It’s funny how a general appreciation for certain bands ebb and flow.  Thanks to Oliver Stone and Val Kilmer my generation fell for The Doors big style, to the extent that we placed them up there with yer Beatles and yer Stones for years.  Now they seem to have a hit a big dip in their fortunes, whether everyone’s just seen one too many documentaries about ’em, people just think of The Doors as something they fell for once a long time ago, or the survivors have just tried all our patience with their antics*, or has everyone just seen through Mr Morrison’s awfully pretentious musings?  Any which way, it seems like there’s not a whole lotta love for The Doors out there right now.

Doors Morrison Hotel 04

Not me of course, I am/was too cool to follow that trajectory.  Well, no, not at all really, but my parents were too cool to let me – guess who saw their only (non-festival) UK show? who owned all their albums? who spooked and enraptured their first-born by playing ‘Riders On the Storm’ late at night on a rainy night in the car? being the rebellious sort, I staunchly ignored them and got myself into cock rock instead – yeah, take that fascist parents!  It wasn’t until I was 18 and I had an epiphany when watching the beginning of Apocalypse Now that I fell for The Doors, a bit.  Their first and last, proper, LPs are my faves but somewhere along the line I bought Morrison Hotel too.

Doors Morrison Hotel 06 (2)

Doors Morrison Hotel 05

I bought Morrison Hotel mostly for ‘Peace Frog’ actually and it is still the quintessential Doors track in some ways today.  It combines a guitar sound that really didn’t sound out-of-place when I bought it in ’92, a rhythm that forces me to dance, awesome funkiness, oblique personal political comment (‘Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven’), a wanky pretentious spoken word bit and some great organ sounds – all in 2:52.  They really don’t make ’em like that any more.  What I think I’d failed to grasp until tonight really was how beautifully crafted the segue into the next track ‘Blue Sunday’ was too, the fact that I’m not much of a fan of the latter’s languid, wet-patch post-coitalism is neither here, nor there really.

Doors Morrison Hotel 07 (2)

But there’s me jumping the gun and getting all track-by-track on you, what happened to my fabulous patented sweeping generalisations that don’t bear close scrutiny? well all I will say is that Morrison Hotel marked a real shift back towards the blues after their previous three albums**.  Okay so it’s an urban, occasionally urbane white boy take on the blues, but it is basically there behind all on this album – somewhat akin to the puppet master’s hand thrust up the woolly ass of his sock puppet*^.

Doors Morrison Hotel 01

It’s this blues sensibility that strikes me most tonight, it fair drips off the wonderful ‘The Spy’ which boasts a vocal of real, almost crooner-like, precision from Morrison and of course ‘Roadhouse Blues’, comes slathered in blues rock as standard.  In fact I absolutely love ‘Roadhouse’, so much so that I’ve forgiven it for Status Quo.  Fact! I love the harp from John Sebastian and the simple, blistering guitar solo from Manzarek.  There are very few songs that sound better at 75mph. Double fact!  Add in my enjoyment of the heavy-bassed ‘Maggie McGill’, the faintly hippy ‘Indian Summer’ and the dramatic ‘Waiting For The Sun’ and there’s all my favourite bits.

Doors Morrison Hotel 03

There’s some filler on Morrison Hotel, I can’t ever convince myself to like ‘Land Ho!’, or ‘Ship Of Fools’, but there’s nothing here that crashes my mood the way that ‘L’America’ sometimes puts me off the whole idea of playing L.A Woman.  It isn’t a flawless trip at all but I really like Morrison Hotel, it’s a good relaxed listen.  It is also an LP that The Doors used to clear away the aural undergrowth in readiness for the band’s final grand act; all that was needed next to achieve total blast-off was an additional two-stone in weight and a big bushy beard.  Take it away Jim!

Well, I woke up this morning, I got myself a beer
Well, I woke up this morning, and I got myself a beer
The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near

For Lonnie Mack
For Lonnie Mack

592 Down.


*Ian Astbury FFS! Come on, he’s a wolf child howlin’ at the moon, not the lizard king!

**two of which I have only heard once in my life, about 25 years ago and one, The Soft Parade, I’ve never knowingly listened to. Oh yes, here at 1537 we pride ourselves on our exhaustive research and shit.

*^memo to self: may want to work on this one a bit.

27 thoughts on “Post-Coitalism

  1. Loved this record and played the hell out of it. “I’m a spy in the house of love” lyric has stuck in my head all this time. I always thought Jim was a regular guy who drank lots and did those things we do when we indulge. No big heavy message just some solid music. Again I think you have your finger on the pulse. I’ll bore you with a Morrison story one day.

  2. The old Doors overhype of 1991. That’s what it’s known as around here. Thanks to Kilmer, Stone, and that lizard king ass-kissing Danny Sugarman we were all exposed to way too much Doors. I took a five year break, came back, and fell in love with LA Woman once again(the album, not the woman.)

    1. I had a bit of a fling with her myself, a while back. Bits of this LP surprised me this time around too. I wonder if I’ll ever get around to filling in the gaps in my Doors collection?

  3. I totally agree with you on their flagging fortunes. (… and Peace Frog… and L’America) I really thought they were just overrated back when the film was out. I think I just got sick of hearing them all the time. But now they’ve actually grown on me. The albums are patchy but I’ve got more use for them now than ever before.

  4. Every time I see anything about Jim Morrison or The Doors, I remind myself that even though I have been living in Europe for the better part of 3 decades, I haven’t been to see Jim’s grave. That was something I wanted to do from day one. Great post and great insights on this album. I have never stopped liking them.

  5. My favorite argument with my anarcho-hippy granola crunching commune dweller friend Chris is who is more influential Bowie or Morrison, he will not admit to Bow yet but I have hopes.

  6. I have much love for this one. Obviously. As a fan of The Doors and all. Maybe my second favourite albim of theirs. Maybe.

    Always thought big Jimbo was brilliant on this one. Which he hadn’t been on either Waiting for the Sun or The Soft Parade, I don’t reckon. His voice is clear, rich and strong. Plus, there’s that bluesy psychedelic Sinatra on a few (Indian Summer and The Spy (a favourite), innit).

    … and yes, that Ian Astbury thing was just plain misguided. I’m not sure why Robby and Ray gone done that.

    Speaking of Robby: that guitar solo … his playing is really swell on here.

      1. You’ve given me the yearning to watch that amazing documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now. It’s possibly even better than the film.

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