This website is part of the South African Rock Encyclopedia
Dear Rock Of Ages fans,
Five weeks is a long time for any self-respecting rock fan to be without their weekly fix of music so it felt really good to be back rocking the airwaves again. I hope that you enjoyed the U2 Special on Thursday, despite their 'superstar' tag they are unquestionably one of the finest rock bands on the planet as anyone who has seen them live can attest. As you heard there were quite a few new tracks played on Thursday notably a preview from the new Dream Theater album which I can assure you is one of the finest 'new prog' rock records you'll hear all year. I also played a track from the new Clutch album which absolutely sizzled as well as a slice of stinging blues-rock guitar from the new Gary Moore album .... you'll hear a lot more of these artists in the coming weeks, both on the show and I will be reviewing the albums on the Rock of Ages website. By the way guess who's the lucky man? I'm interviewing guitar legend Gary Moore this coming week and will feature the edited highlights in the next two weeks.
On this week's show (May 3) I'll be chatting to Gavin Meiring and Alistair Murdoch of mid 90's rockers ARAPAHO about their voyage on the seas of rock and also will be giving away 5 copies of their newly released 20 track compilation "Wild Warriors". Don't forget to enter The Doors online competition to win one of five limited edition 3 cd Best of the Doors cd/dvd sets - go to www.rock.co.za/rockofages and click on the Doors banner at the top of the page. Be sure to switch your computer speakers on and listen to the Rock of Ages jukebox whilst you are navigating the site - there are 24 Doors tracks on rotation. Speaking of which, 2007 marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of The Doors debut album and to celebrate this next week's special will feature the timeless music of one of rock's true explorers.
The Doors are open....................
The origins of The Doors lay in a chance meeting between acquaintances and UCLA film school students Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek on Venice Beach, California in July 1965. Morrison told Manzarek he had been writing songs and, at Manzarek's encouragement, sang "Moonlight Drive". Impressed by Morrison's lyrics, Manzarek immediately suggested they form a band.Vox Organ-player Ray Manzarek was already in a band called Rick And The Ravens with his brother Rick Manzarek, while Robby Krieger and John Densmore were playing with The Psychedelic Rangers and knew Manzarek from yoga and meditation classes they were both taking. In August Densmore joined the group and, along with members of the Ravens and an unidentified female bass player, recorded a six-song demo on September 1965. This was widely bootlegged and appeared in full on the 1997 Doors box set.That month the group recruited guitarist Robby Krieger and the final lineup—Morrison, Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore—was complete. The band took their name from the title of a book by Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception, which was in turn borrowed from a line in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, a poem by the 18th century artist and poet William Blake: "If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite".
By 1966 the group was playing The London Fog club and soon graduated to the prestigious Whisky a Go Go. On August 10 they were spotted by Elektra Records president Jac Holzman who was present at the recommendation of Love singer Arthur Lee, whose group was on Elektra. After Holzman and producer Paul A. Rothchild saw two sets of the band playing at the Whisky A Go Go (the first uneven, but the second mesmerizing) they signed the band to the Elektra Records label on August 18—the start of a long and successful partnership with Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick. The timing was particularly fortuitous because on August 21 the club fired the band after a profanity-filled performance of "The End." In an incident that foreshadowed the controversy that would follow the group, a tripping Morrison raucously recited his own rendition of the Greek drama Oedipus Rex in which the play's protagonist Oedipus kills his father and has sex with his mother. Morrison's version consisted of "Father? Yes son? I want to kill you. Mother? I want to f**k you."
