Remembering Jim Morrison’s Tortured Genius On The Anniversary Of The Doors’ Final Show

Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, posed for "The Young Lion" (aka "The American Poet") session at Joel Brodsky’s studio in New York City, New York on September 18, 1967. Photo by Joel Brodsky.
Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, posed for "The Young Lion" (aka "The American Poet") session at Joel Brodsky’s studio in New York City, New York on September 18, 1967. Photo by Joel Brodsky.

The last The Doors concert with Jim Morrison ended on December 12th, 1970, 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 bands 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.

Keyboardist Ray Manzarek and UCLA film school classmate Morrison shared a love of music and an ambitious creative spirit. In an all-too-perfect moment, the two famously formed the band on the beaches of Venice, CA, after Manzerek heard some lyrics Morrison had written. Recruiting John Densmore on drums and guitarist Robbie Krieger, The Doors were open for business in a matter of days. After writing music to Morrison’s words, and coming up with a few fresh tunes together, the band took the Los Angeles music scene by storm and quickly earned a record deal with Columbia Records.

The band went on to release eight studio albums in just five years, establishing their sound as a mixture of madness tinged poetry, hushed lulls, and frenzied explosions of cacophony. Their name, The Doors, was taken from an Aldous Huxley book, The Doors Of Perception, written about a mescaline experience. Morrison was interested in writing and art since childhood and had headed to film school to try and find a way to express the roiling passions inside of him. He had long searched for a key to unlock the truth, and through his early use of psychotropic drugs, he found his release.

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Retrieved on 14 December 2018 from https://liveforlivemusic.com/features/jim-morrison-gave-his-final-performance-45-years-ago-today/

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