Jim later said this second Roundhouse show was the Doors' zenith performance. In the States, they're there to enjoy themselves as much as they came to hear you.
But at the Roundhouse, they were there to listen. It was like going back to the roots. It stimulated us. They took me by surprise, because I expected them to be little resistant, a little reserved. We'd been cautioned there might be hostility toward an American group.
But they were fantastic, is all I can say. It was probably the most informed, receptive audience I've ever seen in my life. I think I enjoyed the Roundhouse more than any other date for years. It was not like Filmore East in March, The crowds were very excited and exciting. The place was a fantasy, considering Album) former use of it. The music was good because we were on show in an entirely new place. The guys wanted things to go well and so they did until Amsterdam.
It is most difficult to tell you why and what made a really smashing Doors show. They just happened. Location, audience, time of week or month - who knows. You could not tell it was coming but you sure did know when it happened. Also, Jim was relatively sober. That was one Major Factor. At first our records were underground favourites, but by the third album "Hello, I Love You" was a hit across the Atlantic- So in August of '68, off we went for two weeks to conquer England and Europe.
On the eleven-hour flight my mind wandered between looking at the polar icecaps and daydreaming. I decided to add to my muttonchop sideburns and grow a mustache.
Something to do on the long plane ride. I looked over at Robby; he had plugged the movie headphones into his electric guitar and was playing up a storm. I got up to take another walk up and down the aisles.
The plane wasn't full so our entourage was spread all over the place. Jim was sacked out across five seats in the center aisle, and Dorothy was sitting all alone in the bussines section watching Goodbye, Mr. Must have been a tearjerker. In London we played the Roundhouse, an old circular barn in a northwest suburb called Chalk Farm. It held a few thousand people, and we were there for two nights with the Jefferson Airplane. Someone told me that Paul McCartney was there, but I didn't see him.
It was packed; the "West Coast" sound comes to England. The Airplane played for two and a half hours. San Francisco groups were notorious for not being able to get offstage without Album) forever. Maybe it had something to do with drugs! They must have thought they were playing in slow motion. That night Jim was on and we played our asses off. Best performance on tape. I felt totally concentrated during both sets. Since we opened the first night, I insisted we go on last the second night.
It was supposed to be equal billing. We went on second. About this time I felt I was developing a sense of where the audience was at during a concert. It was like having an antenna out and being extra sensitive to the audience's feelings - as a whole - as if they were one giant being. If the audience were getting bored or wanted a change of pace, which was an instant feedback on your performance, I not only sensed it early, I figured out what song would be good to play next instead of the one planned, to take them to a different level.
In Copenhagen we started fighting in front of everybody over what to play next, but it was worth it to me. Ray and I immediately looked dissapointed. Jim always wanted to play it now. Robby was noncomittal, and all of a sudden, Ray started "Soul Kitchen. No one seemed to have the initiative to get a piece of paper and figure out a set to play, so the job landed in my lap. At the press party in London, Jim dazzled the reporters with his rhetoric. He controlled the conversation with long pauses between each sentence while he weighed his answers.
You could see the wheels turning in his head as he took the maximum time tolerable in answering. I like to try to find some humor in my answers. A riporter asked me about the blending of rock and jazz. I said "It could never happen, but if it could, we're it! Ray responded confidently to the interviews, sometimes in long roundabout ways. He would work himself into a place where he evaded the question entirely and said what he wanted.
He gave a short answer to one question. Jim smiled back. I felt it was a glib, irresponsible half reply. I decided right then to give a donation to the TM movement in hopes that other young people would be exposed to meditation.
TM helped me survive the drug scene; maybe others could benefit. Robby hardly said anything. He just twisted a starnd of his frizzy brown hair and evasively kept quiet. I knew he had thoughts about all these questions but he was too shy. I was standing outside the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, waiting for limousines to take us to the Roundhouse Chalk Farm outside the city for rehearsals. The Doors had just arrived in England a couple of days before, and I had hitchhiked from Copenhagen where I had been promoting them.
