Trouser Snake On A Stage
September 3, 2007 11:06 AM   Subscribe

In 1964, a clean-cut college student named Jim Morrison appeared in a promotional film for Florida State University. [previously] The following year, Jim moved to California and transferred to UCLA's film school. After earning his degree, Morrison got together with another talented young filmmaker named Ray Manzarek, and they started a little band called The Doors. Jim didn't return to Florida until 1969, by which time he'd become one of the biggest rock stars in the world. Then, in what VH1 would later call the 31st most shocking moment in rock & roll history, he exposed his private parts and simulated masturbation and copulation during a concert in Miami — in front of innocent children. A felony. [This was not the first or last run-in Jim (aka "Mr Mojo Risin", aka "The Lizard King") had with the police. But that's not to say he was all bad.] Despite the absence of any photographic evidence (audio only), when the case went to trial Morrison was found guilty of indecent exposure and public profanity, both misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison, but allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. [His estranged father put in a good word for him with the Department of Probation.] At the time of Jim Morrison's death in a Parisian bath tub in 1971, his appeal had not yet been heard. [This is THE END.]
posted by Poolio (84 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
he'd
be
on
a
sex
offender's
list
now.
so
sad.
posted by matteo at 11:13 AM on September 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


"masturbation by oral copulation"

I'm intrigued. Tell me more!
posted by bicyclefish at 11:14 AM on September 3, 2007


"masturbation by oral copulation"

If Jim Morrison was that flexible, that must have been one hell of a show.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:16 AM on September 3, 2007


LOL... it should be "masturbation and oral copulation".

I fucked up.
posted by Poolio at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2007


Is this where I tell the good people of MetaFilter my exact position regarding The Doors? Oh, it's not? No reason to take a dump in a well crafted post, you say? Very well, then.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 11:18 AM on September 3, 2007


Is this where I tell the good people of MetaFilter my exact position regarding The Doors?

I doubt that hating on them would shock anyone. The Doors were never re-accepted as a "cool" band for whatever reason.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:26 AM on September 3, 2007


posted by Poolio he exposed his private parts and simulated masturbation by oral copulation during a concert in Miami — in front of innocent children.

Pics or it didn't happen.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:27 AM on September 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


In the first VH1 link, the photographer who was closest to the stage said he didn't see anything.
posted by pruner at 11:28 AM on September 3, 2007


Proper father.
posted by Abiezer at 11:30 AM on September 3, 2007


I love VH1's writers - "a fan pushed a lamb on stage and fights broke out."
posted by davebush at 11:31 AM on September 3, 2007


New info on his death
posted by fire&wings at 11:33 AM on September 3, 2007


Yes, I've heard and read the same thing--people on and close to the stage all say they never saw Morrison take it out. And with all the filming going on, surely someone would have footage of Mr. Mojo Risin'.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:35 AM on September 3, 2007


You know, if he had just been accepted to college in Florida, he would still be alive today, clean cut and retired. But instead, they rejected him and he had no choice but to take a face from the ancient gallery and walk on down the hall. And so forth.
posted by The World Famous at 11:43 AM on September 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


Well, the music was his special friend. He danced on fire as it intends. Music was his only friend. Until the end.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2007


Poolio? That paragraph thing? Don't do that.
posted by loquacious at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2007


Yeah... the mods can feel free to strip out the line breaks (not that they need my permission). I wasn't paying attention to the length.
posted by Poolio at 11:56 AM on September 3, 2007


Break on through to the [more inside]
posted by felix betachat at 11:58 AM on September 3, 2007 [12 favorites]


He didn't die in the bath.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 11:59 AM on September 3, 2007


Break on through to the [more inside]

Excellent
posted by Poolio at 12:00 PM on September 3, 2007


Poolio: I've loved the Doors for decades now. Thx for cool post. It deserved the writeup you gave it.

Next time, try for a teaser sentence with a [more inside] at the end of it, and make the first post your Sunday punch with most of the tasty links. It'll work a whole lot better and keep the snarkers at bay. ('Ceptin' them Doors-haters.)

