For this edition of Throwback Thursday, I thought we’d “Break On Through” with none other than The Doors! Formed in 1965, The Doors were Jim Morrison (vocals), Ray Manzarek (keyboards), John Densmore (drums), and Robby Krieger (guitar), and became one of the most legendary acts of all time thanks to their unpredictable shows, poetic lyrics, and overall rebellious demeanor. The band got their name from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book, “The Doors of Perception,” which was a reference to a William Black quote:
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
The Doors took extreme amounts of inspiration from any and all types of poetry, and were snatched up by Elektra Records in 1966, before the release of one of many top ten albums, “The Doors” in 1967. Using Morrison’s love for all things artistic, the quickly became a staple as the house band at LA’s “Whiskey A Go-Go,” opening up for bands like Van Morrison’s “Them,” and impressing crowds with nearly 15-minute-long jam sessions. The Doors quickly gained a devoted following, and went on to do multiple television appearances, the most notorious being when Morrison defied Ed Sullivan when he was asked to censor the lyrics to “Light My Fire.” After the show, The Doors were banned from Ed Sullivan for life. The ban did nothing to hurt The Doors fanbase, which continued to come to shows that promised an insane rock ‘n’ roll experience, with Morrison even earning the title of “first musician to ever be arrested onstage” after a profanity-laced tirade during a show in December of 1967.
Unfortunately, like many of the greats, The Doors story ended in tragedy, with Jim Morrison being found dead in a Paris bathroom on July 3rd, 1971 at the young age of just 27. After a thorough investigation, officials found no evidence of foul play, Morrison’s death was determined to be heart failure. The surviving members of the band released two more albums without him, before officially disbanding in 1973. Over their tumultuous career, The Doors have been inducted into The Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame, and earned a total of 19 gold, 14 platinum, and 5 multi-platinum album awards in the United States alone. Although The Doors had a relatively short time in the spotlight, the band’s influence lives on to this day, with countless musicians siting them as their muse.
Since the band’s breakup, the living members of The Doors have been in multiple new groups, and have been keeping the music alive by working with artists of every genre, most recently being dubstep master Skrillex. As for Jim? Mr. Morrison was laid to rest in the “Poet’s Corner” of Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery, with the inscription “True To His Own Spirit” on his tombstone. I personally could think of nothing better to put. Keep on rockin’ on the big stage in the sky, Jim, we love you WAY more than “two times.”