Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 27, 2004 14:20:46 GMT
Morrison’s night at the New Haven Arena
Blood in the streets? It was more like Mace in the Arena.
"Who could forget it?" Ray Manzarek said.Manzarek, the keyboardist for The Doors, had one of the best vantage points to see New Haven policemen arrest singer Jim Morrison on stage at the old New Haven Arena Dec. 9, 1967. The charge was "performing an indecent and immoral exhibition," breach of peace and resisting arrest. But all Morrison did was recount to the audience his encounter with a police officer backstage.Manzarek reiterated the events that a later generation might have read about in Jerry Hopkins and Daniel Sugerman’s Morrison biography, "No One Here Gets Out Alive" — a Saturday night also recorded in the pages of the Register and old Journal-Courier:A half-hour before the show, Morrison had found a shower room backstage to get acquainted with a Southern Connecticut State College co-ed, when a cop tried to shoo them away. Morrison mouthed off (he reportedly said, "Eat me"), the conversation escalated and the officer sprayed Morrison in the face with Mace. When he realized who he sprayed, he and the band’s crew doused Morrison’s eyes with water. Apologies were exchanged. Shortly after, the show began, and something was amiss."When we got out on stage, there was a line of cops in front of the stage," Manzarek said two weeks ago. "We asked why and they told us to protect us. From WHAT? From making love to us?"In the instrumental break of "Back Door Man," Morrison said, "I want to tell you about something that happened a few minutes ago right here in New Haven. This is New Haven, isn’t it? New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America?" Soon after, the lights came on and an officer told Morrison he was under arrest. He was taken away by two men in blue."New Haven is seared in my memory," said Manzarek. "The show-stopping Captain Kelly, the two guys grabbing Jim, Captain Kelly saying the immortal words, ‘You’ve gone too far, young man. You’ve gone too far, young man.’ I thought, ‘Is that a crime? Is there a law about going too far, and how far is too far?’ " (Actually, it wasn’t Captain Kelly; it was Lt. James Kelly, who was head of the NHPD’s Youth Division.)After Morrison’s arrest, a melee broke out in which 13 more people were arrested, including a music critic for the Village Voice, and a photographer and a researcher for Life magazine. The photographer, Tim Page, according to a Journal-Courier story, was arrested while shooting a policeman "roughing up a kid." The arrest of a rock star on stage, combined with the apprehension of members of the national press, ensured widespread coverage of the story.The charges were dropped a month later when Morrison failed to appear in Circuit Court a month later; he forfeited his $1,500 bond, but no re-arrest warrant was issued. Morrison immortalized the Elm City in the song "Peace Frog," on The Doors’ 1970 album "Morrison Hotel" -the song with the line "Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven."When asked if they’ll be playing the song tonight at Oakdale, Manzarek enthused, "Oh, yeah! ‘Peace Frog’ is part of our set."And when told the old Arena site is now the home of New Haven’s FBI building, Manzarek replied, "Isn’t that perfect! What a perfect placement."
Fran Fried April 28, 2003"On December 9, 1967, the Doors were scheduled to play a concert in New Haven, Connecticut. Jim Morrison had turned 24 years of age the day before. His birthday had not been a joyous occasion because the Doors concert on December 8 in Troy, New York had been a huge disappointment.
The Troy crowd did not respond well to Jim Morrison and the applause after the concert died quickly. In fact, there was no encore at this concert. The Doors departed quickly and Jim decided to take a limo all the way back to New York city instead of taking the plane. Jim was depressed and hoped that New Haven would be more receptive the next night.
The New Haven crowd seemed to be waiting in anxious anticipation of something special about to happen. Policemen provided security at the show and they lined the hallways making sure that no one could get backstage. Before the show started, Jim met a local college girl. He wanted to talk to her in private and they located a shower stall near the dressing room. Shortly after entering the stall, the young couple began making out. At this point a police officer happened upon the scene. He failed to recognize Jim as the lead singer of the Doors and ordered him and the girl to clear out. Jim refused to move. The officer repeated the order and Jim again refused, telling the officer, "Eat it!" The officer withdrew his can of mace and offered Jim one last chance. Jim responded, "Last chance to eat it!" The officer now lost his patience and fired the mace directly into Jim's face.
Jim screamed in pain from the effects of the mace. He stumbled down the hall to the dressing room with tears streaming down his face. The Doors manager Bill Siddons informed the police just who it was they maced. The officer who maced Jim, explained he hadn't known who Jim was but he still wanted to arrest him. Siddons, fearing a riot if the star attraction was hauled off to jail, pleaded with the police to let Jim take the stage. The police relented and Jim and the officer apologized to each other. Before long the Doors hit the stage. The crowd was very enthusiastic in New Haven. Jim responded by moving and jumping about the stage. The crowd was going wild and shouting along with Jim as he screamed the lyrics to "When The Music's Over." They excitedly applauded Jim's every move onstage. The last song of the night was "Backdoor Man." During the instrumental break, Jim started talking to the crowd. Policemen lined the stage and the areas just offstage. Jim began telling the people how he met a girl prior to the concert. He continued on...
"We started talking and we wanted some privacy and so we went into this shower room. We weren't doing anything you know. Just standing there and talking. And then this little man came in there, this little man in a little blue suit and a little blue cap. And he said, "What ya' doin' there?" "Nothing." But he didn't go away. He stood there. And then he reached 'round behind him and he brought out this little black can of somethin'. Looked like shaving cream, and then he sprayed it in my eyes. I was blinded for about thirty minutes."
After this speech, Jim returned to singing the song when the lights suddenly came on. Jim asked that the lights be turned off. In a matter of seconds, Jim was flanked by two policemen. Jim offered the microphone to Lt. Kelly so he could say his thing. At this point, Ray Manzarek approached Jim. Just then, the officer grabbed the mike and the two officers started dragging Jim off the stage. The police said the concert was over and everyone was to go home. On this night, Jim Morrison had taunted and embarrassed the police. The police weren't going to stand for it. They chose to flaunt their authority by arresting Jim and making a scene. Once they had Jim out of the view of the audience, they proceeded to punch and kick him repeatedly before throwing him into a cruiser and bringing him to the station.
According to the official police report, Jim was arrested when he began using vile and filthy language while relating a sexually explicit story. This was totally false information. The police said they arrested Jim when they began receiving complaints from people in the audience. It was obvious though that the police were angry and embarrassed, so they arrested jim on trumped-up charges. It is amazing to compare the official police report to eye-witness testimony. The police allege that Jim was arrested for an indecent performance yet it is clear that he was simply telling a truthful story to the audience. Jim said nothing that was sexually obscene. The police allege Jim resisted arrest. There are plenty of witnesses who saw the police beat Jim and yet Jim did not even fight back. This charge was invented to justify the injuries that were inflicted upon Jim.
Jim Morrison had become the first rock star to be arrested while on-stage, yet the police had no grounds upon which to lay charges. They could not admit in their report that he was arrested because he had embarrassed them. They clearly invented these charges and it would be obvious to the most casual observer. The only fabric of truth in their report was a reference to the girl in the shower stall. Charges were eventually dropped but it proved to foreshadow trouble yet to come. It made Jim Morrison noticeable to the authorities and this would become painfully obvious in Miami.
Jim never forgot the New Haven incident. Recollections of the bust echo in the song, "Peace Frog" in the line, "Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven." It would appear that strange days had finally tracked Jim Morrison down."
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 27, 2004 14:25:38 GMT
Tom Bakers memories of New Haven.
Tom Baker Recalls Jim Morrison
Various excerpts from Blue Center Light
One cold, gray November day, I was on 57th Street near Carnegie Hall, walking with my head down and cursing the hypocrites who kept me from my deserved fame and fortune. I heard someone call “Heyyyy, Tom” and looked up to see Jim emerging from a movie house. He had just seen a movie version of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake and he was feeling Irish and poetic. We went to the bar of his hotel, the old Great Northern and ordered beer and Irish whiskey.
Soon, we were toilet hugging drunk, and remaining upright seemed to defy the law of gravity, when Ray Manzarek appeared along with one of their managers. They had come to collect him for a concert that evening. I was amazed he was going to do a show. After all the booze, I didn't see how he possibly could perform. He urged me to come along, suggesting I introduce the group and recite some poems. My drunkenness clouded my judgement, and I piled into the back of the limo with Jim and the rest of the band. After driving a few blocks, Morrison had the driver pull over and he dashed into a novelty store, returning with six Brechtian masks, every one a different color. Back in the limo, he handed them out to each of us and we were off. I passed out before we were halfway through the midtown tunnel, only to awake an hour later with an excruciatingly painful need to urinate.
The show was to take place in a dull little town called Danbury, Connecticut, and the driver was none too swift coming out of the chute, and it took longer than necessary to find the place. But he finally figured it out, and I was able to relieve myself.
I looked around and quickly realized we were a long way from 46th Street. It was a new and ugly building, prison-like in its coldness, an all purpose high school auditorium and gymnasium, very distinctly American heartland. Well, that's good, I thought, let Jim carry his dark messages directly to the folks.
