Blue Heron in flight

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Long live the Doors

I rarely get asked to dispense any sage advice and it is probably because I don't have too much to dispense. 

But one thing I have learned on my many revolutions around our sun is that it is important to keep your own counsel.

You might have a friend who despises somebody or something, or even have a spouse that does for that matter and you reflexively adopt their opinion. 

And then lo and behold you find out that if you listen to yourself, and you finally meet them or experience something, you may have a completely different attitude.

I was thinking about this the other day when I read an interview with the late David Crosby dissing the Doors.

“Morrison was no effing good as a singer or poet,” Crosby said, deeming him nothing but a “poser.” It’s an opinion he held onto for a long time as he previously said in 1998 that Morrison was “an obnoxious guy”, stating simply, “I knew him, I didn’t like him.”

Now David Crosby was certainly entitled to his opinion, which was shared by quite a few others by the way, including Lou Reed and Hendrix. But I love the Doors and think he is way off base.

Morrison and the rest of the band were not derivative, they followed their own muse.

I was raised on Door's music, they were a favorite of my late mother, Adelle.

And I happen to think that Jim Morrison was a brilliant poet, singer and lyricist  who will be remembered long after people have forgotten who the hell David Crosby was or what he ever wrote.

And to dis Manzarek and to say Krieger and Densmore's playing is pretty okay, well go to hell, David, I think you suck and your guitar playing certainly sucked. I love how all these guys played, think they were incredibly underrated if anything. I believe the Doors music will live forever, I really do. They had a unique sound. Not everybody has to sound the same or play the same tune.

Jerry Garcia, a musician I met several times and respected, had similar feelings about the Doors:
GARCIA: i never liked the doors. i found them terribly offensive...when we played with them. it was back when jim morrison was just a pure mick jagger copy. that was his whole shot, that he was a mick jagger imitation. not vocally, but his moves, his whole physical appearance were totally stolen from right around mick jagger's 1965 tour of the states. he used to move around a lot, before he started to earn a reputation as a poet, which i thought was really undeserved. rimbaud was great at eighteen,nineteen, and verlaine. those guys were great. fuckin jim morrison was not great, i'm sorry. i could never see what it was about the doors. they had a very brittle sound live., a three piece band with no bass- the organ player (manzarek) used to do it. that and that kinda raga-rock guitar style was strange. it sounded very brittle and sharp -edged to me., not something i enjoyed listening to. i kind of appreciated some of the stuff they did later, and i appreciated a certain amount of morrison's sheer craziness, just because that's always a nice trait in rock n roll. no, i never knew him, but richard loren, who works for us, was his agent and had to babysit him through his most drunken scenes and all the times he got busted and all that crap. he's got lots of stories to tell about morrison. i was never attracted to their music at all, so i couldn't find anything to like about them. when we played with them...
The Doors were the number two band in Los Angeles at the Whiskey, Arthur Lee and Love pretty much ruled the town. I knew Arthur a little bit but was really good friends with his childhood best friend, the late Arnold Briscoe. Arnold and Arthur had similar feelings about Morrison.

Millard saw them at the Whiskey and Cheetah and thought they were terrible.

But you know what? All of these guys negative comments, as much as I respect them as people and musicians, they don't mean shit to me. Because I keep my own counsel. And I will always love the Doors. I think Morrison and I had similar childhoods and got knocked around a little. I get him and love him. Long live the doors!


Sanoguy said...

I like the adopts music too…. David Crosby also…. The problem with Crosby is he talked too much…. He should have kept more of his opinions to himself.

Blue Heron said...

You got that Byrds poster ?

Think I mentioned...my neighbor's roommate dated Morrison & he was often over...place in Venice. She did not like him...said he was a jerk.