Riders on the Storm

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I ended up rewatching the Kids in the Hall skit on The Doors the other night,


And it inevitably led to actually listening to The Doors for the first time in a while and finding a bunch of new stereo mixes on YouTube.


I fucking love them tbh. Morrison is a bit cheesy but it usually works. There's still something mysterious about their stuff too. There's a world contained within it. You're instantly on the verge of a bad trip in the desert or flooring it in the rain. It sounds like there's something wrong which you can't quite put your finger on. The underbelly of the 60s perhaps. It's probably a bit hackneyed now but I guess you could make the argument that whatever it is lurking in the background has something to do with the energies and currents which led to the Manson Family.

Were there any Doors tunes in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
 
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mvuent

Void Dweller
i was thinking about this a bit in the shared worlds in art thread.

peripheral, "riders on the storm" america. serial killers, drifters, motels, strip clubs, christian fundamentalist cults, ufos.
this isn't quite the world their music usually evokes though. like you're saying it usually has more to do with the counterculture.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It's very American, or at least it feels very much like some of what I think of as American. Paris, Texas comes to mind too. And Baudrillard's Vanishing Point thing about driving through the desert. Natural Born Killers.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
they're the fucking worst, as I've said plenty of times here and elsewhere

they embody basically everything lame about the 2nd half of the 60s

what a committee of record executives would dream up to sell the seedy "dangerous" end of the counterculture, the illusion of danger

brooding teen idol front boy with artiste pretensions plus the slick commercial instincts of Manzarek, and a couple of skilled musos to pull it all together

the palest reflections of vastly better bands (VU, Interstellar Domine-era Floyd, MC5, etc)

if it was just the music it'd be whatever but Morrison's unfathomably terrible, puerile poetry drags everything into a black hole of awfulness

forget lizards, he is the absolute king of the proto-fuckbois
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
tbf it's not wholly their fault. the ridiculous Oliver Stone movie did them no favors.

neither did Apocalypse Now tbh. you see the opening scene and you're expecting The Doors to sound like the freakout at the very end of "The End".

but no, they never do. even in the The End which waffles on for 9 yawn-inducing minutes of snakes and lakes before it gets to that.

either way, they're inextricably linked to the absolute naffest end of the 60s counterculture
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
or at least it feels very much like some of what I think of as American
I'm not surprised that they are what Europeans think America is like

i.e. Paris, Texas was made by a European

not that European takes on America can't be good or insightful but they are European takes on America

and the Doors are if nothing else deeply American. I think to fully appreciate how fucking terrible the Doors are, one probably has to be American.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
whenever this comes up I get dinged for Morrison being a huge influence (stage attitude-wise rather than musically) on Iggy Pop

absolutely, yes. Iggy is very clear about it.

but they're opposites in execution. Morrison was a tryhard wannabe poet who wanted to make Art and made "Light My Fire".

Iggy made noise that wound up as Art despite itself

not that I wanna downsell Iggy as art brut or something, he's a hella savvy dude

maybe if Morrison had been fronting the Asheton brothers' nihilistic pounding instead of musos and a pop hustler, things would've been different

not that he ever could've made something like I Wanna Be Your Dog, but maybe his worst instincts would've been reined in

instead they run completely free and he's already gone to seed at the age of 27, caterwauling L.A. Woman
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
tbh i've never quite understood why they inspire such intense hatred. like, with the most common criticism against them--aren't a ton of venerated rock musicians pretentious assholes? i don't think they're particularly unique or egregious there.

not sure i can make anything of what you've posted paidraig. like you know way more about rock than me, it's just i'm not getting anything particularly tangible out of what you're saying. they were manufactured, fake? again those just seem like stock criticisms. it's hard for me to hear what you mean.

you mention that they sound like they were trying to make high art. but i think their music conveys that they were quite into the, idk, "lowbrow" visceral impact of rock. sounds like a criticism that would work better for some shit like gryphon or whatever that prog band was called.
 
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padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
you mention that they sound like they were trying to make high art
just Morrison. Manzarek had a pretty interesting background with some art in it, but he was definitely interested in success.

