(Copyright © 1999-2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
The Doors , 9/10
Strange Days , 8/10
Waiting For The Sun , 7/10
The Soft Parade , 5/10
Morrison Hotel , 6/10
Absolutely Live , 7/10
L.A. Woman , 7/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Of all creative bands in the history of rock music, the Doors may have been the most creative. Their first album contains only masterpieces and remains virtually unmatched. Jim Morrison may well be the single most important rock frontman. He is the one who defined the rock vocalist as an artist, not just a singer. Ray Manzarek's style at the keyboards was at the vanguard of the fusion of classical, jazz, soul and rock music. The virulence of some of their riffs bridged the blues-rock era and the hard-rock era. Whether it was him, Krieger or Manzarek or all of them, their songs have a unique quality that has never been repeated. They are metaphysical while being psychological and while being physical (eroticand violent). They are the closest thing rock music has produced to William Shakespeare.

(Translated from my original Italian text by Ornella C. Grannis)

The Doors were the leading performers of a brief but intense creative season, during which they recorded one the greatest masterpieces in the history of rock music. The more time passes by, the more it seems that their fame will be forever tied to that first effort.

The band was dominated by the histrionic personality of singer Jim Morrison, the inspiration behind their music. James Douglas Morrison was born December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida. His father, a high ranking Navy officer, expected him to pursue a similar career. After severing all ties with his family, Jim moved to Los Angeles to enroll at UCLA where he studied cinematography, Latin and Greek. He majored in Technical Cinematography in 1964, after directing an experimental film.

At UCLA Morrison met Ray Manzarek, four years older, a graduate in economy, who loved the blues of his Chicago and played the piano for Rick and the Ravens, a Santa Monica band held together by members of the same family. Drummer John Densmore, a jazz aficionado, and guitarist Bobby Krieger, a flamenco and jug music enthusiast, both members of The Psychedelic Rangers and followers of guru Maharishi Yogi, soon joined Morrison and Manzarek. It was September 1965. The Doors were born.

The name "Doors" is a double tribute: to the poetry of William Blake for whom the doors divide that which is known from that which is unknown, and to the book about psychedelic drugs by Aldous Huxley "The Doors of Perception". The tribute clearly conveyed a debt of gratitude and set the way for the development of their sound.

The Doors began playing regularly at The London Fog, on Sunset Boulevard. Soon after they were hired by the famous Whiskey-a-go-go, where they competed with the best bands of the area - Turtles, Seeds, Love.

Their sound, a fierce blues-rock far more mature than the shy beat in circulation at the time, catapulted them to the top: the exuberant organ played by Manzarek (that also served as bass and chorus), the neat, dreamy, hallucinogenic, typically West Coast guitar of Krieger and the bluesy fiber in the fabric of Densmore's drumming sound, created the suggestive backdrop to which Morrison added with his cavernous voice continual references to darkness, void, oblivion and death. His sensational sermons shocked and enlightened the existentially damned. Like many of the Bay Area, Doors concerts also became actual "acid tests", during which the band rambled and stretched blues classics to the limit.

The Doors were offered a contract in the summer of 1966. The following January their first album, The Doors (Elektra, 1967) was released and was accepted enthusiastically by those who had followed them underground.

The album is the outcome of the fusion of six elements of highly suggestive potential: the coarse skin-tight twitch of blues-rock (sealed by the obsessive beat of Densmore); a personalized baroque interpretation of psychedelia (trademark of the fatuous and eclectic Manzarek's organ that varies from sluggish swing to a peeling of the bells onto majestic liturgical swirls); an accurate plan of exotic infection (Latin and Hawaiian flavors in Krieger's guitar), the seducing and sinister voice of Morrison, the evangelic charm of his personality and the shocking value of his lyrics, halfway between Greek tragedies and Freudian psychoanalysis.

The album begins with one of their most famous tunes, Break On Through, a feisty and irreverent piece with an out-of-control rhythmic session that burns itself, without a single second of pause, in just over two minutes, an epileptic punk-rock anthem before its time, even if referencing Ray Charles (What'd I Say) and Elmore James (Shake Your Money-Maker). Soul Kitchen is a blues-rock that begins like an experience recalled and stretches itself to a spectacular end, culminating with a demonic invocation during the satanic ceremony in the "kitchen of the souls". The Mephistophelian atmosphere sweetens in the oblivion of Crystal Ship, a perfect little masterpiece on the expansion of consciousness, in which the search for metaphysical freedom awakens simultaneously primordial fears and euphoria ("...the days are bright and filled with pain..."). An acute, irrefutable pain adds strange hues to the piece (the imperceptible undertones of acid) in a mix of dizzy heights ("...we'll meet again, we'll meet again, oh, tell me where you freedom lies...") in which the work evolves to an epic crescendo. 20th Century Fox is a sarcastic hymn to a shrewd woman who "...won't waste time on elementary the world locked up inside a plastic box...", a feminine portrait worth of the imagery of Dylan and the Jefferson Airplane.