On preview: Felix B., game, set, and match.
posted by pax digita at 12:02 PM on September 3, 2007


[fixed the post somewhat, please learn more inside wizardry]
posted by jessamyn at 12:15 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty meh about The Doors.

I do think the OMGPARAGRAPHBREAKS!!!!1 folks are a bunch of whiners, though.
posted by Cyrano at 12:16 PM on September 3, 2007


"At the time of Jim Morrison's death in a Parisian bath tub crapper in 1971..."
posted by deern the headlice at 12:25 PM on September 3, 2007


I'm just glad Ray Manzarek lived long enough to produce X.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:26 PM on September 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


No one gets out of here alive without clicking on every link in the post.
posted by psmealey at 12:51 PM on September 3, 2007


the sax solo outro on 'touch me' is one of the all time great mondo-gonzoid-extrava-whatchamacallits EVAR recorded.
posted by quonsar at 12:52 PM on September 3, 2007


I have a theory that liking the Doors is a rite of passage in Western culture, and one that most people pass through sometime in their late teens or early twenties, never to return to.
posted by The World Famous at 12:56 PM on September 3, 2007


I'm officially in my late twenties and I still like the Doors.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:05 PM on September 3, 2007


You're a late bloomer. Just you wait.
posted by The World Famous at 1:14 PM on September 3, 2007


Based on a wholly unscientific survey of my friends and acquaintances, I'm going to say that The World Famous has it exactly right. (Although I still have some lingering affection for "The End," if only because I can't mentally separate it from the beginning of Apocalypse Now.)
posted by Rangeboy at 1:32 PM on September 3, 2007


I'm 40 and still like the doors, but not with the fervor I did when I was 16.
posted by maxwelton at 1:42 PM on September 3, 2007


You're the exception that proves the rule.
posted by The World Famous at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2007


Interesting that Jim's nickname for himself, Mr. Mojo Risin', was an anagram for his name.

Jim's father, Admiral George Stephen Morrison , wrote in his letter to the Florida Probation Department, "While in London, I was called by an old friend in California who had been approached by Jim for a loan to finance his first record. Concerned by his appearance, particularly his long hair, the friend called me. I, in turn, wrote Jim a letter severely criticizing his behavior and strongly advised him to give up any idea of singing or any connection with a music group because of what I considered to be a complete lack of talent in this direction. His reluctance to communicate with me again is to me quite understandable."

With relatives like that who needs enemies?

"Admiral George Morrison was the keynote speaker at the decommissioning ceremony for Bon Homme Richard, his first ship as an admiral, on July 3, 1971 in Washington D.C., USA (just 12 hours after his son Jim Morrison's death)."

Really loving father. Not.

Sounds like his mother was also over-controlling.

Am 53 and always liked The Doors' music, still do.
posted by nickyskye at 2:16 PM on September 3, 2007


Aww, it's so quaint to hear men in starched collars pontificating about depravity and immorality being a blight on our community. I never thought I'd say this, but once in a while I do kinda miss our ol' Bryl Creem-haired uptight 1950s American men. Ok so sure, they were clueless & they would no doubt try (in vain) to force me to wear an apron and iron their socks, but I just wanna pinch their patriarchal little cheeks nonetheless. Squeeeee!

Nowadays depravity bats so few eyelashes that the Mayor of Cincinnatti can actually end up being this guy.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:39 PM on September 3, 2007


Yeah, I'm with nickysky here.

The Doors' music overall doesn't have the power for me that it did for the 13 year-old I was in 1967, but some of their music is timeless.

And, of course, some of their music was just tacky.

Compared to a lot of what was popular in the late 60s, though, I can still listen to with a straight face, and not just for nostalgia value.
posted by BartonFink at 2:46 PM on September 3, 2007


The singles and "The End" have been over-played on classic rock radio to the point that I can't bear hearing them anymore. And to me, they'll always be a singles band. What is intriguing that how much mileage they got out of such rudimentary chops. They should almost be considered proto-punk. Only Ray had anything close to major skills. The best singles have the same sort of energy you would get out of the 60s garage bands.

