Tag Archives: the doors

Regarding “Missing piece of history — Jim Morrison in Clearwater”

In 2005, I penned a blog post that was inspired by the then-St. Petersburg Times had written an epic feature regarding the days of Jim Morrison,  lead singer of The Doors, had spent living in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Being a Morrison fan and living only a handful of miles away from locations mentioned in the piece, I was blown away. I had known about Morrison having been born in south Florida but I didn’t know about this.

Part of what inspired the blog post was the fact social media wasn’t then what it is today. Not that writing a blog post was going to necessarily draw eyeballs. Yet to this day, Missing piece of history – Jim Morrison in Clearwater still draws web traffic because of Morrison’s romantic interest (and song inspiration) Mary Werbelow.

At any rate, to get to the point, the now- Tampa Bay Times has basically failed with how they treat their archives online, which now hides the articles on a for-profit site (…unless the Times plans to fix their “Page Not Found” issues on archival articles). Between this and my old blog post failure in being more direct and obvious on the link to the feature section from September 25, 2005, finding the feature reading is next to impossible.

Well, was.

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Come what may; thoughts and rambling on the eve of the 2016 NHL playoffs

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View to a mood

I haven’t blogged in a while as I have been busy with other faccets of my life…  From politics to just internet de3ign and maintenance, I’ve been a busy little bee.

But due to recent circumstances — the other shoe falling — I’m back for the moment and maybe longer. 

I read John Densmore’s Riders on the Storm a few years ago and heard about this song in an ancedote where Jim Morrison showed him the lyrics to this song while in the Hollywood hills.  It had presented a new vulnerability aspect to Morrison and Densmore thought he was maturing as a songwriter… it fits my mood of coming to grips but celebration of what you are…

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I'm doing something wrong, aren't I?

So I’m on Pandora — I have been here a few times in the past trying to find similar music to what I love as a way to introduce myself to new music.

The problem is more times than not I get introduced to stuff that doesn’t sound at all similar to what qualities I like in a song.

For instance, tonight I started with the Doors and Moonlight Drive — The deep baritone vocal from Morrison, coupled with the trance like bridge section from Manzarek and the jazz style drumming from Densmore make this song a classic to me. Those are the qualities I am endeared to in the music.

What I get are songs that are probably comparable in structure but not too comparable – to me – to what the song invokes with the mood. A song that invokes the pace. A song that simply makes me do a double take that I want to hear again.

I tried You’re Going to Lose That Girl by the Beatles next. Again, the genome project picked up on the structure of the music and not so much the mood that’s set. The pace of the song doesn’tseem to carry over in the suggestions, nor does the vocal harmonies, nor the rhythem bae of the song that doesn’t overstep it’s bounds… But mostly it’s the vocals that are most catchy with the song.

And wasn’t catchy at all with the suggested songs that followed. I know, I am asking for a tough act to follow with bands that can compare to the Beatles or songs that can compare to the Beatles but there has to be something out there. This is a 43 year old song for god sake…

I did have a better time when I tried surfer instrumental rock (Walk, Don’t run gave way to soem great music) but that’s instrumental all the way. That’s how Pandora is supposed to work.

Maybe I’m just too picky with music…? Or maybe I am just doing this wrong.

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Missing Piece of History — Jim Morrison in Clearwater

I’ve read a couple of books on Jim Morrison and the Doors (favorites? Riders on the Storm by John Densmore and No One Here Gets Out Alive by Danny Sugerman, Jerry Hopkins) and I’ve been enamoured by Jim Morrison’s poetry and lyrical artistry. I’ve always been curious and captivated about his time in Clearwater, Florida after his parents sent him to live with his grandparents and go to St. Petersburg Junior College.

I’ve finally found more than any book would tell. I’ve found more than some books have speculated.

In all of these books, the writers have simply thrown a quick mention to Jim Morrison’s girlfriend for 3 years, Mary Werbelow, and then dismissed her as nothing much but a sideshow to Jim’s life of excess and glamour. The problem is that Mary held a bigger piece of Jim within her than many – including me – are able to comprehend. I’ve been taught that Pamela Courson was supposedly everything to Jim and this Mary girl was just a quick fix before the main course was served in Venice Beach (meaning the Doors formation).

That’s not the case.

Mary has refused interviews for 40 years up until now. His connections to Tampa Bay are further shown and his connections to Mary as well (The Crystal Ship was for her, The beginning and end of The End were talking about her). I’d also say The beginning of Stoned Immaculate is a reference to meeting Mary:

One summer night, going to the pier
I ran into two young girls
The blonde one was called Freedom
The dark one, Enterprise
We talked and they told me this story

The article by the Times talks about how Jim met Mary at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach while she was with another friend (also named Mary).

At any rate, I’m just real excited about this for no other reason than more information being made clear. Much like Deep Throat finally coming out – some secrets aren’t left up to imagination….

