1 9 6 6
= Date Unknown, Date/Playlist, EVENT, Review, Timeline, Link, Quote, Poetry/Lyrics
Late February: London Fog
Audition - West
The Doors audition the London Fog, owned by one Jesse James, on the Sunset Strip and are hired to be the regular house band. The band members earn $10.00 a night and play Thursday - Sunday doing five sets from 9 P.M. - 2 A.M. beginning sometime in late February or possibly early March (DU). For the audition, The Doors made sure all their friends from UCLA came out to go crazy after every song and make them seem like a really popular band with a big draw. It worked and the band was hired on the spot and the next night no one was there, business as usual for the London Fog.
The Doors will be the regular house band here for about two months until financial troubles hit the club sometime in early May (DU). Jim is very shy and sings close to the band mostly with his back turned to the usually small and varied crowds choosing to interact with the band rather than the audience. The time spent here is invaluable for The Doors as it allows them to thoroughly develop there sound and incorporates Jim to slowly become more confident on his way to evolving into a charismatic front man.
Throughout March: London Fog
- West Hollywood, CA
Soon the band is hired for two more nights and Jim, playing six days a week now, starts to become more expressive with each performance. Jim moves out of Ray's and into an apartment with UCLA film friend Phil O'leno.
Throughout April: London Fog - West Hollywood, CA
The Doors continue at the small club honing their skills and original sound. Jim is smoking pot all day, drinking all night, he loves acid and pops speeders when he needs them often while on stage. He is still self conscious performing but the drugs and alcohol help release his unique personality as he begins to repel and attract with his antics both on and off stage. He is stirring up attention and becoming the most talked about singer in LA. The band is hungry for success and advancement and walk up to the premier club on the strip, The Whisky, between sets to see what's going on. Jim seeks out the manager, Ronnie Haran, incessantly and tries to convince her to come see them play.
"We'd all hang out after hours at Canter's Deli on Fairfax. Every freak in town and every band in town. All Zappa's people and all the Doors. All the Byrds, Arthur Lee with his scarves, Buffalo Springfield, the Daily Flash, Sons of Adam. We'd exchange acid, stories, girlfriends and sandwiches. Morrison stood out because he was incredibly handsome and, if he wanted to, he could get very loud. Everybody attracted a different kind of hanger-on, and even then Jim was already attracting the budding little dark poets and little lost waifs."- Jimmy Greenspoon, keyboards for Three Dog Night
Tue. April 5: Timeline - Of Interest
Grayline Tours first include the Haight Ashbury district on their tours of San Francisco.
Fri. April 15: Timeline
- Vietnam War
Draft card law making burning draft cards a federal offense is held unconstitutional.
Sat. April 23: Will
Rogers State Park - Los Angeles, CA
The war in Vietnam is escalating and many people are beginning to make known their feelings against the war. This is called a "No War Toys" gathering in protest of America's increasing involvement.
C O L U M B I A D R O P S T H E D O O R S
Early May: Ford
Motor Company Training Film - Los Angeles, CA (DU)
The Doors no longer under any contracts are hired to provide background music to a Ford training film for mechanics. The Doors compose music for the opening sequence while viewing the film on a small monitor in a tiny studio. They play pieces from what will become "The Soft Parade" in an attempt to convey rural America.
Thu. May 5: London
Fog - West Hollywood, CA (DU)
After persistent ploys by Jim, Ronnie Haran attends her first Doors show at the London Fog and ends up inviting the band to auditions the following Monday. Around this time, The Doors are informed that they will be let go after this weekend's performances by the London Fog due to financial problems and a lack of audience.
Fri. May 6: Warner
Playhouse - Los Angeles, CA
The Doors play this after-hours gig from 2:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. after their London Fog show. The playhouse also features other bands and exotic dancers.
Sat. May 7: Last
Performance at the London Fog - West Hollywood, CA (DU)
This is The Doors final appearance and the London Fog closes shortly after due to financial problems later re-opening as Sneaky Pete's on May 13th.
Sat. May 7(2): Warner Playhouse - Los Angeles, CA
Mon. May 9: Whisky
A Go Go - Audition - West
Hollywood, CA (DU)
This is The Doors first appearance at The Whisky auditioning for the position of house band in which they will open up for the headliners. After this live audition, the owner, Elmer Valentine, likes the band and hires them to be the regular house band. However, The Doors do not begin immediately because they are hard to track down lacking any permanent address. Ronnie Haran finally tracks them down and informs them of their position.