The Doors' self-titled debut LP, recorded in August 1966 but not released until 1967, caused a major sensation in music circles. It featured most of the major songs from their set, including the 11-minute musical drama, "The End." The band recorded the album in only a few days in late August and early September 1966, almost entirely live in the studio with most songs captured in a single take. Morrison and Manzarek also directed an innovative promotional film for their first single, "Break on Through," a significant advance in the development of the music video genre.Their second single, "Light My Fire", established the group along with The Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead as one of the top American counterculture bands. It was released in April but did not hit the top of the charts (with the long middle organ and guitar solos cut out) until July.In May 1967, the group made their "National" broadcast television debut by recording a dazzling version of "The End" for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) at their Yorkville Studios in Toronto (Yorkville was Canada's version of Haight-Ashbury). It remained unseen since its original broadcast until the release of The Doors Soundstage Performances DVD in 2002.The Doors quickly earned a reputation as a challenging, rebellious, and entertaining live act. With his saturnine good looks, magnetic stage presence, and skin-tight leather trousers, Morrison quickly became a major pop sex symbol, although he soon became frustrated with the strictures of stardom. Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) network censors demanded that Morrison change the lyrics to Light My Fire, by altering the line, "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" (because of the possible reference to drugs) before the band performed the song live on September 17, 1967, on the Ed Sullivan Show. The line was changed to, "Girl, we couldn't get much better". However, Morrison sang the original line instead, and on live television with no delay, CBS was powerless to stop it. A furious Ed Sullivan refused to shake the band members' hands, and they were never invited back.
Morrison further cemented his status as a rebel on December 10 of that year when he was arrested in New Haven, Connecticut, for badmouthing the police to the audience. Morrison said he had been maced by an overzealous police officer after he was caught backstage with a girl. The group finished a successful year. The second Doors LP, Strange Days, was more subdued and less spontaneous than their debut, but the album was notable for its evocative lyrics and atmosphere. The closing track, "When the Music's Over", was, like "The End," lengthy and dramatic, and helped establish Morrison's reputation as the wild shaman of rock. Yet the album was also strongly commercial, and featured now-classic Doors songs such as "People Are Strange" and "Love Me Two Times."In April, the recording of the third album was marred by tension as a result of Morrison's increasing dependence on alcohol. Approaching the height of their popularity The Doors played a series of outdoor shows that led to frenzied scenes between fans and police, particularly at Chicago Coliseum on May 10.
The band began to branch out from their initial form in their third LP, because they had exhausted their original repertoire and began writing new material. It became their first #1 LP and the single "Hello, I Love You" was their second and last US #1 single. It further isolated them from the underground cognoscenti; It also included the eventually banned (from radio play due to its provocative and conteroversial lyrics for the time) song "The Unknown Soldier", for which they created another self-directed music video, and "Not to Touch the Earth", excerpted from their legendary 30-minute concept piece Celebration of the Lizard, although they were reportedly unable to record a satisfactory version of the entire piece for the LP. Morrison attended a theatre production that changed the course of his and the group's life. At the University of Southern California's Bovard Auditorium The Living Theatre took to the stage for a highly charged show that urged people to cast aside their inhibitions toward being free.The show appealed to Morrison's quest for personal freedom, and set the stage for the most controversial episode of Morrison's life and one of rock's most notorious anecdotal incidents.The incident occurred at the March 1, 1969, Dinner Key Auditorium concert in Miami, Florida. Morrison allegedly exposed himself during the performance. Morrison had been drinking since missing his flight to the show. The 6,900 seat auditorium had been oversold by almost double the hall's capacity, and fans were sweltering without air conditioning. From the moment the band walked on stage Morrison began bellowing, drunkenly, into the microphone. In essence, he was trying to suggest that society, like the Living Theatre people said, should "lighten up".After many minutes of disjointed rambling he shouted "ANYTHING YOU WANT! LET'S DO IT! LET'S DO IT! LET'S DO IT!", and then, allegedly, exposed himself.Although the Miami incident damaged the band's reputation, Morrison was quietly relieved by its results. He later said: "I think I was just fed up with the image that had been created around me...and so I put an end to it in one glorious evening".
