Let It Roll: The Jim Morrison Biography That Kicked Off The Doors Revival
welcome to let it. Roll the podcast about how popular music happens. Hosted by Nate Wilcox followed the lead role. Podcast on twitter at let it roll cast and check out our website at let it roll podcast. Dot Com. Let it roll as a pen podcasts. And you can listen to all the other great Pantheon podcasts at. Www DOT pantheon. Podcasts DOT COM TODAY. Nate welcomes fellow. Podcasters Shelly Sorenson and Christian Swain of the Rock and roll librarian to discuss one of the first bestselling rock biographies no one here gets out alive which titillated millions with its insider's account of the rise and fall of Jim Morrison and the doors pop in those ear buds in enjoy. I'm your host Nate Wilcox and today I've got the distinct pleasure been joined by two of my colleagues in the Pantheon podcasting network. We've got the rock and Roll Librarian. Shelly Sorenson in Christian Swain the major Domo of the whole network and the rocket archaeologist. Welcome thank state and today we're GonNa talk about a classic of Rock Literature. No one here gets out alive by Jerry. Hopkins and Danny sugarman bother. Were deceased so. This is a perfect way to cover a real cornerstone of rock music literature. When we don't have the authors to go to so thanks so much for coming on and helping us discuss Jim Morrison and the doors. I love that we get to make up whatever we want. Because there's no dispute from the author's well you know some people say that Danny sugarman and Jerry Hopkins did just that is by FIA of their dead former acquaintance in tournaments case former client. But we'll get to that at the end. Let's just jump right in there. I mean this is a biography of a Jim Morrison Came out in nineteen eighty two. I believe about eleven years after he died was an enormous bestseller. I mean this was an the racks at the airports at seven. Elevens this was a trade paperback. It had a picture of Jim. Morrison not from nineteen sixty seven shirtless and beautiful. Just immortal at triggered rolling stone cover story said he's hot. He sexy he's dead. And kind of triggered the whole sixties revival that was a big pop culture factor in the eighties. What was it about mid sixties? La that made it such a great place to launch a rock career shelley. Well you know at that time. An La was big of course a big TV and movie capital and was increasingly becoming news capitol as well and at that time in nineteen sixty four Jim Started Jim. Morrison started studies at the UCLA film school and this was what they called the professors called the Golden Age of film at Ucla and and in Los Angeles the Faculty included top directors. And the students included the no other note none other than Francis Ford Coppola. So Jim was right there. You know in the middle of the burgeoning film industry at the time and on the weekends he went to Venice. Beach which had been a Mecca for the beat generation in the fifties and still to this day not even in the eighties but now still has kind of Bohemian tradition. So it was a you know a right kind of time for all these different movies. Tv music to kind of counter you know interest fertilized. That's a a word probably not And you know I think it was just A. He was in the right place at the right time. Kind of thing Chris Well I agree with you I I might add. There's been many Golden Ages in Hollywood Specifically in the the early nineteen sixties You know there was a a the the French new wave was was definitely in bogue A lot of experimentalism Was going on both in film and in Music very of and You Know Jim And his Ucla compatriots Including Ray Kurzweil Were in in in those kind of a boundary pushing concepts and ideas as far as L. A. I think he hit the nail on the head At least in America Wild New York's considered the media capital Certainly at that time You know La is where the entertainment business will was really still ground zero in in in in maintained that ever since and so to to be able to take literally The British invasion and digest it and And then create a response Naturally it seems said. L. A. was a fitting place for that in the mid sixties. Yeah and you had the birds and love On the sunset strip the bird. You know with Columbia records big in sixty five and then love. Kinda ruled the scene on the streets for the next couple of years. And that's the band that Jim Morrison wanted to emulate. Their whole goal is to be as big as love. So Yeah Arthur Lee and company Yeah In the you know there were others. that that didn't quite make it but You know by then the I think. The troubadour was around Obviously the whisky a go go had switched from a dinner. A supper club as they used to call them. to Something more kin to what we recognize today. The whiskey Beena you know a real rock and roll club. Yeah it's interesting. Go ahead so oh one of the things. I thought was interesting about how the book described when Jim Lived Near the La Strip and the whiskey ago. Elektra records is that he could. He had everything there within walking distance. You know that he it would centro to the bar and club scene and and he lived with his girlfriend in Laurel Canyon and so he he just You know physically everything. Was there where he needed it. I think it was clear that lived Robby Krieger that guitar lived in Laurel Canyon. I think Jim stated basically flop house motels that will within walking from and it's an his girlfriend's apartment. I thought that was. Yeah Canyon but I guess it was near to the strips. Pamela Courson yes. He might have been in Laurel Canyon at one point a web tracking that super closely. What was what was it about the America that was ready for Jim Morrison. What was going on in that point. That's a big question. There were there were so much going on in the sixties experimentation with with LSD and marijuana the whole sexual liberation And I think one thing that Jim and the door is really You know well Jim was. Kinda the quintessential person to to to you know. Experience the generation gap which was huge than he not only denied as parents ideas than value. Later on he denied he said they were dead. He