The Doors

The Doors – or rather Jim Morrison – gave me wet dreams as a teenager growing up in Cape Breton. I can remember drooling over the cover of the first lp as I got caught up in the music. Brilliantly engineered it was impossible to resist. The lyrics were ‘poetry’ & Jim’s voice as so sexually insinuating even my straight friends dug him – not that I was out but I wanted Morrison’s body. To top it off there was Mother I want to …

As stand alone’s I have the First; Strange Days; Live Matrix 1967 2 cds; Waiting For The Sun; The Soft Parade; Morrison Hotel; New York Jan70 – 6 cd; Boston Concerts 1970: 3 cd; LA Woman; An American Prayer. Absolutely Live is part of an mp3 collection with lps of Grateful Dead/ Cat Stevens/Bob Marley/ The Hollies/ Otis Redding/ Bowie/ Pink Floyd.

The first three lps I loved so much – ‘music is your only friend’ caught the angst of being a queer teen with only album covers to turn to for comfort & fantasy. The pressure of fame took its toll on Morrison & he never came to terms with it. I’ve read several bios – some of which refer to his bisexuality & I wonder if that need to keep that hidden contributed to his mental difficulties – he certainly wouldn’t be the first man who dealt with his sexuality by numbing it drugs & booze until it killed him.

The later lps Morrison Hotel, LA Woman are good, more adult in a way. I can tell his lyrics from those of the other members of the band. Let’s face it ‘Love Street’ is insipid pap. American Prayer is sweet & sad. He never got to be the poet thanks to being a rock god.

I was happy when the live material was pulled out of the vaults. Of the sets I love love the Live Matrix 1967 the most – this was a show after they had recorded their first lp, but it hadn’t been released yet & they were working on material for the 2nd lp already. This is The Doors before they became a household word. It sounds like an audience of ten applauding too. Man I wish I had been there for that show even more than for the one where he supposedly flashed his iconic cockDance On Fire

Picture

‘Keep still.’

‘I can’t. June keeps sticking her shoe into me.’

‘June stop that.’

‘I am not sticking my shoe anywhere. Tell Jeff to move his big fat bee-hind out of my way.’

‘Jeff sit over here. June you stand beside him like that. How’s that?’

No one was in anyone’s way for the moment. Why were birthdays always like this? Could they be any other way? Sixteen children, eight parents and at least two grandparents. Why did I do these things? Why? And where where those goddamn clowns?

‘How long do we have to sit still?’

‘Till I get this picture. Okay.’

‘Okay Dad.’

I had to get these pictures taken before the real crush started. Hard enough with my two here and now what was I thinking asking all those others?

‘Where Tommy?’

‘He’s gone to the airport to pick up Gran French.’

‘Gran French! Gran French! You didn’t tell us she would be here.’

‘Now you know. Sit and we’ll get this picture.’

They sat finally. June in her favourite coveralls and t-shirt. Jeff in the same. Different colours. Twins were handful.

I snapped several quick pictures. ‘There I’m done. Now …’

‘Yea. Gran French Gran French is going to be here.’ They sang.

‘When will she get here?’

‘In time for the party.’

Twins at eleven. Why had I let Tom go to the airport and leave me alone with these two? This whole party was his idea. To celebrate the final year before they became teenage runaways. I’d give them the money if I thought would get them out of the house any faster.

‘Thanks Dad. Now you sit here.’

Jeff pushed me to the couch.

‘What? What?’

‘It’s time for your picture. Now sit still. June stand, no you sit on his lap. Don’t make faces either of you. I said sit. Sit still.’

The camera motor clicked.

‘You’ve been such a good Dad you deserve a little treat.’

June hopped off my lap and rushed upstairs. Jeff on her heels. They were back down tumbling over each other.

‘Here.’

‘Here.’

Each of them thrust a card at me. I could see more of Tom’s work behind this.

‘Open mine first.’

‘No mine.’

‘Let’s see if I can open them both at the same time.’

The door bell rang.

‘Gran French! Gran French!’  The two of them rushed to the door.

I knew it wasn’t Gran French as Tom could let himself into the house.

‘’Who is it?’ I called.

Two polka dotted clowns rushed into the room.

‘Clowns!’ June shrieked.