But the atmosphere made me apprehensive about the introduction. Jim seemed to sense this and chided me about losing nerve. I was wearing a deceptively expensive looking black fur coat, and with the mask, felt very much out of place.
The band took up their places behind the curtain and I peeked out from the wings, trying to get a fix on the audience. I nearly choked when I saw all these prepubescent runts with their Ma's and Pa's clutching Doors' albums to their heavily beating breasts.
I took a deep breath and stepped into the spotlight. The image of row after row of beaming, clean-cut faces clashed in my head with the more familiar and expected sights of dark, murky, dope-in-the-air, sex-drenched clubs, and I couldn't help thinking we had made a wrong exit on the turnpike.
I rushed through the shortest poem I knew, muttered something about having known the boys from the Los Angeles days, then made a quick check behind the curtain and got the hell out of there. I watched from the wings, flanked by some of the local honchos and their lovely daughters, who must have pulled their parents by the short hairs to gain access. Jim threw himself into his performance, and the kids loved him. They were on their feet throughout, yelling “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy,” and begging him to sing Light My Fire until he obliged. He was still brilliant and exciting, but for me, much of his magic and dangerous spontaneity were swallowed up by the huge hall.
The ride back was exhausting, my head was pounding and I hadn't eaten all day. It was well after 1 AM when I was deposited on the corner of 57th Street and 7th Avenue. Jim and I had not spoken throughout the trip and now, he lifted slowly and nodded at me, saying “See ya next time.” My hangover increased my paranoia, and I worried that he was disappointed by my uninspired beginning.
The limo disappeared into the flowing traffic and I headed down the subway stairs. He was going on to piles of money and great adulation. I was faced with door pounding and job searching. I pondered the ironic reversal of our fates in the past year as I rode down to Greenwich Village on the BMT. As I approached my apartment, I remembered my girlfriend had been waiting for me since early this day. “Christ”, I thought, “What am I going to tell her? S he'll never believe I've been doing what I've been doing. Shit! Another problem. Fuck Pam! Fuck Jim! Fuck the Doors!”
Whenever we went to the rock clubs, such as The Whisky or The Experience, Jim would cause a stir as we walked in and the kids gathered around him. Morrison was usually in a semi-conscious stupor and seemed oblivious to the fans. As soon as we sat down, the resident groupies would pounce on him. Sometimes, I would share in the spoil, other times I would be ignored as if I were invisible, and still other times, Jim would be so comatose I would get them all to myself.
One night we went to the grim little Hollywood flat of two of these creatures and sat up til dawn drinking and talking. One girl soon revealed herself to be a practicing junkie, and she brought out plastic vials of pills, blue tablets called New Morphine, a strong synthetic morphine. We crushed them with a tablespoon and sniffed the powder. The high was speedy and euphoric, and Jim became loose and talkative, telling us endless stories about himself, including the story of his body being inhabited by the spirit of an old Indian who died by the side of a New Mexico highway. The junkie offered to let us use her outfit, but we declined. Jim was not inclined to use downers, and hated the thought of using a needle on himself. Aside from this night, I only saw him use cocaine or hallucinogenics.
After awhile, I went to bed in the front room with the junkie and the other girl began to wrestle Jim into her room. He had become somewhat inert and sat with his head on the kitchen table. After a great effort, she got him into her bed and shut the door.
About 10 minutes later, she joined the junkie and me, complaining about Jim's lack of interest. Soon, the three of us were engaged in a robust bout of interchanging sexual positions, and then I passed out, exhausted and content.
I awoke at the crack of noon, alone. I sat in the kitchen drinking instant coffee and smoking cigarettes for about 15 minutes, then curiosity got the best of me and I slowly opened the bedroom door and looked in. The little beggars had abandoned me for Jim and he and the junkie were asleep alongside one another. The other girl was feverishly giving Jim head, trying to pump some life into his pathetically limp dick, looking not unlike a lioness feeding on her fallen prey. She glanced over at me for a moment, then went right back to work. I returned to the kitchen and crushed up another pill.
Late one night in the Elektra Studios, after listening to the just-completed mix of the Soft Parade album we were typically drunk and Morrison was more than a little apprehensive about the album. For the first time the Doors had recorded with horns and strings and only a few of the songs were Jim's own. I began to break his chops about the sleek and expensive look of the studios and offices, which had been financed almost completely from the profits of the first two Doors' albums.
“Jesus, look at this place, Morrison, it's fucking disgusting. You did this, Jim. You financed this whole round-haircut establishment. Why'n fuck don't you just move your whole corporate operations up to Sacramento with the rest of the bureaucrats? I mean look at this, man. Your songs, your words paid for this.”
I indicated the brand new latest-model IBM typewriters and shiny file cabinets and desks. Jim had a slight smile and was silent, but I could see it was getting to him. He looked at the equipment as the others with us tried to suppress nervous laughter. Next thing we knew, Jim hopped on top of the desk and began to heel-stomp the costly IBM, kicking it to the floor and jumping down on it, then pouring beer over papers and files. I thought sure there would be hell to pay, but the next day the mess was cleaned up and nothing was ever mentioned about it.
Jim Morrison demanded a reaction. Women wanted to fuck him, boys wanted to idolize him, men wanted to challenge him.
As I sit thumbing through James Douglas Morrison's FBI file, I wonder which rock stars today would be deemed so threatening as to warrant the FBI's interest. Sure, Public Enemy and N.W.A., but what pop stars? Sting? Madonna? Bono?
The New Haven incident, where he was arrested for “lewd and obscene performance” is in the FBI file, on the rap sheet, number 511 488 F and marked FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. It is the fourth record of arrest, the first three being “drunk and petty larceny of police helmet and umbrella,” Tallahassee, Florida 9/28/63; “battery” Inglewood CA 1/23/66; “drunk”, Los Angeles CA 12/10/67.
Morrison's file contains seven other records of arrest, mostly for vagrancy and being drunk, But the Miami and Phoenix incidences are also included. Miami is supposedly when Morrison exposed his penis onstage, and Phoenix was when he was traveling to see a Rolling Stones concert with Tom Baker, and they were arrested for “interference with the flight of an aircraft.”
Soon all of this will probably be the meat of the new Jim Morrison film, which will probably be a big hit and launch another Doors revival, which may be an overstatement, because the Doors songs are played on the radio every two minutes anyway. But even with all this knowledge out there, with all the rock 'n' roll books and movies coming out these days, with all the instructions on how to do it, the music isn't getting any better.
Maybe it's time for some 14 year olds from Des Moines to scream, “Turn off the lights!”
Yeah, just turn 'em off.
Jim after being maced in New Haven
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 27, 2004 14:55:38 GMT
Sat. Dec. 9th: New Haven Arena - New Haven, CT
Jim meets a local 18 year old co-ed from nearby Southern Connecticut State and they start making out in a backstage shower stall. A police officer interrupts them and orders them out of the stall. Jim defies the cop, who thinks Jim is a hippie who snuck backstage, and eventually gets maced in the face. Jim screams in pain running towards the dressing room. Bill Siddons arrives and explains everything to the cop. The officer apologizes and Jim soon recovers taking the police lined stage. During the last song of the evening, "Back Door Man", Jim tells the story of the backstage episode and starts taunting the police and baiting the crowd. The auditorium lights are switched on. Soon policemen surround Jim and drag him off the stage brutally arresting him. The crowd riots leaving the venue in disarray and many are arrested. Jim is the first rock star to be arrested on stage. Jim is charged with "breach of peace, resisting arrest and indecent or immoral exhibition". Hours later about 80 protestors gather at the police station in demonstration and more arrests are made. Jim is released around 2:00 A.M. on a bail bond of $1,500.00. Trial is set for January.
The Doors make headlines across the country with the press siding with Jim finding no justification for the arrest. A few weeks later the charges are dropped. The F.B.I. opens an active file on James Douglas Morrison.
From The Doors Interactive History
Post by wyldlizardqueen on Mar 27, 2005 2:06:48 GMT
Thanks, for sharing!
Post by jimbo on Mar 27, 2005 2:33:21 GMT
I live in Connecticut, and nothings cooler than going to a Doors tribute band in New Haven and hearing Peace Frog. Crowd goes CRAZY
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Mar 27, 2005 9:41:52 GMT
this picture hangs on my wall
Taken by legendary Brit, Vietnam photo journalist, Tim Page who happened to be at the gig for LIFE magazine and was also arrested trying to photograph the police beating up a kid after the gig.
His fellow photo journalist and best friend Sean Flynn (son of Errol) was killed in Vietnam and Page himself 'died' in a landmine incident helping wounded soldiers onto a helicopter. He survived after being pronounced 'dead' by medics and set up a foundation to his fallen comrades...the journalists who died in 'Nam.
It would have been an interesting court case if it had ever been brought by the authorities to a court-room as witnesses like Page would certainly not have been intimidated by the police after what he had been through.
Post by darkstar on Mar 29, 2005 21:25:46 GMT
APRIL 12 1968
WICKED GO THE DOORS
An Adult’s Education By The Kings of Acid Rock
By: Fred Powledge
I suppose it was a combination of White Power, being 33 years old, Sergeant Pepper and my 9-year-old daughter Polly that made me what so urgently to understand rock.
