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a slim serving of the Lizard King mystique
on February 1, 2004
The Doors was all about Jim Morrison; it was his throaty voice, a strange grace which was rather like a newborn colt, and his charismatic talent that carried the group to fame, despite the able and sometimes brilliant musicianship of Ray Manzarek (keyboards), Robby Krieger (guitar). and John Densmore (drums).
There is a lot of "filler" and not enough of Morrison in this collection of song clips, which are interspersed with voice-overs of Morrison reading his poetry, and images of "related" subjects, like Native American dancers shown while "Wild Child" is playing, and even though the producers have put his face on the cover, they did not give him credit anywhere on the video box (at least the version I own) by name, which is a huge oversight.
"Break on Through", from an Elektra Records promo clip.
"People are Strange", includes footage taken on the streets of New York City.
"Light My Fire", from the Ed Sullivan Show telecast. The sound is not good on this one, and the atmosphere somewhat strained, as if they were given limits to what they could do.
"Wild Child" has a few clips from a recording session.
"L.A. Woman" is pretentiously labeled as "a new film directed by Ray Manzarek". It is actually random shots of the Los Angeles area and a few clips from the past with the song as "soundtrack".
"The Unknown Soldier" was supposedly banned for a time. It shows Morrison being bound and "shot" on Santa Monica beach, and some gooky stuff emerging from his mouth. Raspberry jam perhaps ? Chocolate pudding ? It's awfully thick and rather gross. Also includes a few gory war scenes.
"Roadhouse Blues". Clips from the '68 tour.
"Texas Radio and the Big Beat/Love Me Two Times". Includes clips from a live performance for Danish television. This is one of the better selections.
"Touch Me" is from a Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour telecast, where they have given Morrison a brushed hairdo and tanned pancake on his face, leaving his neck white. The Doors have a back-up band for this, giving it added interest.
"Horse Latitudes/Moonlight Drive", from a Jonathan Winters Show telecast, with a bit more of the makeup thing.
"The End". This is a song that is shown in full and is focused on Morrison, and therefore probably the most substantive part of this video, and was filmed at a '68 Hollywood Bowl concert. In this piece, as well as the other clips, he seems to be in a total chemical haze, a poster child for substance abuse...rather like a young and very beautiful Ozzy, and it is rather sad to watch.
"Crystal Ship" is from American Bandstand, and from the early days; more puppy dog than Lizard King.
Tomasso Albinoni's "Adagio in G minor" theme is used as the music for some clips of the group sailing.
"Riders on the Storm" is played during the end titles.
This is good for a trip down memory lane for those of us who were young in the late '60s, but are glad we grew up. It does not have much Lizard King content, and musically it is choppy and the sound often fuzzy. I'd recommend a CD instead. Total running time one hour and 5 minutes.