by Betsy Cheatham
It does not please me that this group containing former Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger are referring to themselves as "The Doors." They are not--they could be called "Half of the Doors" or any of various names that have been humorously assigned to them, but why did they have to come out as "The Doors?" If they want to be referred to as "the doors for the 21st century" they should have started out with that name. Why does it matter, you may ask? It matters because when The Doors were together, they did everything as a foursome--shared the wealth, shared the fame, and shared the work. Ray Manzarek was the first one to proclaim that--remember? "We do everything unanimously, or we don't do it," were his words! Sadly, I'm afraid I can answer my own question--the reason is money. In fact, that's what the whole venture is about--it's not because these guys are just itching to make music again after 31 years. I don't really have anything against Ian Astbury and Stewart Copeland--I don't really know anything about them except they are/were members of other bands. Ray has also proclaimed them "permanent fixtures" of the doors, but they are only fixtures as long as the concerts bring in money.
Secondly, I'm a genuine fan of Jim Morrison. It sickens me to see that his memory is clouded by little titbits of pacification like scrapbooks, stamps in memory, and that the articles about him and his magnificent talents in writing and music seem to have been replaced by articles about the doors for the 21st century. You say no one is forgetting about Jim Morrison--nobody can that is a Doors fan, at least a real Doors fan. It might be exciting to certain young people who never heard or read about Jim Morrison to follow this new group, but I feel sorry for anyone who does that. They aren't getting the entire message of The Doors because there's no Jim Morrison who inspired the group to perform as they did (which was unique and never will be equalled), and therefore, there is no "Doors." And, John Densmore, who is unable be a part of the new group due to illness, seems to share the opinion that commercialism is a big part of the new group's purpose. I believe after reading John's book "Riders on the Storm" that he is probably the most down-to-earth, outspoken member of The Doors still alive, and that his illness is unfortunate, but perhaps a blessing in disguise as a means of escape from the doors for the 21st century.
And finally, the greatest fallacy in the promotion of this new group is that they are NOT a tribute band--even though they contain two original Doors members, what else can they be but a tribute band? They use all the original Doors songs, in which Jim Morrison and John Densmore had a great hand. Ian Astbury supposedly attributes much of his success as a singer to the influence of Jim Morrison--and says so--is that not a tribute?? Is Ray Manzarek's saying that they are not a tribute band merely a gimmick and a ploy to make people who do not read and do not remember The Doors fool themselves into believing they can see The Doors again, when that is virtually impossible, because Jim is dead and John is sick? Anyone who goes to a concert of the doors for the 21st century thinking they are seeing The Doors is only kidding himself. I pity those that do--I have been a Doors fan since 1966, and have read, reviewed and studied everything I can acquire about them since that time! I do not deny the talents of Ray and Robby--they are certainly talented musicians. But, the wholeness—the intensity--the impact of The Doors, is gone and can never been recovered. Even Ray himself said it: "After Jim died, it just wasn't the same." And with John unable to take part, it's even more "not the same."
When and if you see the doors for the 21st century, please keep in mind that's just what you are seeing--you are not seeing the tremendous band of the 60's and 70's that rocked my world--that still rocks my world as I read about them, play their music and sing their praises. And, you are cheating yourself if you think you are.
by Dave Diamond
1960s. Vietnam. Cold War. Elvis, Santana and the Rolling Stones are either high in the charts and/or out on tour! 2002. Iraq. 9/11. Elvis, Santana and the Rolling Stones are either high in the charts and/or out on tour! The more things change, the more they stay the same! Which brings to my latest writing for the Doors Collectors Magazine, specifically dealing with whether or not Ray, Robby, Ian and Stewart should be calling themselves “The Doors,” in preparation for the forthcoming worldwide 2003 Reunion Tour.
Send Us Your Opinion:|
Betsy : Come on .....no one who goes to see this "new" doors band really thinks the are going to see the doors....they think and they are going to see the remaining doors perform with some outstanding performers filling in the gaping holes left behind by founding members death and sickness.....you are living in the past while many doors fans are finding solace in a world that is now very different than 1966....by the way i have never seen this musical collaboration referred to as anything but the new doors or the doors of the 21st century so you should not feel offended....
