Sunday, April 26, 2020

Best Magazine Reads: Morrison Hotel was the last and best hurrah for The Doors

Morrison Hotel is, by far, my favorite Doors album, and I’m not too sure how normal that is. It stands to reason that it would be a stinker, since Jim Morrison was in the throes of alcoholism before taking off for Paris and his eventual death Further, he is under the microscope of the law for exposing himself in a concert in Miami.

Other albums by The Doors may have had better songs, but the spectrum of psychedelic pop across sides A and B of Morrison Hotel are untouchable: Waiting for the Sun, Peace Frog, The Spy, Queen of the Highway, and Indian Summer, to name a few.

In an article in the under-rated British magazine Classic Rock, lots of great nuggets are revealed about the making of Morrison Hotel:

  • As early as 1967, the lead singer’s prima-donna tendencies were already surfacing. The Doors, according to their manager, did not appear at Woodstock because they were “only headliners.” 
  • The album was originally supposed to be called Hard Rock Cafe. 
  • They were quickly becoming blacklisted throughout the country so they went into the studio to “work out their demons.” 
  • The night before starting to record Morrison Hotel, the singer was arrested in Phoenix after being disorderly on a plane en route to see a Rolling Stones concert.
  • In one session, Morrison drank 36 beers. The group had an intervention and he admitted to his alcoholism but then suggested they go get a drink. He then came back with the Roadhouse Blues lyrics, “woke up this morning, got myself a beer.” 
  • The album’s cover photo was one of the rare instances in 1969 that Morrison was actually clean-shaven. 
  • The band’s final album hit #4 on the U.S. charts, but Morrison was rapidly approaching the bottom and, soon, death.

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