"Light my fire, try to set the night on time to wallow in the mire; try, now we can only lose and our love becomes a funeral pyre...". A text of eleven verses for seven minutes of mesmerizing music: an organ that spins in sidereal spaces like a baroque harpsichord, a guitar that self-ignites, extinguishes itself and comes back to repeat the cycle, drums that desecrate Cuban dance music, a voice that comes from the darkness of the other side to launch its heart wrenching call: Light My Fire (a creation of Krieger, like many of their most mesmerizing riffs). It's a melodramatic hymn to sex and death, to fire and darkness, to the savage instincts that awaken in the middle of the night, to the languid premonitions that infect their pleasure. In the long instrumental break the spectacular duet between Manzarek (jazz, Fats Domino-esque, baroque, and boogie) and Krieger (raga, Arab, Gypsy and Spanish) over a Latin rhythm creates a tense and feverish, refined and linear sound that opens all "doors" and reaches the psyche.

Then the arcane nightmare of the hypnotic End Of The Night, a desperate lullaby about "the end of the night" (as opposed to endless nights, a description of the terrifying separation from the dreams and the pleasures of the night). Take It As It Comes, a disengaged and resilient reprisal of the vortex of Light My Fire introduces the very long eleven minutes of The End, the legendary agony with which the album ends.

Eleven minutes of laments, of mysticism, of collective and rarefied improvisations on resignation. A primordial magma of emotions, of convulsed exorcisms, of confusing plots. Eleven minutes of sulfur and incense: "...this is the end, my only friend, the end...the end of everything that stands..." in a crescendo that grabs and holds. Amidst irregular breathing, slobbered lewd images and blasphemous biblical verses, the ceremony proceeds relentlessly through curses and nightmares. The myth of Oedipus fills every word with horrendous foreboding. The dying soul, lost in a desperate land, staggers without support. The song is insidious and epic at the same time. Morrison's voice is that of the narrator, but also of the protagonist, lacerated by monstrous traumas. The phrasing is the nonsensical sequence of a journey that's lasted too long. The instrumental suspense electrifies every word: "...The killer awoke before dawn. He put his boots on. He took a face from the ancient gallery, and he walked on down the hall. He went into the room where his sister lived, and then he paid a visit to his brother, and then he walked on down the hall. And he came to a door, and he looked inside, "Father?" "Yes son?" "I want to kill you." "Mother, I want to...". Blinding spotlights point to the site of the tragedy. The psychopathic sweetness of the assassin who relives the torpid fairy tales of the subconscious within the skeletal tapestry of the text now adorned with whispers and screams, love and hate, sounds and silence. By assimilating and consuming it all within his delirium he becomes a giant with enormous tentacles that reach beyond "the real", into the "the eternal" populated by "snakes". The doors of perception unlock, and an angelic vampire agonizing on the edge of the abyss with dilated pupils, proclaims, as time and memory march solemnly: "...the end of nights we tried to die...this is the end!".

The instrumental chaos of The End, and When The Music's Over, symbolize an important moment in the evolution of the Doors' style, much like the experiences of acid-rock. The harmonic separation in both cases has a function strictly theatrical. Every choreographed sound is functional to the acting of the singer. It's a soundtrack more than a musical composition. The quintessence of the Morrisonian melodrama is the ability to recite monologues while singing, to create an atmosphere of suspense by unleashing the fury of rhetoric, to captivate an audience by learnedly alternating states of submission and exaltation.

Their rock became immediately recognized as a refined product of the underground. It didn't match any of the styles in vogue. It was too hard and maniacal to be compared with the dreamy styles of the Bay Area, it was too baroque and metaphysical to fit the common psychedelic beat.

Their concerts had little in common with the psychedelic concerts of the time. It was Morrison who dominated, with his shaman like personality and his provoking attitude. Authorities and moralists alike pursued Morrison without mercy (he was arrested twice: in 1967 in Connecticut for rioting, and 1969, in Miami, for lewd acts in public). The persecution was well deserved, Morrison's was a dissolute existence filled with alcohol and drugs.

