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Has It Really Come To This?,
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This review is from: The Doors Examined (Paperback)
Oh dear, where to start. There have been some very good books about the Doors but these are outweighed by a whole host of also rans. Unfortunately this one falls into the latter category.
I so wanted this to work; in theory it's a winning formula, a collection of intelligent stand alone pieces corralled into 19 themed chapters. However, it just doesn't deliver. The source of the book is articles Don Cherry published on his web site The Doors Examiner which he established in 2009. In addition to that, there are some exclusive pieces. Of the 19 subject heads, the first two sections on the Doors history are by far the most interesting although not without fault. In one section DC writes " A little known secret of the Doors is slowly clawing its way to the surface of consciousness. Were the Doors looking for a singer to replace Jim Morrison?" A little known secret? Iggy Pop for one has said on numerous occasions that he was in line for the post Morrison gig. And wasn't Jess Roden also auditioned?
Chapter three on the Doors releases includes all of the Doors studio albums except Morrison Hotel. Maybe DC hasn't written about that release but the absence undermines any chance this book has of being comprehensive. It was also at this point that the writing style started to grate with me; for instance, in the LA Woman section "April for the Doors fan is not the cruellest month, but the anniversary of the release of LA Woman" I found toe curling. It gets worse, "After all the months in the forge of creation.." Oh man, I remember writing stuff like that when I was doing O level English - and getting rightly slated for it.
The chapter on Music Reviews covers releases made in the lifetime of the web site, so that's post August 2009 starting with Live In New York. Again, the absence of any review of the releases prior to this sits like an elephant in the room. The web source reveals its limitations here as these are contemporary reviews made at the time of release. We're told that the Hollywood Bowl CD comes in "a cardboard CD Case and not a jewel case", this may have been slightly relevant at the time of release but you're really insulting the intelligence of your reader if you believe that this is the sort of information appropriate in a book.
The chapter on the Doors on Television ignores the debut TV appearance on Shebang in 1967 but includes references to the Doors made in the TV cartoon Simpsons as well as Glee. Draw your own conclusions from this. After that we descend into minutiae of the most mind numbing order with sections on Jim Morrisons Ghost (no really, I'm not making this up) and Doors samples in rap music. The killer bit for me though is to be found on page 160 where we're told that on the March 1 2011 episode of American Idol, contestant Brett Lowenstern sang Light My Fire as an "effeminate, sexless cover". Is this really worthy of repeating anywhere? I'd have laughed if I hadn't shelled out hard earned cash for this tripe.
Save yourself the trouble, don't bother with the book and visit the web site if you have to. My copy will be winging its way to Oxfam pronto.