Fri. May 12 - Sat. 13: Brave New World - Hollywood, CA (DU)
The Doors open for Arthur Lee of Love. This club closes down shortly after this performance.
Fri. May 13(2): Warner Playhouse - Los Angeles, CA
"Night Flight" performance from 2:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m.
Fri. May 13(3): Royce Hall Auditorium - UCLA
This is the school's 7th semi-annual exhibition of student films. Ray is among the headliners at this mega-popular event featuring his movie Induction.
Sat. May 14(2): Warner Playhouse
- Los Angeles, CA
"Night Flight" performance from 2:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m.
Thu. May 19: Betty's Music Shop - Venice, CA (DU)
The Doors play for a small crowd hanging outside the music store this afternoon. The Doors begin by looking at some equipment and end up doing a short four or five song impromptu set.
T H E D O O R S B E
G I N T H E I R L E G E N D A R Y S
T A N D A T T H E W H I S K Y A G O G O
( 5 / 2 3 / 6 6 t o 8 / 2 1 / 6 6 )
T H E W H I S K
S I T W A S I N 1 9 6 6
"In May of 1966 I had flown to LA and was picked up at the airport by Ronnie Haran in her white convertible. Arthur Lee was playing the Whisky and expected me to drop by. It was 11pm LA time, 2am New York metabolism time. I was beat, but I went. Arthur urged me to stick around for the next band. Whoever they were, Arthur had a high opinion of them, and I had a very high opinion of Arthur's opinion, so I stayed.
It was the Doors, and
they did nothing for me. There
was another group
that played the Whisky that I had fallen in love with and tried
desperately to sign, Buffalo Springfield, but Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic
was far more convincing. We were a smaller label without Atlantic's
amazing track record of hit singles. Love had gotten my foot in the
rock door, and now I needed a second group to give Elektra more of that
kind of credibility, but the Doors weren't showing it to me.
Jim was lovely to look at, but there was no command. Perhaps I was thinking too conventionally, but their music had none of the rococo ornamentation with which a lot of rock and roll was being embellished-remember, this was still the era of the Beatles and "Revolver," circa 1966. Yet, some inner voice whispered that there was more to them than I was seeing or hearing, so I kept returning to the club.
Finally, the fourth evening, I heard them. Jim generated an enormous tension with his performance, like a black hole, sucking the energy of the room into himself. The bass line was Ray Manzarek playing a second keyboard, piano bass, an unusual sound, very cadenced and clean. On top of Ray, Robby Krieger laid shimmering guitar. And John Densmore was the best drummer imaginable for Jim-whatever Morrison did Densmore could follow, with his jazz drummer's improvisational skill and sensitivity. They weren't consistent and they needed some fine tuning before they would be ready to record, but this was no ordinary rock and roll band.
In my folk days, I would mike voices and instruments very close up, and the records sounded fat and full, the voice popping out, right in front of your living room speakers. I thought that with equivalent miking and proper stereo spacing we could make a virtue of the group's sparseness. Kurt Weill's 'Alabama Song' was a surprise coming from a rock band, and their arrangement impressed me. And when I heard, really heard, Manzarek's baroque organ line under 'Light My Fire,' I was ready to sign them.
- Jac Holzman,
President Elektra Records, Follow The Music
Sat. May 28 - Wed. June 1: Whisky A Go Go - Opening for Love - West
The Doors open shows for Love, featuring Arthur Lee, who have signed with ElektraRecords earlier this year the first band ever signed by Elektra. Love, who formed in April of 1965, released "Little Red Book" this Spring and are receiving national attention and it is "7 and 7 Is" released later in July that will put them on the charts. Both songs are off there debut album simply titled Love.
(DU) Jim's sister Anne visits with her child Dylan.
1966 Photo Credit Anne Morrison, scanned from p. 13 of The Doors on The Doors
Mon. May 30(2): Hullabaloo
- West Hollywood, CA
The Doors open this after-hours performance with "Light My Fire" after their regular gig at the Whisky.
"I just remember that some of the best
we took were in clubs. There's nothing more fun than to play music to
an audience. You can improvise at rehearsals, but it's kind of a dead
There's no audience feedback. There's no tension, really, because in a
with a small audience you're free to do anything. You still feel
be good, so you can't get completely loose; there are people watching.
there is this beautiful tension. There's freedom and at the same time
obligation to play well. I can put in a full day's work, go home
take a shower, change clothes, then play two or three sets at the
man, and I love it. The way an athlete loves to run, to keep in shape."
