On a recent trip to Virgin Megastore I purchased The Very Best of The Doors. I have all of their studio albums and even a double live album that was released some years back. Why on Earth do I need The Very Best of The Doors? Well, it’s Digitally Remastered. All of their albums have been Digitally Remastered as it turns out, which means I’ll have to trade all of my old crappy-sounding CDs in for the Digitally Remastered ones.
Of course this all begs the question, what difference does it make? Simply put, it sounds better. That of course brings up another question…Could “Break On Through (To The Other Side),” “Light My Fire,” “L.A. Woman” and all of the other “Very Best” songs sound any better than they did the first time around? Yes. The answer is undoubtedly, unquestionably, yes.
A lot of people hate The Doors. To many Jim Morrison was nothing but a drunk who wrote a couple of good songs, fancied himself a poet and was totally full of himself. Jim Morrison is Rock ‘N’ Roll. Listen to him scream and wail on “Backdoor Man” and tell me you don’t hear it. I don’t go around calling just anyone Rock ‘N’ Roll. It’s an adjective that is not to be thrown around.
Yeah, it’s all relative, but there are just some people and groups of people in music that move me to such extreme emotions. They make me want to do things. The Doors? They make me want to drink, smoke, and fuck. They embody what Rock ‘N’ Roll was, is and forever shall be. Sex, drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll just go together. That’s not to say they can’t be enjoyed individually or that they all must be enjoyed together. Listening to The Doors just makes me want to do it all and not think about the consequences. There aren’t many that I can say that about. Who is Rock ‘N’ Roll to you?
2 thoughts on “Rock 'N' Roll”
Drink, smoke, and fuck…yeah, I guess that’s basically the aesthetic of the typical. Morrison, for me, was a conduit for the kinetic force of his audience. He’d be very little if it weren’t for the people who actually felt like he did or believed they did. Granted the band had some decent musicians in it, Manzerek, if that’s how you spell it, just played a show in Boston and I heard it was a bit weak on the piano side. Mostly him rambling on about something. I think of the Doors as I think of many bands of their era. They sound really good in High School, when somebody’s basement is full of cold beer and girls who don’t know better. I never took advantage of it, fuck me!
My image of a band or person who exemplifies Rock n Roll, whatever that title means, is someone not known for guitar skills, like Jimmy Page and Zepplin. It is an entity that transcended the general image in one’s mind of stadium packing, back-beat needing, booze heavy Brits. It’s probably someone who I don’t listen to enough and I don’t own a single one of their albums.
I’ll take a lead from Jeff Buckley on this one and say: Leonard Cohen, The Smiths, and MC5.
As I said before, for me, it’s not about how many albums, how long the guitar solos, or the chicks…it’s about a feeling, a lifestyle, and a general “I don’t give a shit about music,” attitude. To love rock n roll, you must hate it most of the time…just so the life is bearable and not foolish. The Sex Pistols hated thier jobs, they thought it was nonsense. But they said what they needed to and burned out. Simple. True Rock n Roll is an unbearable lifestyle. The electronic movment in music made it less of a burden because of the techonolgy and the audience. Even Moby used to be a fan of “punk” music, and even he toured in a shitty van for all of the dog days.
When I thought about this I could only think of either hidden gems, or quick burns. Cohen is the hidden gem, I would pick Tom Waits along with him also…and The Smiths are the burnouts…MC5 just plain kicked ass and I don’t really know why I’ mentioned them.
Well, I spoke before I thought, as usual. It’s an emotional thing with me. Fuck it.
Ah, the beauty of the web. Speak before you think. Actually though, what you wrote was awesome. I should post it instead of mine.
What I left out of this post was others who are Rock ‘N’ Roll because I wanted people to respond. You mentioned several, so we’re on the same page.
Thanks again for a thoughtful (or thoughtless) post.
P.S. It’s Manzarek 🙂
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