 

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Liona Boyd

Liona’s first lp, Classical Guitar, was a small sensation when it was released in 1977. Canada suddenly had a world-class, stunningly good-looking, female classical star. Long blond hair and seen in public, dating, the likes of Pierre Trudeau. Strangely classical guitar remains male dominated so she’s still an exception there.

glove02 the gloveless life

Now there’s nothing unusually about her choice of material on that first lp – standard classic per material give exceptional playing – I loved the Debussy. This is one of my lp to cd transfers.

mitten Mitt roamer

On the shelf this one and the next include: Ernesto Bitetti: Four Centuries of Spanish Guitar Music; Betho Davezac: Elizabethan Guitar Music; Rodrigo Riera: Renaissance Guitar; Turibio Santos: Five Centuries of French Guitar Music. The tip of my classical guitar iceberg.

glove01 what the right hand knows

Works for or adapted for guitar by Sor, Granados, Debussy, Bach, Chopin, Albeniz and others, scattered through these two cds. I have multiple versions of some of these pieces, from the original piano versions to full orchestral. And some remain my favourites even when done mariachi style or on accordion [shudder].

Strange to say my intro to classical guitar was Asturias by Isaac Albeniz as used by the Doors on Spanish Caravan. So I can thank Jim Morrison for more than a few teenage wet dreams.

sample

That Was No Accident

“You did that on purpose.”

“I did not. Why would I do something like that on purpose.”

“Because you are like that.”

“Like what?”

“Nasty. Mean. Only thinking of yourself.”

“Sounds like you are talking about yourself again. Not that that surprises me. Seems everything comes back to you, doesn’t it.”

“Does not”

“Does too?”

“Why did you do that.”

“I didn’t.”

“What do you mean, ‘you didn’t’? Who else could have?”

“I don’t know, but it wasn’t me.”

“Was too.”

‘You calling me a liar.’

“If the shoe fits ….”

“I’m not going to put with this any longer. If you get any comfort out of thinking I did that, and that I did it deliberately, then you are welcome to think that.”

“Sorry. I just wanted to …”

“I know. Put the blame somewhere else. For all I know you did it.”

“Me! Why?”

“For the same reasons you think I would have done it. Maybe it was an accident.”

“An accident?”

“Yeah some things happen that aren’t anyone’s fault. They just happen.”

“It’s always somebody’s fault. Always. You are just trying to avoid the consequences once again.”

“Consequences. Of what?”

“You know, of your actions – consequences of perhaps apologizing or fixing things.”

“Is that what you are fishing for – someone to do the dirty work for you.”

“Look, someone has already done the dirty work. I want the guilty party to clean up. Is that too much to ask. Or am I going to be stuck with that myself.”

“Looks like you are stuck with it, because I sure as hell didn’t do it and therefore feel no compunction to deal with the aftermath. None at all.”

“How typical of you.”

“Yes. That’s right I am nasty and mean. Isn’t that what you said.”

“I left out self-centred and cruel.”

“Ohh, I’m getting more character as time passes. Here I always thought of myself as being rather dull and uninteresting But self-centred and cruel makes me sound more than interesting. In fact makes me almost as interesting as you.”

“That’ll be the day. Where are you going?”

“Out. I have things to do. People to met. You know. I can’t hang around here all day yakking with you, you know.”

“Great. Just bloody great. Leave me with mess to clean up. A mess, I might add, I am sure you made. But go on. Get out of here. Go. I’ll do it. I’m used to this by now.”

“I am going.”

“I can see that you are. And don’t hurry back. Not unless …”

“I’m not going to hurry back. I am sorry though …”

“What! You are admitting that you did this?”

“No. I did not do it. It was like this when I came into the room. But I am sorry you are so upset by it.”

“The mess doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that you won’t own up to it. Come clean. Honesty is good for the soul. Confess. Get it over with. That’s all you have to do.”

“Have it your way. As I said, if it gives you any comfort to think I did this, then you are welcome to think I did this. You have no one to blame but me. Satisfied.”

“No. I won’t be satisfied till you say ‘I did it. I am the one.’”

“See you later.”

glove03 glove in a dangerous time

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Waiting For The Sun

the beaten path?
the beaten path?

Here’s the other Doors inspired piece I read at the Plasticine open stage –

Waiting For The Sun

what do I remember

I woke up this morning

morning is a time of day

no one knows what time is

the hours get minced into fragments

ground into flickers of recollection

that blink off before the tv sparks up

to chase away true recall

it’s not the forgetting that I mind

it’s not knowing

if the fragments I have

are mine or something I saw on tv

did I drill those holes in the garage

or was that the beaver

was that me the dog saved

or was it timmy

or was it tommy

tommy can you hear me

was it old cape cod

or lucy in the sky

the shift of gauze

the threads of memory

splay across the window

as the breeze plays

through the curtains – lace

did my mother make those for me

did my sister or did I

am I waiting for the sun

or slipping into unconsciousness

…….

stairway to heaven?
stairway to heaven?

