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In 1965 Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek, who were at a film school and working on projects together, realize that they also had an interest in music. Manzarek began to add Morrison's poetry to a blues soundtrack. They joined garage rockers, Rick and the Raven's(Manzarek's brothers), but they soon discovered a better backing from their friends Robbie Kreiger and John Densmore.
They named their band The Doors from The Door of Perception. The quartet put a year into rehearsal and songwriting, which led to a residency at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Throughout 1966 they played alongside rising stars.
In the first months, Jim stayed somewhat in the shadows and with his back to the crowd, but soon his music inspired him to strike more heroic poses, such as using the mike stand as a penile extension. This didn't make the L.A. incognoscenti less impressed of their music. Jack Holzman, head of Elektra Records, was recommended to witness their performances, while he had the chance and Holzman had to fend of Frank Zappa and Colombia Records in his attempt to sign the band.
The Doors(1967), made with the addition of bass player Doug Labahn was hailed by a billboard on Sunset Boulevard. Holzman had discovered a hit making team. By October 1967 they had released another strong album, Strange Days. Their new, more sophisticated style of their songs confirmed that The Doors were viewing life in the form of sex and death. Labahn was replaced by Leroy Vinegar for the next #1 spot in the US album charts in Waiting For The Sun (1968)and a second chart topping single in Hello, I Love You.
The Doors began with an hectic schedule of touring. As the touring continued Morrison began behaving worse. He soaked himself in alcohol and exposed his companions to temperamental outbursts: he destroyed equipment during recording sessions and disrupted live shows with self indulgent displays of mock sex and profanity. Yet this did not influence their musical creativity. In 1969 they released The Soft Parade, which may have been their weakest effort. Morrison's frustration was apparent in a few live fiascoes, which culminated in March 1969, which has become known as The Flasher Incident. The police at the concert, in an overcrowded Florida auditorium, were probably the only ones sober enough to have seen anything but the charge of 'lewd and lascivious behaviour' resulted in legal battles which never will be resolved.
The group retreated to the studio and came back to form with Morrison Hotel(1970). They were accompanied by the legendary Lonnie Mack which completed their playing with some rare blues bass, which was fitting, because the impression was of a band returning to their roots. The new sound was not a success.
The Flasher Incident had made an end in touring, but The Doors had made enough tenable recordings of their concerts to justify a live album and with Absolutely Live(1970) you could somewhat experience The Doors live experience.
The Doors recording renaissance continued fast with L.A. Woman(1971) which this time featured Jerry Schaeff as bassist. This was an artistic success, but Morrison was growing apart from the rest of the band. They went on a tour of the Southern U.S., their last one. As Morrison's live performance became more freakish and his offstage image more introverted, it became certain that he was to leave.
In March 1971, Morrison and his girlfriend Pamela moved to Paris to start a new life there. Their stay didn't last long. On July 3, the 27-year old singer was found death in his bathtub. The cause of his death hasn't been determined, there was no autopsy performed, but it seems likely that Morrison's body has finally given in to Morrison's way of life.
The remaining Doors tried to go on but they couldn't survive without their leader. They manage to make two more albums Other Voices(1971) and Full Circle(1972).
Although Morrison is no longer with us, his spirit, poetry and music will always stay with us.
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