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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972

The Doors — Other Voices

The Doors — Other Voices.

Jim Morrison died of an overdose of publicity, ego trips, touring and contract pressures, all the ways the Pop Machine eats people, that finally drove the one-time Lizard King into seclusion in Paris and a middle class heart attack in his bath at the age of 27. The Doors image was built on Menace, using pop as psychodrama, music as catharsis (c'mon break on through to the other side) they came on as the original existential death-rock band, all creepy and surreal, with Morrison up front as the black leather masochistic fantasy singing about sex as death, love as a funeral pyre and (in Moonlight Drive) about going down to the beach with his girl for a little suicide by the seaside. Typically when other people were going to San Francisco to put flowers in their hair the Doors were suggesting (The End) that time liberation meant fucking and killing your old Mum. The whole thing was aimed at the sort of people who groove on Bosch paintings and Sylvia Plath's poetry. You know, sort of a California version of Jagger's satanic pretentions

After one perfect album it all fell apart, the whole gottendamering bit turned into self parody and the group began playing to younger and younger audiences. But during their climb to the bottom the Doors as musicians got better and better, something that shows through even on songs as wretched as "Riders on the Storm." On this, their first LP since Morrison died they play magnificently; Krieger is one of the most tasteful, lyrical guitarists in rock and his singing is surprisingly good. But the material is still awful. No matter how well the band plays they can't do very much with this bag of hackneyed tunes and lyrics that contain the same old pseudo paradoxical quasi mystical jive:

'Now you're on your own
But we're by your side
But you're all alone
And you're going home
Like a rolling stone
Just like Brian Jones' etc etc..

The Doors are still a good band, don't give up on them yet, with the right material they'll be as big again as well .... say Badfinger.

— Gordon Campbell