Although Morrison received the most attention, including getting a far larger image on album covers, he was adamant that all the band members should get recognition. Before one concert when the announcer introduced the group as "Jim Morrison and The Doors", Morrison refused to appear unless he announced the group again as "The Doors". While he never felt close to his real-life family, he was extremely protective of his fellow band-members. Reportedly, he once told Ray Manzarek that he never felt comfortable in a social setting unless Ray or another band member was with him. Many people have concluded that he viewed The Doors as his surrogate family. He repeatedly turned down every solo album opportunity he was offered, and after his death the remaining band members refused to replace him. Apparently trying to escape the image of "The Lizard King" that had come to dominate him, Morrison put on weight and grew a thick beard, forcing Elektra to use photos taken earlier in his career for the cover of the Absolutely Live LP, released in 1970. The album features performances recorded on The Doors' 1970 American tour and at the 1969 Aquarius Theatre gig and includes a full-length live performance of "The Celebration of the Lizard".
Their fourth album, The Soft Parade (1969), released in July, further distanced the group from the underground, containing extremely pop-oriented arrangements complete with "Vegas-style" horn sections (their single, "Touch Me," featured saxophonist Curtis Amy). Morrison's excessive drinking made him increasingly difficult and unreliable in the studio, and the recording sessions dragged on for weeks when they had previously only taken days. Studio costs piled up, and the group came close to disintegrating.The Soft Parade was a successful experiment in "quasi-prog-pop" despite Morrison's erratic behavior and numerous technical challenges. The more commercially-oriented songs such as "Touch Me" and "Tell All The People" are memorable; tracks such as "Wild Child" and "Shaman's Blues" are as stripped down and imaginative as ever, with excellent guitarwork and lyrics.The group staged a strong return to form with their fifth album ,1970's Morrison Hotel. Featuring a consistent, hard rock sound the album contains the memorable opener "Roadhouse Blues," which typified the high-spirited assuredness of the entire album. Morrison Hotel had a buoyancy and optimism that the band had never had before with a host of celebratory songs and a couple of lovely ballads. It hit US #4.The group continued to perform at arenas throughout the summer. Although Morrison faced trial in Miami in August, the group managed to make it to Isle of Wight Festival on August 29. At the festival, the band performed alongside other legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and Sly & The Family Stone. During the Doors' last public performance, at the "Warehouse" in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 12, 1970, Morrison apparently had a mental breakdown on stage, slamming the microphone numerous times into the stage floor. Nevertheless, the group looked set to regain its crown as a premier act with L.A. Woman in 1971. The Doors conceived it as a "back to basics" album that would explore their blues and R&B roots, although during rehearsals the group had a serious falling-out with Rothchild. Denouncing the new repertoire as "cocktail music," he quit and handed the production reins to Botnick. The result was widely considered a classic, featuring some of the strongest material and performances since their 1967 debut. The singles "Love Her Madly" & "Riders On The Storm" remain mainstays of rock radio programming.
In 1971, following the recording of L.A. Woman, Morrison decided to take some time off and moved to Paris with girlfriend, Pamela Courson, in March. He had visited the previous summer and, for a time, seemed content to write and explore the city. But by June he was again drinking heavily and fell from a second story window in May. On June 16 the last known recording of Morrison was made when he befriended two street musicians at a bar and invited them to a recording studio. The results were later released in 1994 on a bootleg CD titled The Lost Paris Tapes.Morrison died under mysterious circumstances on July 3, 1971; his body was found in the bathtub of his apartment. It was concluded that he died of a heart attack, although it was later revealed that no autopsy had been performed before Morrison's body was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery on July 7.Rumors persisted for many years that Morrison had faked his death to escape the spotlight or had died at a Paris nightclub and that his body had been surreptitiously taken to his apartment. However, in his book Wonderland Avenue, Morrison's former associate Danny Sugerman states that during his last meeting with Courson -- which took place shortly before her own death from a heroin overdose -- she confessed that she had introduced Morrison to the drug and because he had a fear of needles, she had injected him with the dose that killed him.The remaining Doors continued for some time. After initially considering replacing Morrison with a new singer (and it has been reported that Iggy Pop was one of the singers considered as a possible replacement) Krieger and Manzarek took over on vocals, released two more albums, Other Voices and Full Circle.Both albums sold well but not in the numbers of the Morrison era releases, and The Doors stopped performing and recording at the end of 1972. The remaining Doors recorded a third post-Morrison album, An American Prayer, released in 1978, which consisted of the band adding a musical track to recently rediscovered spoken-word recordings of Morrison reciting his own poetry. The hybrid album was a considerable commercial success and it was followed by successful releases of a mini-album of previously unreleased live material. The Doors' music was a staple of 1970s and 1980s FM rock radio, earning the group a new generation of fans long after it disbanded in 1972
The Doors are remembered for shamanistic live performances. Some members of the "establishment", however, felt that they were merely American rock music rebels. Jim Morrison said: "I like any reaction I can get with my music. Just anything to get people to think. I mean if you can get a whole room full of drunk, stoned people to actually wake up and think, you're doing something."