Incorrigible rebel like James Dean, quintessential to his music like Jimi Hendrix, poet of a generation like Bob Dylan, inclined to self-destruction like Jack Kerouac, Jim Morrison was the spokesman of post-pacifism and post-psychedelic restlessness. Through the exaltation of drugs and sex Morrison assaulted the strongholds of conservative ideology and rendered tangible the apolitical rebellion of his generation. "We want the world and we want it NOW!" was the only slogan that truly spoke for everybody.

The fundamental component of The Doors' music were Morrison's lyrics. His classic and modern education gave him Blake's apocalyptic symbolism, Poe's macabre decadence, Hawthorne's anti-puritan pessimism and Ginsburg's angry reprimands. These references, more or less close to Morrison's idea of life and of the world, never came out as such, but as amalgams within his own poetry and the occult symbols of his paranoia, which his poetry couldn't renounce: the "crystal ship" (heroin) saves from the pain, "the fire" with which a hypothetical lover should light the night (sex, death, perhaps both), the seven mile long cold "snake" of the ancient lake ("ride the snake" a sexual parody of "ride the tiger"), "the music" a euphemism for life (it's your friend, until the end), "the riders on the storm" (of which he was most certainly one), the "lizard" (himself) and "the end" of it all (my friend the end, my only friend, the end).

At the bottom of that complex and fantastic world there was Morrison himself, his damned life and his fears, confessed in many escapes from reality ("...desperately in need of some stranger's hand..." he whispers in The End). Every scream hides an exorcism, every whisper a prayer, every show is a maniacal ego-trip: "the artist is both shaman and scapegoat, the crowd projects its fantasies upon him and those fantasies become real. To destroy their fantasies people must destroy him." Every one of his efforts was a parable of his own destruction and can be recalled like that of a Christ desperately searching for his own Calvary.

On stage Morrison took from his experience as an actor and a poet and combined it with movement, recitation and music. The result was an original expressive form entirely centered on the musical momentum that became known as "the theater of sex and death". Against the Hippies' flower power he set his own personal "sexual power". Without tricks or disguises he was able to excite the audiences with the depth of his transmission, or in moments of delirium with verbal assaults and sexual simulations. Sex for Morrison was liberating and glorifying, as in all primitive cultures. The true Morrison was the one who insulted and degraded the audience, the one who laughed at himself unabashed in hedonistic and blasphemous rituals on the stage of Miami. But sex was also macabre. His lyrics are permeated with a clear foreboding of his tragic demise and with a cosmic sense of murder as supreme manifestation of life (the "killer on the road" whose "brain is squirming like a toad" in Riders of the Storm).

Morrison manifested a tendency to split his personality which he liked to link to a religious antithesis: Christ/Satan. He defined himself "the king of sinners" elaborating on squalid and contorted dissertations on incest, homicide and the Oedipus Complex, while at the same time posing as a prophet, a redeemer and a martyr (in a famous photograph he's crucified naked on a telephone pole). This split personality tendency produced sudden transformations: while reciting the Celebration Of The Lizard, during a silent pause, he assailed a sleepy audience with a belligerent scream (wake up!), a true awakening of his demonic alter-ego.

There is yet another component to Morrison's artistic personality: he writes as an actor. His lyrics are movies (the execution of the "unknown soldier", the symbolic tragedy of the "celebration of the lizard king"). When he sings his monologues he adapts his voice to every different atmosphere, to the different scenery of the piece (arrogant and imperious in Light My Fire, desolately nostalgic in Strange Days, insane and murderous in Break On Through); he's an actor.

The success of the 45 Light My Fire allowed the band to immediately record a second album, Strange Days (Elektra, 1967).

The second album substantially copied the structure of the first. It was released in 1968, and the days were indeed strange for the United States, for the students in the occupied campuses, for the soldiers in Vietnam, for the revolting blacks. Morrison lived those times on his terms, but he understood the crisis that would bring the country to its knees, and he envisioned the insanity and the solitude that transformed sky scrapers into mental institutions and apartments into isolation blocks. The denizens of the metropolis are lost, estranged, confused, alienated, and hostile to each other.

The meaning of the entire album is linked to the rhythm, the tone and the volume of Morrison's voice: gloomy when it comes to prophesies the looming apocalypse, detached and menacing when it converses with its own phantasm.

