Jim Morrison’s Turbulent Years

Between July 1969 and May 1970, the Doors recorded several concerts after the release of the albums The Soft Parade and Morrison Hotel. Recordings found on the opus Absolutely Live, which celebrates its 50th anniversary.

This double album, the Doors’ first live album, released on July 20, 1970, mixes songs that were recorded during this series of shows between July 21, 1969 and May 8, 1970. Absolutely Live was launched almost a year to the day after The Soft Paradethe fourth studio album by the Californian quartet.

Director Paul A. Rothchild specifies that certain pieces were constructed from performances recorded in different cities.

“I didn’t have full recordings of multiple songs. I could take part of a track from a concert in Detroit and paste in the middle a segment recorded in Philadelphia. There must be 2000 modifications on this disc”, he told, in 1981, in an interview for the late specialized magazine BAM.

Most of the titles selected for Absolutely Live come from concerts recorded on January 17 and 18, 1970 at the Felt Forum, in New York. This performance hall located inside the Madison Square Garden complex could hold from 2000 to 5600 people.

Alabama Songs (Whiskey Bar), Five to One and a great version of When the Music’s Over were recorded in this room which still exists today and which bears the name of Hulu Theater.

We also find, on this album, Soul Kitchen and break on through (To The Other Side).

Absolutely Live also contains the part Celebration of the Lizard, which was to be on the album Waiting for the Sun, but which had been set aside. This 14-minute musical poem was performed during this series of concerts.

The Miami Incident

Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore also perform the titles Love Hides, Build Me a Woman, UniversalMind, dead rats and Dead Cats, who never ended up on the band’s albums.

This era of the Doors is when singer Jim Morrison often found himself drunk and in another dimension.

There are, on this album, references to the famous concert of the 1er March 1969 at Dinner Key Auditorium, Miami, where the singer was charged with obscene language, indecent behavior, public nudity and contempt of morality.

Morrison faced those charges on September 20, 1970 in Miami. The case was appealed and there was never a resolution due to the singer’s death on July 3, 1971, in Paris.

The Doors musicians have always categorically claimed that the singer did not show his private parts on stage during this explosive concert.

An announcer can be heard, during the introductory message of the Philadelphia Spectrum show which opens the album, asking people to remain seated, under threat of an intervention from the Fire Department, which will cancel the concert.

Jim Morrison also alludes to the Miami concert in his opening remarks before the performance of the piece Close to Yousung by Ray Manzarek, on May 2, 1970, at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh.

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Jim Morrison’s Turbulent Years

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