I'd like to start by saying that I am THRILLED that Ray and Robby have decided to bring The Doors to the stage again!! Dave Diamond's artical in 'Counter Point', duplicated the very words I've been using to desribe my perspective on music message boards, and disscussions with friends. To deny such a wonderful opportunity as seeing The Doors live, to new generations as myself, who weren't born until after Jim's death, would be a pathetic shame. I beleive it would also be a disservice to Jim- He was a poet who loved to create and perform his work, not sit in a corner and keep it silent and hidden. What greater complement is there, than for someone to continue sharing your work with new generations, long after you're gone from this world? "When the music is your special friend-Dance on fire as it intends-Music is your only friend-Until the end.." I think that right there says it all. This isn't the end for Ray, R! obby, and John, so let them dance on fire!!...I'll be there to dance with them....and, I beleive a certain "someone" will be there dancing too.
I am unfortunatley too young to have seen The Doors in concert, but I did
grow up with them in my home. I am a huge fan of Jim Morrison and I will
always be, nothing will ever change that. I have read every article, book
etc. ever printed I can not learn enough about the band. I know that the New
Doors are not, can not and will never be the original, however, I AM going to
see them in concert when they come to my home town. I had the oportunity to
see Robby Krieger this summer when he came to twon with his band and just let
me say WOW!!!!!!! My husband and I were absolutely blown away. Robby played
some Doors music and it was great! The music was mesmerizing. I could
imagine Jim dancing and singing and drinking and smoking and loving it. I
would think he would want all the ages to know the Doors and he would say
ROCK ON!!!! Jim will always be missed but his music and words live on for
all of us. I say go, just don't listen to the music hear Jim's words, even
though they may be spoken by another, and enjoy the remaining Doors while we
still have a chance!
Betsy? Knock it off, already. Am I mistaken or wasn't it Ray that thought up the name 'The Doors' in the first place? I tell ya what: Let's dig up Jimbo and ask him what *he* thinks. . . .
Good presentation of both sides of this argument.
Come off it Betsy, I am a Doors fan of the highest degree, and have been proudly for the last 13 years of my life, from the first time I saw their Ed Sullivan performance on a Sullivan retrospective. They infused my younger days with dark somber visions of the world, and it was very easy for me to associate with a lot of Jim's lyrics. Their music to this day fills me with many happy memories of my youth, and every time I put on "Five to One", or "Roadhouse Blues" I still rock out as hard as I did at age 14 when first hearing it. I think the fact that the boys want to keep the memory of Jim and his accomplishments alive is great, and Ian Astburry is a great replacement (yes replacement...strut and dance as he may, he is no Jim) no make that an excellent replacement. Yes there probably is an element of money in this new embodiment of The Doors, but hey...tell me what in the world isn't in some way fuelled by money. As far as the tribute band thing you mention, I think this is very short sighted...When The Grateful Dead lost 3 keyboard players over their 30 years, they didn't break up or say they were a tribute band, and now that thy are touring again as "The Dead" with New members involved they are not considered a tribute band...I think your statement that "the wholeness-the intensity--the impact of The Doors, is gone and can never been recovered" is wrong...You obviously were/are a Jim Morrison fan, not a Doors fan, as everything you have stated in your argument points me to that belief, also if you were truly a Doors fan, you would be happy with the fact that we can now once again hear these great songs performed live once again by a band that has every bit as much intensity and power as the original line-up did...I'm very disappointed that John feels he has to file a court case against the "Doors 21 century", but can really understand it after having read "Riders on the Storm" a couple of years ago...Seems that he was extremely bitter after Jim's Death, and that even to this day he still seems to be struggling with the loss of a great friend, as difficult as morrison's friendship could be. In closing I want to say Rock on and keep loving the doors, and give the newbies a second chance...never can tell, they just might surprise you.
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