"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song (Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann (Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya, that was made famous by The Doors and their use of a Marxophone (Wikipedia). [more inside]
Lester Bangs, rock critic extraordinaire and pop provocateur, made the argument for the Lizard King as the punk rock godfather in this 1981 Creem magazine defense of Jim Morrison., via Dangerous Minds.
"The '70s, man. Martin Luther King Jr. is dead. Malcolm X is dead. The Kennedys are dead. Kids at Kent State are getting capped. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix have both gone haint. Nixon's in the Oval Office, and the Manson murders stain the Hills. Morrison and Dennis Wilson once picked up Charles Manson on Sunset and dropped him off at producer Terry 'Turn Turn Turn' Melcher's house on Cielo Drive. A few years later, Manson's acolytes would murder Sharon Tate and four others at that house, including celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, who styled Morrison's original king-of-the-jungle coif." -- LA Weekly's Jeff Weiss presents an exhaustive account of The Door's album L.A. Woman, which is now 40 years old
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.]
John Lee Hooker performs Gloria and It Serves Me Right to Suffer with Van Morrison; I'm in the Mood with Bonnie Raitt; The Healer with Santana; Boogie Chilluns with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton; and Roadhouse Blues with Jim Morrison & the Doors (audio only). [Also, Muddy Waters, Etta James and more blues legends & rock combos inside]
" Jim's ghost was in my ear, and I felt terrible". Like all top classic-rock franchises, The Doors can exploit a lucrative afterlife in television commercials. Offers keep coming in, such as the $15 million dangled by Cadillac last year to lease the song "Break On Through (to the Other Side)" to hawk its luxury SUVs. To the surprise of the corporation and the chagrin of his former bandmates, drummer John Densmore vetoed the idea. He said he did the same when Apple Computer called with a $4-million offer, and every time "some deodorant company wants to use 'Light My Fire.' "
Before he broke on through (to the other side), Jim Morrison--yes, of The Doors--starred in this promotional film produced by Florida State University, circa 1964.
The Lizard King & The Klan: This is just wonderful - I'm quite certain that the remaining members of the Doors wouldn't want their music used to promote messages of hatred and intolerance.