A whirling organ introduction opens the discussion, "Strange days have found us" (as if, for years, they had hunted a humanity too sure of its own civilization). The announcement is given by a sinister and spiritless voice that seems to come from some catacomb (obtained in reality with an elementary and suggestive echo effect). The pronouncement plays on the many meanings of the word "strange": strange as incomprehensible, strange as different, strange as hallucinatory. Incomprehensible because the confusion of an entire generation had never been so great and so marred by undefined sensations of discomfort, different because never before had American society been confronted by so many social movements and because never before had the survival of mankind been put into discussion; and hallucinatory because that was the effect of the drugs.

You're Lost Little Girl, Love Me Two Times, Unhappy Girl are brief "strange stories" centered around a female. The cabaret-style refrain of the first, the syncopated blues of the second, the oriental-like whisper of the third confirm the incredible ability of the band to assimilate elements of diverse genres and then fuse them into a unique mix of rhythm, harmonic progressions and crescendos.

Horse Latitude, although extremely concise, is a crucial moment of the album: the music ties itself up in clusters of dissonance, the voice screams, others scream along, in a rousing electric sabbath in the moonlight. The instruments obey faithfully every order imparted by a detached and glacial tone of voice: ...pause...consent...

Then all is lost in the relaxed mood of Moonlight Drive, a syncopated artifact of lunar song: "...let's swim to the moon...penetrate the evening that the city sleeps to hide...". The moon is an important symbol in the Morrisonian mythology, the inspiration of opposite sensations: it awakens instinctive madness while igniting the yearning desire for eternity.

People Are Strange is the vaudevillian refrain sung by the lonely stranger (another symbol for Morrison himself). "...faces looks ugly when you're alone... women seem wicked when you're unwanted...when you're strange no one remembers your name...". It's a desolate admission of his own loneliness, although the words can easily lend themselves to other interpretations. Yet only in such a condition can the collective drama be comprehended, the collective drama of an entire society made up of folks who are strange, meaning different from one another.

My Eyes Have Seen You, Latin-laced soul with a hard-rock rhythm that changes mood rather suddenly and gives it a touch of insanity, and I Can't See Your Face, another lesser known song dedicated, in a soporific Hawaiian siesta, to a mysterious female interlocutor who sweetens the dramatic atmosphere, confirm the band's exceptional state of grace in both composition and performance: the perfect "dry" timbre of the organ, the happy "pizzicato" counterpoint of the guitar, the evocative swirling rhythm of the drums.

A scream and a handful of bluesy chords on the organ skirted by guitar distortions announce When The Music's Over. It's only the beginning of a journey that will take us far, that will upset the world in a disorderly sequence of metaphorical images ("...cancel my subscription to the resurrection..."). Anger turns to melancholic depression, to a prayer, to a request, to a tiff, to a whisper: "...before I sink into the big sleep I want to hear...the scream of the butterfly...". The leading thread twists convulsively, the theme changes continuously to follow the agonizing gargles of a man ready to die. Every instrument plays frantically, war-like, along with the voice: "...I hear a very gentle sound, very near yet very far, very soft yet very clear...". The will to vindicate. The need for a victory. The cry of he who can't justify history, "...what have they done to the earth?...ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her...and tied her with fences...". The conclusion of he who has waited too long and doesn't want to wait any longer. A slogan fit for every mouth: "...we want the world and we want it...", a small pause without uncertainty, doubt or fear, only to fill the lungs and scream: "...Now! Now? Now!!!...". Three times in three different tones. Three times for three different meanings in the same atmosphere of suspense. Then the immediate doubt that it may not be enough, that it may not be needed after all, or that it may not be necessary: " us!...when the music's over turn out the lights...". And the final confession before the great sleep: " is your special friend, dance on fire as it intends, music is your only friend, until the end...". When The Music's Over is the last hymn of a generation that began with the English invasion and ended with the poets of the San Francisco Bay Area. Morrison took the protest, until then confined to restricted circles, and grafted it to the seed of existential malaise, rendering it universal.

The sensational Doors ascended to the top by circumventing both conventional style and the hit parade. They're neither hippies nor pop: they're pure cult. They took the opportunity to repeat themselves a few months later with a third album, Waiting For The Sun (Elektra, 1969). The band had to search every drawer to gather enough material for a third album in two years. The album seems a patched-up job rushing to exploit the success of the 45 Hello, I Love You. The rich, fearless, energetic and perfectly arranged sound of the previous two albums is muddied by catchy insipid love songs reminiscent of traditional pop. The scenery of The End and When The Music's Over will never be repeated. The angry symbolism of the originals has been transformed into a random collection of incoherent phrases and artificial machinations.

