Opening the Doors

A journey beyond mainstream to rebel music

Opening the Doors

Postby (sowhat) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:43 pm

Since the intention was not to restrict the discussions to punk/garage only, as it was mentioned, and since the section title itself derives from the name of one of this band's most famous songs, why not try to talk about the Doors?
What do you think of them? Would you call them rebellous, or alternative, or limits-breaking? What was so special about them, in your opinion? When have you heard them for the first time and how did it feel? What do they mean for you (if they do)? What do you think of the idea of their "reunion" without Jim? Etc, etc, insert your questions here. All kinds of opinions are welcome.
Cheers,
SC.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (lennon211) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:56 pm

I really got into the doors during my junior year of high school (only about 9 years ago). I really liked the stuff from the first time that I heard it. They were the first band that I got into after the "big 3" of the Beatles, Stones, and the Who. I don't think I would call them punk, but definitely the "alternative" of their day. They presented the seedy side of Los Angeles...kinda like the band that would exemplify '60's L.A. noir at times. The first three albums to me are the really classic Doors. Soft Parade never did it for me. After they came back with Morrison Hotel it was almost like a different band at times. Much more of a blues influence...I guess this was the beginning of Morrison's Jack Daniels period. As such, I've found that the later material was at times harder to get into. My favorite album would probably have to be Waiting for the Sun just for the sheer quality of every song on there. The self-titled first album has a tremendous run of songs on what would be side one of the album. "The End" is one of my favorites, as is "People are Strange" off of Strange Days, the second album. Strange Days was a lot of fun to listen to as well, though not quite as accessible at times as the first or third albums. What blew me away though was how many people always think that Jim Morrison was the one that wrote a lot of the biggest songs, when it's actually Krieger.

I think that one of the most special things in the entire band was the musicianship that each member brought with them. Manzarek was a great keyboardist, handling not only the organ and piano duties, but a Fender Rhodes Bass keyboard in concert. Krieger's flamenco guitar background really made him capable of a number of things that suited the music very well in its mix of modern darkness and old-world mystery. Densmore's jazz background worked out well too. They meshed and came out with a sound that was truly a sum of all parts.

I have noticed one thing lately: the Doors are on the downside of hip-ness in the popular music press at Rolling Stone, Blender, et al. They all go on recently about the Doors being one of the most over-rated bands of all time, when a few years before they were still cashing in on the cool factor of Morrison & co.

One of the coolest aspects of the Doors was the democracy of the band, where each man had an equal say. Very cool. That to me alone justifies that stand that Densmore took against Manzarek and Krieger about the "reunion". Even though it sucks the way that he did it, Densmore was right. One thing about the band is that I think that Pamela Morrison represented something of the Doors' Yoko Ono.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (captsandwich) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:08 pm

This might get me some grief from some quarters, but here goes:
I would like the doors a lot more if they kept the keyboard solos to under 3 minutes per song. They embody all the navel gazing, self important, baby boomer hippy **** that turned me on to punk rock in the first place. I also hate the whole 'American Poet' ****. I disliked them from the first time I heard Riders on the Storm when I was about 7 or 8, because I remember thinking that the lyrics were stupid.
My wife forced me to read Morrison's biography and it didn't change my opinion.
Talented musicians, granted, but I have never had any desire to purchase any of their music. I had to listen to LA Woman more than enough for one lifetime back in high school, thank you very much.
I guess you could say I'm not a fan.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (ozover50) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:25 pm

I completely understand, Greg. I listened to the Doors ad nauseum for many years and now I struggle with them. Still, IMO they have a special place in rock history..... if not the band then certainly Jim Morrison.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (charlyg) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:29 pm

"The Soft Parade" is one of my all time favorite albums! I have to admit, I even liked "Other Voices"! Those are the only two Doors albums I had.

But I can't resist responding specifically to the title, while having Garage on the mind.

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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (winston) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:52 pm

I always considered the Doors overly self indulgent and a band that would be nothing without the musings of Jim Morrison. My opinion has not changed much and it would seem that I was right about them amounting to nothing without Morrison.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (sowhat) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:56 pm

Good to know i'm not the only one who liked "Soft parade". :D "Touch me" was my personal favourite off that album (ducking for cover).
Thanks to all for your comments. Great to see different points of view.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (Scastles) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:58 pm

The Doors ran 'thin' quickly on me. I just don't think they hold up well over time, but they do have their own place in '60's rock.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (lennon211) » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:55 pm

Clearly I'm in the minority here, but thanks to all for not slagging me and my opinion. It's kinda rare to be the minority opinion and not get slammed as being totally out of it. I can understand everyone else's opinion though...the Doors do become stale when listened to all the time. To me that's what happens with Hendrix, the Velvet Underground and some of the other bands that had a tendency to go overboard at times.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (jimbunch) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:28 pm