said you know denied that they even existed and And then also He read was very well read and he his favorite book was. Jack Kerouac Nama Rosa Road and that was like the beat generation and it was published in fifty seven. So all the kids you know at that time in the sixties where reading that Reading that book and when Jan lived kind of briefly and Sam in Alameda near San Francisco he came in to the city and you know frequented city lights bookshop and read all the beat poetry and a furling getty and Ginsburg or favorites of his. So this was all kind of going into the whole Revolution of the sixties. That he was you know pretty much at the forefront of I think well let's let's face it You know postwar World is dominated by America. Because we're the last man standing In our culture was Was a were the victors You know we were hardly touched By the atrocities of Ah for years or lost six years of war I and You know we benefited from From being the APEX culture And then we began to export that culture of notably of films and music And You know by the time you get into the mid nineteen sixties You know America is a dominant Technological Player and You know obviously You know capitalism is In a battle of pitched battle with communism There is a lot of Of fear and uncertainty because of the bomb And the fact that You know the the idea that you know humanity had to contemplate that its entire existence could be wiped out in a about a thirty minute period. And I think that began to weigh on Some of these I You know as we know Jim. A comes from a military family is. His Dad was Rear Admiral in Pacific Fleet At the time was actually inconsequentially involved in the Gulf of Tonkin affair and You know as far as GM his Being a little bit different than than Some of his contemporaries You know rock and roll was Fairly relegated to Subject matter of girls in cars in its early Incarnation The original pioneers. And then you know. I think it'd be fair to say that Bob Dylan and a few others Began to that and Lyrical content began To become a deeper and exploratory and I think Jim took it in a very very dark Way I I. I like to think of him as You know the the real Prince of darkness To Take that title away from Some of the heavy metal Guys notably Ozzy Osbourne Because I think he's the one that really invented Shock Rock on a pop scale on a grand scale You know the the medium. A of choice At that time was. Am radio there was no FM radio. I and AM radio Played whatever was a hit Black White Rock pop country Folk it didn't matter a one after another and I think that these guys Along with the you know the far. Fisa Raymond's Eric Keyboard sound created a sonic a difference. out there that The the kids really gravitated to Elektra. Records was right there in l. a. too and they just had a trial run with love. They'd put out two albums to reasonable success for abandoned refuse to leave L. A. Essentially And so they couldn't go to that Sullivan show etc etc and weren't doing national tours but Elektra had introduced themselves at the rock market as a as a middling player they already pretty. Well established bulk player. So you know it was perfect. They they they had a really aggressive approach to the marketing. Put in giant billboards over the sunset strip with Morrison's very pretty face on it and the time Tom was perfect. It was also interesting because it was the last window. When the Teeny bopper magazines like sixteen and Tiger beat where essentially the only rock press in America? And so you've got this artists that you now consider alternative or underground and within just a couple of years. He would have been considered that you know the doors would be the kind of band it would only be on FM radio. That would only put out albums that you might not even see their faces or much less there leather clad bodies but instead of Jim Morrison doing these spreads he's fashion spreads. You know looking at sexiest. I'll get out and driving the little girls wild. Let's hear the first song that Jim Morrison Sang for Ray Manzarek. Who was a classmate of his at the UCLA film school and and was a practicing professional semi pro musician. And Jim had no musical experience. They bumped into each other and the beach and Jim saying some of the words to moonlight. Draw through the through the And you know our face. The Moon Line drive which appeared on the door second album I can remember. I think it's strange days. Always WANNA call it. People are strange. Which was the hit single off that album bud and listening to that song. It's perfectly good door song. But it's not one lyrically that blows to wipe it. Blu Ray man's rockaway and and you know they were. They were often running but shelley the book I I remember. I was a kid a seventh grader. Reading a totally impressionable and I would not let my son read this book but what what am I remember just being horrified at what a I just thought he was the jerk of all time. What did you feel about? Jim Morrison from the way the book tells US Slice Story. Well You know I actually Mo- most I know about new about Jim. Morrison before I read this book was the Oliver Stone movie that was I guess was based on this book. Right and I wasn't doors fan and I you know I didn't buy doors albums. I was Let's see I was born in fifty seven so you know I remember being in junior high school and hearing their music but I I wasn't you know I wasn't attracted to them As band or him as a musician And this book purports to you. Know it's it tells all about basically you know that. He was an alcoholic from the time he was a teenager and I think you know it's very worse and all about is about his drug and alcohol use about his treatment of his friends about his treatment of women So he you know I don't think it Helped me feel more kindly toward Jim Morrison? Even though the writers say they described him. You know his more sensitive side and as a poet visionary and All you know somebody that is very important to the rock and roll. Music scene I it didn't kind of changed my mind about him. You know as a person kind of being so selfish self centered you know alcoholic and So I don't know his