Category Archives: Doors
I first saw The Doors perform live in April of 2003. Yeah, I know, Jim Morrison died in 1971. I was born a few years later, so it’s not like I could have seen the Lizard King himself. This was as close as I could get. They, meaning Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, two of the original four, called themselves the Doors of the 21st Century, with Ty Dennis and Angelo Barbara from Robby’s band playing drums and bass respectively, and Ian Astbury doing the vocals.
I went in with no expectations. I mostly wanted to see Robby and to hear these songs, which I had loved my entire life, played live. Our seats were front row center of the balcony at the Tower Theater over in Upper Darby. It’s a small venue, so we weren’t far from the stage and had an unobstructed view. They were late, and the crowd in true Philly fashion started the chant of “We want the Doors!” We had been sitting there so long, I had almost forgotten who we had come to see. Finally, a picture of Jim appeared on a screen and “O Fortuna” blasted out of the speakers. Seriously, the crescendo of that opera makes for the best intro ever! Just as the cymbals crashed and horns blared, came the words “Ladies and gentlemen! From Los Angeles, California, it’s the Doors!” Pandemonium.
That performance blew me away. Ian had all the magic I imagined Jim having. Gene, having seen Jim in the 60’s, actually said that Ian was better, being sober and all. We saw them many times after that, traveling to New York, Montreal, California and even London for the shows. Most times we were in the first or second row and just a few feet away from Robby and his guitar. Wow.
A few things have changed over the past couple of years. Ian Astbury returned to his band, The Cult. Since I am a huge Cult fan, this pleases me, even though I miss him with the Doors. Ray and Robby can’t call their band any version of “The Doors” as a band name anymore thanks to a law suit from John Densmore, the original drummer. My opinion of him is best left unsaid. So now they are just “Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek of The Doors.” Densmore and his lawyers can’t take that away from them. They have a new singer, Mili Matijevic, who has a hell of a voice and a lot of charisma, if not the magic of Ian Astbury.
Saw them last night in Atlantic City, and it was a hell of a show. Best of all, I got to stand just a few feet away from Robby while he played. At one point, he and Ray were talking, and Robby’s fingers still moved absently over the strings. I guess it’s just that natural for him. Robby plays with a pick, without a pick, fingertips the strings (he did that long before Eddie VanHalen, thank you very much) and makes the fluid strumming of flamenco style seem effortless. I never get tired of watching him. He’s just that good. Together, he and Ray create a musical atmosphere and carry the audience along for the ride. After all these years, the power never fades. It’s still a “dance on fire” and an experience that I wouldn’t give up for anything.
(originally posted around 4/11/10)
How to celebrate a major advancement towards a lifetime goal:
I woke on Saturday morning, fed the bird, prepared my hot chocolate soy drink and picked up my blackberry to check for e-mails. Amongst them was an e-mail from the small but well connected press I submitted to a week and a half ago. Yeah, that’s right, a week and a half.
At first, I thought they were rejecting me. That’s what a quick response like this usually means. But no, there was a contract attached. Wow. I printed out the contract and my husband and I both read it. It was straightforward and concise. So… how to celebrate?
- 1. Send text to Writer Nephew who doesn’t get up before noon and won’t see it for 3 hours anyway.
- 2. Post new status on Facebook. Smile at a friend’s immediate positive response.
- 3. Send e-mail to sister who is not on Facebook.
- 4. Listen to what has been my theme song since I was a kid, the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” and post the video on Facebook.
- 5. Go outside and do some yard work.
Yeah, I know. #5 makes no sense. I think I was in shock. A lot was going through my head at that point. Ripping out some dandelions seemed like a good way to expend nervous energy.
Around 1:00, I decided I needed to eat something. Just as I came inside, I heard “Misty Mountain Hop” which is Writer Nephew’s ring tone. Lots of enthusiasm greeted me. It occurred to me that Writer Nephew and his college buddies were more excited than I was. Yeah, it had to be shock. But while I was speaking with him, a smile took up residence on my face and did not leave. Hung up, and seconds later took a call from my sister – the one who is not on Facebook. Okay, now I was getting excited. So, back to celebrating…
- 6. Shower off garden dirt using favorite LUSH soap. i.e. Rockstar.
- 7. Pull out my “Writer” ringer shirt and put it on. Grin because I finally feel like I deserve the title.
- 8. E-mail other sister who obviously had not been on Facebook yet, also a friend who is not on social networks and will be thrilled to hear the news
- 9. Go out for celebratory dinner. Eat yummy Italian food.
- 10. Go to the movies.
Yeah, #10 is a little odd too, but my protagonist, Katrina is (like me) a huge Doors fan, and When You’re Strange, A movie about The Doors came out in limited release on Friday. I’ve wanted to see this film since it was first mentioned on a friend’s site. (www.idafan.com) The timing, working in with my celebration, could not be better. I loved the film. Katrina would have too.
So that’s how I celebrated getting a book contract. How will I celebrate the actual publishing of my novel? With another tattoo, of course. 🙂