Hello, I Love You begins with a riff stolen from The Kinks. The witty psychedelic bubble gum is light years away from the visionary, infectious atmosphere of Crystal Ship. Through unimpressive tunes and reworked ancient motifs (Spanish Caravan, Krieger's flamenco masterpiece; Love Street, a jazz cocktail; the lugubrious highway country of Summer's Almost Gone; My Wild Love, a chorus of blind and maimed pirates gathered under the skull and crossbones; and the just as depressing Yes, The River Knows), the album peddles only indecision.

Even the four noble songs have been left substantially unfinished. Wintertime Love, despite the romantic and martial epic of the baritone's ballad and the crazy with passion carousel of the harpsichord, doesn't produce a love story with growls and nightmares, but a tender love affair. The Unknown Soldier reproposes the old cliches of die-hard pacifism with pomp - the bells that salute the execution of the condemned. The fragment Not To Touch The Earth, prologue to one of Morrison's masterpieces The Celebration Of The Lizard (the complete text is on the jacket) and the final invective Five To One, also torn between the ferocious fighting attitude of the warrior (...they got the guns but we got the numbers...) and the lascivious sexual call, are not enough to dignify a mediocre work that signals the Doors' definitive withdrawal from psychedelic mysticism and metaphysical drama.

The acute crisis comes with Soft Parade (1969), an almost total rejection of what had made The Doors the myth of a generation. The violins and wind instruments called in to fill a frightful void of ideas, ended up ruining even what little could have been saved: the successful single Touch Me, melodic but much too hysterical, accentuated by brasses and counterpointed by strings; and Wild Child, a collection of obscenities left over from previous works (a blasphemous version of The Virgin's Prayer). The expressive shivers of the first tragic poems and the fantastic swirls of the bluesy baroque that sustained them had dissolved into the inconsistent, overly sweet kitsch of Wishful Sinful. Tell All The People is the political chant of the moment. It fails like all the others. The ambitious but disappointing Soft Parade shows precisely how many light years separate The Doors of 1969 from The Doors of 1967. This crisis of expression obviously coincided with Morrison's personal crisis. The dissolute life he lived without any restraints had debilitated him. Stardom and the awareness of being the center of attention rendered the crisis more acute.

The subsequent, Morrison Hotel (1970), is their hard-rock album. Having abandoned the metaphysical psychedelia of their debut, The Doors are happy to play blues and country. This redemption favors some aggressive chords and some suggestive atmosphere (the powerful Roadhouse Blues a la Animals). Some of the lyrics are still intriguing (Peace Frog and Queen Of The Highway). The cameo Waiting For The Sun is a classic of horror-rock. It's a hypnotic melody propelled by a cadenced rhythm in which the voice, alternating between military-style singing and rapture propels toward a fainting fit while "waiting" ("waiting for you to come along" never really telling who's "you"). The Polynesian languor of Krieger's guitar and the lysergic fever of Manzarek's organ are sublime.

New emerging idols contributed to Morrison's decline. Alice Cooper came to mystify audiences only months after David Bowie and Lou Reed. Everybody employed histrionics, and everybody made references to sex, some even better, more audaciously. Hendrix and Joplin managed to perfect the process of total identification with rock music. The MC5 came to explain once for all how to get politically involved with music. Morrison became surpassed: the new world that came to close the 60s had no use for his mask.

The Doors remained themselves only on stage. Their concerts, although poor in comparison to those of their contemporaries, could still count on the chameleon-like personality of Morrison and could still offer music of high quality. A testimonial of their vitality "live" was the double album in 1970, Absolutely Live. This album brings back the primordial, existential, terrifying tension and the hypnotic, electrifying atmosphere of the first two albums. The repertoire includes a couple of Chicago blues classics, a medley that culminates in a version of Five To One full of pauses, whispers and suffocated screams, and a great, great version of When The Music's Over, a personal, delirious frenzy; a full immersion trance interrupted by an infuriated "shut up!" to the audience who dared applaud, thus breaking the silence imposed by the enunciation of the text.