White Power helped because the field of race relations, about which I usually write, is a the most depressing point since the Civil War. I wanted a vacation. Being 33 because that is almost the earliest age at which you can be jealous of people younger than the music of the 50’s. Sergeant Pepper because the Beatles’ album of that name was the first truly clear indication that the new music was significant – the We Shall Overcome of a musical movement. And Polly because at the age of 9 she is learning to communicate in fantastic ways. The television set has enabled her to become sophisticated about dissent, demonstrations, death and a camera landing on the moon. The transistor radio and the record player, and the new music that she hears from them, are communicating in important ways with her too.
We bought Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band and considered it good entertainment. Suitable for the whole family. We realized as we played Sergeant Pepper more and more than the album was not just a collection of 13 songs, but a successful attempt at presenting a whole of something, the way the symphony is a totality made up of several movements. But we didn’t exactly know what the totality of Sergeant Pepper was.
Some of the movements were easy to understand. She’s Leavings Home, which is about a couple’s discovery that their daughter has flown the coop, is pure journalism; but other songs in the album such as Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, were less like photographs and more like abstract paintings. Why was she “a girl with kaleidoscope eyes’? Whey were thre “plasticine porters with looking glass ties?”
Before long we were holding family discussions on, say, how much of the record had been perfected in studio echo chambers; therefore, how much of it was impossible to reproduce at live concerts unless it was “lip-synching” was morally right; and on how much of what the Beatles were saying we just couldn’t understand. Gradually my wife and I found that we were no longer moved by what had been our regular music. We were spending more and more time humming Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds to ourselves.
The new music I most wanted to understand was that of a group called The Doors, who took their name from a line by Poet William Blake about, “the doors of perception.” My wife and I heard the first Doors album at a party a year ago, bought it for ourselves and played it a few times.
The sound of the album slowly got inside my head. There was something about The Doors’ music – most of it electronic but never superficial – and their lyrics – very obscure to me at first, then less obscure but never completely understandable – that convinced me their work was significant. This was at a time when hardly anybody else knew about The Doors. I called Elektra Records and asked if there was a second Doors album on the way. Elektra wasn’t sure.
The Doors music, unlike the Beatles, is satanic, sensual, demented and full of acid when you first hear it, and it becomes even more so when you play it over and over again.
You may have had difficulty hearing The Doors on your transistor radio, both because the music is wicked and because the individual tunes are so lengthy. The AM radio stations which devote themselves to the 40 most popular singles are obligated to blat out pimple cream and tooth brighter commercials between two minute plus records, and as a result, a few of them ever would play an early Doors tune called Light My Fire, which was on the first album and had all the marks of a commercial success but ran for six minutes and 50 seconds.
Last April, The Doors released on abbreviated 2:52 version of Light My Fire. By the end of July it was No. 1 on the Billboard ‘Hot 100,’ survey. The album, meanwhile, shot through the charts. Then, in October, Elektra Records brought out a second album, Strange Days. Within two weeks it had reached No. 4 on the Billboard survey. Then, or a month, both Doors LPs were in the Top 10 – a rare feat. Both albums have made far more than $1 million each, and the single version of Light My Fire has sold more than 1.2 million copies. The Doors’ current entry in the Top 40 contest is an apocalyptic song called The Unknown Soldier.
Post by darkstar on Mar 29, 2005 21:26:19 GMT
AN AMPLIFIED POET IN BLACK LEATHER PANTS
The most satanic thing about The Doors is Jim Morrison, the lead vocalist and author of most of the group’s songs. Morrison is 24 years old, out of UCLA and he appears – in public and on his records – to be moody, temperamental, enchanted in the mind and extremely stoned on something. Once you see him perform, you realize that he also seems dangerous, which, for any poet, may be a contradiction in terms.
He wears skin-tight black leather pants, on stage and away from it; and when he sings, he writhes and grinds sort of the male equivalent of the late Miss Lilly Christine, the Cat Girl. But with Lilly Christine you had a good idea that the performance was going to stop short of its promised ending point. You don’t know that with Morrison.
Morrison is a very good actor and a very good poet – one who speaks in short, beautiful bursts, like the Roman Catullus. His lyrics often seem obscure, but their obscurity, instead of making you hurry off to play a Pete Seeger record that you can understand, challenges you to try to interpret. You sense that Morrison is writing about weird scenes he’s been privy to, about which he would rather not be too explict.
He had devoted one song called The End – which last 11 minutes, 35 seconds – to be a poem about someone who murders his father and then makes love to his mother, but you may not know this unless you listen to it many times. The final act – after the narrative of the father’s murder and the killer’s entrance into his mothers room – is only suggested by Morrison’s anguished screams and the use of double-time by Ray Manzarek, who talents on the electronic organ and a contraption called the piano bass qualify him as the best craftsman of the group, which includes, John Densmore, who plays the drums. And Robby Krieger, the guitarist. The song ends:
This is the end,
This is the end,
My only friend, the end……
It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me.
The end of laughter and soft lies,
The end of nights we tried to die.
This is the end.*
And this if from When The Music’s Over, an 11-minute composition that ends The Doors’ second album:
What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered
And ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives
In the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences
And dragged her down.
I hear a very gentle sound,
With your ear down to the
Ground –<br>We want the world and we want it
The words are not what you’d call simple and straightforward. You can’t listen to the record once or twice and then put it away in the rack. And this is one of the new music in general: you really have to listen to it, repeatedly, preferably at high volume in a room that is otherwise quiet and perhaps darkened. You must throw away all those old music listening habits that you learned courtesy of the Lucky Strike Hit Parade and Mantovani.
You are reminded that the music is a plastic reflection of our plastic world. The wounds are transistorized, sharper than sharp, just as the plastic lettering over a hot dog stand is redder than red. Out of this context the music – even the conventional sounds of the church organ or the street noises – is unreal; in it, it is marvelously effective in reflecting what’s going on in our society. It dances closer to disharmonious, to insanity; sometimes it does sound insane and disharmonious, but then you listen closer and find a harmony hidden deep within it.
On my way to a fuller appreciation of the new music – and, most particularly, The Doors – I talked with three of the people at Elektra who make records, Jac Holzman, 36 is the president of this multimillion dollar a year company whose median employee age is around 25. Paul Rothchild, 32, and Peter Siegel, 23, are two of Elektra’s producers.
The producer of a modern record must be a marvelously sensitive man, with a knowledge of music, and ability to get the most out of a group, and the sense and good taste to know when to use and when not to use – and when, as Rothchild says, to abuse – the complex and tempting machinery that fills the inside of a recording studio. He can tape-record a French horn fly and octave higher, then tuck the sound into a record so that it complements or heightens a particular mood.
“The essential function of the producer,” says Rothchild as he fiddled with potentiometers and slide switches at one of Elektra’s huge consoles, “is to draw from the creative musician and maximum of his capabilities, to bring out whatever expression he is trying to show in the music. Whatever his theatre is, I try to help him stage that.”<br>
I had heard that word “theatre” before in talking to record people. What did it mean?
Rothchild explained that the new music was not just as music for music’s sake. In live performances, groups try to be just as exciting visually as they are aurally. On records, they will use any sound that helps them get across the mood of their music. Thus the producer becomes more than just a sound effect man; he is a producer of theatrical presentations.
Post by darkstar on Mar 29, 2005 21:26:48 GMT
THE SONGS ARE REALLY PIECES OF THE THEATRE
“The kinds of songs that are being written today are written sometimes specifically to create a mood in the listener,” said Peter Siegel. “Even when they’re not written with that specific intent, they’re written in such a way that the mood of the listener is essential to the understanding of the song. We’re not dealing with soupy and trite lyrics; we’re dealing with things that people are trying to say – statements, dramatic presentations. So, what we’re doing now is trying to take these songs, which are really small dramatic presentations, and give them a setting which will be meaningful to the music and allow the listener to get himself in the right frame of mind to hear what the song is trying to say.”
Jac Holzman, who had been listening to this, rose from his seat in the Elektra conference room and manipulated a dial on the wall that dimmed the lights down to almost nothing.
“What most of the producers and artists hope for, and what I think Elektra as a company is almost a midwife to, is a stimulation of the imagination. And they’re creating essentially, scenarios without pictures. They’re creating scenarios and you supply the pictures in your mind; they supply the mood and the words.” “It’s just this,” said Rothchild. “The phonograph record has become a true means of communication. And the basic market today for the kind of music we’re discussing,” – he gestured toward the huge console with its treasury of echo, signal clippers and devices for inducing space warps – “is the very young people, because they’re incredibly aware, and aware of lyric content – which is amazing, to be able to follow Kafkaesque lyrics at very early ages. They’re also the late teens and the college graduates from oh, the 1950’s on. People who were raised with rock n’ roll, essentially, but who developed out of what was the Elvis Presley. Bill Haley rock and who cast that aside because it was trival.”<br>
He was right, of course. What could be more, trivial than the words, “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog?”<br>
But what about the protest songs I was raised on – We Shall Overcome and What Have They Done to the Rain? And Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Nobody in rock music was singing those songs.