his upbringing. Was you know he was raised by these very conservative parents as Christian was saying his father was in the military and his mother was the perfect military mother. You know and wife could. They moved frequently and she kept house. And you know they weren't abused or you know anything like that. But Jim was totally a excessive person even as a child and kind of torture to siblings. And I love being way and then you know and then was nice to them and you know really did extreme dangerous things so You Know I. I don't think it was the rock and roll lifestyle that that that turned him into an alcoholic. Like like you might have seen on the star is born or something like that Yeah and and I think that You know he I don't know he just rejected his parents out and out. I Just because he was a symbol of authority. I think By the time he was you know he had moved out of the house. You'd bear. He didn't even speak to them again. He would tell you that They were dead right and that was on the first liner notes of the first record that had no currents they were dead You know personally I I I Of course Christian knows my story but I I Sympathize more with his mother than I do with him as a mother of a of an alcoholic. Who reject you know their family? I think it's just a very painful. I don't yeah anyway so I didn't come away from the book with kind of a a better impression of Jim as a person but maybe more respect for him As a as a poet lyricist I would say that's my well not Jim. Jim's obviously a complicated man He childish manipulative And you know interested intensely on The the darker aspects of of life and And obviously Had demons that He couldn't work out and you know self medicated himself to death but as as a good artist he was able to Tap into that and present that In a public manner That connected with a with a large audience and exposed Some of these feelings which I don't think had been really Explored in popular music up until that time. Yeah absolutely and one thing that struck me reread in forty years after I read it. The first time was the importance of his theatrical and film background at and also how intellectually who is of all the musicians united research couple years of doing this project the only one an education comparable is bing crosby who went to a Catholic law school and read all the great philosophers. Jim Morrison is an incredibly well educated person who read all this philosophy and I took himself a little bit too seriously but I think also unique and innovative in that he was self consciously analyzing the rock scene and he had been a fan of Elvis Presley as a kid but he wasn't. He wasn't a greasy haired rocker. He was not somebody who is a singer from day. One and out in the clubs and you know seeing it and he wasn't a folksinger like Jerry Garcia the birds. Are you know? He wasn't playing in Latin Bar Vincent moby grape. I mean he was he was an intellectual. He was film student and pretty bad film student. It seems like like he walked out of Ucla completely but really understood something about how to manipulate. Crowds like Assorted forgave him for his band sister. Manipulative jerk with everybody. He knew when I realized that became his art. That was what he was doing. He was just experimenting with this idea of Control and he clearly had awesome powers in that direction and that kind of is I think what bit him in the ass I mean he got everything he wanted so fast with the doors you know. They quickly succeeding on the club circuit in La quickly signed to a label. There's a you know brief delay getting a hit single their first single flops. By their second one is a monster and boom you know. He's all his dreams of having a platform for watched. The pontificate of manipulate audiences comes true. And then it's like wow. Was that worth. Be careful what you wish for absolutely but said a little bit about the other members of the band like what you've felt about damage personalities in the way they're presented in the book. Yeah I mean Oh I thought it was very interesting the way they all met. You already talked about how he met Ray in In the film school. And then you know on the beach and ray just went well. That's the best. Those are the greatest fucking song lyrics. I've ever heard let's start a rock and roll band. Make a million dollars and and You know quickly ray discovered Jim nobody. Nobody else discovered Jim. Ray Discovered Jim and said you wanna be in our band in the band that he was in already and Jim said I don't play anything and he said just just hold the guitar you know on stage. And that's how he got his his start on stage but one of the things I thought was interesting. Was that John. Dense more The Drummer Ray met in his meditation class and then John Introduced Robby. Krieger to them who he had met in his meditation. Class Liberal meditators Which I thought was really interesting for rock musicians and Jim never never no no. They weren't others. Were meditators which was probably the only way they could put up with him And you know they and they were all musicians and played a variety of music. Johnson dense more played jazz drumming and in college and Ray Krieger Plates go via an folk blues will Mingo And Flamingo for incoming flank. I dictated my notes. John Water out here. And and in fact he played bottleneck guitar so nicely that Jim wanted him to play. Kind of exclusively bottleneck on most of his first songs And so they were you know actual musicians and Yeah I thought that was really interesting. That That they were all meditators. Yes a very late. Sixties thing to be doing in the mid sixties. They're all kind of headed their time. There yeah yeah I know remember detailing. Yeah yeah that way ahead of its time for that sort of thing we are. You guys are in the land of fruits and nuts here because belcher born and raised in. California me true. It's like the cult villains in every Raymond Chandler novel. There's always come on now. I did learn to meditate in junior high school. I went to a kind of a hippy. School Yeah we transcendental meditation. That was yeah I think. S Lon was up and running by sixty five to four