This week has come along pretty well. I got off to a rough start on Monday with my body still filled with toxins but I was back on track by Tuesday. I did not touch a drink again till Wednesday night and even then I only dabbled during a few pool games. It feels nice to have actually had a full working week (there have been so many holidays recently) and now I am ready to fall into the weekend. Nothing crazy planned at all. In fact I plan to spend most of it at home sitting in a cloud of smoke with a bottle not far from reach.
The other night I came home and got pretty blazed. I could not read so I threw on a movie, I can’t remember what. But even that did not seem to hit the spot. After rummaging through my over sized collection of DVD’s I finally settled on an old one of some Doors concerts. I had not seen that in a really long time. I believe there were 4 separate concerts on the DVD with some interviews and music videos as well. It must be some Indo bootleg DVD because I can not find a listing of it on line
The interesting thing about watching these concerts is that I get a rejuvenated sense of reality watching them perform on stage. Listening to dead people all the time I tend to glorify them and seeing them living and suffering takes away that idolatry. And man, does Jim suffer. The series of concerts start when he is young, clean shaven, in his tight leather pants and full of energy. It seemed like the concert was compiled of footage from that entire tour and he was playing his fucking heart out. He is interacting with the band and leading them into drawn out instrumentals while he moves fluidly around the stage. He was in control and determined to make an impression, even perform for the crowd. In ‘The Unknown Soldier’ he stands completely still by the microphone as the song leads up to the gun shot. When Densmore fires the gun shot on his drum, Jim dramatically flings himself on the floor as if he himself had been shot.
Watching it for the first time must have been very intense. Jim was immersed in his role and the music flowed between the band members so smoothly that they actually operated like a unit. It is so clear watching this first concert how raw and experimental they were. You can actually watch the birth of Manzaraks infamous organ solos as they work their way through warren acid trips right there on stage as they drive Morrison onto a trance. It was pure and energetic. Even Kreiger who usually just hangs back took the center stage playing some awesome guitar solo’s like in ‘Spanish Caravan’.
By the 2nd and 3rd concerts you can see that Jim is loosing interest. The performances seem so rehearsed and repeated, and you can’t blame him for feeling that way. He would break into poems in the middle of the popular tunes which would totally piss the crowd off. They would continue to chant ‘Light My Fire’. The other members played along and it is obvious that even they were trying to steer the direction of the concert and keep Jim on track, and sometimes this worked, other times it did not. There were some really fucked up shows from what I have read. I really give a lot of credit to artists who go out night after night repeating the exact same show over and over again with the same enthusiasm. That is what the fans demand though. And for some people that monotonous act just for the sake of fame and fortune is just not enough anymore, and I understand that too. I would never want to be in that position. Michael Jackson has never ever failed to please and look where he is now.
These concerts are interesting to watch though because the band really let their guards down and Robby, John, and Ray are busting their asses to keep Jim in check. You can see them struggle like men trying to reign in a wild stallion. But this was the beauty of the band. Many people do not realize how much these guys had to improvise from the direction a single song would take to the entire play list of a concert. They had to be prepared for anything. And during the concerts you can see Jim park him self in front of each of them, begging to be filled with sound, taken riding through the clouds on music. Manzarak is poised over his organ with his head hanging over and bobbing as his hands glide effortlessly over the black keyboard. Jim waits patiently in front of him with his head bent down to the ground. It sometimes takes a while for the music to take hold and comfort him. He is absorbing it… After a 5 minute musical interlude, no one knowing where this concert is going, not even the other band member, Jim suddenly leaps into the air like a wild beast released from his cage and confronts the audience with so much energy that they actually gasp and hold their breath. You can feel the energy change. It is fucking awesome. This is why The Doors live recordings are so essential.
By the 4th and final concert, which I believe was ‘The Soft Parade’, Morrison is a broken man. His beard is grown out, he has put on at least 10kgs and his eyes are empty. This is a good concert to watch but in a very morbid way. Jim seems desperate to cling to reality and live up to his responsibilities. He is fighting but there is nothing left. Some of the band members are frustrated and others disinterested. Ray still struggles to inspire. But it is a battle lost and it was only a year later that Morrison passed away in Paris. Maybe if they had stopped performing and just got back to normal life he could have recovered. The band rode him to the end and he allowed him self to be ridden I guess.
Jim Morrison was a true American Poet and like many others before and after him, he was crushed by the world he lived in. I wonder why people still reach for fame when they see so clearly every day how it destroys you. Even yesterday evening as I watched World News on CNN, they had a 5 minute feature on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie having a baby and hiding out in Namibia… Now does that seem crazy to anyone else? Not just that you would go to Namibia to have a kid just to avoid the press but also that a news station like CNN would actually cover this. It was not even a special half hour entertainment feature; it was the 7 o’clock news report. When you are even slightly famous it does not necessarily mean more people love, but more people will surly judge you. They feel they have the right. I have even seen this happen to popular bloggers here in South East Asia.
Is this some of learned reaction we have as human beings or is it our nature? Now do you raise a child in this world to not be conscious of fame or popularity? It is a part of being human that occasionally sickens me. And these traits occasionally surface within my self. I would be lying if I said they did not. If we all stopped giving a shit then would the system break down? That would be interesting to see like ‘Atlas Shrugged’. The clock would stop ticking. But it will never happen. The world is not becoming a better place and this whole ball if dirt is going to go up in fucking flames I tell you. The sooner the better if you ask me. It’s like watching some old bastard survive on a life support system that eats, breathes, and shits for him. We are like a cancer on this planet I tell you. Pull the fucking plug already.