Their limitations became obvious though when they went up against an opener or headliner that could really kill. There are accounts of the disaster than ensued the couple times they went up against the British bands that came pounding out in the late 60s. I don't have the dates but I know when billed with the Who they were totally out-muscled. And the group's road manager made them open for a fledgling British act when they were supposed to headline - but really, would you have wanted to come onstage after a young, hungry Led Zeppelin?
posted by Ber at 3:48 PM on September 3, 2007


Am I the only one who imagines a still living Jim Morrison as being about as functional as Rocky Ericson or Daniel Johnson with the physique of Jabba The Hutt?
posted by 2sheets at 3:51 PM on September 3, 2007


The Doors were never re-accepted as a "cool" band for whatever reason.

Nobody I knew would admit liking the Doors back in the day. They were plastic L.A. to a 'T' then. Had Morrison lived to a ripe and bloated old age, they would be as big as Steppenwolf right now.
posted by y2karl at 3:51 PM on September 3, 2007


Ok, I can tell this is a good post, but I don't have time to click through the whole thing.

Can someone please tell me which links are the most worthwhile?
posted by Afroblanco at 4:04 PM on September 3, 2007


In reference to the Doors and their place in popular culture, I will say this - I love them because I love classic rock. Along with Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Grateful Dead, they were my musical "training wheels." However, I don't listen to any of those bands as much as I used to, mostly because I've moved on and found new stuff.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:16 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Admiral George Morrison was the keynote speaker at the decommissioning ceremony for Bon Homme Richard, his first ship as an admiral, on July 3, 1971 in Washington D.C., USA (just 12 hours after his son Jim Morrison's death)."

Really loving father. Not.


Given all the slander I've heard about the admiral. I was kind of surprised at the supportive tone in the letter to the probation board

As to his speaking the keynote, I wouldn't judge the man too harshly. No doubt it was planned months in advance and career military does not step down from public obligations lightly.

Similarly, in another show must go on sort of way, there's Lou Costello. People handle these things in different ways.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:10 PM on September 3, 2007


I'm probably thge most unapologetic 'classic rock'* fan here and I have to say that the Doors and especially Jim Morrison are overrated**. I went through a phase where I though he was profound, but that faded quickly. They had some very good songs: "Light My Fire," "People Are Strange" and especially "My Eyes Have Seen You," and if they had concentrated more on stuff like that they might be held in higher esteem in my eyes, but the older I get, the less Jim Morrison sounds like a poet and the more he sounds like a spoiled petulant brat. This may be due to the fact that I've known not one, but two guys who were convinced that they were his reincarnation and insisted on being called 'Jim.'

*a term I despise since it's a marketing term, not a descriptive one. Both the Byrds and Black Sabbath have been called 'classic rock.' Do they have anything in common beyond the fact that they're played on the sme stations, use basic rock rhythms and instrumentation and that I like both a lot?

**meaning that if Jim Morrison hadn't been such a handsome guy and so prone to histrionic gestures, he wouldn't be a cul t figure, merely a dead singer remembered as a moderately talented drunk.
posted by jonmc at 5:44 PM on September 3, 2007


Had Morrison lived to a ripe and bloated old age, they would be as big as Steppenwolf right now.

Except that Steppenwolf's best stuff is light-years better than the Doors, and a lot of the Haight-Asbury bands.
posted by jonmc at 5:45 PM on September 3, 2007


I have to agree with jonmc. The Door has some standout singles, no question, but didn't manage to put together one single great album and their abbreviated career. So, in my view at least, they fall a bit short of "greatness". Somewhere between, I dunno, Thin Lizzy and Lynyrd Skynyrd?
posted by psmealey at 5:50 PM on September 3, 2007


And Robby Krieger wrote the most well-known Doors songs, anyway.
posted by The World Famous at 6:08 PM on September 3, 2007


Caroline Wheeler's birthday present feels left out.
posted by juiceCake at 6:29 PM on September 3, 2007


Somewhere between, I dunno, Thin Lizzy and Lynyrd Skynyrd?

Both of those groups produced much better music than the Doors, IMHO.
posted by jonmc at 6:32 PM on September 3, 2007


There are still a few-odd magical moments I really like in Doors songs, like the kick-ass horns in Touch Me, and the way it breaks back down going into the sax solo, and Robbie Krieger's guitar solos in You're Lost Little Girl, and When the Music's Over. He managed to transcend a couple of times, there, and turn in some truly stunning work.