“Okay,” said Rothchild. “A few years ago you had social protest. To the modern ear, that’s become corny. It’s obvious that protest in itself, is self-defeating, because it just gets people mad. “What is significant is social comment. Social commentary is considerably different from social protest. Social comment tries to draw our attention to the problem; it doesn’t draw to conclusions, doesn’t say what the solution is. Bertoly Brecht, if you will, Gilbert and Sullivan…..George Frederick Handel. It’s social comment. Just pointing your finger at a situation and saying, ‘This is you. Do you dig it?’ Which is more powerful, much more effective than saying, “That’s wrong, and this is what we’ve got to do about it or else you’re an idiot.’ People can only react to that one way. Listen to the Beatles’ lyrics. You’ve got lots of social commentary there. And The Doors. You have Jim Morrison in When The Music’s Over, saying things like What have they done to the earth? What have they done to our fair sister? I don’t think there’s anybody under 30 who doesn’t identify with it. Because I think it’s twice as powerful as Lady Bird Johnson doing her Keep America Beautiful campaign. That’s exactly what he’s talking about, you know; it’s the rape of the world and he’s saying, ‘My God, people, open your eyes to what we’re doing with this beautiful world!’ And then he caps it by saying things like: Cancel my subscription to the resurrection. “He’s saying, ‘I can’t give you any answers to this, people; we know it’s wrong, and somehow we’ve got to find solutions to it, but until then I just want to step back a minute and view it. Something’s really wrong, and let’s take a look at it.”<br>
“Now, that’s not the sort of thing that you can’t understand if you’re over 30. Shakespeare was a star in his day, and he was a hit, and why was he a hit? He wrote and spoke in vulgate. And this is true of many of your really great artists – they spoke in the people’s tongue. These young musicians are doing precisely the same thing. They’re speaking the vulgate. They’re speaking the language of the streets poetically, beautifully.”<br>
Ray Manzarek, The Doors’ organist, patiently explained to me one day in New York: “Our music has to do with operating in the dark areas within yourself. A lot of people are operating on the love trip, and that’s nice, but there are two sides to this thing. There’s a black, evil side as well as a white, love side. What we’re trying to do is come to grips with that and realize it. Sensual is the word that best fits it.”<br>
Does this devotion to sensuality mean that there is no further need for social comment?
Post by darkstar on Mar 29, 2005 21:27:24 GMT
‘THE KIDS JUST GET BAMMED ON THE MUSIC AND WORDS’
John Densmore, the drummer, broke in, “I grew up with Elvis Presley and Frankie Avalon and Fabian and all those guys, too. They were making a social comment, in their way. I mean, their being was a social comment.”<br>
What then about the difficulties that someone over 30 might have in understanding the lyrics? There was, for instance, a line in The End in which the singer asks a girl to…..take a chance with us and meet me at the back of the blue bus.”<br>
Was ‘blue bus’ the slang name for some sort of hallucinatory capsule, or some other symbol that people over 30 couldn’t possibly understand.
“I don’t know what the ‘blue bus’ means,” said Densmore. “That’s just one of Jim’s poems – the stuff he writes in one of his notebooks. I never even tried to think of what in the hell the ‘blue bus’ means. It’s just there.
“See, we’re not the Reading Generation. That’s why the kids….man, the kids – you know why they know how to dig it? Because they just take it, like McLuhan says – the total thing. They don’t say, ‘Hmmm, blue bus.’ They get bammed with the music and the lights and the words and they just go ‘Unhhhh,’, and they dig it and they don’t worry about anything. That’s what you’re suppose to do, I suppose. I can see where someone who wasn’t familiar with this music would want tosay, ‘Now what does that damned ‘blue bus’ thing mean? You can tell them that if the guys in the band don’t even know what it means, they don’t have to worry about it.”<br>
He thought for a moment, and then added: “I can think of one phrase in one of the songs that you might not get right off. Sometimes, when you’re playing a gig, Jim departs from the lyrics in When The Music’s Over, and he says, ‘You got the guns, but we got the numbers.’ What’s that mean to you?”<br>
I started to explain how it meant that the people over 30 had political control over the country, but that the young people are getting into the majority as far as the population’s concerned.
“Yeah,” said Densmore. “But also, in California, a number is another name for a joint, a marijuana cigarette. Just thought you might want to know that.” I thanked him for the information. I could use it on my friends.
“Yeah,” he said. “For the total thing. I’m not saying that we’re like super-literate, although we are. I mean Jim’s read all the goddamn poetry there is to read. But that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that we do it, and it just comes out that way, and people dig it, and so it’s justified. If you do something and it comes out and everybody likes it, then why bother analyzing it? Everybody’s moved, so okay.”<br>
“One more thing,” he said. “It’s true that the 33 1/3 record is totally different now from what it was before. And somebody wrote that our second album was totally different from the first one. All that’s true. But there’s another thing. Our live concerts are totally different from our records. I mean, it’s theatre. You got to see us perform in person. We’re totally different in public from the way we are on records.”<br>
Everybody with whom I talked about The Doors had made the point that the concerts were a lot like Living Theatre, a lot like the theatre of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht – artistic comments on a society that was rushing, pell-mell, toward something it did not understand. I decided to catch The Doors’ next performance at Troy, New York.
Troy is not exactly in the boondocks, but it appeared that night to be in a state of morbidity, in the dead industrial heartland of half a century ago, a place now scarred by dirty rivers, dirty snow, smashed windows of dirty factory buildings that no longer are inhabited. The concert there, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was a bomb, as anybody who listened to the jukebox beforehand at the local collegiate hang-out could have predicted. It was stocked largely with Dean Martin and inspirational music.
Post by darkstar on Mar 29, 2005 21:28:22 GMT
MORRISON COULD NOT LIGHT THE FIRE IN TROY
Jim Morrison missed his plane and his agent hired a Cadillac limousine to drive him the 150 miles from New York City. The lead singer arrived, late and moody, wearing his skin-tight black leather pants, and swaggering onto the stage in from of six huge amplifier-speakers that pushed 1,350 watts of audio power into the R.P.I. field house, and he did his best. But the crowd was not ready for music that celebrated the black, evil side. The music was plenty wicked but the crowd seemed to be treating it as entertainment rather than as an invitation t wallow. To them Morrison wasn’t dangerous, he was just a poet.
He sang for about 45 minutes, and when came offstage he said to his colleagues, “Let’s see how they liked us.” Rensselaer did not want an encore. The applause quickly died down, people started to leave, and The Doors hurriedly returned to the Cadillac and went to the airport.
Morrison, even moodier now because the crowd hadn’t wanted its fire lit in Troy, decided to skip the plane and ride the 150 miles back to New York City in the Cadillac. There was speculation, on the part of the group’s agent, that the audience on the following night, when The Doors played New Haven, Connecticut.
I had promised my wife and Polly a trip to New Haven and a pre-concert visit backstage with John Densmore, Polly’s favorite Door. We got to the New Haven Arena early, but getting to the dressing room proved to be a difficult matter. Policeman stood in the corridors, making sure nobody got backstage.
The only man who apparently had the authority to conduct us to the dressing room was a Lt. James P. Kelly, head of the New Haven Police Department’s Youth Division, and he was busy unblocking a fire exit. We talked to a patrolman while we waited for Lieutenant Kelly. Polly and I were interested in a black aerosol can the policeman wore on his belt. “Mace.” He said, giving the name of the chemical spray now in use by many police departments; it renders a suspect harmless when it is ejected into his face. I shuddered, looked at my wife, and changed the subject.
Do you like this kind of music?”<br>
“Yeah,” said the patrolman, who was chubby and young and pleasant enough, “My brother’s in a local rock band.”<br>
Lieutenant Kelly arrived. At first he didn’t want to take us to the dressing room, but he relented when I asked him how to spell his name, K-e-l-l-y or K-e-l-l-e-y?
On the way to the dressing room, we joked about the natural antipathy between cops and reporters, and how each had to give the other a hard time in order to get his job done. Polly saw The Doors, collected their autographs, and as we went to our seats for the concert she started calculating her relative stature in the fourth grade in Brooklyn on the following Monday.
Post by darkstar on Mar 29, 2005 21:29:21 GMT
‘THE MEN DON’T KNOW, BUT THE LITTLE GIRLS UNDERSTAND’<br>
The New Haven audience was much sharper than the college students at Troy had been, and Morrison felt the difference. He stood before the six powerful amplifiers in his black leather pants and gyrated, sang, undulated, jumped, crouched, fondled, jerked, twisted, and projected poetry, at more than 1,300 watts, into the old sports arena. The crowd applauded at the right times.
There were maybe 2,000 people there, and most of them were getting bammed on the music and the words. Morrison bummed a cigarette from someone in the audience, and a little later he threw the microphone stand off the stage. A few policeman moved around in front of the audience, clearing away the little girls who had come down close to the stage with their Instantmatics to take Morrison’s picture. On another occasion Morrison spat toward the first row, but it fell short and nobody seemed to care. It was like Marat/Sade, I was in the second row, and I didn’t care.