I don't think they were uninterested in the lowbrow visceral appeal of rock, quite the opposite. also remember "rock" was still in flux and hadn't yet codified

Morrison's thing was being a Poet with all that entails. he was a tortured soul fortunate son (of a U.S. Navy admiral), the id of boomer self-indulgence.

the drummer and guitar player were as mentioned musos, albeit not at pretentious level. tho enough to elevate them above the good Stooges kind of dumb simple

unfortunately going other way they weren't far out enough to get anywhere near the genius simple of Reed+Cale, or the vision of Barrett-era Floyd

so they're stuck in this middle ground not dark/weird enough to be interesting, too faux dark to be pop

plus every hoary cliche about white guys singing the blues, without any of the redeeming heaviness etc of Zeppelin
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
so in the same sense that people sometimes call The Cure mall goth, The Doors are mall counterculture

the difference being that Robert Smith doesn't take it seriously, while appearing to take it very seriously

whereas Morrison appears not to care (blasted on Seconal, letting his beauty slouch into fat bearded drunkenness) while taking it extremely. seriously.

for real don't take my word for it. go read his own poetry. An American Prayer.

it is almost indescribably bad.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I have zero problems with pretentious btw. I am super pretentious about numerous things.

sometimes taking art self-seriously is transcendental. but it has to be good or interesting art.

a large part of the problem of the Doors as I said is not their fault, but what they stand for

an extremely lazy approximation of the 60s unlike later such evocations is somehow meaningful

i.e., people see/hear Strawberry Alarm Clock and understand it to be a lazy/shallow evocation of a time/place

but The Doors are somehow imbued with some darker/deeper meaning. "the underbelly of the 60s perhaps"

a similar mythology surrounds the Rolling Stones but in that case it kind of makes sense
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
if Morrison was just a bad Poet, that would be one thing

if the Doors were just another whatever 60s guitar pop band, it would be one thing

it's the combination of the two that is so galling

I dislike voice his and Manzarek's organ hooks (the drumming is fine, and the guitar player is pretty good even if I don't usually like what he plays)

what I really hate is the cult of Morrison. the guy was a brooding tortured soul fuckboi who drank himself to death at 27.

if you want to be a poete maudit OK, but then your poetry has to be good.
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
i should probably go to bed soon but i think i understand the angle you've been taking a bit better now, thanks padraig. (sorry i misspelled your username earlier lol.) interesting stuff.
 

catalog

Active member
Ive got a soft spot for the doors, i saw therilm when i was really young, like 12, and it blew me away, i went and bought the greatest hits. I loved the weird long songs. Then i forgot about them but years later worked with a guy who was well into them and he had the american prayer tape and used to cane it on car journeys. Its really good that tape, for all jims ad libbing in between the tunes, ?im a sagitarrious, the most creative of all the signs?, and theres another few. Just funny now. And LA woman and a few others are good. I dont really see how the VU are any cooler tbh. Its more an la/ny contrast no? Like the doors feels very californian to me. But youre right padraig, us euroeans probably have odd views of american stuff. Dont know about barett era floyd, theyre a bit of a blind spot.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I dont really see how the VU are any cooler tbh
"cool" is subjective, so if you you're just using to mean personal taste, then sure, anyone can like anything

but if you're using it to be basically synonymous with good/important then that's a fucking crazy statement

the Velvet Underground is the fount of virtually all interesting American + European guitar musics of the last 50+ years

The Doors are The Doors

there was a NY/West Coast (more SF than LA) thing with the VU, incidentally

not a feud or anything, just v different vibes. they toured the West Coast and it was by all accounts a disaster of mutual failed understanding.

cynicism/realism vs idealism, speed/smack vs psychedelics, nihilism vs flowers

there is a reason all the West Coast hippie biz has aged terribly while VU is for better or worse essentially timeless, or existing outside time ("one endless chord")
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
put it this way: everyone should like what they like, but when someone tells me they like the Doors, my estimation of their musical tastes drops several notches

it's like someone telling you they were really into the Dave Matthews Band, or psytrance, or [insert taboo music] etc

should that person care what I think about their taste? absolutely not. so that part doesn't really matter, though the fact remains.

it's what they/Morrison stand for which is truly irritating, and which elevates simply bad music to the truly galling

I also thought the movie was super cool when I was 12. That's the kind of movie it is. It seems cool when you're 12.

Jim Morrison in general seems cool when you're 12. Then when you hit ~14 it's another overrated proto-fuckboi who drank himself to death: Kerouac.
 
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