So when I showed up in England unexpectedly on the day before my first eyetoeye meeting with Jim Bill Siddons hired me on the spot to represent the Doors on their first tour of Europe. On the day that Jim and I first shook hands, I was reading a Melody Maker music magazine, and as my eyes gazed up to the horizon of it I saw cowboy boots sauntering in my direction.
And then leather pants, topped by a loose-fitting fluffy white shirt with Jim Morrison inside it. Checking out my bare feet. Or catch colds? Get in. And this was the first thing I noticed during my first meeting with Jim Morrison: He listened. Also, it was easy to work with him. In most cases Jim was very cooperative There were times though when maybe a few too many drinks made my representation a bit difficult.
Top Of The Pops was played back on the B. C 1 Ch1 at p. The Roundhouse was a railway station that had been recently vacated by British Rail. The Doors played two sets each night for two consecutive nights in front of an audience of 2, for each set - all four sets were a sell out.
I still think it was an underground level, it was a very big underground level, so it was very well organised, not organised, but it was large.
The English audience seemed to really listen to what The Doors had to say since this was the first time they played in Europe, unlike the American public who started to go to Doors concerts to see Morrison do something "spectacular". A lot of people Both first and second sets for the September 6 concert were filmed by Granada Television, later fused with footage of political demonstrations, as seen on the video "The Doors Are Open" originally to be titled as "When the Music Changes, the Walls of the City Will Shake"wink.
One reason for the first concert not being as good as the second concert could be due to the cameras and television crew present, it introduced an extra third element, a "voyeuristic" element which acted as a barrier between the group and the audience, not allowing Jim to express freely what he wanted to say or do. Pop journalist, Geoffrey Cannon of The Guardian Manchesterdescribed in the following year that London was a dreadful place for rock concerts: "There is something ineffably disconsolate about the Round House", which he went on to say: "And this is why visiting bands find concerts so miserable mentally, the audience might as well not be there.
Jim Morrison, Joe McDonald, and Frank Zappa have all described the same experience to me; that in concert, they are overwhelmed by the sense that nothing is happening. They feel ill, tired, doubtful and want to get out to another town. Everyone seemed to take it easy.
It was like going back to the roots again and it stimulated us to give a good performance. They were fantastic. Their stage act consists of a series of disjointed theatrical sketches; there is a jolting improvisation on guitar, organ and, drums, against which Morrison speaks, snags and acts out his songs.
American audiences rise to their feet and join in, but the audience who had paid 35s to be squashed in the heat of the Roundhouse floor watched impassively. Ludvig Rasmusson had seen The Doors perform two sets at Stockholm in the following month. But there were also a few improvisations but they were also a part of the planned routine.
Interestingly enough is that the group had blended "Crawling King Snake" as part of their medley - this song was to appear almost more than two and a half years later on "L. Unfortunately, this recording tends to be muffled and distorted during some parts of the concert. It was both electric and electrifying and only the label's second venture into what became known as West Coast Rock.
Elektra's first venture into that music genre had been Da Capo by Love who were at that time very much more popular in Los Angeles where both bands were based.
Until then, Elektra's output had been essentially acoustic folk and the switch to electric guitar based rock was truly innovative and dangerous.
The Doors album was magnificent in terms of performance, content and production but it was immediately apparent that it would be very difficult to sell to a British public and particularly to British radio which was dominated by the BBC Light programme who were extremely limited in the amount of records they were allowed to play and were still heavily reliant upon the happy sound of a two and a half minute pop single. Elektra at the time was a small specialist label run out of a third floor office and basement in London's Dean Street.
We also imported the great Blue Note jazz label and Elektra's classical subsidiary Nonesuch. Hardly the sophisticated marketing and promotional organisation through which to launch a major world class act. We nevertheless released the album and set about trying to get radio plays, press reviews and hopefully a degree of acceptance with the leading tastemakers like The Beatles who were in the process of recording Sgt. At this remove it is difficult to even recall just how revolutionary The Doors album really was but there was no doubt that we were entering new musical territory and meeting a lot of opinionated opposition.