Their enduring popularity is reflected by continuing sales of their early work.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia
Go to The Doors page for album covers and track listings.
- The Doors (1967)
- Strange Days (1967)
- Waiting for the sun (1968)
- The Soft Parade (1969)
- Morrison Hotel (1970)
- Absolutely Live (1970)
- LA Woman (1971)
- Other Voices (1971)
- Full Circle (1972)
- An American Prayer (1978)
Rock Of Ages News
Prickly Porcupine....the new Porcupine Tree video, "Fear of a blank planet" is causing more than a little controversy with it's graphic images of pre-teen and teen violence, prescription drug abuse, drinking and computer game obsession ... fairly average fare for the British youth these days some would say. It certainly makes for riveting viewing, see it for yourself at http://media.roadrunnerworld.com/PorcupineTree/fear_med.wmv.
Smokin' Record? ... More than 2,000 guitarists are expected to gather together in Kansas City on June 3. Why? They'll all be performing 'Smoke On The Water' simultaneously, in an attempt to break the world record for th e most number of people playing the same song at the same time.
Queen On Ice ... Queen now have their own ice cream. Ben & Jerry's have created the 'Bohemian Raspberry'.
Quo Go Fourth ... Status Quo will release a new album in September. To be called 'In Search Of The Fourth Chord', it's being produced by Pip Williams and will be on their own Fourth Chord label.
Spinal Tap to save the planet ... Spinal Tap are to re-form, to save the planet. The band will play at Wembley Stadium on July 7, as part of the Live Earth event, which aims to raise awareness of climate change.
Why are we not surprised? ... Guns N' Roses have announced that they have postponed the start of their world tour due to an injury to bassist Tommy Stinson. Stinson recently sprained his left wrist in a fall and the injury has not yet healed. As a result, Guns N' Roses will not make their two scheduled performances at My Coke Fest in South Africa at the end of the month. All other scheduled GN'R concerts (Australia, New Zealand and Japan) have also been postponed indefinitely.
Time out ... In what is becoming an all too common occurrence lately, Meat Loaf has become the latest aging rock star to prematurely end a concert due to voice problems. The concert in Boca Raton, Florida ended after just four songs ... Lindsey Buckingham walked out a few minutes before a concert in Lincoln, Nebraska was scheduled to begin this week, but it wasn't because of health problems. He just didn't like the venue's sound system.
SHORT CUTS ... Guitarist Gilby Clarke has denied reports which appeared at the end of last week, claiming that he'd left Rock Star Supernova ... Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx is currently in the studio, working on the soundtrack album that will accompany his book 'The Heroin Diaries'. This is based on Sixx's diaries from 1986-7, when he was addicted to heroin ... a new Gary Moore album "Close as you get" is scheduled for release in May ... Alice In Chains are writing songs for a new album. The band are still in the early stages of the process, so it may be some time before they actually start recording ... Coheed & Cambria are about to start work on their fourth album. To be called 'No World For Tomorrow', it's to be produced by Nick Rasculinecz, and released later in the year. And bassist Michael Todd has re-joined the band in time for the project ... The Answer are to re-issue their debut album 'Rise' through Albert Productions on June 18. This will come with a bonus CD, featuring live tracks, a cover of Aerosmith's 'Sweet Emotion', acoustic versions and singles B-sides.
