With hindsight, the Doors had everything – the music, the frontman, the danger, the excitement, the look, the lyrics, the presence, the theatre, the talent, the blues, the voice, the rebellion, the controversy, the mystery, the early death & the consequent legend.
As a band, they were a seemingly disparate collective, with differing musical styles that seemed to merge naturally in one of rock’s more happy syntheses.
Jim Morrison was the bluesman with a Wildean twist & through his life appears to have been desperate to be taken seriously. This tends not to happen for two reasons. Firstly, much is made of his poetic pretensions, but his poetry & lyrics are about the most clearly painted pictures in rock music. Secondly, his terrific penchant for showing off & the subsequent trouble this got him into (he was pardoned in 2010 for that incident). People don't like show-offs in general. But then what is the point of a frontman?
Without him, the Doors might have been another hippy band forgotten forever. He took them from noodling trio to psychedelic rock idols. Without them, he would have had neither platform nor structure for his work. They took him to the masses.
Introduced to me as a child in an Adam Ant interview, I enjoy their records’ rich cultural background as well as their full-on rock-out factor. The cynics don’t know what they’re missing.
To mark the 40th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death tomorrow, July’s band is the Doors.