The Doors remain one of the most original acts in the history of Rock and Roll. However, their actual music is sometimes overshadowed by the cult of Jim Morrison. Those with long memories will recall a point in the 1980s when he went from lead singer of an old band to a signifier of cool known as ‘Morrison.’ His image appeared everywhere on t-shirts, posters, and in the film The Lost Boys, adorning a wall in Keifer Sutherland’s vampire cave. A biopic in the 1990s attempted something like realism but managed only to dramatize the legend of the ‘Lizard King’. Meanwhile, outside of a few high rotation tracks on ‘classic’ rock stations, most of their work took a back seat to Jim’s ever-growing status as a cultural icon.
This book dusts off the vinyl and puts on the headphones for a sustained reappraisal of the band’s musical career. Hidden gems, deep cuts, overrated top ten hits and an enigmatic series of album closers are all subjected to late night interrogations. Let’s head to Venice Beach circa 1965, pick up a Fender bass organ on the way, take a face from the ancient gallery and walk on down the hall!
Tony Thompson is a Canadian writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Summer of Monsters (Walker Books, 2014) a novel about Mary Shelley’s early life, and Shakespeare: The Most Famous Man in London, (Black Dog Books, 2009). His articles on books, music, and education have appeared in The Age, The Australian, The Daily Review Australia and Eureka St. He is a well-regarded speaker and has been a regular guest at the Melbourne Writers Festival and other literary events throughout Australia. He plays blues harmonica with great enthusiasm.