I like Morrison's voice still, but find the lyrics make me cringe to varying degrees, especially Hello, I Love You. He was like a proto-David Lee Roth on that one, and I always get a kick out of his stumbling-drunk gruntings and ravings on L.A. Woman.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:44 PM on September 3, 2007


I will admit to being the annoying guy in the frat who put on Doors albums late in the parties and insisted that people listen to them.

But no, really! You HAVE to listen to "Texas Radio and the Big Beat!" It's POETRY, man!
posted by yhbc at 6:50 PM on September 3, 2007


as a poet, jim morrison was overrated - as a lyricist, he could be adequate, interesting and ridiculous - as a singer, he had his limitations - still, his obsessions were compelling at times

but the band was first rate - john densmore was a kickass drummer with a great feel - yeah, keith moon was much more ferocious, but good drumming's not always about loud energy

ray manzarek was an original who showed thousands of organists how to fit in a band creatively and tastefully

robby krieger is easy to underestimate - unlike a lot of bands at the time, he never played stuff for the sake of showing off - much of his lead work sounds fairly simple and it is - but it's thinking of those lines, not playing them that's the hard part

Except that Steppenwolf's best stuff is light-years better than the Doors, and a lot of the Haight-Asbury bands.

by the time jim morrison died, steppenwolf was pretty well played out - the doors weren't - and steppenwolf NEVER reached the sheer oh-my-god-what-a-jam level the grateful dead did in the late 60s, early 70s

Somewhere between, I dunno, Thin Lizzy and Lynyrd Skynyrd?

different bands, different times - but i don't think thin lizzy were quite in the same league
posted by pyramid termite at 7:25 PM on September 3, 2007


steppenwolf NEVER reached the sheer oh-my-god-what-a-jam level the grateful dead did in the late 60s, early 70s

Exactly why Steppenwolf (and Lizzy and Skynyrd) were better bands. They knew how construct songs rather than just be self-indulgent. And Ronnie Van Zant's clarity and concision and the guitars of Rossington, Collins & Gaines (and Lizzy's Robertson and Moore) were far more musically and emotionally effective and affecting than Morrison's 'wow-that's-deep, maaan' pseudo-profundity.
posted by jonmc at 7:32 PM on September 3, 2007


jonmc, I'm surprised at you. I've never known you to be someone who doesn't give credit where it's due.

Thin Lizzy was at best forgettable. You're going to put them in the same league as the Doors?

Even if you don't listen to the Doors very much anymore, you have to admit that they do have a body of good material and that they did their part to move music forward.

Just because better music has been made since, that doesn't mean that we should diss the old masters.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:40 PM on September 3, 2007


jonmc, I'm surprised at you. I've never known you to be someone who doesn't give credit where it's due.

Thin Lizzy was at best forgettable. You're going to put them in the same league as the Doors?


I'd put them far past the Doors. The Doors were sophmoric and self-indulgent. Lizzy were concise, clear and they actually knew how to rock rather than loll around aimlessly or musically masturbate.

Even if you don't listen to the Doors very much anymore, you have to admit that they do have a body of good material and that they did their part to move music forward.

They had a couple of good songs. The rest of their material was addle-minded mush.

I went through the whole neo-hippie thing when I was 16, and then I woke up and realized that it was a blind alley and that an inspired 2-minute three chord song is more satisfying that psuedo-arty noodling and posturing.
posted by jonmc at 7:50 PM on September 3, 2007


Exactly why Steppenwolf (and Lizzy and Skynyrd) were better bands. They knew how construct songs rather than just be self-indulgent.

so did the dead - and "freebird" isn't what i'd call a concise musical statement

steppenwolf and thin lizzy aren't quite in the same tier as the doors, the dead and lynyrd skynyrd

but this is about the doors -

Morrison's 'wow-that's-deep, maaan' pseudo-profundity.

at times, he really was like that - i've never understood why "7 horses seem to be on the mark" in "love her madly" - it doesn't fit, it doesn't make sense, and if it's a goddess reference, it's 9 horses, not 7

some of his excesses are enough to make you cringe - but there wasn't much of that on their first album - between "back door man" and "the end" things drag a bit - but those two songs and all of side one are solid

it's funny - people forget that for a period around '68 or so, they were actually considered a pop, almost teeny bopper band and rather unhip
posted by pyramid termite at 7:50 PM on September 3, 2007


Did Thin Lizzy ever do any song other than "The Boys are Back in Town"?
posted by yhbc at 7:55 PM on September 3, 2007


OK, it’s easy to dismiss The Doors and Morrison as an adolescent phase to be mocked once one enters into adulthood. But the fact is they put out some good music and Morrison-- at worst-- was one of the most compelling front men of any American band. I think a fair comparison is the Violent Femmes.

And the Femmes fucking kick ass!
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 7:55 PM on September 3, 2007


so did the dead - and "freebird" isn't what i'd call a concise musical statement

yes, when the Dead concertrated on song-oriented stuff like on American Beauty, I enjoyed them quite a bit (and I've taken flak from my punker and garage rock compatriots for saying so). and Freebird may be long, but it's far more coherent than anything the Doors or the Dead came up with, musically and lyrically.

and Phil Lynott was a better vocalist than Jim Morrison, and a better songwriter.
posted by jonmc at 7:56 PM on September 3, 2007


I think a fair comparison is the Violent Femmes.

The Femmes were better.

Did Thin Lizzy ever do any song other than "The Boys are Back in Town"?

Yes. "Jailbreak" "It's Only Money" "Cowboy Song" "Frankie Carroll" and their version of "Whiskey In The Jar" are all excellent pieces of rock and roll.
posted by jonmc at 7:57 PM on September 3, 2007


*anagram of his name

As for the trouser snake thing, any rock n roll, soul, funk concert of the 60's worth its salt was a kind of indecent exposure. Jimi graphically simulating sex with his guitar, Chuck Berry's or James Brown's obvious sexual innuendos, Janis' raunchy Ball and Chain, Led Zeppelin's"You can squeeze my lemon 'til the juice run down my leg" naughtiness...including Plaster Casters post performance artistry. The same year Jim was busted for whatever it was he did on stage, there was the Off Broadway production of Oh Calcutta with a stage full of nakedness...

Curious about The Doors bashing. Guess it's par for the MetaFilter course, your favorite anything sucks sort of predictableness. Not my favorite band by any means but they did some awesome, memorable songs with a distinctive sound. I like some of their second tier songs as well... Break On Through, When The Music's Over...

As for wondering how he'd look if he lived instead of od'ing at 27, he'd be almost 63 years old, balding, gray and paunchy. It's what happens to guys who're lucky enough to live that long...
posted by nickyskye at 7:58 PM on September 3, 2007


I know those songs too, Jon. My point was that most people don't, and everyone knows at least five Doors songs.
posted by yhbc at 7:59 PM on September 3, 2007


an inspired 2-minute three chord song is more satisfying that psuedo-arty noodling and posturing.

yeah, yeah, and since that artistic belief took hold in the late 70s, we've had an infinite supply of 2 minute three chord songs

yes, in 1977, we needed it for a bit, to remind us to get away from psuedo-arty noodling and posturing

unfortunately, it turned into psuedo-arty primitivism and posturing - don't tell me for a second that many of the "alternative" bands since then haven't been self-consciously arty and deliberately unmusical at times

looking over today's three chord wasteland, i think some psuedo-arty noodling and posturing might be what we need - a rock scene where people would actually be required to play their instruments well would be a healthy thing right now

(i don't know what that has to do with the doors anyway - musically, they were not noodlers)
posted by pyramid termite at 8:00 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


by the way, who the fuck is steppenwolf and think lizzy?
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 8:01 PM on September 3, 2007


passes jon some whiskey in the jar
posted by vronsky at 8:04 PM on September 3, 2007


unfortunately, it turned into psuedo-arty primitivism and posturing - don't tell me for a second that many of the "alternative" bands since then haven't been self-consciously arty and deliberately unmusical at times

agreed, which is why I bust the balls of the indie-rock hordes, too. But somewhere there'll always be good old rock-and-roll.

musically, they were not noodlers


Um, "Riders On The Storm?" "The End?" That's more noodling than the Ronzoni factory.

everyone knows at least five Doors songs.