This was sparked by waking one morning & not being sure what day it was. Not having a ‘real’ job to get to sometimes days of the week lack that sort of definition. Title seems fitting today, as we all wait for the sun to warm us up here in Toronto – the spring tease of a hot summer.

ants out of my pants
ants out of my pants

The Iconic C**k

more toys in the snow

A couple of people have asked why I’m not posting as much poetry these days – mainly so I can concentrate on getting City of Valleys posted before summer. But here’s one of The Doors pieces I read on the open stage at Plasticine this past Sunday.

Saint Jim

Pere Lachaise

section six section seize

‘seize the moment in section six

you have to seize the moment

saiser l’instant’

Jim starts a new song

‘you have to seize the moment

in section six’

I can hear him shout

through stage fog strobe lights

teeny bopper girls rush the stage

police push them away

as he taunts flaunts teases pleases

scowler prowler

hurt lost shaman

like those silly teeny boppers

I lust after that idol

I wonder what they saw

that day in Miami

if he did flash the iconic cock

I make my way though a light rain

everything is a line in a Saint Jim song

‘making my way

through cemetery rain’

I know he‘s here somewhere

I see mystic marks sprayed

mementos of worship

‘the blue bus stops near here’

the rain stops

and I am there

no monument

only a flat gray space

with a tombstone

his name wrong

James isn’t Jim

beneath my feet his bones

unless they’ve been stolen

relics in sacred altars

for those who think

they can petition this saint

a bunch of faded flowers

some used condom lizard skins

‘lizard skins drying in the sun

show we have seized the moment’

I hear birds

then dozens of people

hiss of cameras

posers smile lean over the tombstone

stoke his name then gone

left alone

I seize my moment

unzip

flash my cock

the only gesture of his I can duplicate

toys in the snow

I seriously doubt that Morrison exposed himself – if he had, photos would have surfaced by now – there aren’t even fakes. I wrote this a few years ago after reading an article about his grave in Pere Lachaise.

3501211-mirror-ball

“Dance on Fire”

Ray Manzarek recently died. I’m listening to the Doors live at the Matrix March 1967. Recorded five months after they recorded their first album but before it was released. Lots from that first album plus material they were working on for Strange Days. It is so sweet to hear live versions of The End and When the Music’s Over. Cool to hear them as a band and not as the icons they too quickly became.

jeans cornered

I remember listening to that first album in my bedroom – amazed by the long version of Light My Fire & totally hot for Morrison. The rest of the group held little interest for me. Ray was a codger on keyboards. So many bands of the time featured that Farfisa organ sound but this was one of the first that was propelled by it.

Ray certainly educated my ear to Brian Auger, Jimmy Smith – that thick juicy jazzy organ sound – which, in part, pumped jazz into my life – guitarists John McLaughlin & Larry Coryell were the other main jazz influences on me before I was overwhelmed by Coltrane.

zapped

Jim was broody, poetic and seemingly dangerous. Regardless of how banal the songs the band sometimes produced he was always compelling. I could always tell his ‘words’ – Rimbeauesque mystical laced phrases ‘secret alphabet’ – when the song sounded like they could be sung by Harpers Bazaar (Love Street) I knew why he was frustrated in losing his artistic openness to financial constraints.

I was numbed by his death – coming in that chain of pop idols: Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Croce. I’m sad that Ray has passed away, too, but know I without Morrison I wouldn’t know who he was. Who reads Verlaine?

jeans in the snow

I’ve read a few bios of Jim – in one (Jim Morrison by Stephen Davis) I find that his bisexuality was no secret but kept out of the press. Knowing the connection between sexuality & suicide I wonder how much that played into his death. I’d highly recommend the Davis bio, as well as Greil Marcus’s ‘The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening.’

‘Music is your only friend’ became an anthem phrase for so many of us, and it still is. A simple, direct, nearly trite statement, that for me, captures so much of the ache of growing up. Your only friend in heterosexist culture when fear made one ‘the stranger’ – in ‘people are strange when you are the stranger’ and I dreaded being tracked down.

paint it black

paint it black