Where were you in ‘71? I was one year and a few months away from joining the Army and catching the tail end of Vietnam, The Doors had performed their last live set in December (with Jim Morrison), largely because of his evermore erratic behavior. On December 12, 1970, at The Warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana, Morrison had an apparent breakdown. Midway through the set he slammed the microphone numerous times into the stage floor until the platform beneath was destroyed, then sat down and refused to perform for the remainder of the show.
But no matter, The Doors were poised to release an album in the new year that everyone thought would see them reclaim their post as the premiere act in rock n roll. The album was finished in March and included guitar work by Mark Benno from Leon Russell’s ‘Asylum Choir’ and Jerry Scheff (Elvis Presley, The Association, et al) on bass. The album contained two Top 20 hits and went on to be their second best-selling studio album, surpassed in sales only by their debut. The album explored their R&B roots, although during rehearsals they had a falling-out with Paul Rothchild, who had produced them from the start. Rothchild denounced "Riders on the Storm" as 'cocktail jazz', he quit and handed the production to Bruce Botnick.
As soon as the album was finished, Morrison packed up and moved to Paris. Of course, Morrison died on July 3 and that meant that L.A. Woman was the last studio album. The singles "L.A. Woman", "Love Her Madly", and "Riders On The Storm" remain mainstays of rock radio programming, and the latter, as of November 25, 2009, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its special significance to recorded music. In the song "L.A. Woman" Jim Morrison scrambles the letters of his own name to chant "Mr. Mojo Risin". During the sessions, a short clip of the band performing "Crawling King Snake" was filmed. So far as is known, this is the last clip of the Doors performing with Morrison. Morrison would, on June 16, make his last known recording. He befriended two street musicians at a bar and invited them to a studio. This recording was finally released in 1994 on a bootleg CD entitled The Lost Paris Tapes.
This fascinating, for the diehard fan as well as someone new to the band, documentary celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the release of that album. It contains rare as well as archival footage of the band on stage and in the studio. It also contains additional footage that wasn’t in the original broadcast and contains new interviews with the surviving band members, not to mention Elektra Records co-founder Jac Holzman, manager Bill Siddons, and engineer/co-producer Bruce Botnik. Filmed in HiDef, it features DTS-HD Master Audio. It’s available in Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray.
Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved