The Doors perform live at the Hollywood Bowl on 4th July, 1968, in the only surviving full-length concert footage of the band. Includes definitive versions of 'Alabama Song', 'Light My Fire' and epic set-closer 'The End'.
Watching The Doors Live at the Hollywood Bowl
is a sobering experience, for the viewer must confront the painful truth that popular music, to judge by its increasingly infantile and banal state, will never see their like again. Either that, or admit The Doors were an irrelevant footnote in the history of pop--an idle thought that a few minutes of this extraordinary concert will dispel. Fortunately for posterity, this July 5, 1968 performance was captured by four cameras and recorded in 16-track audio, and has now been digitally remixed for DVD. The result is a crisp picture and generally excellent stereo sound that is far better than most archive footage of this band.
On stage Jim Morrison has the aura of an intense performance artist, whose dark, smoky voice forms only a part of his complex persona; guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboard player Ray Manzarek and drummer John Densmore complement Morrison's free-associative outpourings with improvisational jazz-inspired interjections. They make music like no other band before or since: who else could segue effortlessly from Kurt Weill's "Alabama Song" to Willie Dixon's "Back Door Man"? And just when they're in danger of becoming too pretentious, Morrison bursts any lurking self-importance with a wry smile, a jokey aside or even a belch. But the seriousness remains, at least implicitly, throughout as Morrison's edgy lyrics--from "When the Music's Over" to "The Unknown Soldier" and "The End"--constantly hint at disturbing social undercurrents outside the concert arena. Is it fanciful to imagine that in the minds of his audience the ghosts of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement are hovering just out of view? Such thoughts are what make The Doors so unique: their music invites questions, positively dares the audience to ask them; that's why they remain so endlessly fascinating well over three decades later. And that's why this concert performance will find a home with any and every fan of the band. "The time to hesitate is through". --Mark Walker