John Densmore, a white-haired 70-year-old, takes a deep breath: "When Jim was in Paris, we continued to work on new songs that we wanted to record with him when he returned," said the Doors drummer. "The longer he stayed in France, the more material it became. When we got the news of his death, we were in the studio. My first reaction was: He's probably drunk on the beach in Haiti. Then we continued to play until we realized the full implications."
It had been a huge shock. "But already after a few days we went on. The music had a healing effect on us. So it was clear that we had to continue the band and at least release these songs." Which happened less than three months after Morrison died. First with "Other Voices", which contains some great numbers with the expressive "Tightrope Ride" and the cool "I'm Horny, I'm Stoned" and is very doors-typical. Only: Jim's singing is missing at all corners and ends. Which the remaining three must have been aware of. After all, the last number is called "Hang On To Your Life" and shines with the line: "Life ain't so easy when you're on your own".
But a sobering 31st place in the US Billboard charts did not stop Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek from trying again the following year with "Full Circle" and an advance into funk and jazz. A colossal flop, despite the funny "The Mosquito" and a successful European tour. "We did our best, but that wasn't enough. We couldn't replace Jim." That's why they set out to find prominent replacements. They talked to Iggy Pop, Paul Rodgers, Joe Cocker and even Paul McCartney, but got one rejection after the other. "Nobody wanted to follow in Jim's footsteps. And in retrospect, I understand that, too. "It would have been simply impossible to have the Ascension Command."