1 9 6 5
Note: Some of the dates this year are estimates while using some dated guidelines. This is by far the vaguest year according to actual dates because the events are not documented like they are through concert dates and record releases. However, through exhaustive research, I feel that these events are very close to the actual date.
= Date Unknown, Date, EVENT, Review, Timeline, Link, Quote, Poetry/Lyrics
Throughout the site pictures are placed like above as previews to
photos of events you may access via links in upcoming months. They are
up into quarterly segments unless otherwise noted.
N T H E B E G I N N I N G
"I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps 'Oh, look at that!' Then whoosh, and I'm gone... and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me - ever." - Jim Morrison
Thu. July 8: Jim and Ray Come Together - Venice Beach, CA
(DU - Some people believe this encounter took place in August, as it is written in many books, but it is highly unlikely due to the first hand account of Ray, as the one that was there, and who has always claimed to remember this event very well and has always said July)
After receiving a Bachelor's degree in
cinematography from UCLA and living on friend Dennis
Jacob's rooftop, Jim Morrison runs into his fellow film school
graduate Ray Manzarek on Venice
Beach this afternoon around 1:00 p.m. and the idea of a band is
formulated after Jim sings a couple of his songs in this order
"Moonlight Drive", "My Eyes Have Seen You" and "Summers Almost Gone"
Let's swim to the moon
Let's climb through the tide
Penetrate the evening
That the city sleeps to hide
Let's swim out tonight, love
It's our turn to try
Parked beside the ocean
On our moonlight drive.
Jim tells Ray he wants to call the band The Doors, with reference to the William Blake line: "If the doors of perception were cleansed man could see things as they truly are, infinite". The idea of using the name is also in association to Aldous Huxley and his book The Doors of Perception which Ray digs as both of them are experimenting with drugs and expanding their consciousness. Huxley's book is primarily about his experiences and accounts of taking mescaline. While staying on the rooftop, Jim would take acid daily, which is legal at this time and available at the local head shop, and rarely come down off the roof while writing constantly and eating very little.
"There are things known and things unknown and in between are The Doors." - Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison wants to be
door by which others can experience the unknown and ultimately change
persons/society's way of thinking by becoming open to all things
possible. He wants to change the world's narrow perceptions and has
given over his life, willingly as sacrifice, to be the one to do
so. He will pass through the door with the fear of death gone and
along side an awakening of something greater
"But the man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less cocksure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable Mystery which it tries, forever vainly to comprehend." - Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception, last paragraph
Jim knows what he has to do and he will never do anything in moderation again. He believes that by ravaging the soul he can attain the unknown and holds strong to another Blake line - "The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom". His accepted job, as a college graduate entering manhood, is to be the one to go out on the edge and bring his visions back to society, not unlike a shaman in a tribe, but the price he has to pay will be the greatest one of all. Jim also wants deeply to be remembered for what he is about to do and has a strong desire to be remembered long after he is gone like many of his idols; writers and poets. He sees poetry and writing as a way to eternal life and his plan is to use his words combined with music to reach the masses and change the world.
We want the world and we want it, now, now,
"I had been friendly with Jim at UCLA, and we talked about rock 'n' roll even then. After we graduated, he (Jim) said he was going to New York. Then, two months later, in July, I met him on the beach in Venice. He said he had been writing some songs, so we sat on the beach and I asked him to sing some of them. He did, and the first thing he tried was 'Moonlight Drive'. When he sang those first lines - 'Let's swim to the moon/Lets climb through the tide/Penetrate the evening/That city sleeps to hide' - I said: 'That's it.' I'd never heard lyrics to a rock song like that before. We talked a while before we decided to get a group together and make a million dollars." - Ray Manzarek
" R i c k a n d t h e R a v e n s "
Jim writes lyrics to songs wherever he roams while constantly expanding his mind and his vocal style. Jim is not a great singer at first but he does have a strong desire to get better and with his strong rich voice and good pipes it's only a matter of time. Ray strongly believes in Jim and it is this commitment that gives Jim the confidence he needs to develop into one of the greatest rock singers of all time.
This Month: Timeline - Music
The Beatles release Help!, Dylan releases Highway 61 Revisited, and the single "Eve of Destruction" is topping the charts.
