They haven't heard it in one piece for a long time, John Densmore and Robby Krieger smile at the eclipsed date in Los Angeles. That would certainly not be because the Doors' debut would be unpleasant for them today. "We played the pieces so often that we could even take them backwards," Krieger laughs. And the 71-year-old continues: "When I happen to hear us driving a car on the radio, I turn up the volume because I'm incredibly proud of it." Which the guitarist has every reason to do. Because what the group recorded in August 1966 on just six days is a milestone. A work that has sold twenty million copies, has been reprinted several times and still sounds magical.
Magical because of its sound, which is based on a simple live performance without overdubs, but also because of a band that skilfully moves between rock, jazz, blues and cabaret or shines with their abilities: here the charismatic Morrison, who sings his soul out of his body, there the super-tighte trio, consisting of exceptional musician Ray Manzarek, who lets classical music and blues flow in, Robby Krieger, an expert for Latin- and Psychedelic Rock, as well as John Densmore, who even drums Bossa Nova in "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" without noticing it. "It's the rhythm of 'The Girl From Ipanema' by Antônio Jobim. One of my absolute favourite songs", grins the white-haired old hippie. "Because this Brazilian thing was incredibly popular at the time, I played around with what the others thought was great. You just had a sense of humor."
This can also be seen on the cover versions of the album. On the one hand the "Alabama Song" by Brecht/Weill from 1927, which was conceived as a Martin Luther parody. On the other hand, Willie Dixon's "Back Door Man", a Chicago blues with clearly ambiguous lyrics. "It's about women, as in any good blues. That they'll twist your head and make fun of you. So that you can't go with them, but also not without them, the old song", grient Krieger. "And Jim liked the blues. And he liked women."
Testosterone-impregnated texts such as "Twentieth Century Fox" or "Light My Fire", which revolve around particularly attractive copies of the genre woman, testify to this. They are confessions to sexuality and lust that are completely absent from modern rock music, which is why the remaining Doors show little enthusiasm for the here and now. "Rock music should be wild and rebellious," philosophises Krieger. "She should explore boundaries, flirt with morality, and attack the old conservative. It doesn't exist anymore. The world is lethargic and consumer-oriented. This is also reflected in art: it has no message, no bite, no depth."
The Doors were quite different: instead of concentrating on singles - as was customary until the mid-sixties - they used the LP format and tried to create an eleven-song course that sends the listener on a journey, shakes him awake and sensitizes his grey cells. "We were never explicitly political, with the exception of 'Unknown Soldier', which was an appeal to common sense," Krieger said. "We didn't have any messages, we just wanted to give impulses. Like in 'The End', where we captured the dark and threatening of that time. So the entry of the USA into the Vietnam War, which cost tens of thousands of lives. Or 'Break On Through', which called for overcoming hatred and violence and creating a better, new America through the civil rights movement. That's what we believed, and Jim wrapped it up in wonderful poetic lyrics." The keyword for Densmore: "They were lyrics that did not yet exist in rock music. Before Jim Morrison, it was all about harmless teen bullshit. But suddenly there was poetry, there was content that made you think and was performed by a grandiose baritone voice. And Jim never had singing lessons. He could neither play an instrument nor read notes. "Yet he had all these songs in his head