on the northwest corner was the main place Jim Morrison lived from 1968 until he died in 1971 in Paris. But how many know that The Doors’ offices, where manager Bill Siddons handled day-to-day-operations, were less than a block away at 8512 Santa Monica Blvd.? Or that the band recorded three of its six albums featuring Morrison at a sound studio on site and at another just couple of blocks away?
Bishop, B. (2017, August 2). A Wonderful Day in The Doors’ Neighborhood. Retrieved from www.wehoville.com
Exactly half a century ago—July 29th 1967—this song hit Number One on the Billboard Hot One Hundred. This essay is adapted from Mark's book A Song For The Season:
It was 50 years ago today-ish that Sgt Pepper was going on about how it was 20 years ago today. That's to say, the "Summer of Love" is half a century old: It's longer ago today than the summer of flappers and charlestons and bootleg gin was back in 1967. But, boomers being the most self-absorbed generation in history, we're going to be living with boomer pop culture until the very last one keels over at the age of 130 singing "Give Peace A Chance". So we might as well get used to it. And, to be honest, there's one aspect of the Summer of Love I'm quite partial to. What was America's Number One song in that bright new hazy psychedelic dawn? Oh, come on, baby…
Steyn, M. (2017, July 30). Light My Fire: Steyn's Song of the Week. Retrieved from www.steynonline.com
LOS ANGELES – On July 29, it will be 50 years since the Doors hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart with “Light My Fire,” one of the biggest songs from the Summer of Love and the band’s best-selling single of all time. Rhino will commemorate the 50th anniversary a day early with the release of a limited edition reproduction of the 7" single that was released in Japan in 1967.
Limited to just 7,500 vinyl copies, LIGHT MY FIRE will be available on July 28 for a suggested price of $7.98. The sleeve replicates the artwork that was unique to the original Japanese release and contains the original A and B sides: the single edit of “Light My Fire” and the album version of “The Crystal Ship.”
Goldmine1. (2017, June 5). Doors commemorate “Light My Fire” 50th with replica 7-inch. Retrieved from www.goldminemag.com
To play rock legend Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's 1991 movie The Doors, Kilmer started with the music, learning how to sing 50 of the band's songs. He reportedly spent hours in the studio poring over Morrison's vocal performances and watching endless footage of Morrison's interviews to get a sense of his personality and mannerisms.
On set, the cast and crew referred to him as Jim, and many claimed by the end of filming they were unable to tell the difference between Morrison's singing voice and Kilmer's. But when filming ended, Kilmer claimed he had to go to therapy to get Jim out of his system. Rock producer Paul Rothchild, who knew Morrison, claimed that Kilmer "knows Jim Morrison better than Jim ever knew himself."
Ferri, J. (2017, June 4). Actors Who Were Never the Same After a Role. Retrieved from www.looper.com
The Doors were an L.A. band, born on the strip, wildly popular and about to make it big—Elektra was releasing the debut album. And when Holzman hung their four faces high above Sunset, he wasn’t so much trying to sell records as making a statement: The Doors are here, and Elektra’s got ’em!
“No other company was doing that,” recalls Robbie Krieger, the band’s guitarist. “They didn’t know if they were gonna make their money back on something like that. It was just more of an ego trip, I would say, for the record company and us.”
Celsi, A. (2017, June 4). Revisiting the Golden Age of Rock Billboards on the Sunset Strip. Retrieved from ww2.kqed.org
Rock legend Jim Morrison put it this way: “This is the strangest life I’ve ever known.”
Hunter author William Lane relates deeply to these words, which Morrison sings in the track, "Waiting for the Sun." Lane, who has published three novels, finds the world very strange. “I love that line from the Doors’ song,” Lane says.
There’s another link between Morrison and Lane. The Doors’ singer was known as “the Lizard King”. Lane’s latest book is titled The Salamanders. Salamanders are amphibians, with lizard-like qualities.
Cronshaw, D. (2017, June 2). William Lane on his new book The Salamanders and the strangeness of life. Retrieved from www.theherald.com.au
From left to right: John Denver, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Aaliyah, Selena, Tupac Shakur, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, John Lennon, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Liberace, Marc Bolan, Keith Moon, Freddie Mercury, Notorious B.I.G. (AKA Biggie Smalls), Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, Prince, Frank Sinatra, Sid Vicious, and Sammy Davis, Jr.
DunkProductions. (n.d.). Rock Star High [Cartoons & Comics / Digital Media / Cartoons / Drawings]. Retrieved from dunkproductions.deviantart.com
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