But most of all there is Morrison's legendary monologue, his spiritual testament: Celebration Of The Lizard , a spirited recitation in eight parts. A heartbreaking wail and unsure singing open the scene of growling, drooling dogs in heat. The master of ceremonies announces the ritual about to begin. An agitated "wake up!"starts an evocative sequence centered on the symbolic figure of the "snake...pale gold". A little song, shy and insane, pregnant with nostalgia of childhood carried on on the wings of memory: "Once I had a little game, I liked to crawl back into my brain...I mean the game called 'go insane'...just close your eyes forget your way to lose...". A different voice carries on: "...way back deep into the brain back where there's never any pain". A psychopathic refrain: "we're getting out of town...and you're the one I want to come...". Then: "... not to touch the earth...", and an invitation to ", run, run...". A posse of filthy outlaws whispers: "...we came down the rivers and highways...climbing valleys into the shade...". Then the final message, when the music's over: "I am the Lizard King, I can do anything, I can make the earth stop in its night arrives with her purple legion, retire now to your tents and to your dreams, tomorrow we enter the town of my birth. I want to be ready."

The Doors came back with L.A. Woman, released in April 1971. It was an album of renewal, intended to interpret the new directives of rock music. It had echoes of the acid rock of the Bay Area, of progressive rock, of hard rock. The Doors managed to modernize their sound, severing altogether their ties with the now surpassed concept of psychedelia and consequently losing some of their identity. The lyrics mumble ordinary tales. The images (the man who changes borrows from the myth of the journey by train toward adventure), and (...LA woman...I see your hair is burning...) are repetitive. Intellectual realism at which Morrison never excelled, argue against already controversial social issues. L'America (of the Puerto Rican ghettos) and The Wasp are a pretext to survey an entire generation ("...I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft..."). Toward the hermetic universe symbolic of "the end"proceed both the paradise of the drug addicts of Hyacinth House and the crawling sexual snake of Crawling King Snake. Riders On The Storm delivers the most suggestive lyrics of the album, one of the few in the Morrisonian opus to predict salvation for those who ride the storm.

The other Doors (besides Morrison) are the protagonists of the music. Manzarek in particular effortlessly captures the catchy beat of Love Her Madly, the band's last hit. The blues dominates in every variant, from Changeling to Crawling King Snake. There is also powerful rock, as in L.A. Woman, eight minutes of honkytonk piano upon which Morrison can unleash his demonic shouts; The Wasp with a declamatory opening a la Burdon and a vaudevillian proceeding; the epic and sarcastic marching step of L'America; the suave and Pink Floydian movement of Hyacinth House; the autumnal bitterness of Riders On The Storm, where the jazzy rhythm of the drums simulates both the rain that hits the asphalt and the steps that rush upon the sidewalk, slowly discharging the measure of the metropolitan solitude.

Morrison's voice adapts like a chameleon to the various atmospheres. His ability to oscillate between the black thunderings of gospel, the crooning of a Broadway tenor or the smooth balladeering of a lounge lizard, earn him a place of honor among the great dramatic vocal interpreters.

It seemed the beginning of a new era for The Doors, instead was the end. Morrison was found dead at the age of 27 in a bath tub of a Paris hotel. It was the third of July, 1971. The news of his death came after two days, after he had been buried a Pere Lachaise, the poet's cemetery, in an informal ceremony. His poetry was published posthumously.

Without Morrison The Doors faded fast, after just two mediocre albums: Other Voices (1971) and Full Circle (1972). Manzarek recorded The Golden Scarab (Mercury, 1974) and The Whole Thing Started With R'n'R (Mercury, 1975). Brought back by New Wave, he formed The Nite City and recorded two more albums. Krieger and Densmore formed The Butts Band and also recorded two albums. Of all the surviving Doors, Krieger made the most interesting recordings: Robbie Krieger And Friends (Blue Note, 1977), Panic Station (Rhino, 1982) credited to The Acid Casualties, Versions (Passport, 1983), Robbie Krieger (Cafe', 1985) and No Habla (IRS, 1988).

The dilemma of individual merits remains unsolved. Did Morrison take advantage of an excellent trio of musicians or did The Doors owe it all to the temperament of their front man? Surely The Doors has had few rivals in the annals of rock's history: only the Stones and the Jefferson Airplane had as much heterogeneous talent and such a spontaneous fusion of innovative elements. Did The Doors really create Light My Fire, The End, When The Music's Over or were they Morrison's improvisations that demanded the emergence of techniques both individual and collective? Who's to blame for the crisis, Morrison, who was out of control or The Doors who became too commercial? Who is the real owner of their music?

In 2003, Manzarek and Krieger reconstituted the Doors with Cult's vocalist Ian Astbury and Police's drummer Steward Copeland.

Manzarek died in May 2013 of cancer at 74.

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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