They know 5 Britney songs, too. Familiarity does not equal quality.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 PM on September 3, 2007


Never realized that about Mr. Mojo Risin nickyskye! Axl Rose is Oral Sex. I wonder what other rock anagrams there are.
posted by vronsky at 8:18 PM on September 3, 2007


Freebird may be long, but it's far more coherent than anything the Doors or the Dead came up with, musically and lyrically.

dude, it's the same old "i'm sorry baby, but i've just got to ramble on down the road" song

just like "i know you rider" - at least the dead reached back for a folk version of the theme, instead of a lame lyrical rehash like a thousand other bands

it was a dumb cliche even back then

and "green grass and high tides" by the outlaws outrocks it anyway

Um, "Riders On The Storm?" "The End?" That's more noodling than the Ronzoni factory.

it's atmospherics, not noodling - neither song would be as effective if you cut the instrumental parts out
posted by pyramid termite at 8:21 PM on September 3, 2007


it's atmospherics, not noodling

tomato, tomahto. But what does 'Freebird,' have that both songs lack?

Momentum, dynamics. What makes it rock and roll rather than pretentious muzak.
posted by jonmc at 8:35 PM on September 3, 2007


I would argue that the Doors get a bad rap for the same reason as the Dead - people don't like their fans.

It's a lot more hip to like a band like Thin Lizzy - "Oh look at this band that languishes in obscurity even though they were so much better then this other band that's known and loved by millions of HURF DURF POTSMOKING HIPPIES."

Yes, the hippie scene is an evolutionary dead end. However, so is punk, so is jazz, so is jonmc's beloved "good old rock n' roll." Music moves and changes with the times, and if you look at the evolution of rock and roll, you'll see that the Doors played an important role at an crucial time. Think of all the musicians, including ones that you love, who took their cues from the Doors.

Yes, there were people who took Jim way too seriously, including Jim himself. However, that doesn't diminish the fact that they made some damn solid music, and that modern musicians still could learn a thing or two from them.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:42 PM on September 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Axl Rose = Oral Sex? Fun! Adolf Hitler = Heil old fart. Marilyn Manson = Manly man? No sir. But yours rocks the best.
posted by nickyskye at 8:44 PM on September 3, 2007


I like the Doors, just hate the Oliver Stone movie. But Thin Lizzy isn't exactly obscure dude. The video I linked had 466,905 hits and that wasn't even their big song. The top Doors vid had about 100,000 more hits.
posted by vronsky at 8:51 PM on September 3, 2007


I would argue that the Doors get a bad rap for the same reason as the Dead - people don't like their fans.

thin lizzy's fans got shitfaced drunk, threw bottles at rent-a-cops, pushed and shoved around and got into fistfights within spitting distance of the band

the band was good, but their fans sucked - don't argue - it was '76 or '77, they were opening for reo speedwagon and i was there
posted by pyramid termite at 9:07 PM on September 3, 2007


you'll see that the Doors played an important role at an crucial time.

Actually, not really. What was their big innovation? Literate lyrics? Dylan did that before and better. Extended solos? The Beatles and the Who did that before and better. And Jagger did the whole rock and roll sex-symbol thing with far more panache. What Morrison did was pontificate and psoture. Dave Marsh called the Doors 'the most overrated band of all time.'

He was right.
posted by jonmc at 9:10 PM on September 3, 2007


What was their big innovation?

they introduced jazz improvisation and swing into rock without the later pretentions of other jazz/rock bands - there was also a latin feel to a lot of their music that was new to rock and roll

Literate lyrics? Dylan did that before and better.

agreed

Extended solos? The Beatles and the Who did that before and better.

before 1967? no, they didn't - i don't even know if they even tried it before the doors did, i sure can't recall that
posted by pyramid termite at 9:22 PM on September 3, 2007


"it's atmospherics, not noodling" - I agree
posted by vronsky at 9:25 PM on September 3, 2007


On the whole "Doors are overrated" meme - where exactly does this come from? I know very few people my age who will openly admit to enjoying their music. It's pretty much the hipster party line to say that the Doors are overrated.

