Monday, June 30, 2008

Top 40 at 40 #39

#39 The Doors Shaman's Blues 1969

I can't tell you how many times back in the day people would come up to me and tell me I looked like Jim Morrison. Right now on the cusp of 40, I've got 13 living years on him, but I can tell you that I look more like the bloated bearded lizard king who escaped to Paris to hide away from the tight grip of fame and maybe lose a chin or two while he was at it.I'm not going to be fitting in any leather trousers any time soon... But I always loved the Doors' music and still do. The Doors were never critical darlings, but there will never be another band that sound like them. The combination of one of the best front men of all time( the bad ass beer soaked bard Mr. Mojo Risin'), clashing brilliantly with the fingerpicking flamenco freak styles of Guitarist Robbie Krieger and the Jazz beat backbone of Ray Manzarek on the keys and bass keys and John Densmore on drums was a mix that makes their music as timeless as ever.

My first encounter with the Doors was their greatest hits cassette bought in a mall in Ft. Lauderdale FLA in 1981. Boy did I wear that sucker out. I could not get enough of Light My Fire or LA Woman.I bought one of those little pins with the doors logo on it and wore it proudly on my WCMF baseball Jersey. About 6 months later I bought a double cassette of the very hard to find Doors release called Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine(1972). This spooky, driving song called Shaman's Blues was on there... with swirling keyboards and shrieking guitars and Jim's ominous poetry....most real poets hate Jim's poetry. I loved it. There are a few lines in this song I still love, especially "The whole world's a savior, who could ever ever ask for more?" I bought his two books of poetry (Wilderness,1988 and The American Night, 1990) and really fell in love with the poetry album An American Prayer. My leather jacket obsession of the early 90's sprung from my fascination with Jim and he was my first "stage presence" influence. I used to fall around alot in my early cover band days, wore alot of necklaces and used that morrisonesque thing as well as I got me nowhere, fast with the ladies even after singing Love me 2X for the 756th time. I did get to make out with some girl in a suburban yard somewhere after singing Not To Touch the Earth lyrics into her ear. But for the most part, NADA.

Ok back to the music. Shaman's Blues was originally released on the Soft Parade album (their 4th) in 1969 and was no hit. In fact, Touch Me was the big hit from the album and fans were divided because of all of the horns prevalent on the LP. It never gets any radio love either, so to everyone else its a "deep cut". I love the mysticism, the weirdness and the shamanistic solace that the Doors bring me. I do not believe that Jim faked us out and is living in New Orleans as a bar owner, though. I think he got hold of some bad smack, took a bath and that was it.... I miss him...there are no rock stars anymore, not many who cared as much about the written word as did Jim.

And now the only thing I really have in common with him is a wife named Pamela.

The Doors Top 5 1) Shaman's Blues 2) Waiting For the Sun 3) Riders on the Storm 4)Blue Sunday 5)You're Lost Little Girl
03 Shaman's Blues.mp3

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