Most of the initial reviews were mystified or hostile but a minor breakthrough was a tiny mention on one of the music papers that Ringo suggested that The Doors were one of the more interesting bands to emerge in America. Sales were minimal and there was nobody on pre Peel British radio prepared even to listen. A single was needed and it occurred to me that an edited version of "Light My Fire" might provide the breakthrough at least in terms of radio exposure.
Working from home with primitive equipment, I completed a rough edit bringing the piece down to about three and a half minutes but leaving the soaring instrumental middle section intact. I sent the edit with Album) trepidation to the boss in America Jac Holzman and got a call back to sat that the notion of an edit was approved but that the task had been given to the producer of the album Paul Rothschild who was approaching the project in another direction.
Eventually, Paul's edit arrived and I was horrified to discover that virtually the entire organ and guitar bridge had been removed. We nevertheless released the new version and began to pick up a few plays on the pirate station Radio London which was broadcasting someone out in the North Sea and was becoming increasingly popular with a young audience who were being ignored or at best patronised by BBC radio.
Elektra was the hot new label and probably severely stretched financially. A million singles and a million albums have to be manufactured, distributed and paid for by the label before any money comes back and these costs, along with the recording, promotion and advances to a newly successful act, can surprisingly bring down a company without adequate financial resources.
Add to this the fact that most of the big retail chains in America only pay their accounts when they need to order more product and it becomes apparent why so many successful small labels end up in the hands of well funded multinationals or The Mafia. It also illustrates the importance of the follow-up single or album since all too many times the label without a second hit may never be paid in full for the first - and still be stuck with all of the costs.
Out of the blue, Jac Holzman arrived and informed us that he as closing down the UK operation having completed a deal to licence the label in Britain to Polydor Records who had the resources and no doubt some much needed funds. I was offered the job of running the label within Polydor as Label Manager with a welcome salary increase but the rest of the staff were "let go" and the office and the warehouse were closed.
The Canadian Managing Director, a kind and gentle man called Don Johnston died shortly after the event and it was years before his secretary forgave me for what she obviously saw as disloyalty and ambition. So Many Roads - Climax Blues Band - FM/Live (Vinyl move to Polydor was smoothly and quickly effected and I now had an office and secretary within a building humming with professionals. Unfortunately, in the transition, "Light My Fire" flickered and died but interest in the band was growing at least among the hippie movement who now had a voice in the "underground" papers like OZ and IT.
It was probably the most exciting and hopeful time for anybody under thirty and truly a golden age for those lucky enough to be in my business. We released "Alabama Song" as a follow up single without success but it helped maintain momentum for the band who were now superstars in America with Jim already becoming an icon as well as an iconoclast.
The Roundhouse, a converted train shed, was the only sizeable venue willing to book this new underground music in London and The Doors, who had just released "Strange Days" as their second album, agreed to appear there for two nights at the start of a short European tour to promote the new album. The new single in the States was "Hello I Love You", which was possibly the weakest thing they had ever recorded, bore rather too much resemblance to a Ray Davies song.
This was not surprising since Jim in particular was a great fan of The Kinks. It was nevertheless another huge America hit and on the strength of that I was able to get the band booked on to Top Of The Pops which was the only meaningful television exposure available and pretty much a guarantee of a hit if the record had what LP took. I also entered negotiations with Granada TV to film the tour and the performances for a hitherto unheard of one hour show devoted to the band.
Even The Beatles or The Stones had not yet been accorded that level of exposure. Each year the Beatles would send a studio message thanking all their fan club members for a wonderful year. Below are the covers for each year from thru and a link where you can get them. The announcement comes on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' concert on the Apple rooftoptheir final live appearance and the climax of the Let It Be film. A restored version of the original Let It Be movie, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, will be released after the new film.
The new film will be based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2nd and January 31st, The album was eventually released 18 months later in Mayseveral months after the band had broken up. The untitled film is currently in production and the release date will be announced in due course.
Following the release of this new film, a restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available. The Lord of the Rings filmmaker will use 55 hours of in-studio footage initially filmed by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg for the original film. Bad Pianna Drag. Sorry, Sorry, Sorry. Lyttelton, Humphrey - La Paloma Bodega.