Wed. Aug. 11 - Mon. Aug. 16: Timeline - Civil Rights
The Watts Riots breakout in Los Angeles following the arrest of an unemployed black man on charges of drunken driving. 34 persons are killed, 1,032 injured, and 3,952 are arrested during the five day riot. Fire damage and property loses total over 215 million dollars.
Fri. Aug. 13: Timeline - Music
The Beatles play Shea Stadium to 55,000 and Marty Balin, singer and songwriter of The Jefferson Airplane, co-opens The Matrix in San Francisco.
D R U M M E R J O H N D E N S M O R E J O I N S T H E B A N D
Fri. Aug. 20: John Densmore - Joins
The Doors (DU)
John Densmore, while attending college and uncertain of his major, is given a call from Ray Manzarek to come to his parents house to play drums with the band. John and Ray know each other somewhat from a meditation class they both attend regularly.
John is currently working with a band called the "Psychedelic Rangers" with friend Robby Krieger. John meets a shy Jim Morrison and likes the originals more than the covers the band is practicing. He is intrigued by Jim's self-consciousness and provocative mysterious lyrics and after a few rehearsals decides to join the band two weeks prior to cutting a demo.
"So Ray finally did call me and I went down to his
parents' garage in Manhattan Beach, although he lived in Venice.
There wasn't any music. It was just Jim's words. Ray said,
'This is Jim, the singer.' He had never sung. But they
showed me some of the lyrics and I was attracted to them. Songs
like 'Moonlight Drive' and 'Soul Kitchen' were real out there, yet I
could see the fluidity and rhythm to them and right away thought, 'God,
put this to rock music? Yeah! . . . I'll rehearse for a while and see
what happens." - John Densmore
"There was this blond guy with glasses and a Japanese girlfriend. At the end of the session he said he'd heard I was a drummer and asked if I'd like to join a rock 'n' roll band. And then he said a curious thing. He said he'd call me in a few months because the time wasn't right yet. And I thought, 'Gee, that's pretty cosmic. Far out.'" - John Densmore
Note: The time came sooner than expected and John was asked to join the band in a few weeks.
"It's like gambling somehow, You go out for a night of drinking and you don't know where your going to end up the next day. It could work out good or it could be disastrous. It's like the throw of the dice." - Jim Morrison
Thu. Aug. 26: Timeline - Vietnam War
This is the last day marrying can improve your draft status.
Sun. Aug. 29: Timeline -
The Beatles play The Hollywood Bowl.
Tue. Aug. 31: Timeline - Vietnam War
LBJ signs the Selective Service Act making draft card burning a federal offense.
Thu. Sept. 2: World Pacific
Jazz Studios - Los Angeles, CA
"Rick and the Ravens" have some free studio time coming from a trade off on an Aura Records deal. The Doors (without Robby Krieger) cut a demo which sounds very little like The Doors with a very young sounding Jim Morrison. The six songs on the demo are all Morrison originals. The band immediately begins to locally shop the demos around after the three hour session. Jim is delighted after hearing his voice on a record for the first time.
"Hello I Love You"
"Summers Almost Gone"
"My Eyes Have Seen You"
"End of The Night"
"Go Insane (A Little Game)"
"Actually, I think the music came to my mind first and then I made up the words to hang onto the melody, some kind of sound. I could hear it, and since I had no way of writing it down musically, the only way I could remember it was to try and get words to put to it. And a lot of times I would end up with just the words and couldn't remember the melody." - Jim Morrison
Sun. Sept. 4: Jim Writes His
Parents in London (DU)
Around this time, Jim writes his parents in London disclosing his plans to sing with a band. Jim's father, an admiral in the navy, vehemently disagrees with Jim's choice and is very upset with his son. He writes Jim back conveying his objection while mentioning paying for four years of college, Jim abandoning his piano lessons as a child, never caroling with the family, and most importantly mentioning the band will never amount to anything. Jim never saw his father after this point and probably never had any contact either verbally or in letter. Jim was on his own. He would however stay in touch with his brother Andy and more so with sister Anne.
got transfered to London in 1965 [Adm. Morrison was on the staff of the
commander in chief, Naval Operations, Europe], and my dad annd Jim had
a falling out because Jim wanted to go into music or borow some money.
