jim morrison singingContinental Ballroom
Santa Clara, CA - 19 November 1967

by David Lilly

Set List:

Soul Kitchen
Break on Through
Alabama Song -> Backdoor Man
The Names of the Kingdom
The End

SQ: A- Very low input levels on the recording, but turn up the volume and the sound is fine.
Approx. 25 minutes

"We’d like to remind the Doors that this is a nice place, it keeps good ventilation…let’s have (or "help") ‘em blow the roof off! Here are The Doors!!!" says an audience-friendly, unidentified (sounds like Tommy Smothers, but I don’t know) voice just prior to the beginning of this show. Ray then leads the way with the opening keyboard strains of Soul Kitchen, which the band proceeds to barnstorm through strongly, giving the audience a taste of what’s to come.

That familiar bossa nova beat draws us into Break On Through, soon joined by John’s drums, Robby’s guitar and Jim, having an exceptionally good night with his larynx. During this one, Jim belts out a portion of the poem that begins, "There you sit." What is puzzling is why he didn’t retain, on stage, the word "high" in the line "she gets…" It is OK as-is, but there is a copy of the original, uncensored studio version of this song floating around, and it’s odd that they tended to refrain from doing the original version when performing for audiences. Following is a rapid Alabama Song/Back Door Man. Forget the erotic grunts and barks heard on some versions of this; Jim gets feral at the beginning of BDM. He also grabs the rest of the song and makes it his own, showing his vocal skills by alternately screeching and using vibrato. He taunts the song (and audience, no doubt) as if he is an erotic predator in a swamp of sexuality, and sings poetry starting with the line, "We came down the rivers and highways." In the midst of the "I’ve got the right to…" section the sound cuts out, resuming with an incomplete version of The End, as Jim croons the line "Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain." He dramatically hollers the beginning of the Oedipal section, which either wasn’t sung in its entirety at this show or is just omitted from this recording. He mellows in the hallway, then beckons "c’mon baby, take a chance with us," only to scream the "blue bus" section. The End concludes in its usual quiet, gloomy way, bringing the show – or at least the tape – to its conclusion.

Even at just under half an hour, this recording is worth hearing because Jim gave such a passionate and dramatic performance. The music is great and it must have been exciting to attend.

Copyright 2001/2002 by David Lilly/waiting-forthe-sun.net

The Doors at the Continental Ballroom