The late Hunter Thompson wrote, "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
Rock of Ages presents "Footstompin' Music"
"Footstompin' Music" is ready for release through Universal Music, it should be in the stores by the middle of May. Here is a pic of the front cover for you to drool over as well as the final tracklisting:
|Rock Of Ages Presents Footstompin' Music
- Grand Funk Railroad - Footstompin' Music
- Deep Purple - Burn
- Uriah Heep - Look at yourself
- Black Sabbath - Sweat Leaf
- Thin Lizzy - Chinatown
- Robin Trower - Too rolling stoned
- Mountain - Never in my life
- Wishbone Ash - Blowin' free
- Foghat - I just wanna make love to you
- Budgie - Baby, please don't go
- Santana - Toussaint l'Overture
- Alice Cooper - Muscle of love
- Nazareth - Go down fighting
- Blue Oyster Cult - The Red & the Black
- Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme back my bullets
- Free - The Hunter
- Taste - What's goin' on
Keep the rock real...
Contact Rock of Ages
PO Box 53585, Kenilworth, 7745
Studio phones: 021-4342523 / 4342525
The views, opinions, rants, raves and ramblings expressed on this website are the author's own and in no way reflect the views of Radio 2000 or the SABC.
All the playlists are available in the
Boulevard Blues Band
29th Bertie's Mooring,Gordon's Bay
29th Tempos, Randburg
The Hellphones/Holly and the Woods
Fri 4th Roxys, Melville
4th May Back 2 Basix
5th May Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein
17th May Café Barcelona (with Laurie Levine)
18th Die Koffiehuis, Linden
19th May Radium Beerhall, Orange Grove
4th May Kunskafee, Durbanville
11th May Die Koffiehuis, Linden
29th Back2Basix – Jim Neversink,Josie Field,The Hellphones
30th Blues Summit ICC Arena
featuring Dan Patlansky, Phillip Walker (USA) and more
MY COKE FEST
May 1 Cape Town
Brought to you by Coca-Cola South Africa and official radio station partner 5FM, the 12-hour festival boasts the best in international and local talent on its sizzling stage. Evanescence, Hoobastank, Staind, 3 Doors Down, Springbok Nude Girls, The Parlotones, The Dirty Skirts, Love Jones and Taxi Violence are some of the bands that will be performing.
London Calling, Fairview JHB
27th GROSS MISCONDUCT, SUICIDE KINGS, AUTUMN SUN and special guests Dutch Punk band COOPER!
Tanz Café, Bryanston
Wed 2nd Cobra Comedy Twist
Fri 4th Tony Cox / George Worthmore
5th Rory Eliot
|You say it's your birthday...
Goldy McJohn - Steppenwolf - 1945
Bob Henrit - Kinks, Argent - 1944
Lou Gramm - Foreigner - 1950
Pete Seeger - 1919
James Brown - 1933
Ronnie Bond - Troggs - 1943
George Wadenius - Blood, Sweat & Tears - 1945
Ed Cassidy - Spirit - 1923
Bill Ward - Black Sabbath - 1948
Doug Gray - Marshall Tucker Band
Bob Seger - 1945
Colin Earl - Foghat, Mungo Jerry - 1942
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Stay tuned every Thursday 8-12pm for the best in classic rock on RADIO 2000.
Benjy Mudie is a self confessed 'rockaholic' with little chance of recovery... a music obsessive whose entire life has been spent in search of the lost chord... from discovering Jimi's "Are you experienced" at 13, he has constantly devoured music through lp's, singles, tapes, cds, dvds, books, magazines, film, concerts, radio, tv and the internet. His entire working life has also been music related: from running a record store and later joining WEA Records in the mid 70's through to his 21 year A&R/Marketing stint at Tusk Music where he signed some of the biggest names in South African rock and pop. The last 8 years have been spent nurturing new talent at his indie label Fresh Music and reissuing classic albums as part of it's ongoing Retro series.... To say that 'music is his first love' (to paraphrase John Miles's classic song) is somewhat understated.