Thu. June 2 - Fri. 17: Whisky A Go Go - Opening for Them - West
The Doors open for Them (with Van Morrison) for a two week engagement. Van Morrison founded the band in 1965 in Belfast. Them is currently on a West Coast tour that will be their only U.S. tour with Van Morrison who quits the band after their return to Europe. These shows are sellouts and totally awesome! The Doors members had a hard time even finding a place to watch Them on opening night it was so packed! Them plays their popular hits "Gloria", "Baby, Please Don't Go", and "Here Comes the Night". Jim thought very highly of Them as did all The Doors. Jim especially liked Van's usually drunken violent performances in which he would scream and yell while slamming the mic stand into the stage. After the show, Ronnie Haran threw a welcoming party at her apartment for the guys, in which Jim was absent. John attended and saw the other side of Van Morrison - a quiet and sensitive man with little interest in small talk.
Mon. June 6: Timeline
Unmanned spaceship Gemini 9 lands on the moon.
Sat. June 18: Whisky A Go Go -
Them West Hollywood, CA
The Doors appear on-stage with Them at the end of the late show on their last performance of their engagement. The stage is set-up with both bands' full equipment! They play an extended 25 minute version of Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour" and "Gloria" is the 20 minute grand finale. Van Morrison later comments that this performance with The Doors was one of the highlights of his career with Them. The bands played an all ages 4:00 p.m. matinee and late shows on Saturdays and Sundays during this booking.
Wed. June 22 - Wed. July 10: Whisky A Go Go - Opening
for Gene Clark
The Doors reputation continues to grow. Jim is really acting up on stage often appearing crazed and this brings The Doors much attention, especially Jim. People start calling The Whisky asking about The Doors. Jim continues to give X-rated performances while constantly tripping. Jim is mastering the stage while drawing people off the Strip and record companies to the shows.
"He was kinda ahead of his time on certain
things, like swearing . . . But those calls kept coming in. 'When's
that horny motherfucker comin' in' the phones were incredible. We never
got that many calls before for just a second group." Elmer
Valentine, Whisky Owner
Sat. July 16 - Sat. 23: Whisky A Go Go -
The Turtles and First Review
The Doors open for the very popular Turtles who play such hits as "Eve of Destruction" and Dylan's "It Aint Me Babe"off their debut album It Aint Me Babe.There are alot of media here to check out The Turtles this week and The Doors get some extra exposure.
The Doors receive their first review by Los Angeles Times writer Pete Johnson who is attending one of the shows on opening night Sat. July 16th. He is here to primarilly write a review on The Turtles but can't help throwing in his two-cents on The Doors.
Pam backstage at the Whisky 1966 (DU)
Scanned from p. 77 of The Doors on The Doors
"The general idea was to blow the headliners off the stage." (1972)
Wed. July 27: Whisky A Go Go - Opening for The Chambers Brothers and
Thu. July 28: Starlight
Ballroom - Oxnard, CA
Also performing: Them; The Count Five ["Psychotic Reaction"]
shoot near Mullholand Falls, Los Angeles, 1966 (DU)
Photo credit Bobby Klein 1966 scanned from p. 21 of The Doors on The Doors
Thu. July 28(2): Earl Warren
Showgrounds - Santa Barbara, CA
This is the "Mid-Summer Spectacular Show of Shows" and it runs from 7:30 p.m. till midnight and is promoted by James Salzer. Salzer holds the distinction as the first promoter to book The Doors in a larger concert venue. (There's another great trivia question for the hardest of Doors fans!)
The local newspaper, in writing an article about the upcoming show, describes The Doors as "a controversial group in Los Angeles coming to Santa Barbara direct from the 'Whisky A Go Go' in Hollywood". The Doors are already considered "controversial" as far north as Santa Barbara even though they are still only the opening band. Also performing: Them; The Count Five
Fri. July 29 - Sun. 31: The Fifth Estate - Phoenix, AZ (DU)
Mon. Aug. 1 - Thu. 4: Whisky
A Go Go - The Rolling Stones & David Crosby
During this time the Rolling stones are in town for a recording session and stop by to hear The Doors. They are reportedly not very impressed. Also around this time, Jim gets into it with David Crosby who is performing with The Byrds. On the night of Lenny Bruce's death Crosby stops by to hear some music wearing shades throughout the evening. Jim while performing shouts to Crosby that he can't hide behind his sunglasses and an argument ensues. Also performing: Johny Rivers; The Chambers Brothers.