He was dangerous, but danger was part of the show. I understood now what Paul Rothchild was talking about when he spoke of the rock musician’s theatre, and all the references to Living Theatre and Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, and I understood what John Densmore meant when he said you had to see The Doors in concert to really appreciate them. Morrison’s performance had the same elements of carnality as it had in Troy the night before, but here the audience was getting with it – they too, were part of the music. I knew that, from now on, the music in my head would be a little brighter whenever I head a Doors record.
You got the guns, but
We got the numbers…..
We want the world and we want
As Morrison shouted that last word from When The Music’s Over, several dozen of the young people in the audience shouted it along with him, and that was what you must call pretty good social comment. He had said the same thing the night before in Troy, and nobody there had responded.
I an a back door man…..
(That was a line from the last song of the evening(
I am a back door man,
I am a back door man,
Well, the men don’t know
But the little girls understand.
When you come home,
You can eat pork and beans,
I eat more chicken any man seen.
I am a back door man,
I am a back door man.
Well, the men don’t know
But the little girls
Manzarek continued on the electronic organ, Krieger on the guitar, Densmore on the drums; and Morrison started talking:
“I want to tell you about something that happened just two minutes ago right here in New Haven……..this is New Haven, isn’t it, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America?
The crowd grew quieter. Morrison started talking about having had a few drinks and about somebody’s having asked for his autograph at the restaurant, and about having talked with a waitress about religion, and about coming over to the New Haven Arena for the concert, and going into the dressing room, and about meeting a girl there and talking with her.
HE MADE YOU UNDERSTAND HE WAS ON THE EVIL SIDE
“We started talking,” he said, still writhing, still keeping the rhythm that Densmore was beating behind him twisting at the microphone, making you understand that he was on the evil side.
“And we wanted some privacy
And so we went into this shower room
We weren’t doing anything, you know,
Just standing there and talking.
And this little man came in there,
This little man, in a little blue suit
And a little blue cap,
And he said
‘Whataha doin’ there?’<br>‘Nothin’,
But he didn’t go ‘way,
He stood there
And then he reached ‘round behind him
And he brought out this little
Black can of somethin’<br>Looked like shaving cream,
And the he
Sprayed it in my eyes
I was blinded for about 30
Oh, I am a back door man,
I am a back door man.
Well, the men don’t know,
But the little girls
He lights came on. Morrison blinked out into the audience. He asked why they were on. There was no reply. Ray Manzarek walked over and whispered something into his ear. Morrison asked if the crowd wanted more music. The audience screamed, “Yes!”<br>
“Well, then turn off the lights.
TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!”<br>
It sounded like the beginning of When The Music’s Over:
When the music’s over
Turn out the lights.
The music is your special friend;
Dance on fire as it intends
Music is your only friend
Until the end.*
A policeman walked onto the stage. Lieutenant Kelly was suddenly there, arresting the singer. Morrison was nonchalant at first; he even pointed the mike at Kelly and said, “Say your thing, man.” But then a policeman snatched the microphone from Morrison’s hand. People scrambled off the stage. Bill Siddons, The Doors’ road manager, a handsome, clean-cut young man who wears a peace button, tried to protect Morrison’s body from the cops with his own. Then they took Morrison away, and Siddons tried to protect the equipment – the six amplifiers and the electronic organ and drums and guitar, and he thrashed around on the stage as more policeman ran in.
Some of the crowd started to leave; some stayed around and in protest pushed over the folding wooden chairs. Outside, Tim Page, a photographer just back from Vietnam, was taking pictures of several cops arresting a young man. One of the policemen saw him and pushed him out into the street. Tim protested to Lieutenant Kelly; the lieutenant said he was sorry and that he would speak to the patrolman as soon as things calmed down.
Then, as Kelly hurried along, the patrolman came back and arrested Tim, the arrested Yvonne Chabrier, a Life reporter, then arrested Michael Zwerin, the jazz critic for The Village Voice, all for no apparent reason. They had breached the peace, said the police later. An unknown number of teenagers were hauled off. The charge against Jim Morrison was that he had breached the peace, given an indecent and immoral exhibition and resisted arrest. He was placed under $1,500 bond. His road manager posted the money from the concert receipts.
I sought out Lieutenant Kelly and told him about the arrests. I thought he could undo what was being done. He seemed surprised. “It’s sickening,” he said. “It’s terrible what went on here.”<br>
I saw the chubby policeman who had showed Polly the can of Mace earlier – the cop who had a brother in a local rock band. Did he still like the music? He said, “Sure,” as he pushed teenaged girls and boys toward the exits. His face was hard and strained.
I looked down at Polly, “Why can’t Lieutenant Kelly stop this?” She asked.
She stood there, in the midst of it all, the cops and teenagers swirling around her, Tim and Yvonne and Michael being led toward a paddy wagon; she was not afraid, as I was. Her little girl face was angry, her fists were clenched, her eyes pinched but still seeing everything that was happening. And understanding it. She was seeing it live this time.
Not on tape. Not on film. No lip-synch.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on May 2, 2006 10:16:53 GMT
Blood In The Streets:
A New Haven Retrospective.
Twenty six years later: A definitive article that tells the whole truth!
by Tarn C. Stephanos
Set list provided by Greg Shaw
The summer of love dawned in the year 1967 bringing forth the age of the Monterey Pop Festival, The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's album, free love and of course, The Doors. This was the year when the phenomenon of The Doors exploded on the scene and their music offered hope to humanity through the notion of breaking on through and seizing one's individuality. . .Jim Morrison has already been proven correct in his supposition that the late 1960s might one day be compared to the Troubadour period of France. But every paradise has its share of rainy days, and the career of The Doors was no exception. Bad karma would fall on The Doors on Dec. 10, 1967 when Jim Morrison would be arrested on stage and become a victim of police brutality at the New Haven Arena, in New Haven , CT.
The Doors stood out as being truly unique in the music scene. Not just because of their original sound and lack of a bass player, but because they seemed to be the lone voice of sanity in a chorus of bands who hid behind one sided truths. The Doors chose to explore the full spectrum of the human psyche, whereas most other groups at the time focused on only one half of the human spirit, i.e., the love and the happiness movement at the time. While many of The Doors' contemporaries were singing about incense and peppermints and how all you need is love, The Doors' music dared to entertain glimpses into the darker half of the human soul. Jim Morrison once said that a central theme of the music of The Doors was of... "An awareness of the strange. . .that something's wrong; something's not quite right." The Doors' music forces listeners to look within themselves and confront their greatest dreams as well as nightmares. Jim Morrison strongly advocated the questioning of authority, and the rejection of blind acceptance to the status quo. Such convictions are very prevalent within his poetry and song lyrics. A central notion in the popular communal hippie philosophy is conformity to a greater norm, even if that given norm is of universal love or peace. The result is actually the loss of the individual spirit in a greater communal soup.
By Dec. 10, 1967, The Doors were a sensation. With their classic albums The Doors and Strange Days behind them, and a seemingly limitless future ahead, they were able to score venues in large concert halls. Their fans grew in number by leaps and bounds. But people began to notice that Jim Morrison stood for individual freedom. Authority figures whose positions necessitated the oppression and blind conformity of others, viewed Jim as a non- conforming bad seed who needed to be put in line. Big Brother failed to realize they would only make him a martyr for his cause if they tried to crush him.
The west was the best in 1967; except for New York, most of the east coast was trapped in the 1950s. Jim's presence at the New Haven Arena would serve as a much needed liberation for many of the locals. The crowd that attended The Doors concert at the New Haven Arena consisted of very few hippies, plenty of college students, as well as an unusual contingent of teeny-boppers that would scream Jim's name until they sheered their vocal chords. Two local groups opened up for The Doors and did their best to entertain the crowd.
Before The Doors were scheduled to go on stage, Jim chanced to meet with a female fan backstage. They retired to a shower stall for some privacy. . .I seriously doubt that they only talked. In fact, one could safely assume Jim and the good lookin' female fan backstage, were at least kissing. Even so, the reaction of the cop that discovered them was totally unnecessary.
The cop appeared, thinking that he had simply happened upon two horny hippies; he tried to intimidate them by brandishing his authority, and demanded that they leave. Jim, however, was not one to be pushed around by a man in uniform, and probably let the cop know what he thought of him. The disgruntled policeman responded by spraying mace into Jim's face. Jim was then actually dragged outside on his way to be carted off to jail. As this was going on, the police were informed that the man they had in custody was the lead singer of the band that was about to go on stage. To avoid the potential for a riot, they let Jim go and allowed him to perform. My belief is that the New Haven police had every intention of arresting Jim after the show regardless of the events that would follow. Jim's provoking them during his performance simply sped up the inevitable.