I was a big Doors fan back in the 1960s. They were very big in the USA and had a lot of popular songs on the radio. I saw them in concert and Morrison jumped off the stage and was imediately surrounded by a lot of police officers. We thought that was really cool back then. At that time I did not realize that Morrison was so screwed up as I later learned after seeing how he is portrayed in the movies about the Doors. Nevertheless, when I listen to their music again 40 years later it still sounds very good and brings back a lot of good memories. They created a unique sound that differentiated them from a lot of other bands at that time.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (rictified) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:39 pm

I've loved The Doors since I first heard The Doors LP in 1967 and still love them to this day. I have all their LP's and I can't think of one single song by them that I dislike although I'm very tired of Love Her Madly and Hello I love You which is not representative of the majority of their music and is overplayed still. Light My Fire on the other hand has stood the test of time as a classic. I thought they were all great musicians who played really well together and gave Morrison's songs the perfect interpretations they needed. They belonged together and were perfect for each other, the band wouldn't have been the Doors without any single one of them.
I thought Jim had a great unique voice and had rock's greatest scream, his voice and songwriting did deteriorate near the end though, on LA Woman his voice is not that great although I'm positive he was drunk all the way through it and it sounds it. I think they are amongst the top ten rock bands of all time, near the top actually. I also like The Soft Parade, I likes 'em all.
I believe that movie was a little sensationalized, made him out to be a one dimensional character which I do not at all believe he was.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (rictified) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:44 pm

sowhat wrote:Good to know i'm not the only one who liked "Soft parade". :D "Touch me" was my personal favourite off that album (ducking for cover).
Thanks to all for your comments. Great to see different points of view.


I like Touch Me, have you ever heard Who Scared You Sheena? For a long time it was only available as the B side of the 45 record Wishful Sinful which is another favorite of mine. Those were from around the same time and probably the same musicians as The Soft Parade which got almost universally panned by the critics who obviously didn't understand what the Doors were all about.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:57 pm

Jim kills it for me.

I've expressed my opinion on The Doors before (maybe here?) and was told they were a band of their time and place - late 60's LA, "you had to be there", etc. For me, it just comes down to the fact that, IMO, Jim was one of the worst lyricists - if not the worst - in the short history of rock 'n roll. He was always touted to be some poet of the LA scene at the time, but I can't imagine someone sitting down to write "poetry" and writing such utter self-indulgent drivel.

I do like the rest of the band - they came up with some interesting, notable arrangements, to say the least. I especially like Ray's keyboard playing - he wasn't a virtuoso, but did a great job of holding down basslines for long periods of time while soloing. His soloing was also very tasteful and fitting, which I would also say about Robbie.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (sowhat) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:10 pm

I like Touch Me, have you ever heard Who Scared You

Yes, Bob, it's now available on the tube, but i've never heard it before. I am sure that back in the day, when i was a teenager looking for smart stuff and highly under influence of older friends who said the Doors were cool and if i didn't dig them i was stupid and with no taste in music, i would be hooked on it. That doesn't mean i didn't like the Doors, i actually did, and their music still gives me shivers, especially "Five to one"; but as i understand now, back then it was partly a game of belonging to a group.
Completely agree about "Hello i love you". It was overplayed even here; strange thing is, "People are strange" were played even more often (there was even a "Russian version" of it by a punk band from West Syberia, which means lyrics in Russian having nothing to do with the original lyrics sang to the original tune) but i still like that song and don't get tired of it.
I've expressed my opinion on The Doors before (maybe here?) and was told they were a band of their time and place - late 60's LA, "you had to be there", etc.

Aww, i cannot tell you, John, how much tired i sometimes am of such kind of talk. I haven't been there and couldn't, for at least two obvious reasons; but if music can only be taken in the context of time and place... ehm, sorry, end of rant.
John, could you kindly explain your position about Jim being "one of the worst lyricists" in more detail, perhaps with the examples? It was always interesting to me, because his lyrics didn't seem as special to me as people claimed, music was the main factor in my liking the band (maybe cause i'm not a native speaker, i dunno).
It would also be cool to see different points of view on Jim Morrison as a poet. From what i know, he was an educated guy and there's lots of intertext in his lyrics. Personally, i like the alliterations in his lyrics but i doubt that was the only reason why people called him a poet.
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Re: Opening the Doors

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:35 pm

sowhat wrote:John, could you kindly explain your position about Jim being "one of the worst lyricists" in more detail, perhaps with the examples? It was always interesting to me, because his lyrics didn't seem as special to me as people claimed, music was the main factor in my liking the band (maybe cause i'm not a native speaker, i dunno).
It would also be cool to see different points of view on Jim Morrison as a poet. From what i know, he was an educated guy and there's lots of intertext in his lyrics. Personally, i like the alliterations in his lyrics but i doubt that was the only reason why people called him a poet.


I'm really dreading the fact that I have to comb through his lyrics but i'll get to it soon, Sheena. Who knows, maybe i'll even end up taking a less brutal stance on him then I do now.
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