I guess what bothers me the most is to see people attempting to deny the Doors their place in the rock and roll canon. If you're going to throw out the Doors, you're going to have to throw out other singles-oriented rock bands like Creedence, Skynyrd, and The Guess Who.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:31 PM on September 3, 2007


On the whole "Doors are overrated" meme - where exactly does this come from?

It comes from people recognizing that The Doors are generally rated somewhat higher than is warranted.

If you're going to throw out the Doors, you're going to have to throw out other singles-oriented rock bands like Creedence, Skynyrd, and The Guess Who.

That's like saying that if you're going to throw out the baby, you may as well throw out the bathwater, too.

(except I do like me some Creedence)
posted by The World Famous at 10:35 PM on September 3, 2007


I still have a spot in my heart for "Crystal Ship" — mysterious, sad, warm, euphoric.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:20 PM on September 3, 2007


OK, it’s easy to dismiss The Doors and Morrison as an adolescent phase to be mocked once one enters into adulthood.

I think that's exactly why a lot of us consider the Doors to be overrated. I loved the Doors in the 8th grade too, but when I listen to them now, they sound dated and a bit two-dimensional. The same, IMO, cannot be said for the other bands I was listening to at that time (Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, ACDC, etc.).

they introduced jazz improvisation and swing into rock without the later pretentions of other jazz/rock bands - there was also a latin feel to a lot of their music that was new to rock and roll

When I saw this, I automatically assumed that you were talking about Santana.
posted by psmealey at 3:46 AM on September 4, 2007


Dave Marsh didn't like them? Oh well. Lester Bangs found them to be of high cultural significance in hindsight, even if he was critical while they were still active.
posted by raysmj at 8:46 AM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have two good things and two good things only to say about the Doors: If you are a stoned college kid with a cheap sampler you can make loops that seem much better than they actually are because they play such endless intros with repetitive organ jabberwocky. BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP DO DO DO DO!

Also, I have -or had, fuck you Maxtor!- an mp3 of them doing a cover of Backdoor Man at the Isle of Wight and they do a really fun and charming raunchy/sloppy job of it. "Better eat your dinner/eat your pork and beans/ I'll eat more chicken than a maaaaaan ever seeeeeeeeen!"

That one song always made me much more forgiving of the noodling and the riding the snake to the lake and all that.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:53 AM on September 4, 2007


Santana wishes he was Robby Krieger.

What ultimately ruined the Doors for me was seeing Ray Manzarek on one of those lame VH1 list shows talking about how great Michael Hutchence was. It occurred to me: Yes, Jim Morrison was as lame as the guy from INXS.

Still, I'd kill for a Fender Rhodes piano bass and Manzarek's left hand.
posted by Reggie Digest at 9:02 AM on September 4, 2007


As the poster of this FPP, I probably oughta add my 2 cents to the discussion.

While I agree for the most part with the sentiments expressed by The World Famous – The Doors were probably the first rock band I ever considered myself a fan of, as opposed to just liking their music;and I don't listen to them nearly as much as I did when I was a teen – I think Jim Morrison is one of the most interesting characters in the history of rock & roll.

As a funny aside, in the summer of 1991 (between my junior and senior years of high school) I took summer classes at UCLA. During the orientation tour, the guide pointed to some lights on the ground and told us that back in 1965 the police/FBI had installed detectors in the lights to pick up on the scent of marijuana, because Jim was always getting high in that particular area. I, and pretty much every one in my orientation group, assumed that was total bullshit.
posted by Poolio at 1:38 PM on September 4, 2007


from Morrison's interview with Rolling Stone (2nd to last link):

"I think there's a certain moment when you're right in time with your audience, and then you both grow out of it and you both have to realize it," Morrison told Rolling Stone. "It's not that you've outgrown your audience; it has to go on to something else."
posted by Poolio at 5:59 PM on September 4, 2007


Afroblanco: - Can someone please tell me which links are the most worthwhile?

Hover over the links for descriptions.
posted by Poolio at 10:25 PM on September 4, 2007


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