Eventually a battered and infuriated Jim Morrison came on stage and The Doors opened with Five To One; this may very well have been one of the earliest live performances of this song. Five To One can be interpreted as an anthem of revolution, in that the oppressed masses rise up against tyranny. It has a similar "call to arms" feel, very much like the Beatles' Revolution, and John Lennon's Power To The People. . .I can only imagine that Jim must have sung the line, "They've got the guns, But we've got the numbers. . ." with particular anger, considering that the armed police officers that wanted to oppress him were in the arena, watching his every move; ready to descend on him like a spider onto a wayward fly. The Doors apparently gave a strong performance up until the moment when Jim was dragged off stage. Jim was very animated throughout this particular performance, moving and jumping about to the glee of fans and teeny boppers alike. In existing photos Jim's expressions and gesticulations during the performance are full of life. Clearly his stage presence was not as motionless and subdued as in the Hollywood Bowl performance of July '68.
Some of Jim's persona during the performance was captured in Michael Zwerin's article, "The New Haven Bust" from the May '68 issue of Cheetah magazine, where he stated, "Morrison started freaking out during his act, grinding, bumping and coming close to swallowing the microphone. If you had a dirty mind, you might have called it obscene. . .."
Apparently the police who found it necessary to bust Jim, had a dirty mind since they would later claim Jim was talking about sexual matters on stage, rather than the actual police brutality that had befallen him earlier.
Once The Doors finished performing Five To One, the hypnotic sounds of The Doors' latest apocalyptic masterpiece, When The Music's Over filled the sports arena. I can only imagine the intensity with which Jim must have shouted, "We want the world, and we want it now!" As Jim sung the song, he was no doubt still furious at the way he had been victimized backstage. The police had wanted him to be their unthinking puppet without objection. But such wasn't to be the case with Jim Morrison.
The final song that The Doors performed that evening was Backdoor Man, along with the usual Alabama Song accompaniment. The Doors had performed roughly one half the song, when Jim began to talk to the audience as the other three Doors played on. He related to them the unfortunate incident backstage . During the recounting of his assault with mace, he spoke with a pronounced red neck accent in an effort to taunt the police. Jim was a master button pusher; he enjoyed testing people's limits. His actions no doubt embarrassed and infuriated the police to the hilt. Although the audience consisted mostly of conservative New Englanders, they were of Jim's generation, and no doubt sympathized with his frustration and disgust with authority and the police would be aggravated further by audience members who appeared to be sympathetic with the unfolding story.
According to the Life and Cheetah magazine accounts of the events, Jim was in the middle of Backdoor Man, when he started discussing various things that had happened that day. After he revealed to the audience how he had met up with this girl backstage, he went on to say. . .
We started talking
And we wanted some privacy
and so we went into this shower room.
We weren't doing anything, you know. . .
Just standing there and talking.
And then this little man came in there,
This little man, in a little blue suit,
And a little blue cap,
And he said, "What ya' doin' there?",
But he didn't go 'way,
He stood there
And then he reached 'round behind him
And he brought out this little black can of somethin',
Looked like shaving cream, and then he sprayed it in my eyes.
I was blinded for about thirty minutes. . ..
As Jim was speaking to the audience, the other three Doors continued to accompany him with their instrumentation. After this rap, Jim returned to singing the final verse of Backdoor Man, when suddenly the overhead lights came on. Jim responded by announcing he wanted the lights to be turned off. Moments later, Jim found himself flanked by Lt. Kelly, and another police officer. He shoved the microphone back into Lt. Kelly's face, offering him a chance to explain what was about to transpire, but Lt. Kelly was not amused. . .Ray then approached Jim, possibly trying to warn him about the arrest that was about to take place. But sure enough, the policeman stole the microphone away from the confused looking Jim Morrison, and assisted Lt. Kelly by dragging him off the stage. The police indicated that the concert was over and that the audience would have to leave.
On this night, Jim simply had made the police look foolish, and they had decided they weren't going to stand for it. In their embarrassment and anger, they chose to flaunt their authority by arresting Jim and making a scene. Once he was out of view from the audience, the police proceeded to punch, hit and kick Jim repeatedly before they brought him to the station. After Jim was taken away, the cops were apparently still so angry that they decided to arrest everyone who even breathed in their direction. Included in the people arrested were Life magazine reporter, Yvonne Chabriere, Viet Nam photographer, Tim Page, and Jazz critic, Michael Zwerin. All of them were booked for no apparent reason. Apparently it was a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The arrest of these reporters would assure that this incident would not go unnoticed and it did receive the maximum press coverage.
The official police report account of what happened in New Haven, was purely a piece of fictional bullshit. According to the official police report, when Jim started to rap with the audience; "he began to talk rather than sing, with a musical background. At this time he began to use vile and filthy language. . .and also was telling a story of him and a girl and how he asked her to spread her legs as he was coming in. . .."
Clearly this account was absurd. The police story was that Jim got sexually graphic on stage, and they arrested him prompted by complaints from people in the audience. The police were simply embarrassed and angry with Jim's questioning what they had done to him. He had made the police look like a bunch of fools to the people of New Haven.
In Oliver Stone's horrible film, The Doors, Stone did very little to shed light on what really happened in New Haven. In addition to incorrectly listing the year as being 1968 instead of 1967, there was a fictitious meeting of Jim and Patricia Kennealy in the backstage shower stall. This incident was untrue since they would not meet for two more years.
The Roadhouse Blues video on the dance on fire video compilation contains a stunning actual film clip of Jim being dragged off stage in New Haven. The look of shock and befuddlement on Jim's face pretty much says it all. It is amazing to compare the eye-witness accounts of what happened in New Haven to the official police report of the event. The Fred Powledge article, Wicked Go The Doors, in Life magazine, Michael Zwerin's article The New Haven Bust, in Cheetah magazine, as well as the detailed account in Frank Lisciandro's book, Morrison: Feast Of Friends, all present multiple witness accounts and all tell the same story. These identical accounts corroborate what really happened in New Haven. And then one reads the allegations in the official police report. . .
(A) The police allege that Jim was arrested for an indecent performance. It is clear that Jim told the audience a truthful story, and that the police could not intimidate him. Jim said nothing sexually obscene during his performance. The police report claims that Jim was talking about sexual matters, which was false.
(B) The police report indicates Jim resisted arrest. There is a detailed account in Frank Lisciandro's superb book, Morrison: Feast Of Friends, recounting the way that the police beat Jim up once they got him outside. There were plenty of witnesses to this brutality and the irony is that Jim didn't even fight back. The charge of resisting arrest was clearly invented by the cops so they could have an excuse for the injuries that they had inflicted upon Jim.
The official police report detailing why Jim was arrested is very difficult to believe. Obviously the police could not write in their report that they arrested Jim Morrison because he embarrassed them by telling the truth to the audience about how he had been a victim of police brutality backstage. The official police report seems unbelievable even to those who are not familiar with the case. The only fabric of truth in their version about what Jim said on stage, was their reference to a girl backstage. Jim did not cower and accept what had happened, but defied the will of the police. The arrest of Jim Morrison at the New Haven Arena ironically foreshadowed trouble that was yet to come (i.e., Miami).
It was at the New Haven performance that The Doors' Tower Of Babel would be violently shaken for the first time. Charges against Jim were ultimately dropped (of course), but it served as a double edged sword for The Doors. It strengthened their image of rock, but was a factor in why Jim was singled out and crucified after the Miami incident. It made him noticeable to the authorities. When J. Edgar Hoover wanted more than anything to crush out the "long hairs" an arrest of a psychedelic rock and roller on stage, even under false charges of obscenity, would hurt the group in the long run. Such is the fodder of rumor. The shadow of New Haven would haunt The Doors until the Miami incident, which took over as the major skeleton in their closet.
Jim did not commit a crime at the New Haven Arena that warranted his arrest. He was maced by a trigger happy cop who would probably beat up his share of unarmed war protesters within the next few years. Jim never forgot the incident. Recollections of the bust echo in the tune, Peace Frog, in the line, "Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven. . .." Perhaps "Blood In the streets" was to represent the blood of fallen martyrs and suppressed ideals of freedom and individuality that Big Brother and the conservative police would just as soon crush underfoot. In the end,. the New Haven bust was proof that stranger days had finally tracked Jim down.
Post by ensenada on May 2, 2006 12:14:04 GMT
some cool pictures up there i havnt seen before...was there much fighting between kids and the police after the gig? was jim beaten up by the cops?
Post by darkstar3 on Feb 4, 2011 14:04:24 GMT
The Jim Morrison Bust
By Michael Zwerin
This article is a chapter from a book, The Silent Sound Of Needles, which deals with Addict’s Rehabilitation Center in Harlem.
The leader of the Doors was busted in New Haven for, of all things, obscenity. The author was there to see it all.
On the afternoon of a strange Saturday I scored uptown. Some heroin…just for research. I’m not a junkie. Heroin will mess up your life, almost surely ruin it. Seven teen years, however, since I had some, and I wanted a reminder. I’d been too busy for months; interviewing, reading statusties, transcribing tapes and generally thinking and worrying about starting my first book; about the Addicts’ Rehabilitation Center in Harlem.
In college, I experimented along with my girl Paula and other friends. I was a jazz musician then, and in 1951 junk and the jazz scene were inseparatable as acid and rock today. Now, Paula is dead, as are two of the others - all overdoses. Two of my friends from those days are still junkies, another a graduate of Synanon after 10 years of addiction.
