Tag Archives: Jim Morrison

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 38

Rolling Stone issue #38 had a cover date of July 26, 1969. 40 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Jim Morrison.

Features: “The Rolling Stone Interview: Jim Morrison” by Jerry Hopkins; “Crashers, Cops, Producers Spoil Newport ’69” by Jerry Hopkins; “Bringing it all Back Home” by Peter Giraudo; “Fuzz Against Junk: The Saga of the Narcotics Brigade, Installment Six” by Akbar Del Piombo.

News: “Columbia to Stay Above Ground”; “Grateful Dead Ungrateful; Sued”; “Tibet In The West” by Charles Perry; “Now the Action’s At People’s Pad”; “A Move to Curb Cambridge Rock” by Dennis Metrano; “Artists Get a Bright Idea”; “Big Joe Williams: Soul on His Face” by Don Roth; “Our Astronaut”; “Denver Festival: Mace with Music” by Jim Fouratt; “Christ, They Know It Ain’t Easy” by Ben Fong-Torres; “Hendrix Charged: Smack, Hash”; “Festivals” (first mention of Woodstock: “Twelve hours of music each, on August 16th and 17th…in upstate Wallkill, New York”); “Free Music”. And Random Notes on Phil Spector, marijuana laws, Eric Jacobsen, Moby Grape, English militant socialists, Sammy Davis, Jr. (“who is the sort of black man who makes you think it must be some kind of optical illusion”). Jann’s casual racism is something else, isn’t it?

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 38

“Can You Find Me Soft Asylum”

The Soft Parade was the fourth album from The Doors. It was released in 1969. Given that ’69 was the year of such releases as Led Zepplin, Kick Out the Jams, Beck Ola, Ramblin’ Gambling Man, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Tommy, and The Stooges, it is somewhat surprising that The Doors had the opportunity for redemption and were able to release Morrison Hotel the following year and hadn’t been driven off into the sketchy concrete wilderness of L.A.

One of the most peculiar cuts on what is a peculiar album is “Touch Me.” It was the first single from the album. And for some odd reason, it became the highest-charting of the singles from The Soft Parade. “Wishful Sinful” is beyond understanding.

At the time of The Soft Parade, The Lizard King was in full bloat, resembling a boa constrictor in full gorge. One can imagine him rolling around in the studio—figuratively, although literally is not something that takes too much imagination—carrying not a long-neck, as would be appropriate for the next album, but a mixed drink. A martini would not be outside the realm of possibility were it that the drink was contained in a glass less shallow and thereby less likely to spill during an inertial turn of mass.

“Touch Me,” with its horns and sweeping, “I’m gonna love you. . .” passages, is a song that would not be inappropriately covered by contemporaries like Michael Buble. Yes, Morrison and Buble.

It has always seemed to me that “Touch Me” as performed by The Doors could be an audition for a months’-long gig at Las Vegas circa right now, had Morrison not gone the way of all flesh at an all-too-early day.

One survivor of that period—who covered Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” and “All Shook Up” on the aforementioned Beck Ola—, Rod Stewart, has opened an 18-concert series at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

After Stewart overcame his hiding-behind-the-amps shyness, he became quite the performer. And this leads to a question: is there a difference between “a performer” and “an artist”—or perhaps it gives rise to a series of questions, including, is there a continuum of when the artist morphs into a performer, or whether most all of the people that we use “artist” as shorthand for are really performers, and were they not we would not be aware of them. Can anyone listen to the 66-year-old Stewart, who has lived lifestyles of the rich and famous, sing, “Spent some time feelin’ inferior, standing in front of my mirror” and take it at all seriously anymore, or is it simply something that’s about having a laugh?

When Stewart isn’t playing at the venue (all of the shows aren’t sequential; there’s a split), Elton John will be, with a show titled “Million Dollar Piano.” Indeed.

Let’s say the Morrison hadn’t died. That Morrison was playing down the street at The Bellagio. Can we imagine a duet on “What Made Milwaukee Famous” between the two performers? And would it be good?

Video: The Doors – Touch Me

Video: The Faces – Maybe I\'m Amazed

1969 Interview With The Doors

In a 10 minute long interview for the Village Voice, Jim Morrison waxes on the future of electronics while chomping a stogie. The rest of The Doors get their two cents in (but no more) and occasionally look bored or bemused by Jim’s talk. There’s also earlier footage of Morrison at what appears to be a concert for The Who where fans besiege him and reach to touch his hair. It wraps with a friendly talk with a priest. The earlier clips make you realize why pictures of him still gets girls wound up.

1969 Interview With The Doors

The Doors: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Rock Stars on Half-Life Plan

Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Clichéd, sure, but also apparently true. A recent study of 1,050 American and European music artists between 1965 and 2005 shows that rock and rollers are twice as likely to die young as the rest of us working stiffs.

While the idea that rock stars tend to die young is nothing new, this is apparently the first study to scientifically document the trend. According to the report published in Britain’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (PDF), a quarter of all the musicians’ deaths registered during the study period were due to drug or alcohol abuse.

What’s interesting is the data. One hundred stars, of the 1,050 observed, died during the 40 year study. And while 27 is often thought to be the rock star’s average shelf life (See: Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain—all dead at 27), the actual average age at the time of death is 42 for American rockers and 35 for Europeans.

No word on how undead rocks stars like The Rolling Stones threw off the average.