Fri. Aug. 5: Starlight Ballroom - Oxnard, CA
The Doors show up at promoter Salzer's Arcade Record Store to lend support against an ordinance being passed in Oxnard banning dancing in an attempt to thwart the evolution of the current music scene. Also performing: The Seeds
Sat. Aug. 6: Earl Warren Showgrounds - Santa Barbara, CA
The Doors play Salzer's show with The Seeds from 8:00 p.m.- midnight which is held in the Flower Show Building.
Sun. Aug. 7 - Tue. 9: Whisky A Go Go - West Hollywood, CA
Also performing: Johny Rivers; The Chambers Brothers
Thu. Aug. 11 - Sun. 14: Whisky A Go Go - Opening for Love
Mon. Aug. 15 - Sat. 20: Whisky
Go Go - Paul Rothchild Arrives to See The Doors
On August 15th, Paul Rothchild and Jac Holzman come to the Whisky to hear The Doors. After that second set, Holzman and Rothchild approach the band and offer them a contract this very night! The Doors are excited but tell Elektra they need to think it over. Holzman and Rothchild return to New York and The Doors hire Max Fink as their attorney while thinking the deal over. On the 16th, Max Fink and Elektra begin negotiations.
"I came to the club and there was a small crowd, not big. The Doors opened, and I heard one of the worst sets of music I have ever heard in my life. Knowing that the record company always gets to hear the bad sets, and that I had just traveled across the country to hear them, I stayed and heard one of the greatest sets of music I have ever heard in my life!"
H E D O O R S U N O F F I C I A L L
Y S I G N W I T H E L E K T R A
Wed. Aug. 18: The Doors Sign
The Doors sign a contract with Elektra but it isn't until November of this year while touring in New York that they agree on a complete contract specifying seven albums among other details.
"The people said everyone in town was trying to
sign us up, but it really wasn't true . . . in fact, Jac Holzman's
might have been the only concrete offer we had. We may have made him
come up with the best deal possible, but there's no question we weren't
that much in demand." (1969)
T H E B E G I N N I
N G O F T H E W H I R L W I N D
Doors are obviously excited about their new upcoming record deal. They
are about to go into the studio, take a trip to NYC and get kicked out
of the Whisky for obsenities. This is a very magical time for all the
members and their close friends. They are like a huge fiery comet ready
to go as far as their energy will take them. But little do they realize
what awaits them and how fast things will begin to move for all of
them, especially Jim Morrison. This is where I believe the legend
really begins. From this point on it is like going from a 6th grader to
an adult with more responsibilities than you can handle. It's tough for
anyone, any band, especially in such a time as the sixties where excess
is the norm and there is more, more, MORE!!!
Click on the early Elektra
the history of the label and founder Jac Holzman.
F I N A L W H I S K Y P E R F O R M A N C E S - O E D I P A L S E C T I O N
"He was getting crazy, taking acid every day. He was obsessed with death, never did anything in moderation, a consumptive personality. When we parted, he said, 'I'm gonna be dead in two years." Ronnie Haran
And he came to a door,
And he looked inside,
Father? - Yes, son? - I want to kill you
Mother - I want to . . . Fuck you mother all night long
"The End" is the highlight of the sessions recorded in only two takes on consecutive evenings. Later, on the evening of the second take, after singing in total darkness except for a single candle, Jim sneaks back into the recording studio and hoses the whole place down with a fire extinguisher putting out the symbolic fire the band has created on this magical night. Paul Rothchild, back in New York, uses both takes later in editing the song switching between the first and second takes right before the lyric "The killer awoke before dawn..." Jim was too high on acid to really capture the song on the first night, but totally took control on the next, capturing a piece of musical history.
most awe-inspiring thing I'd ever witnessed in a studio."
"When it came time to do 'The End' a very different mood took Jim over. He became shamanistic and led the small group on a shamanistic voyage. He put himself into a trance and, through that, put us all into a trance."
"We didn't start out with such big ideas.We thought we were going to be just another pop group, but then something happened when we recorded 'The End'. We saw that what we were doing was more important than just a hit song. We were writing serious music and performing it in a very dramatic way. 'The End' is like going to see a movie when you already know the plot. It's a timeless piece of material... It was then that we realized we were different from other groups. We were playing music that would last for years, not weeks."