you know and by then Alberton leary had been kicked out of Harvard and were looking for someplace to go. I think they were mostly Mexico at that particular moment but By you know by sixty four sixty five You know can key see has gone through the M. K. Ultra experiments performed by the CIA and discovered that this This little drug that they were handing out Was really cool without the CIA and You know started stealing some from the the pharmacists At the The mental institution. He was working at and researching is upcoming book. One flew over the CUCKOO's nest and then started handed out to His buddies Mostly musician friends. Who then they started to share it with their musician. Friends and so by by sixty five Sixty six Yeah the the world is turned on its head For those who have Indulged in the experiment of from a Mr Albert Hoffman. Let's let me jump in and another song. This is a breakfast and Vile Alabama song which is a completely crazy song for rock band to cover. Nineteen sixty seven. It was a cabaret show tune from decadent. Orlando in the nineteen twenties The radical communists creator of the alien nation affecting all these intellectual theories so the doors have been detained for pretentious covering this button. I think they managed to so it into their of pretty nicely. This is the Alabama. So don't ask why show to be we. Don't next whiskey. We must be. We must And that was Jim Morrison and the doors saying Brecht Involves Alabama Song which I mean must've blown minds in the sixties and muskets. Like I know I had no idea who breakfast vile were Until I heard this song and read rolling stone panning the doors for being pretentious for covering it and that led me off on a whole voyage of discovery. And I'm sure lots of people. I don't think you need to go to the name of the band you know taken from Aldous Huxley's the doors of Perception Is evidence enough of Some sort of pretentiousness. Absolutely have a question for you guys. So but It's certainly in in Germany. It wasn't called the Alabama Song Right. I mean I didn't know that about that song that it was a breast Tune called the Alabama Song. I believe it was called Alabama Song I should have. I seen it up before. Kristen you now I can. I can pull up really quick. But it's part of the threepenny opera and Alabama had world rod infamous reputation as a slave capital So I'm sure it was not and I think it was. It was Just a well known I think it was just a commentary on on America. It's also called Alabama. I think oh I see okay. Another whiskey bar. Yeah Yeah that was translated. Show me the way to the next Whiskey. And it was actually. It was from the play. Little Mahogany not the threepenny opera translated by the English lyrics were written by Elizabeth Hopton in nineteen twenty five So yeah I mean they were just into crazy weird stuff. We began as the German poem and and translated by their purposes. But they were they were like that movie cabaret basically it was. It was the whole decade and Weimar Republic thing and and I found when I went back and listened to the whole doors catalog. I thought held up pretty well especially compared to their the Jefferson Airplane and the grateful dead and other California bands from sixty classes sixty seven. You know I think and I think rolling stone infamously in eighties just hated the doors. I think they gave the first album three stars and everything else less and then you know by the by the time. Yeah Dave Marsh of all people who you know as quoted in the early seventies praising some of their albums in the book turn pretty viciously on him. I think influenced by Robert Chris. Cow My friend Edward. His still hates the doors but you know by the nineties edition the Rolling Stone Record Guide. They've thrown in the towel. Declared them one of the three opoku California bands of the sixties along with the beach boys in the grateful dead and yeah to me like when ads starts descend the doors. I just say well you know. Patti Smith IGGY pop that they were pretty big deal more about what they thought than. What about Iraq critics thought? Yeah well at somebody who was born in San Francisco grew up in L. A. and lived in San Francisco in the bay area for over forty years I think As far as California goes there you know there was a and the kind of music that was going on and I just to tell you Kind of a personal anecdote. My husband who's older than me and eighteen. Seventeen eighteen in San Francisco in nineteen sixty seven. When I told him I was covering the doors on this podcast. She said you know in in San Francisco had no one liked the doors. He said they heard a light my fire and he knew instantly it would be a hit but he didn't he didn't like it and none of his friends liked it and they were all into you know what seeing Hendricks and Janice Joplin and Mike Bloomfield. And you know and the grateful dead at the fillmore and you know it was like a very different aesthetic Certainly than the doors and and you know he said whereas Hendrix with a musical genius. They just thought that Morrison was a drunk singer. You know and I know that's not on cabaret singer. Yeah and that's obviously not all of San Francisco. Because when they came to San Francisco they were very well received. You know at the Phil. Mahre by by by the public learn. Yeah Yeah but let let me jump in here and just say Oh there's a huge difference In the mid sixties between the L. A. Musicians and that sound versus the San Francisco. A sound There's a reason why the Free speech is at Berkeley hated the fucking hippies Because they wouldn't get up there as do anything worthwhile and from the hippies perspective they were like no man You know we. We want to explore everything And you know most famously Encapsulated by you know the music of the grateful dead which you know as they grew you know it was a it was experimental You know it was open It was loose whereas you know L. AAC. Even was was a professional organization. Fact you know most of the bands that we think of out of La had some form of studio players on them You know most famously recognized now. As the wrecking crew Including the doors You know they