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The Martyr's of Rock and Roll…

I was taking a Zogby poll the other day and a question surfaced within the poll that actually made me freeze and think long and hard before I cast my vote. It’s soemthing that can come up in idle conversation at any time and you might throw out an immediate answer but I took this question real serious…

What dead rockstar best epitomizes the spirit of rock and roll

Jim Morrison (The Doors)
John Lennon (the Beatles)
Janis Joplin
Jimi Hendrix
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Freddie Mercury (Queen)
Duane Allman (The Alman Brothers)
Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead)
Frank Zappa
Buddy Holly
Ronnie Van Zandt (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Elvis

It really mad eme stop and think — I’m not sure why. I mean, the first thought i had was Lennon but John — for all the good he gave to the world as a musician just didn’t feel like the guy who represented Rock in life and death. One could say Elvis but he didn’t liv efast and die young…

I thought of Jim Morrison and his glory days that people remember him for and Jimi Hendrix and how he was the genius on guitar that everyoen strives to be. I thought of Kurt Cobain who wrote and sang, lived fast and died young leaving the beautiful corpse — and how his insecurity (a traight with almost all musicians) was a profound attribute to his personality.

Just who best eptomizes Rock?

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Light My Fire — no, put it out. Please.

It’s been a while since I decided to read any non-ficiton. Usually it’s biographical works on icons of the Entertainment industry (ie: Beatles or the Doors). Keeping with that trend, I decided to pick up Ray Manzarek’s Light My Fire, it’s a Doors autobiography I’ve been meanign to read for some time.

And yet, as I’m still in the early areas of the book, I’m trying to understand why I thought it was a must read? Probably because of all the positive reviews of the book when it originally was released. Can’t be bad at all then, can it?

From a writing standpoint, it can be all that bad. And worse. Though Manzarek has a unique perspective on his tail…. He’s not a writer.

The book comes off much like a personal journal would, I guess… Reporting the mundane as well as the gripping, life-altering events of Ray’s life… But Manzarek loses focus and direction on any given topic quite easily. At one moment he’s about to discuss finding a live performance of the Blues in the south side o fChicago, and the next moment he’s rambling about attire he wore to graduation from the 8th grade…. One moment he’s about to get into his first exposure to Beat poetry, the next he’s laying the smackdown on facism and intimidation of the California Highway Patrol. He goes off on the broadest tangents and does not focus on the event that inspires the tangent thought.

Another instance of Ray veering wildly is a recounting of Jim Morrison’s UCLA film school student film… While trying to detail Jim’s non-linear movie that Rya found “poetic”, he begins recounting Oliver Stone’s version of the student film that he made as part of his feature film on the Doors. Ray goes off on Oliver for makign an innocent film into something with anti-semitism and Nazi inneundo. He attacks Stone (as he has since the film came out in the early 1990’s) and lets the UCLA film school experience vanish from the story.

It almost comes off like a conversation — one that varies wildly as those who partake in the conversation ramble on into the night. Yet, having to read this conversation is painful… Especially with gramatical errors of repeated run-on sentences, short sentences that woudl be better combined, repetition of adjectives, etc….

Ray’s book, while from the heart, has nothing on John Densemore’s Riders on the Storm autobiography.,

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Repeat Offender

Odd I post this twice in a year.

This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end –
Of our elaborate plans
The end –
Of everything that stands
The end –
No safety nor surprise
The end –
I’ll never look into your eyes again

Can you picture what will be,
So limitless and free?
Desperately in need
Of some stranger’s hand
In a desperate land?

This is the end my beautiful friend
This is the end my only friend
It hurts so much to set you free
But you’ll never follow me

The end –
Of laughter and soft lies
The end –
Of nights we tried to die

This is the End

— Taken from The End by James Douglas Morrison
© 1967 The Doors Music Company

Still appropriate a year later. The fact I’m not playing the crutch again signifies the relevance.

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It's in the lyrics

I’m not down… just these lyrics do mean a lot to me and it’s strange how they mirror my life now…

Help! (Lennon/McCartney)

Help! I need somebody,
Help! Not just anybody,
Help! You know I need someone.
Help….!

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind I’ve opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me?

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind I’ve opened up the doors

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me?!
Help me! Help me, oh.

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The Doors are Open

I’ve been thinking of the
Doors a lot lately. I downloaded video music clips a few months ago off Kazaa
Lite and of course i have been enjoying them (even though the audio is ratty
on Light My Fire performed at the Ed Sullivan Show) to no end. Moonlight
Drive, Break on Through
, Touch Me — excellent through and through.
I’ve long been a fan of Mr. Mojo Risin’s poetry and verse.

So watching the video for
Touch Me (which was performed live by the Doors on the Smothers Brothers show)
I noticed a little anomaly that featured guitarist Robbie Krieger with a nice
shiner on his left eye. Curious, I went and asked about it on the Usenet newsgroup
alt.music.the-doors…

And was re-introduced to
anal-final-word-on-the-Doors-author Patricia Butler.

Ms. Butler wrote Angels
Dance and Angels Die
which is a biographical account of Jim Morrison and
Pamela Courson (Jim’s wife). Butler, however, seems to think that what anyone
else wrote in their books is fictitious or if anyone takes something from their
books and had it put into The
Doors
by Oliver Stone
, it’s completely fictitious… which is bullshit.

Look, not everything written
is a factual statement or a exactly-how-it-happened account, yet when John
Densemore
, Jerry
Hopkins and Danny Sugerman
all concur on a story — I’m going to accept
that as a fact and not believe a woman who wasn’t there. I mean Hopkins wasn’t
"there" but Sugerman
was (as a kid)
. Densmore was the god damned drummer in the band. I am going
to believe what he says over what Patricia Butler says any
day.

Anyway, it’s another pleasant
valley Sunday here in status-symbol land. I think I’m going to go find Mr. Green
(who’s so serene with a TV in every room) and tell him a thing or two about
living in excess and glamor.

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