During the 1960ís, world cultures began to mix as social, political, and sexual barriers were broken or became blurred.
In the confusion of the day, music which had previously
been divided, categorized and/or regimented began to mix.
Performers and influences began to inter-mingle and produce new hybrid sounds and styles. During this time of integration and idealism, one band formed as an amalgamation and incarnation of the era: The Doors.
From the flamenco and blues guitar styling of Robbie Kreiger, the jazz and beatnik influence of John Densmore, the classical training and influence of Ray Manzarek, and the blues driven, anarchistic, artistic vision of Jim Morrison, the Doors were born.
An incantation of poetic license and musical experimentation, the Doors slowly simmered playing the
LA club scene and landing in the famed Whiskey-A-Go-Go.
It was at the Whiskey that Jim Morrison was transformed
from a shy and brooding singer/poet, to a mythical beast that drove denizens of young worshipers to frenzied heights.
While playing in the same scene as bands such as The Byrds, and Van Morrisonís Them, The Doors developed an ability to take their music to the edge and spark a fire within a crowd. Jamming and experimenting with songs,sounds and lyrics, The Doors pushed the limits of their music, their performances, and their own physical agility.
Excesses of drugs, alcohol, and sex fueled the bandís ride through both society and music.
The combination of each memberís background and influences allowed the band to explore different styles without losing the focus or musical base.
The Doors were a psychedelic, blues, rock, pop, and experimental band with classical and jazz tinges. While musically the band created interesting possibilities, it was the lyrical beauty, imagination, and anarchistic of
Jim Morrison and his writing that gave life to the bandís music, myth and mystique.
Jim Morrison was a poet and an artist. As The Doorsí lead singer, he was able to open his heart and mind to the world. Within the confines of the group he was able to act under the guise of the band and still remain somewhat detached
from his actions. In the beginning, this detached persona allowed Morrison to push the limits of his music and society. In the song The End for instance, Morrison explored the taboo theme of the Oedipal complex in an epic style.
On stage Morrison would provoke audiences to the edge of sanity and create an almost anarchist state. During this period of experimentation and self-exploration however, the band and Morrison in particular began to become lost in their antics and the trappings of fame.
In the end, The Doors and Morrison were to become victims of their success. As the band gained commercial recognition, the demand to hear their hit songs and to play prescribed sets grew. The band that had begun as an experimental jam was being forced to follow a prescribed formula. Morrison was tormented by the adoration of his young fans that did not understand what he was attempting to express. His writing was becoming lost in his fame, and his mind was becoming obscured by his inhuman consumption of alcohol.
The bandís music suffered. A number of sub-par albums were produced and as a result tension within the group began to grow. Morrisonís condition began to deteriorate.
Recording sessions and performances were marred by drunken
episodes of destruction and lewd acts. The fans that had previously allowed Morrison an outlet for his art were now trapping him and stifling his creativity.
In March of 1969 at a concert in Miami, Jim Morrisonís frustration and sadness came to a head. During an outburst in which Morrison challenged and swore at the crowd, witnesses alleged that Morrison exposed himself and made lewd gestures. As a result Morrison was arrested and charged with "lewd and lascivious behavior". This is considered by many to be the beginning of the end for Morrison and the band.
This event would serve to haunt and torment him until his death.
Although the band was able to produce the epic albums Morrison Hotel and LA Woman after this incident, Jim never fully recovered from the stress of the public scrutiny. Convinced that his only option was to quit music, he retreated to Paris with his girlfriend Pamela to start a new life in obscurity.
On July 3, 1971 Jim Morrison was found dead in a bathtub. Morrison had finally succumbed to his life of excess.
The band attempted to carry on and released two albums after Morrisonís death. For all intents and purposes however, the music was over. After producing some of the most influential and spiritual music of the era, The Doors had finally found come to the end of their musical journey. Jim Morrison was at peace after struggling to find the outlet for his art and then being unable to escape once he had found it.
The Doors had merged musical genres and broken cultural taboos. They had overstepped the bounds of reality,morality, and society, and had eventually become trapped by the appeal of their actions.
As a band they left an indelible impression upon the world of music. As a man, Jim Morrison had left a void in the world at large.
A spiritual poet, anarchist, and a shy man trapped in the spotlight. Like most shooting stars he burned brightly, but he could not last long.
The best of The Doors
Break of trough
Road House Blues
Riders on the storm
Love me two times
Ligth my fire
Jim Morrison was the voice and mind behind the music and madness that was, The Doors.
He was the dreamer that chased the dream and was eventually consumed by it.
He wrote and performed the poetry and art that came from his heart and mind, but became consumed by the hunger of his fans and the trappings of the music business.
Jim Morrison was a boy that tried to find the attention that he was denied as a child on stage.
He was an artist that tried to communicate to the world from his heart, but was afraid to truly expose himself to the world. It was as the lead singer of The Doors, that Morrison was able to open up and connect with people.
On stage, Jim was able to create an alter ego with which to project his art and still remain unseen by the audience.
Morrison was a quiet poet that sought to simply connect with the world around him. As his music became more and more popular, he was thrust into the limelight and became the center of attention.
He became less able to communicate with audiences of fans that simply worshipped a face and a persona. Fans wanted to hear the music as it was recorded and were less interested in the exploration of a song through jamming and improvisation.
Morrison began to look at audiences and the business that they fueled with contempt and scorn.
Jim Morrison was a man lost within the confines of fame and addiction. He was a shy and scared person that sought refuge from the pressures of fame in a bottle, and found only emptiness.
As his musical career began to disintegrate, so to did his will to live.
Music and art were his heart. As his outlet for his art began to collapse, Morrison was left suffocated and isolated. He tried to retreat to the quiet life of a poet, but eventually was found dead in his tub by his girlfriend. Just as he had been surrounded by fans and friends in life and had still remained isolated, Morrison died alone as his girlfriend slept.
Through the darkness and turmoil of the late 60's and the uncertainty and chaos of the early 70's, music fans endured many tragic losses. As the excesses of the era began to take their toll, the weight of an entire generation began to collapse in upon its most fragile and important figures. Like most things in nature that have true beauty, these
people were fragile and their existence was but a fleeting moment.