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The Doors:

Jim Morrison:   Lead vocals/lyrics
Robby Krieger:   Guitar/songwriter
Ray Manzarek:   Keyboards
John Densmore:   Drums

Opening Doors:

Where The Doors Are From:

Jim:   Melbourne, FL
Ray:   Chicago, IL
John:   L.A., CA
Robby:   L.A., CA

Where Did The Name Come From?
Alex Huxley's "Doors of Perception."

Who wrote, "Light My Fire?"
While credited to the entire band, Robby wrote most of it including the interesting A-minor/F-sharp minor chord progression in the verse. Ray, naturally, came up with the organ intro.

Where Is Jim Buried?
For the time being he's in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. French officials want him out of there due to the crowds, vandalism and graffiti.

Why Are The Original Songs On The First Three LPs Credited To The Entire Band But Individuals After That?:
Since they all helped with arrangements and to promote a communal spirit, credit was shared on early recordings. Jim suggested individual song credits on the fourth LP "Soft Parade" not for personal gain but because he didn't want people to think he wrote the LP's opening track "Tell All The People" which Robby composed.

Why Didn't The Doors Have A Bass Player?
The Doors were probably the only major Rock group not to employ a bass guitarist. In their very early days they had a female bass player whose name no one can remember (convenient). In the studio they used Douglas Lubahn, Kerry Magness (on "Unknown Soldier") and later Jerry Scheff, among others. In concert Ray played key bass.

What Doors LPs were made after Morrison's departure?
1. Other Voices (Ray & Robby sharing lead vocals)
2. Full Circle (Same as above)

These two LPs are good but not in the same league as other Door's LPs - after all; a quarter of the band was gone.

3. American Prayer (Jim's recorded poetry set to music). The overall effect is a little strange. There's Morrison's voice, speaking not singing, with some jazz influenced pop/rock playing in the background.

The Three All-Time Best Doors Songs:

1. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
First Doors single. Failed to have much impact. Probably, just ahead of its time. Of course, Morrison eventually did break on through.

2. Love Me Two Times
Great riff. Great lyrics. Great playing. It all adds up.

3. Peace Frog
The group created an instrumental then grafted Morrison's lyrics to it. Even when the band was dysfunctional they created magic. Robby's wah-wah guitar kicks things off.

From L.A. No hope. The Doors were the anti-60s group. When people preached peace and love, the Doors responded with sex and violence. They were off kilter from the ideal but terribly in tune with the times. The Doors' first two albums ("The Doors" and "Strange Days") were brilliant. Everyone said so. Reams of paper analyzed the Doors' mystique. Jim Morrison, the wayward poet turned Rock star, with his band. However, the Doors weren't a one-man show. Guitarist Robbie Krieger wrote both words and music (including most of "Light My Fire" the group's first and biggest commercial success). Also, classically trained Blues keyboardist Ray Manzarek and jazz drummer John Densmore made significant contributions. Then there was Jim. The focal point. As he went, they went.

The third album "Waiting For The Sun" was written under the gun. It showed. The first two albums had nearly exhausted the group's song backlog. The album did contain the group's huge single "Hello, I Love You" and the anti-war "The Unknown Soldier." Then Morrison got busted, charged with indecent exposure at the infamous Miami concert. Morrison's trial (he would be found guilty) kept the Doors on the sidelines. The fallout from the trial caused the Doors to be banned by concert promoters.

Finally, the Doors tried to expand their sound with strings and horns on "Soft Parade" but again fell short. Maybe the Doors were finished. Once the Miami trial was done, Morrison's lawyer filed an appeal and that nasty mess was behind them for awhile.

Re-grouping in L.A. they recorded the intense Rock album "Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Café." While the album, unlike every one of its predecessors, did not yield a pop hit it was a classic album with the raw sound of "Roadhouse Blues," the L.A. madness of "Peace Frog" and road warrior "Queen of the Highway." The Doors eventually managed to get live work. "Absolutely Live" was the result. It was released in-part to restore the Doors' reputation as a reliable concert draw. Typically, there are no hits on this collection. No "Light My Fire," "Hello, I Love You" or "Touch Me." The Doors show themselves to be a hard-edged Blues-Rock outfit covering Willie Dixon twice and Bo Diddley ("Who Do You Love"). Most live albums have the audience eating up whatever the performer says or does. "Absolutely Live" has Morrison shouting "Shut Up!" to the audience during a quiet passage of "When The Music's Over." At another point all Morrison has to do is introduce Ray as the vocalist on Dixon's "Close To You" but he turns the intro into a funny rap against authority. It's not the greatest live record ever made but it has more than enough to recommend it.

With the completion of the jazz influenced "L.A. Woman" which contained the title track and "Riders On The Storm" along with the pop forgettable "Love Her Madly," Morrison was off to Paris to write. Ray, Robbie and John began work on new songs that might or might not include Morrison. "Would not include" became the final answer with Morrison's death 7/3/71. The surviving Doors mourned briefly before deciding to continue as a trio. This line-up produced two so-so albums. From "Other Voices" "Eye of the Sun" came closest to capturing the "old" Doors vibe while "Tightrope Ride" is an ode to Morrison. Ray Manzarek did his best Jerry Lee impersonation on "Full Circle's" "Good Rockin' Tonight." "American Prayer" with the Doors backing Morrison's spoken poetry wraps it up.

Gotta Haves:

The Doors   1967

"Break On Through (To The Other Side)" a potent Rocker and the Doors' first single (it stiffed) opens the record. And like all great 1st track songs it sets the album's tone. The Doors' world is dark, troubled and threatening.

There are some innovations that the Doors should get credit for. First, there is the extended Rock theatre piece "The End." Though not their best extended piece it was a groundbreaker. Starting as a "goodbye" song it develops into a mystical journey. Secondly, the Doors clearly reflected their L.A. environment with "Twentieth Century Fox" and "Soul Kitchen." These Rockers capture the mood and temper of the city. And even though they had a strong and powerful personality in their singer, the group was not afraid to flex its instrumental prowess. The extended version of "Light My Fire" is the prime example. An edited (shortened) version of "Light My Fire" was the Doors' first major hit. The five-minute organ/guitar instrumental was something they wouldn't return to until "L.A. Woman" four albums later.

Strange Days   1967

"Strange Days" was often dismissed as a prime example of the sophomore jinx. But any album with the title track and the hot Blues of "Love Me Two Times" can not easily be dismissed. The Doors are even more haunting, mysterious and strange. The Blues derived "People Are Strange" and the rollicking "My Eyes Have Seen You" are hard to beat. Also, "When The Music's Over" was their best extended piece.

Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Café   1970

When it was released many critics viewed "Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Café" as a comeback album. Morrison's impressive arrest record and legal proceedings kept the band inactive for months. Also, they had produced two OK but disappointing albums. So it was do or die.

"Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Café" is the most Blues drenched recording the group's catalog. Also, Ray ditches his Vox organ in favor of piano. "Roadhouse Blues" is a classic. Down and dirty Blues. No mercy. Morrison even pulls off a Blues scat. "You Make Me Real" is a psuedo-50s Rocker. Given all the changes, lesser bands would have hung it up or attempted to repeat past successes but the Doors pushed on. You almost felt sorry for Morrison in "Waiting For The Sun" when he intoned, "this is the strangest life I've ever known." No kidding.

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