I’ve often wondered why I was one of the saved. We were all on the same scene at the same time, we had the same heroes and villians, roughly the same values. We all thought it “hip” to sniff junk. None of us realized its deep, unrelenting, mellow evil. Was it only luck, that I was afraid to stick a needle in my veins? Maybe I just don’t need what junk gives. I believe it is the latter, or at least I prefer to think so.
Junk is the Ferrari of highs, it takes you somewhere else fast but, like the car, is extremely hard to control. It is expensive, quickly escalating, treacherously addicting and miserable to kick. But I was sure of myself and after spending the better part of three months with addicts felt I should remiond myself what it is like.
Much of the reason for the epidemic proportions of hard drug use in the gettos is its availability, but heroin is not merely a ghetto habit. Take my friend Bill, for example.
Bill is a white musician who plays six percussion instruments and earns a medium five figure salary in the recording studios. He just bought a brownstone and has been busy installing wall brackets, meeting the tenants, cooling out his super and things like that. I’ve known him for years, since we were both scuffling on the road. Bill isn’t a junkie although he snorts fairly regularly, a dangerous game he has so far kept ahead of. For those who can afford it, with a modicum of self control, snorting heroin isn’t all that much heavier than popping tranquilzers – and it’s a lot more effective.
Making a mental note to keep track of the expense for tax purposes, I gave Bill $5 for a bag – a small glassine envelope folding in three with white powder in it. He arranged some in neat, thin lines and rolled up a dollar bill tightly. Using it as a straw, we pulled some into our nostrils. Nothing happened right away but that dry taste again. Snorting is like drinking 3.2 beer – it takes a long time to feel it and when you do it isn’t like the real thing. But it’s more than a slight hint, that’s for sure. As a matter of fact, it gets me just about as high as I ever want to be.
I asked Bill how often he’d been making it recently.
‘Man, you won’t believe this,” Bill flashed a wide, somewhat fleshy smile. He is beginning to lose his hair. “Every day for four months.”
“What?” I was appalled.
“Yeah, man. I’ve been in a strange mood lately. I just can’t seem to function without it.
“Maybe it’s all the pressure on those big time record dates you do.”
“Maybe. I don’t know, I just dig it.”
“You realize of course that you’ve probably got a habit by now. How much you use a day?”
“About two or three nickel bags…Well, I actually decided to cool it a week ago. I haven’t scored since then. Your call reminded me.”
Bill looks normal. He shows up to work on time, he is a good father to his three kids, a homeowner, short hair. A solid citizen, you might say. It never occurred to me he might be in danger. I shouldn’t have called him. We sniffed more, listened to records and played with his kids when they came back from the park. Before leaving, Bill showed me around his town house, for which he paid $150,000; $30,000 cash. Bill is not the type you read about in junkie books.
Neither am I, but I was high.
Christmas shoppers plus a crush of matineers at two o’clock made Broadway a real urban nightmare. Too many cars. Cars with New Jersey license plates turning from wrong lanes or stopping without signal. Everybody in a hurry. It should have been a terrible trip home on my scooter. But I didn’t mind it at all. Double parked limousines, taxis honking and screaming, bus exhausts in my face, December cold. Who cares? It is impossible to be bugged or cold or other than high on junk. So called reality is filtered through a lens which rejects anything unpleasant or uncomfortable. I felt fine.
Later, just as the Packer-Ram game began on television, the phone rang. My friend X – calling. He said his girl Y - , a writer working on a story, are going to New Haven for a Doors concert. Did I want to come along? I decided the Doors were more interesting than the Packers.
We stopped just over the Connecticut border for gas and coffee. I opened the bag, looked over my shoulder for the man, and snorted some junk up my nose. Just a little later, a patrol car drove up next to us with its roof light flashing. A touch of panic, but the trooper was only interested in our Arizona license plates.
Anybody who has carried pot will understand. Routine brushes with the police are each a potential disaster. No matter how cool you look or act, what is in your pocket puts you in jeopardy. All cops are enemies. While this one checked us out, I remembered a similar roust.
Five of us were in a station wagon on the Indiana Turnpike. Just before dawn, a siren sounded behind us – and that same rotating light. It was foggy and cold so the windows were closed. The smell of pot was strong. Max, driving threw out his lit joint and we tried to air the car out before pulling over.
“God damn,” Max said. “This is it. Wait till he sees all those instruments in the back.” Cops suspect all musicians of something in this country. And we didn’t look too cool anyway. We had worked that night and had drunk our usual share. We were hollow eyed, needed shaves, and didn’t look particularly ‘normal’ to begin with. If this cop gets curious, if he is alert and good at his job, we are sure to be busted. God knows what’s on the floor or behind the seats after three weeks of one nighters.
The trooper leaned in the window. “You were doing 90 back there. You realize that, Buddy?” His cracker twang wasn’t very encouraging. “Let me see your license.”
Max was cool. He smiled, relaxed and friendly – even innocent. “No. Really? I didn’t know it was that fast. Sorry There weren’t any cars on the road and I guess I just wasn’t watching the speedometer.”
Shining a light inside, the trooper saw the horns. I could see the morning headlines – BANDMEN ARRESTED ON DOPE RAP. “You guys musicians?” he asked.
“That’s right officer. We’re playing a dance in Splodunk tonight.”
“What band are you with?”
“Oh really. I remember him when he was featured with ____ ____. That guy’s some trumpet player. Can he still hit those high notes? I used to play a little trumpet myself in high school. What do you guys play?”
Max told him he was a drummer and we all introduced ourselves. The tropper was now downright friendly, happy to have met some celebrities. Finally, he wrote out a warning and said be more careful in the future.
The cops in New Haven weren’t going to be so loose.
Before the concert, X -, his girl and I went for a pizza. They guy with no sideburns and a flat top who served us looked like Dean Rusk’s idea of “enslaved” people behind the Iron Curtain – pasty, unsmiling, with out spirit. A Coke clock and Coke posters decorated the newly painted walls. The plant near the door had a ribbon on it: “Congratulations.” A fat family, out for a big Saturday night treat, ate without looking at or talking to each other. The kid kept dripping spaghetti sauce on his pants. Here was too much reality. Some hick schumuck’s free enterprise dream come true. A business of his very own. A cleanclean neon and formica business founded on American principals and artifical seasoning. The pizza was lousy.
We walked to the concert a few blocks away, through a neighborhood of gas stations, hardware stores, bars, laundromats and brick taxpayers. Plenty of cops around. Cops with baggy pants and unshined shoes. Cops walking to work in pairs swinging billy clubs. Dumb looking old cops. Burly cops with red faces. Only a few young cops with still some humanity left. All cops ready to defend the Republic against obscenity and hair.
“Boy, I sure would hate to get arrested with this junk in my pocket.” I said. “But judge – just call my editor at Prentice-Hall. But judge….” We all laughed.
The New Haven Arena was a run down hockey rink. We had “ice seats,” second row front and center. The place was filled with a few townies, not many hippies – mostly teenyboppers and Yalies. And quite a few cops. About 2,000 people in all. It was cold and drab like the neighborhood – and like the first group, locals named Tommy and the Riveras. Two saxophones, guitars, organ and drums thumping and clanging while three girls fresh from the beauty parlor in spangled semi mini dresses sany unheard into a dead microphone. After about 10 minutes I realized I wasn’t high enough for this.
In the john stall, which didn’t lock, I took out my junk again. I was nervous and inefficient, pouring too much on my thumbnail. Spilling some on the floor, I snorted it quickly. On the way out, I stopped in front of the mirror to make sure there was no white evidence around my nose.
Things were much better after I corrected my lens. I sank comfortably into the crooked, wooden folding seat, my very own Eames Chair spreading through me. My hand moved slowly, only partially under control, as I wrote in my diary.
My nose and cheeks itch. I find myself dropping off to sleep although I’m not sleepy. I feel heavy. Insular, “I am a rock.” Nothing can touch me. Certainly banality is nothing to get in a state about. Ordinarily I would be nervous and full of regret over wasting a night on the Connecticut Turnpike. But there will be other nights to work.
Fortunately, my ears were quite stuffed from the junk during the Lochsley Hall Assembly, a second local group. I gathered energy and continued pushing my pencil.
There is a shimmering film over everything. The bright lights are even brighter than they are. Okay. I am not horny – mini skirts leave me unruffled for a change. Thank God. I feel so good it worries me. Even the more than slight nausea is fine. Is this how ‘normal’ people feel all the time? Maybe I’m an addictive personality after all. I sure wouldn’t mind this being normal. Peace. Acceptance of what is. No tight muscles in my neck. I have just gone into a good nod, thinking of what to write next. The ash from my cigarette dropped on my pants. Does anybody notice? No matter. Softness around me. Tingling at the end of my fingers. Itch itch itch. My hand moves more reluctantly. Focusing is difficult. When I speak, my voce is in the back of my throat; the junkie rasp. I can no longer control my pencil. I would like to sleep. And throw up.
During intermission I went to the john again; just a little booster this time.