Thu. Sept. 15 - Sun. 18: Bido Lito's - Hollywood, CA (DU)
The Doors had tried to play here in the past and did many auditions but were never booked. Well, after securing a record deal and causing quite a stir on the Strip they are greatly welcome. Since The Doors have just recorded their first album, they are all extremely loose and carefree during these performances. Also performing: The Seeds.
F I R S T P U B L I C I T Y S H O O T
Late September: Publicity Shoot
- Venice, CA (DU)
The Doors take a day out to walk around Venice while being photographed for their first publicity shoot. You can already see the professionalism and seriousness the band takes in portraying their image.
Throughout October: Sunset
Sounds Recording Studio - Los Angeles
The Doors, although not mandatory, take part in the mixing process of the first album with engineer and producer Botnick and Rothchild. The album quickly begins to take shape.
Timeline: Black Panthers - Civil Rights -
Bobby Seale and Huey Newton launch the Black Panther Party in Oakland. The black civil rights movement is becoming more and more extreme. H. Rap Brown "Violence is as American as apple pie", Eldridge Cleaver "You are either part of the problem or part of the solution". Malcom X's more extreme viewpoints are striking a chord with the black community more than Martin Luther King's more passive remarks. White middle class is starting to listen as the panthers dress in berets and black leather jackets like uniforms.
R S T T R I P T O N E W
Y O R K C I T Y
NNew York Skyline 1966
Mon. Oct. 31: Halloween 1966 - The Doors hit New York City
The Doors arrive in NYC and check into the Henry Hudson Hotel on 57th St. They attend an extremely weird Halloween party at Ondine's on the Upper East Side. This is the same place where they will be giving their first East coast performances booked sight unseen and only by reputation as L.A.'s hippest band with a sound unlike anything that is being played in NYC. The Doors will be in NYC for a month playing at Ondine's at night and working with Rothchild on the final mixing of the first album in both stereo and mono. This is completed during this month. Rothchild was nearly half through the final mixes when The Doors arrived in NYC.
Tue. Nov. 1 - Wed. 30: Ondine Discotheque - NYC
A small basement of a club in Midtown Manhattan. The Doors will perform here as their first out-of-town gig. They will play here for a month. The Doors are hired sight unseen with the title as LA's best underground band with a sound unlike anything being played in New York. They were different in every sense. The way they dressed. The way they took the stage. The way they carried themselves arounfd the club and although the music isn't danceable in the classic sense the girls slowly start coming to see Morrison and the band really wins over the New York crowd. Robbie Krieger believes this is the time when The Doors played their best!
The Doors at
Ondine in New York City 1966 (DU)
Photo credit "Backstage" Tom Monaster left; Don Paulsen @ Michael Ochs archive scanned from p. 52 of The Doors on The Doors right
"We were doing
like five sets a night in this club, and we were hot. I wished they
would have recorded us live then."
Robbie Krieger excerpt from Break On Through p. 121
sauntered over to the bar (Morrison) and I thought to myself, if this
guy can recite the phone book he's going to sell a million records . .
. He was gorgeous, magnetic"
Steve Harris, VP of Elektra, on his first encounter of Morrison at Ondine, NYC
T H E D O O R
S S I G N W I T H E L E K T R A
Late November: Photo and Video Shoot - NYC Elektra Studios
The band does a photo shoot for the album cover (DU) and shoots a video towards the end of the month for the upcoming single release "Break on Through" in an Elektra studio with director Mark Abramson.
Early December: The Doors return from NYC
Ray, Dorothy and John decide to drive back together on Route 66. Upon returning, Jim and Pam first move in together at 1812 Rothdell Trail in Laurel Canyon. They spend some of their happier days here although they are broke. Jim writes the song "Love Street" while staying here about Pamela and the nearby Canyon Country Store. They do alot of drugs and many dangerous things together always trying to scare each other. John and Robby also get a place together in Laurel Canyon.
Thu. Dec. 8: Jim Morrison's 23rd Birthday
Fri. Dec. 9 - Sat. 10: The Sea Witch - Hollywood, CA
Fri. Dec. 16 - Sat. 17: The Sea
Witch - Hollywood, CA
Sat. Dec. 31: Private Residence - Montecite, CA (New Year's Eve)
The Doors bring in the New Year playing at a private party - 1967 will be quite a year!
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