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Morrison Trips Under Airplane's Aegis
on March 19, 2009
This DVD covers The Doors' European tour in late 1968. They were accompanied by The Jefferson Airplane on the tour, and The Airplane's Grace Slick and Paul Kantner are the commentators. We see Jim Morrison get off the airplane (an actual one) and flash a great eye-contact smile at the camera after saying he is "Jim." It is cool how, before the same camera, Ray Manzarek, in dark glasses, looks just like Chuck Norris did in "The Way of The Dragon" (in which Chuck faced off against Bruce Lee).
Most of Slick's and Kantner's comments are delivered early on. Grace pays tribute to Jim as a singer and performer, citing his natural manner vs. the posturing of other performers. However, she points out that while they were in Amsterdam, Jim accepted any drug offered to him by fans on the street and got so stoned that he could not perform that night except to interrupt The Airplane's performance of "Plastic Fantastic Lover." Some footage of Jim dancing around is cool to see.
Setting aside that lapse, Jim is shown performing with skill in various locales, intensely posing and gripping the mike, and using his whole face and head to bellow the words out. His eyes may be closed or open, he may be still or moving, but he is always interesting to watch. He does some pretty wild roaming around the stage performing "Light My Fire" at London's Roundhouse Theatre. By contrast, the Denmark TV performance of "The Wasp (intro)/Love Me Two Times" shows Jim at his professional best.
The last sentence of the Amazon.com Editorial Review above states The Doors performed a "silly version" of "Hello I Love You" before "a baffled crowd on a London street." How does the reviewer account for the West German flag in the background? Jim is lip synching the song for the "4-3-2-1 Hot & Sweet" West German TV Show on September 13, 1968, and the crowd is certainly not baffled. Do an Internet search for "Frankfurt Romer Square" and see for yourself.
All the Roundhouse clips that dominate this DVD (along with the de-planing scenes I referenced above) are in "The Doors Are Open." Also, "The Wasp/Love Me Two Times" and the Romer Square performance are on "The Doors Collection." If you already have those, you would essentially be purchasing this DVD for the non-Roundhouse parts of "When the Music's Over" and the mixed clips of "The Unknown Soldier"; there are no rare performances of songs. The passage of time and aggregation of Doors material have eroded my rating for this DVD from four stars to three.