didn't have a bass player and when they needed a bass player they pulled in some of those great Studio cats Down in southern California so there was a level of professionalism that really existed down in l. a. That did not exist in La. I in San Francisco and there was a real separation between those two camps at that particular moment now of course You know this all begins to Gel and and become You know looking back at history It seems like you know while there's this California moment but there were two very distinct camps at the time. Yeah it's interesting. His interactions You know he talked about him. Seeing the Jefferson Airplane and and not liking them later on and talks about him hanging out with Janice Joplin rally being abusive and awful to her. Which was exactly the kind of thing she was drawn to. You know they were peas in a pod. She's looking to be right humiliated and abused and his slugging it out. So those two right you know. Of course Baldo chemical makes any also there. There's a mention of him seen Hendrix. I can't remember where and and you know crawling up to the stage and grabbing Hendrix by the knees ankles do not to suffocate himself to the Hendrick. So you know. They're they're definitely yeah the Currents and rivalries San Francisco and I think that the fact that Rolling Stone magazine was in San Francisco. Just sort of how does it now and in an and they definitely flew that in rolling stone. If you're familiar with the history of the editorial practices were very partisan. They love John Lennon and Yoko the hated Paul McCartney they love the grateful dead then so much like the doors although they turned on the de too. But you know this thing about Morrison isn't manipulator and and in a obviously manipulated as audiences but at the beginning he was very skillful manipulator of the press but then then he changes in the way you know he he behaves toward the press and sort of self sabotage is. Do you think that was just a function of him being to alcoholic to do his job or was that sort of a philosophical switch when he become disillusioned with the machinery of success and starter? I would say. Disillusion is definitely a factor You know coupled with massive self-medication You have no patience You know when you've been asked the same question hundreds of times right and I. Yeah I think I think the manipulating the press was hard work. I mean you have to really think about it and you had to come up. You Know He. He came up with great quotes. And and you know Really defined his image in the press by you know coming out with these lengthy so things like think of us as erotic politicians that was one of his quotes And he you know like you said he was really into being photographed to you know or you know for code and jewelry and cut his hair like Alexander. The great and I thought it was interesting. That in junior college he took a class on collective behavior. Which was the psychology of crowds? And he he learned how to trying to tell his friends how interesting that was an how they could you know. Look at a crowd and make love to it and cure it and make it riot and his friends all thought he was not but obviously that was something he used to great effect in his public performances to and let me Japan and key the neck song then will return to that and talk about how he manipulated crowds basically to destroy his career. But let's I hear Love Street. And this is the spoken word bridge of the song so it can hear Jim Morrison. The poet backed by rock band. There's Love Street doors. There's this store where the creatures me wonder what they do and the summer Sundae and a year. I guess I like it fine so far. That was Love Street by Jim. Morrison and the doors and listen to. I mean he's taking a lot of critical brackets bricks and brackets for for being pretentious and a quote bad poet and everything but to me. When I listened to that it holds a comparable to like Allen Ginsberg guests in with the clash or something I really hear the influence of the beats and it doesn't it to me. It doesn't ruin the song at all or the record. It fits right in something. Like horse latitudes or celebration of the lizards a little different especially when celebration lizard goes on for ten minutes on the live album but not too bad but let me let you get back to what you're talking about shelly. And and the whole way told Tale of how he instigated deliberately attempted to instigate a riot in Miami and what the fallout. That was right. He you know. He wanted to hit an tell the other band members. She was going to do this but he really wanted to You know expose himself and see what would happen if he did that. And you know and then the story goes back and forth. Did he really exposed himself or did he just make it look like he did and one of the reasons he did that was that he didn't like the you know he was getting tired of the adulation that he was getting this crowd mentality that he had actually created but then he realized it was going too far and he couldn't just be himself and be a poet and he wanted to put a stop to it so he really purposely sabotaged His I don't know his I can't stay reword his career by doing that and then of course you got you know. charges pressed against him for indecent exposure. Trial went on for a really long time and he was banned by many Venues you know to play. And when they when they let him come back and play when they let the doors come back and play they had to put up huge amounts of money. As bond you know to encase the concert was cancelled or or interrupted by the police or something like that or in case she did something else scenes so yeah he he he really did you know Grind their career You know of course it came back up slowly but surely and to great degree but He really put a pause on their career there for a while by doing that. Well I think The some of the output wasn't a stellar as well I also think You know Music Trends Were changing rapidly There was some catch up in that Let's face it as we said at the top. You Know Jim wasn't a trained musician or You know took an interest in what that professional lifestyle is and what it