And I didn't hear from him for two years." - Andy Morrison, Jim's
younger brother p.14 The Doors by The Doors
called me and told me he was going on the road with a rock band. I told
him it was ridiculous. I said, "You're not a singer. You can't sing."
He never had. Driving across country, we all liked to sing. It was just
to pass the time. I didn't think any of us had a voice. I said,
''You're on the wrong track here. Get yourself a job. That's not a job."
Amiral Steve Morrison p. 14 The Doors by The Doors
Adm. Morrison is said to have written in his letter back to Jim "I think it's a crock,"
"Some people surrender their freedom willingly but others are forced to surrender it. Imprisonment begins with birth. Society, parents they refuse to allow you to keep the freedom you were born with. There are subtle ways to punish a person for daring to feel. You see that everyone around you has destroyed his true feeling nature. You imitate what you see." - Jim Morrison
Mon. Sept. 5: Timeline - Of Interest
Writer Michael Fallon coins the term "hippie" in describing the San Francisco counterculture.
G U I T A R I S T R O B B I E K R I E G E R J O I N S T H E B A N D
Late September: Robby Krieger - Joins
The Doors (DU)
Uncertain and dissatisfied with the direction of the band Rick and Jim Manzarek decide to quit returning to school. John asks friend Robby Krieger to play guitar with the band. Robby is a talented guitar player who can play many styles including a mean bottleneck that Jim loves immediately and asks him to play on every song they rehearse. Robby likes the feel of the music and continues to play with the band quitting his other band The Clouds and becoming the final member completing the group.
The band rehearses for the first time together with Robby at friend Hank Olguin's garage behind a Santa Monica Greyhound bus depot in Venice. According to Robby, the first song they ever did together was "Moonlight Drive". The band rehearses one more time with Robby at Hank's and a third time at Robby's parents house in which Jim did not show up because he had gone on an adventure with some friends to Arizona but only got as far as Blithe, CA in which he got into a bar fight with some bikers and was arrested. The band members had called around looking for Jim and found out about the trouble he had got into and went to bail him out of jail. (info - Doors 40tth Anniversary Interview 2007)
"In the beginning we were creating our music, ourselves, everynight...starting with a few outlines, maybe a few words for a song. Sometimes we worked out in Venice, looking at the surf. We were together a lot and it was good times for all of us. Acid, sun, friends, the ocean, and poetry and music." - Jim Morrison
Fall: Timeline - Fashion
Mini-skirts appear nationwide in stores.
"One day late in '65, I came back from
and there were these guys waiting for me. It was them, The
They had a quality that attracted me to them immediately. I guess
they appealed to the snob in me because they were UCLA graduates and I
thought, 'Great, here are some intellectual types getting involved with
rock 'n' roll.'
They played me an acetate of several songs they'd recorded. The
music was so raw, so basic, so simplistic, so unlike anything I was
It intrigued me that they could combine this sort of music with such
interesting lyrics." - Billy James
"It's incredible they got a deal off that first demo, because they almost sounded incompetent. The female bass player is like a full beat behind on everything." - Bill Siddons
The band gets a few rare gigs at bar mitzvah's, weddings, and fraternity parties leaning heavily on a few easily recognized songs such as "Louie, Louie" and "Gloria" while occasionally slipping in one of their own compositions. Jim is too shy to sing most of the songs where Ray handles the vocals and Jim punctuates the music with a harmonica or yelling "Yeah!" or "Drive on!" occasionally.
Fri. Nov. 5: Pioneer Club Boat Ride - Los Angeles, CA (DU)
This is one of The Doors earliest engagements outside of frat parties and playing for friends.
Fri. Nov. 19: Hughes Aircraft Union Dance - Los Angeles, CA (DU)
Jim and Thor (Ray's brother's doberman) on an abalone hunt with Ray, Dorothy and Ray's mother. (DU) Jim was still staying at Ray and dorothy's at this time.
Photo Credit Ray Manzarek. Scanned from p. 15 of The Doors on The Doors
The Doors begin auditioning in various small clubs, but are continuously turned down for either being too different or having no bass player. The band auditions bass players but none fit the mold. Ray, while auditioning for a gig, finds a unique Fender Rhodes piano bass organ which Columbia picks up the bill for. The Doors sound is finalized.
In that year we had a great visitation of energy
w . d o o r s h i s t o r y . c o m