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One of the biggest concerts of 1967 took place at Hi Corbett Field in early May.

The audience of mostly teens and young 20-somethings filled the infield and the bleachers of Hi Corbett long before Jim Morrison and The Doors took the stage. Among the audience was Bill Buckmaster, then a 19-year-old University of Arizona broadcast student on a first date with classmate Ann Burch.

Illinois native Buckmaster was “the long haired, free-spirit type who loved rock music and still do,” he said. His date, Ann, was a sorority girl from Tennessee who grew up in Phoenix. For 24 hours before the concert, Tucson radio station KTKT played The Doors’ breakthrough single “Light My Fire” over and over again, so everyone was pumped up for the show, Buckmaster recalled.

Burch, C. (2017, May 23). First time The Doors played Tucson, and then the encore. Retrieved from www.tucson.com

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The Doors were playing a show in Boston tonight in 1970 when at one point a drunken Jim Morrison asked the audience if they’d like to see his genitals. No doubt many of them would have, but keyboardist Ray Manzarek had already been through Jim’s arrest in Miami and got up and dragged him off stage, just as the management was cutting of the power.

Vanderpool, S. (2017, April 10). Beatles Have A Bass Player Die And One Quits, And Jim Morrison Wants To Show Boston Something Special: This Day In Classic Rock [Videos]. Retrieved from kzok.cbslocal.com

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One of the most mythologized and romanticized figures in rock history, Doors frontman Jim Morrison, possessed a deep-seated anti-authoritarian streak that repeatedly landed him in trouble. On Dec. 9, 1967, the rebellious rocker was arrested at a Doors gig in New Haven, Conn., earning him the dubious distinction of being, as far as we know, the first rock star ever arrested onstage during a performance.

According to Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Morrison was “making out” with a female fan in the shower in the backstage area of the New Haven Arena when a local police officer who was providing security for the band—apparently not recognizing the singer—told them to vacate the area, to which Morrison reportedly replied, “Eat it.” When the officer brandished a can of Mace and warned, “Last chance,” the singer retorted, “Last chance to eat it”—earning himself a face full of Mace for his defiance.

Whitaker, S. (2015, December 9). The History of Jim Morrison’s New Haven Arrest. Retrieved from www.ultimateclassicrock.com

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The last Doors concert with Jim Morrison ended 45 years ago today, bringing a disappointing close to a dominant band in rock music. It’s hard to know when the music’s truly over, but the way lead singer and resident lunatic Jim Morrison finished the show at The Warehouse, in New Orleans, left little doubt in the rest of the band's minds that the end was here. Nothing in life lasts forever, and no one here gets out alive.

When looking for bands to sum up not the spirit, but the reality of the sixties, you need look no further than The Doors. They quite literally were the hottest band in the land; psychedelic rockers fronted by a dark poet who railed at the world from his pulpit. Jim Morrison didn’t sing to his audience, he preached sermons of indecipherable meanings with lyrical wordplay and a raw passion that kept listeners spellbound.

Thomson, R. (2015, December 12). Jim Morrison Gave His Final Performance 45 Years Ago Today. Retrieved from www.liveforlivemusic.com

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"I want a riot! A riot of my own!" The Clash howled in song in 1977. It’s an idea that’s great in theory, but maybe not so great in practice. Hmm… rock concert riots.

Sure, being in the middle of a riot sounds like an exciting night. If nothing else, you’ll have a great story to tell later. [Best Classic Bands Editor Rob Patterson counts an event listed below as one of the most entertaining classic rock concerts he’s ever seen.] Yet there’s also a chance you’ll later spend hours picking the glass splinters out of your hair from the rain of bottles being thrown at the stage. Or get maced, clubbed and/or arrested.

Merkin, S. (n.d.). 10 Memorable Rock Concert Riots. Retrieved from www.bestclassicbands.com

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Jim Morrison by Stephan Beauvais

Jim Morrison Project

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