means and You know a nate. You said You know the rise to stardom was so fast that It's it's very easy to see You know a a rejection of that especially for someone who you know And and if I can you know Jim was not born. You know a a Greek God. he was actually Rather Averaging in a little Chubby Through his elementary school years it needed and blossom until His College Age And started to get attention for his attractiveness And his Outgoing nub of personality manipulative. Or what have you But he was in always did consider himself a writer and desire to be a poet and that lifestyle is one of the internal not the not the external right. Yeah absolutely and that was one of my sympathetic things. I thought that the authors did in the book that they pointed out he did walk. It like you talk that. He did buy a mansion. He didn't by plane. He you know he never had big cars that basically he never had anything beyond a week's worth of clothes six pack of beer and a handful of books at any given time he would be floated from you know these flop house motels to various girlfriends apartment. And you know he's living basically the Charles Bukowski lifestyle this with the Rockstar. But he wasn't materialistic. Yeah in fact. I like how I in the beginning. A At least. The addition I had one reviewer describes him Not The cliches of rise and fall of corruption by wealth and fame but a sudden burning out of a volatile spoiled gifted intelligent artistic individual. So he he you know like like I said before he wasn't Ruined by fame like so many other rock and roll musicians like you know how they're they're kind of okay but then they get turned by their By their fame you know to to excess and wasting of money and getting attached at and all that stuff And and getting addicted to drugs and alcohol. That was that was the way he was. He was already addicted to drugs and alcohol and he wasn't. He wasn't attracted by by wealth and materialism at all it was attracted by art. And and I agree with you that that is one that is one. A Rick Redeeming feature of Jim Morrison for me. We'll let me let me add something to that shelly. Great Point That you know as Morrison Becomes more confident on and they grow As an act it gyms concept which was different than the other three a was to inject more. Let's call performance art Into live shows And try to take them into You know some of festival of Dyonisis Or what have you To to get the audience to you know get out of themselves and experience You know a a true art happening at the time and also had the whole you know you talk about the drop in quality of the of their albums. And it's very clear that third and fourth album you know are not as great as the first and second or their last two and his attempt to record this celebration of the Lizard Suite which knows a ten minute. Plus full album longside Concept OF OF SUITE OF POEMS SET TO MUSIC. It was very ahead of its time. It looks it. He's aiming to do something that the prog rockers should be doing you know and and and just a few years. But they couldn't pull it off and it. Kinda reminds me of Pete. Townsend's life Allied House plus to be this whole a multimedia movie concept thing and it implodes but they managed to salvage the songs and create their masterpiece. Who'S NEXT FOR THE DOORS? They kind of had to stumble along without you know. They didn't have the book of songs that the Salvation Lizard does not several great rock songs. You know it was. It was a suite. That was either GonNa work as a whole or not work at all. They did manage to perform it. Live but they're they're comeback sort of it's driven by robby especially Robbie. I think robbery. Krieger is a way under praised performer and songwriter He wrote agree light my fire and right. Lohan asks his first song. Yeah and so. Many of their pop hits You know don't you love her madly etc etc. He's the pop songwriter. But Jim songwriting grows too. So you know. They're a great team with Robbie writing the AM single hit. And then Jim coming up with stuff like L. A. Woman which is a long form song that does work in Iraq context so they were able to respond to you know the innovations of led Zeppelin and the band and everything with last two albums that come back and really you know. Put down a marker for the doors as a as a serious quality hard rock band and and one back a lot of the critics at least at the time and let's go ahead and here one of those songs. Let's hear peace frog which has got music by robby? Krieger and lyrics by Jim. Morrison route back on Peace Frog for Morrison Hotel which many people saw as a comeback album and attempt by the doors to reestablish their rot credibility. And I have to say. I don't generally get into rock criticism because it's not the point of this show but I have to say I think it holds up very well with the material put out by their peers at the time and I recently saw David crosby getting on twitter and dissing the doors and maybe WanNa slap his face. Like how dare you? You could not touch them on their best semi crosby. Did what crosby did with the birds in crosby stills Nash which is great you know invading folk rock and invented you know soft rock and all that but he never was a credible hard rocker and the doors. I think I think really were. I mean how do you guys write them like? Do you think they hold up? I mean the whole idea of. He's redeemed because of his commitment to art if he's a charlatan in a fake. That's there's nothing redemptive about that. But if if you think you may some to lasting gonNA this redemptive what he'd think right. I know I agree. I I think I don't think he's a charlatan and a fake at all And I think the songs hold up and I I find him credibly authentic. Go ahead shelley. Oh I was just GonNa say Peace Frog is one of my favorites but actually out the base actually has the baseline on it. Which I I'm always attracted to good baseline and maybe and I was telling Christian before we went on air. That may one reason that I wasn't particularly like moved by the doors music When I was a teenager because I didn't hear a lot of being On the records. I've I've just. In retrospect I'm thinking that