May 202013


Bummer, man. No joke. Ray Manzarek, Doors keyboardist and Tonto to Jim Morrison’s Stoned Ranger, has died after a battle with bile duct cancer.

RayMan, as he was known to at least a few of us, brought much joy and laughter to the Halls of Rock—not to mention some actually cool musical contributions, both with the Doors and as producer of the essential albums by X!

The guy’s insufferable proselytizing of his allegedly late partner in crime and their band’s works began to charm me as the years passed. It’s rare that an artist is willing to talk in detail about the process of making music—and do so with an enthusiasm and belief in the greatness of his or her mates’ achievements that is usually only expressed among fellow bandmates. Let’s face it, whether it’s the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, X, Jedward, or Nixon’s Head hunkered in their rehearsal space or studio, hammering out their latest creations, musicians experience a sense of godliness during the creative act. Most gods have the good sense to keep details of their creative process mysterious; Manzarek practically ran down Mount Olympus to tell us how the magic was made…man. We’ve got to learn how it’s done somehow.

Over time, the loyalty and love shown toward friends count for a lot, too. You know what I’m talking about, E. Pluribus Gergely!

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Jun 082011

When I’m watching a movie, especially a rock movie, I”m not usually a stickler for historical accuracy, anachronisms, continuity, and the like, but the period films of Oliver Stone have a special place in my critical eye based on Stone’s unbelievably shoddy use of spirit glue and fake facial hair and wigs. I can’t watch The Doors or Born on the Fourth of July, for instance, without being completely distracted by the seeping spirit glue running down the actors’ fake sideburned cheeks. If I had my druthers I’d invite you over tonight and spend the evening screening these films and cutting up on just this topic, but today I’d rather have us turn our critical eye on the following clip from Stone’s Doors flick.

Click on this formative scene (sorry, you’ll need to click the link because all versions of this classic excerpt I can find on YouTube prohibit embedding – we wouldn’t want to mess with Stone’s vision, you know) from the Book of Doors. At one point I’m pretty sure I noticed a blatant anachronism, one way worse than the occasional woman with a poofy, early ’90s hairdo. What is it that I immediately tuned into?

Some of you are much better tuned into this stuff than me. Why don’t you join me in identifying other anachronisms and whatnot?

Make sure you don’t get a whiff of that spirit glue!


The Gay Doors

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Mar 072011

While watching a bit of American Idol the other night (not a regular occurrence in my house, but we do flip by) Brett Loewenstern did a very, um, interesting cover of The Doors’ “Light My Fire.” (Note: the actual singing begins around the 0:30 mark.)

For the rest of the evening, I kept mulling over other Doors tunes that could be done gay cabaret style. “People Are Strange” and “Backdoor Man,” obviously. You could reverse the Oedipal drama of the “The End” and, although I’m not sure how the rest of the song would work, The Gay Doors could go all Freddy Mercury dramatic on the Mr. Mojo Risin part of “LA Woman.” “LA Dragqueen,” anyone?

There are a few other examples of bands playing covers in an unlikely style. Dread Zeppelin and Lez Zeppelin as well as that group that re-records classic albums like Dark Side of the Moon and Sgt Pepper as reggae records. This is not always done as a joke, as in Seu Jorge’s Brazillian-flavored Bowie songs, featured in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zazou. He has more recently done a nice cover of Michael Jackson‘s “Rock With You.”

Can you think of any other bands ripe for this treatment? Or even a more complete setlist for The Gay Doors?

Jan 292011

Sounds of the Hall in roughly 33 1/3 minutes!

In tonight’s edition of Saturday Night Shut-In, Mr. Moderator calls on The Power & Glory of Rock to remind him that it’s all right. Along the way he predicts that 2011 will be The Year of the Female-Fronted Band. Finally, a recently pardoned listener emerges from lord knows where to confirm that the show’s request line has finally been repaired.

[audio:|titles=RTH Saturday Night Shut-In, episode 13]

[Note: The Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player. In fact, you can even set your iTunes to search for an automatic download of each week’s podcast.]

Dec 312010

December brought a wealth of strong contenders:

Townsman Oats, from the Weezer thread:

As for writing about the same subject matter as Lou Reed, I wasn’t aware that once Lou covered a topic as it was meant to be covered, that meant the topic was then off-limits to all other songwriters, as there was no possible way anyone could ever find something new to say about something Lou already wrote about. Maybe Rivers should have been completely tone-deaf, grown a mullet and hired some jazzbo sidemen.

Townsman hrrundivbakshi had this spot-on analysis of the Cut the Crap-era Joe Strummer interview.

However, the winner of December’s Comment of the Month award goes to Townsman gregg, who first checked in with long-lost cousin as part of our report on Jim Morrison’s pardon. More recently, he followed up with an old friend, who it turned out was the eyewitness he had in mind. For his dogged pursuit of The Truth and, better yet, the rekindling of old friendships, and because of its historical relevance, this latest follow-up is our winner! Congratulations, gregg, and make sure your cousin and friend share in your honors!

I was there with my ex wife at the concert. Everybody made a big deal out of Jim Morrison pulling it out on stage. No one did anything to the girls that were exposing themselves in front of the stage. They were throwing bras and underwear up on the stage at Jim. He was feeling the mood! The view (the girls) was wonderful for me. The concert itself was terrible. It was the worst I had ever heard from them. They sang almost every song off key. Jim was really drunk. At the same time this was going on, they were rioting outside. They had oversold the concert and people were trying to crash the gate.

Dec 182010


Looking back over a week in which we lost Captain Beefheart and relocated our old friend Jimbo… Let’s just rock, shall we?

[audio:|titles=RTH Saturday Night Shut-In 7]

[Note: Subscribing to the Rock Town Hall feed will enable you to easily download Saturday Night Shut-In episodes to your digital music player. In fact, you can even set your iTunes to search for an automatically download each week’s podcast. Let us know if you have any questions.]


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