The Doors came through the curtains dressed flower casual. They plugged in and tuned up, relaxed, without hurrying, as if nothing had happened. Then, Jim Morrison and teenybopper screams. Such a lovely neck he had, all framed in hair. An erection was obvious through his tight vinyl pants. He is chief Doors and the first American male sex symbol since James Dean, so they say.
More cops around the stage, serious and bitter.
Morrison started freaking out his act, grinding, bumping, coming close to swallowing the microphone. If you had a dirty mind, you might call it obscene. His eyes were oh – so red. I wrote in my diary.
If I were a cop I’d arrest him for just looking that way.
But for the teenyboppers, he’s a gas. He does have charisma. He knows he’s different, special. He’s convinced of it. He communicates it. There’s an electricity about him. And then that beautiful, smooth neck…
Two teenyboppers flitted down front and flashed their Instamatics. More came. They sat, looking up at their funky hero with rapture.
Unhappy girl, fly fast away, don’t miss your chance to swim in mystery.
Morrison rolled the heavy round base of the microphone stand with his feet as he sang, holding the pole with one hand, barely under control.
He separated the mike from the pole and finishing the song, heaved the base off the stage, missing the kids sitting down front but not by much. The cops moved out. Somebody’s daughter sitting in the aisle next to me was dragged by her scruff's she twisted and turned like some little animal. The other little girls went back to their seats under similar pressure.
Things settled down, but the police were staring up at Morrison with undisgulsed hate as he went into a soliloquy, the rhythum section vamping quietly behind him.
“I want to tell you a story. It happened to me very recently, just a few minutes ago, right here in New Haven, Connecticut.” He continued, slow, deliberate, almost poetic.”…Yes. That’s right…Right here in New Haven…Connecticut. My friends here (waves to the band) and I went out for…a sandwich and a drink before…the concert…got to talking with the waitress there…she asked for our autographs…said it was for her daughter…but I knew she wanted it for herself…came back here…right here in New Haven, Connecticut…this girl and I went in the shower room to…get acquainted…to get to know each other. This is a true story…it happened right here in New Haven, Connecticut…just a few minutes ago…A little man in blue comes in and says, (with an Amos and Andy accent) “Watchoo doin’ heah? Break it awup. Move awon,’…There’s no love in the world…sometimes I feel so alone…like nobody loves me…”
A teenybopper ran down the aisle, her face falling apart. “I love you,” she screamed. ‘I LOVE YOU!” I was having trouble staying out of a nod. The cops were huddled on each side of the stage, like a football team going over the game plan.
“…So, this little man in blue…he takes out a shaving can…and, right here in New Haven, Connecticut…only a few minutes ago… he squirts it in my face…And I’m blind…He blinds me…I was blind for five minutes…and now they are red and they itch.” (Mine too, I thought.)
“…Yes, ladies and gentleman…”
Hard rock time began together, as if this routine was normal. Morrison leaned back, the bulge in his pants in credibly obvious, ‘WE WANT THE WHOLE….WORLD AND WE WANT IT…NOOWWW!
That did it. Two police platoons went into action as the “tune” ended. Morrison bowed to spotty applause. The lights came on. The Door on organ whispered in Morrison’s ear – something like. “Let’s get out of here,” I guessed. Ignoring him, Morrison shouted, “Do you want to hear one more?”
“Oh yes. Yes. Yeaaay,” A clump of teenyboppers screamed. “YES YES YES YES.” Most of the audience was leaving. We were standing. Morrison was salty, extremely salty – on some kind of verge. “Okay, then turn the lights out. We’re not finished yet. Turn out the lights…LIGHTS, LIGHTS.”
He stood stiff, defiant, wating for a response.
Then so called reality ran over what remained of my high. The Arena became a Living Theatre. (That’s the way it is, the way it really is.) The curtains behind the stage parted for Lieutenant Kelly in braid, Irish gray hair neat around his officer’s cap – a poster cop. He posed for fully a minute, hands on hips. It was a catharsis, a sniff of immortality, a flash of clarity. Here was the essence of America. Now! The establishment against youth. Law versus individual expression. The definitive bust. A Godard freeze. H-O-L-D..I-T…
Chaos. Girls hysterically crying as more cops poured on stage, wrestled with Morrison and finally hustled him off. The loudspeaker started a march. “Be kind to our web footed friends, for a duck may be somebody’s mo-ther…”
No announcment. No explanation. No psyschology. No police science. Little discipline. Just a lot of pushing. “Okay, okay, move on. Everybody out. It’s all over, folks. Let’s go, MOVE.”
The lawyer’s transcript of our statements about what happened next reads:
“…Five cops converged on a youngster in the lobby and beat him up. X __ saw it and photographed the incedent. When one of the police saw him he charged X ___, kneed him in the buttocks and threw him out through the door into the street. X __ was wearing on his coat jacket a red ‘working press’ card, X __ went up to Lieutenant Kelly, who had seen the assault, showed him his press card, and requested an apology from the offending policeman ‘as a matter of courtesy.’ Kelly was very polite and said, “Very well, I’ll take care of that in a minute, sir.”
“Shortly thereafter, the cop who had hit X ___ saw him and X __ demanded an apology. The cop said, ‘You want trouble? Arrest this man.’ The cop tried to get handcuffs on X __, cutting his finger and threatening to ‘bust him open.’ He twisted X__’s arm behind his back and hustled him to the squad car where he roughly frisked him. X___states that he was saying, “Okay, okay. I’m going quietly. I’m not armed.” He mentioned that he was English and that he had spent two years with the press in Vietnam.
“Y__ Z___witnessed X__’s arrest and approached the arresting officer saying, ‘Patrolman, you have a member of the press and I suggest you release him.’ Her request went unheeded and the cop swung at Miss Z__ grazing her lightly. She tugged at his sleeve and asked for X___’s cameras and the cop retorted. ‘You want to get arrested too? Grab that woman.’
“Z__was put into a squad car with X__and Zwerin approached the car and said, ‘Excuse me officer, but I’m with these people. Can you tell me…’ The policeman shouted, ‘He’s one of them…You’re under arrest too.’ And Zwerin was arrested.
See what I mean? Never ask a cop for directions. In the paddy wagon, I tore up the glassine envelope until it was indistinguishable from the rest of the filth on the floor.
We were booked into the Saturday night tank, well stocked with drunks yelling for cigarettes and water – and moaning. Morrison was a few cells away, not much of a sex symbol slumped on a bench, his eyes still red from the MACE sprayed at him in the locker room before the concert.
Our cell, like his, was a dirty cubicle furnished with only a splintery wooden bench and a toilet which had neither seat nor flusher. It stank. The steel wall was covered with graffiti – “Drunk March 2ne,” – “Pee Wee, 1961,” and other such historocal data. Doors clanged for hours as we were ignored. A bit paranoid, I erased some of my notes, incriminating words like ‘junk,’ ‘nod,’ and ‘snorting.’
Around 5:30 A.M. another drunk was locked up next door. He sang a soggy song”…Ooooh, you’re breaking my heart…shame on you…oooh, shame on you…”
I thought of Jesse, Wally, Dante and all the others in the Addicts’ Rehabilitation Center trying to make out with so called normal society after a lifetime of escaping from it. How many times each of them has been in this situation and worse. I wonder what I would do in their place. Could I stand so called normal society, sober, in Harlem? Is that ‘reality’ really more ‘normal’ than being high?
My unorthodox research had taken me further than I’d expected. There was no more to do.
Now I must start writing.
Post by casandra on Feb 4, 2011 19:39:48 GMT
Michael Zwerin article is very interesting. I had never read it. Thanks.
Post by timpage on Jul 3, 2015 2:40:43 GMT
Taking a break from the war in Viet Nam, I arrived in New York just as the anti-war movement surged across the nation. An assignment for LIFE found me heading for New Haven, Connecticut with a writer called Fred Powledge who was ‘in-sighting’ the current psychedelically edged music thorough the eyes of his teen daughter for the magazine.
On arrival we saw a squad of New Haven's finest sentries posted to prevent their daughters from groping the man in taut black. Pre-concert Jim was supposedly caught receiving oral sex in his dressing room, the police over reacted and maced Morrison back stage just before he went on. When he came out on stage he was charged with what the Vietnamese would call 'revolutionary zeal'.
The police surged on stage as the power was cut. Morrison had enough power left to parry the mike at Lt. Kelly’s face with a “say your thing man” before the whole hot moment was stunned briefly into ill-lit silence.
As the cops dragged the protesting performer off stage, a riot erupted. Five thousand erstwhile peaceful fans went ballistic.
I danced about with my camera shooting the punch out. An officer grabbed me and began beating me and told me to move on. I protested to the Lieutenant in charge. Instant arrest. I was shoved into a squad car back seat. An hour of cruising and collecting knife-flicking drunks, we arrived at the new Haven central tank in time to share central holding with the star himself. We presented a motley spectrum for the nights catch. It was only then that they wanted my cameras, shoelaces and all the other good stuff to prevent me from suiciding..
Jim Morrison was recently exonerated for his crime in New Haven. As for me, I am still a wanted man in Connecticut, having skipped the $350 bail LIFE deducted from my fees. Though the magazine ran the story with five pages of black and white photos, then promptly lost the negatives.