that may be one of the things but yeah I yeah I think I think the music I mean you know. I don't recognize the titles of the songs and so when I went back to listen to a lot of like oh I know all of these I mean I know I. I'm familiar with all of the songs. Even though I never had a doors album I never owned doors. That open right there. Yeah yeah definitely. What were you gonNa say Christian? Oh just to add on to You know they're worth and they're they're influence to later works You know You know I I think certainly at the time you know they you know were the darkest ban Before there really were you know dark bands of which came on the horizon. I mean you know. Blacks out doesn't even show up till nineteen seventy and In in as we know now you know they're They're imagery and motifs. Were you know based on fantasy on hammer horror films? You know this. This was about You know selling a comic book version of of themselves And you know Morrison was everything that you've got You know most of it not great but some of its sublime and You know You know he's I find him one of the most authentic characters to ever come out of rock and roll. Yeah and I think one of the best ways to measure the power of a musical artist by their influence and the fact that essentially all hard rock singers going forward are either going to be influenced by the Golden Boy Robert Plant or the Prince of darkness. Jim Morrison and you get the call. Glenn Dancing of the misfits and dancing and etc etc his iggy pop based his basically his whole act on Jim Morrison and for somebody because Agee as seen as as punk and Jim is classic rock there. People miss that connection. But it's a direct absolutely chain and hand off but let's talk about the book before we wrap up. What do you guys think about the book? I mean it's very salacious. It goes out of its way to mention the him but fucking groupies. Excuse the terminology. But that's why they talk about you know and then go ahead. Write a song called back door man while they covered right. I'm sorry governor and presumably how wolf is talking about knocking on a girl's back door while her husband's way. But you know regardless that the with Jim had in mind. It's clearly not and it's it's very salacious book. I mean it's almost it's clearly written. It's full of pictures. I mean it's a great trade paperback. It's right up there with like Vince. Bugliosi's helter skelter as far as lurid portrait. Savell a the late sixties. But I mean do you feel like they went over the line and they were unfair to the artists or is this just the perfect way to summarize a pop phenomenon? You know as a librarian. I know a little something about biographies and This one reminded me of The fact that You know I was a children's librarian for a long time and we started Consciously WEEDING OUT BOOKS BIOGRAPHIES. That were fictionalized. In the way this book is so the way it's written it makes it more salacious than if it were just written in a more of a nonfiction style. Because they take they take interviews with people but they weave them in as quotes about a lot of the book is dialogue that either quote kind of quoted from People's interviews but not attributed so it makes it. If you weren't like a savvy reader you would be like. Oh yeah this. This actually happened this way. These people had this exact conversation. Which you know can't possibly be true unless it was recorded you know that. The person was in the room when the conversation happened. Because this is one person's telling of how the conversation went which obviously you know tinted and the way that person remembers it and that I think that adds like fifty percent to the salaciousness as you say of the book that it it reads like a novel really more than than a non fiction factual you know biography or remember. Jerry Hopkins had Written The book or manuscript Years before and had tried to get it published In was unsuccessful at it until he brought Danny sugarman to add Quite a bit of the Salaciousness First person type of accounts and to Shelley's point you know As we know memory is somewhat fallible and especially after a decade or a or so Where you know you you you begin to Mythology is your past and You know You know let's face it By by by this time You Know Morrison is a mythological creature and Sugarman S- memories are probably couched in clouded in those Those those external our responses coming to him You know And of course you know. Y- you know I think the Book Pa Proves the point in that Jerry Hopkins tried to get this sold? Nobody would sell it until they turned it into something more salacious palatable to You know a buying public And sure enough. It did the trick. Didn't it had sounded like reading the National Enquirer? I mean especially to the point of Danny sugarman memories. He was a teenager. Went along top. And right you know so like if I told you like dialogue that happened from when I was a teenager. How like how accurate would that be? So this is yeah. This is more like a like a magazine. Article Danny working with the doors when he was twelve right. That's crazy and so many scenes happened in the offices of the doors. And it's clearly. That's where he's interactive with Jim Novel up so I imagine you're twelve and Morrison is your body. What what the fuck would that be like? No even that's even weirder than reading this biography when you're twelve isn't being part of the biography twelve much much winner. Yes yeah yeah so so. There's some questions there but I mean I think to me. Ultimately it's a net positive for Jim in the doors because it it's a minute direction star. It did didn't it? Yeah there's that obviously gained the attention of Of Oliver Stone. Who went onto to make a film about? them which is also You know a debated On on there it's a good thing or bad thing But just like jam and and again I I I keep going back to to the fact that that Morrison himself was a complicated person He think of his upbringing with a rising star in the United States Navy At the time and You know The conservative family and those values and then the rejection of that To the point where where you are tried to