Putting together the music for my New Year’s Eve is a fun ritual that I always look forward to. But this year I noticed – I always seem to include one or two tunes from the Doors, usually really long live tracks. I’m not here to apologize, that’s how I roll. And now that my kids are old enough to be elsewhere on New Year’s Eve, and my wife is a pathological marathon runner, by the time midnight rolls around I’m usually listening to music all by myself anyway.
We’ve come to know pretty much who are the best live performers in rock – Bruce Springsteen, the Who, the Stones, Paul McCartney, U2, etc. But I would argue to put the Doors right at the top of the list.
When you go to see a Springsteen show, you know pretty much what you’re gonna get but Bruce tends to keep it lively by throwing a few curveballs into each set. The Stones are sloppy, but they are supposed to be. Where the Boss or McCartney can do something unexpected in a good way, the Doors were always good to do something unexpected … in a bad way.
Jim Morrison could be in the zone one night, then stoned and/or drunk out of his mind the next. He could go from unparalleled showman to surly asshole in a moment, berating the crowd that he so desperately wants to entertain. And it certainly didn’t hurt that Morrison was backed by ace musicians Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore – whatever the Lizard King’s demon du jour may have been, you could always count on the rest of the Doors to keep it mostly musical.
That drama and danger are precisely what make the Doors so exciting – it’s rock and roll, bro. And that’s kind of how you feel on a day like New Year’s Eve: not knowing exactly what the coming months, days, hours and seconds may hold in store.
So, Happy New Year … here’s some live Doors to liven up your dull party! Thanks to the great Willard’s Wormholes for the inspiration, and if any of this intrigues you go to his site for a comprehensive live Doors review.