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The Doors Summer's Gone Paperback – March 14, 2018
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"Awesomely original, they were an unpredictable, exciting, visionary energy for a new world that never quite came to be."
"Unless you lived through the Psychedelic Revolution, you can't fully overstand (sic) that experience."
"We all know there were secrets to the Doors."
A fan of the Doors? Then you might want to check out this new book (hot of the press in March '18) from Harvey Kubernik, author of "Canyon Of Dreams", "Turn Up The Radio!", "1967 A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love", and other books.
The book is filled with interviews (Manzarek, Krieger, Densmore) plus other insiders including poets, musicians, songwriters, filmmakers, studio engineers, and many others who have something interesting to say about the Doors. Plus there's pieces from Steven Van Zandt, Peter Lewis (Moby Grape), Ram Dass, Kim Fowley, Jac Holzman, Chris Darrow (member of Kaleidoscope and good albums under his own name), Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Burton Cummings, D.A. Pennebaker, Bruce Botnick, and many others. Some have appeared elsewhere but a number of these pieces have never been in print or online. Plus there's things like Kubernik's piece on the Doors never released '68 film, "Feast Of Friends" which is out on DVD and blu-ray.
For fans of the Doors this is a worthwhile addition to your Doors bookshelf. Kubernik does his usual good job (like the books mentioned above) of putting together an interesting and informative book about the band from many viewpoints. While there's nothing really startlingly new here, the interviews and essays give a good look from many perspectives about the band.
The trade size softcover is laid out in an easy to read and digest format, with b&w photos interspersed throughout the book.
Also check out Kubernik's book "Inside Cave Hollywood: The Harvey Kubernik Music InnervViews and Interviews Collection Vol. 1", which has some pretty interesting interviews from a broad spectrum of L.A. music /scene people. This too is well worth reading for fans of the region's music. I also thought I'd mention an older book (published in the early '90s I believe), "This Is Rebel Music", which is another book of interviews that's pretty interesting for music fans.
For me, however, the difference in this book, as matched against all the other books on The Doors, is that this collection also includes and belongs to the fans. I love the fans and the glorious memories they share. Three stand out.
(1) The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings’ memorable first night in Los Angeles, careening with “drinking Jim” from the Strip over the hills to the Valley and Burton’s long walk back from Ventura Boulevard to his hotel in Hollywood, as Jim and two accompanying girls disappeared down a Valley road.
(2) The bitter sweet regret of Australian David N. Pepperell, record store owner in Melbourne, at never getting to see The Doors play live coupled with the joy of experiencing the band through various media.
(3) Marina Muhlfriedel’s painteresque ditching school and shopping for Doors albums, then experiencing the Hollywood Bowl and seeing “the dart of Jim’s eyes, a momentary flaring of his hands. I feel his impatience, his not quite fitting the confines of his skin.” Fabulous words that capture Jim at the Bowl as sharply as a camera and leave her floating “all the way down Sunset Boulevard, buzzed on adrenaline.”
I wish my buzz with this journey could be 100%, but as with any overview, so much depends on the memories of those reporting the incidents to the editor and/or interviewer. Sometimes memory fails.
Normally, ‘fact getting king of interviews,” the Los Angeles Times’ Kirk Silsbee, gets things 100% right. This time he relied on sources that sadly served him ill in “Thee Experience.” There were a few discrepancies, but I will pick one. It was not waitress, Jaki Read, who first saw the telex in Elektra’s office on July 5th reporting Morrison's death on July 3,1971 in Paris. It was the late Sally Stevens who actually worked at Elektra. Morrison had black-balled her job search in the record business for a full year, after she almost dashed a tray into his nose during the incident at Thee Experience. Later, Paul Rothchild found her a home and career at Elektra Records. Stevens documented the episode in an online blog, before she died.
Kurt Ingham’s visit with Jim Morrison and me to The Phone Booth, after shooting pictures for my Circus Magazine interview with Morrison, placed two brilliant wits against each other that afternoon. They hit it off so well, that I became the invisible third person at the table, as the two tossed Italian words at each other like whirling pizzas. I still have the paper on which I scribbled their epic battle. It was a priceless afternoon, so very, very long ago!
Other than my two “just the facts” quibblettes, this celebration of The Doors is a golden explosion of words that leaves me craving more. This is not necessarily a “turn the page” book. Its glory is that you can pick any page at random and savor the experience as written and collected by journalist/writer, Harvey Kubernik. Start with fan, Marina Mulfriedel. She’s wonderful and will put you in the mood for more!
With Harvey Kuberniks’ recently released tome, we finally get to the reality of the inner workings of this legendary band.
Culled from interviews with onsite witnesses, band members, friends, other band members, label executives, and disc jockeys, we are given insight into this unique musical phenomenon. Sure, Jim Morrison gave the press plenty of fodder to fill books for lifetimes to come, but Kubernik wisely steers away from these well-worn stories, and delves into the mechanics of the band from all perspectives.
At two hundred twenty-two pages, Summer’s Gone is a quick, entertaining read, with the real story of the four men who put the L.A. music scene of the 60s on the cultural map.