eliminate the the history of your association with that family so I mean that tells you. I think all you need to know where to begin with WHO. This cat was and You know and he comes about right as this new you know Popular Art form is Beginning to really takeover the entertainment Airwaves and presents himself as the the dark Elvis Presley so I mean at all it all make sense to me. Yeah and as timing was so brilliant. I think it's very telling that that thing that triggered his cutting off communication with his parents was a letter. They wrote criticizing his concept of becoming a singer based on the fact that he never evinced any musical talent whatsoever which is totally reasonable thing for here to say but he was so confident what he was doing. It was just not going to Brooke and criticism as as a failed musician myself. I see. That's the difference between a successful musician. Failure is somebody who's like you know damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. I'm not going to hear any negativity. I'm going to associate with people that support my vision and I'm going to go for it and you know fuck you and the scene when his mom and younger brother do go to one of their concerts and he makes a point of screaming the lyrics of the end which other? I WanNa fuck you right in her face. I mean that had been completely shattering for her. I mean what would it awful thing to do and that she at that and that she even wanted to see him after that I mean she like tried to see him with his little brother and toe and he evaded her and he got everyone in the hotel and the concert. Venue to say. No gyms over there. No gyms over there and protect him from this horrible woman that had come to see him. You know in performance and withstood that that that situation happening to her and she still wanted to see her son and he never saw her again after that. Yeah it's very sad and to me it just reinforces you know this kind of success but commercially and critically comes at a high price and let me let me add that. A look I I. I don't think that a a singular letter Stating that Maybe you shouldn't go down this career path of would clause a quite a reaction. There had to have been a whole lot of shit behind that To get to this. Maybe maybe that was the straw that broke the camel's back but I think The The divorce to His immediate family was probably deeper than than than just A question his His ability as as a musician. The other thing that I might add is nate like like you I I i. I interviewed a lot of of rockstars and To your point Yeah I've heard over and over again that you know when you get right down to it. There was no plan B. I mean that's what you have to do to to be able to make their. There is only plan. A and plan. B. Is being homeless unless you make the Lenin school economics if you start off Not Yeah no plan. B. and also the Decides not brooking criticism and going with people that support. You is being able to withstand great discomfort and you know and not knowing what the future holds and not having any security that that stands out for me and all the biographies I've read is not carrying out security. Which is why I was never musician. You know let let's say let's say that that this this this is Anthony Mathu Anathema excuse me anathema to to the previous generation Who had had had to go through things like the Great Depression and World War Two You know and now here comes this generation of of of Americans who just given the middle finger to that whole world. That that those people you know quote unquote created. You know you know the the Corporate Society in the Organization Man and what have you You know they just said No. We don't have to live this way and I reject that And to the point of no I reject you as a person and knowing one. Cu anymore so there's a lot going on with with the the the interactions with his family that tells us a lot about who morrison was professor. I feel like we've covered the story of Jim. Morrison and the doors Christian Shelley. Thanks so much for coming on. You can listen to these guys on the Rock and Roll Librarian and rock and roll Archeology sorry for my pronunciation. They're both on the Pantheon podcast network which let it roll is proud to be a member of so thanks for coming on the show guys. Glad to have you. Yeah and thanks for having us on your show Follow the lead role podcast on twitter at letter all cast and check out our website at let it roll. Podcasts DOT COM. Nate will be back next week with the host of the T. CB cast to discuss Peter Guralnick's classic biography last train to Memphis the rise of Elvis Presley. Let it roll is a pentium podcast. You can listen to all the other. Great Pantheon podcasts at. Www DOT PANTHEON PODCASTS DOT com? No one here gets out. Alive is published by Warner Books. Please support our show by ordering via the Amazon referral link on our website. Let it roll. Podcast DOT COM Hey everybody this. Is Brian Respond? Host of the podcast side gems which is now a proud member of the Pantheon. Family of PODCASTS. I've been a freelance entertainment journalist for twenty five years now and I often end up in conversations that go off on tangents suddenly discussing someone's outside passion or hobby something you didn't know about and leads to revelations about their character and about their life outside of their art. I've often had to cut those details out because the story had district word count for specific focus so here the entire focus of the podcast is just on their side. Jam Or side jammed for example. Alison Chance Frontman William. Divall spent some time talking to me about reading history which led him into talking about his public school education and how it was so terrible in highschool that actually managed to get into a private school for free to his life could take a different course in this series of podcast. You're going to be hearing my interviews with musicians of all different backgrounds genres talking about everything from surfing to collecting antiques to stargazing. I hope you enjoy side jams. Please tune in regularly and have a lot of interesting guests in store for you.