Four Tones - Rickshaw Boy Voom-ba-voom. Dennis, Jackie - Lucky Ladybug Gingerbread. Whitfield, David - Willingly William Tell. Mantovani - Separate Tables Fascination. Steele, Tommy - Hiawatha The Trial. Steele, Tommy - Tallahassee Lassie Give! Heath, Ted - Jazzboat Mah Jong. Both songs from 'Lock Up Your Daughters'. Preston, Mike - Mr.
Blue Just Ask Your Heart. Vocals by Bryan Johnson. Mantovani - Song Without End Tania. A-Side issued the next month as Decca F Stoller, Rhet - Chariot Night Theme. Valente, Caterina - Till Amour. Mantovani - Main Theme from 'Exodus' Karen. Denver, Karl - Marcheta Joe Sweeney. Los Machucambos - Pepito Pararo Campana. Conrad, Jess - Oh!
Lillie, Beatrice - Typically English Mr. Fury, Billy - Jealousy Open your Arms. Mantovani - 'Fanny'' Theme Nadia's Theme. Jags - The Hunch Cry Wolf. Atwell, Winnie - 'Winnie's Piano Party' medley both sides. Firestones - 'Sucu Sucu Party Cha' medley both sides. Heath, Ted - Capuccina Tonight. Denver, Karl - Wimoweh Gypsy Davy. Powell, Jimmy - Sugar Baby - pt. Davies, Irving - The Method A. Mantovani - Theme from ''Barabbas'' Far Away. Tornados - Telstar Jungle Fever.
Mantovani - Summer Night Rickshaw. Kirby, Kathy - Big Man Slowly. Sounds Inc. Edwards, Jackie - Lonely Game Suddenly. Bachelors - Charmaine Old Bill. Tornados - Globetrotter Locomotion With You. Lee, Dave - Take Four from the T.
V show Five To Four On. Tornados - Robot Life On Venus. Steele, Tommy - Flash, Bang, Wallop! She's Too Far Above Me. Valente, Caterina - La Malaguena Together. Embers - Chelsea Boots Samantha. Zephyrs - What's All That About? Oriental Dream. Peter Gunn Locomotion. Most, Mickie - Mr. Porter Yes Indeed I Do.
Kirby, Kathy - Dance On Playboy. Souvenirs - How Many Teardrops? Please Be Faithful To Me. Mojos - They Say Forever. Johnny B. Actually released in Jan. Tornados - Dragonfly Hymn For Teenagers. Country Gentlemen - Greensleeves Baby Jean. Classmates - In Morocco I Feel. Tornados - Hot Pot Joy Stick. Bachelors - I Believe Happy Land. Chancis - Everybody's Laughing Tell Me. Ronny - Oh! Bachelors - Ramona Sweet Lullabies. Mojos - Why Not Tonight? Don't Do It Anymore. Settlers - Settle Down Sassafrass.
Todos Somos Uno, Black Sabbath - Never Say Die! (Vinyl, LP, Album), To Die Of Love - Charles Aznavour - 16 Gouden Successen (Vinyl, LP), How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man (DVD), A Thrills A Thrill - Mitch Ryder - Never Kick A Sleeping Dog (Vinyl, LP, Album), Schoolgirls - Various - Schampler - The Schilling Festival Compilation 2015 (CD), Say Stupid Things - Modeselektor - Modeselektion Vol.01 (CD), The Great Commandment, Fallen - E-Breed (2) - Birth (CD), Elämän Polut - Irwin Goodman - Uudet Protestilaulut (Cassette, Album), Troubled Mind - Dion DiMuci* - Donna The Prima Donna (Vinyl, LP, Album), Ça A Raté (It Failed) - Françoise Hardy - The "Yeh-Yeh" Girl From Paris! (Vinyl, LP), Megallenic Cloud - Various - Trancemania Presents - TIP The Blue Album (CD), Dead Head (Necrofeelya-up!) - The Quintessentials - Legends From The Grave (CD, Album)