by Paul Williams 1967

The Doors, in person, have become the best the West has to offer. In concert at the Village Theater several weeks ago, they were frightening and beautiful beyond my ability to describe. In the audience, young men with thoughtfully groomed beards contorted like Beatles fans in the days of Shea Stadium. Robbie, Ray, and John excelled in musicianship, constantly adding to the perfection of their album (now number two in the country) and leaving no note unturned in their desire to communicate. And as it was meant to be, Jim stole the show. "I tell you, I tell you, I tell you we must die!" "Hope not," he added. Our hearts stopped. "The men don't know, but the little girls understand... Don't 'cha?"

The audience gasped. The first show was the unexpected by way of the familiar, anticlimaxing nicely with "Light My Fire." The difference between records and live, the subtleties of new and old-as-new were illustrated with utter clarity.

Jim brilliantly carried the audience from anticipation to excitement to over-the-edge fright and joy. And the second show, opening with "When The Music's Over," made the first an introduction. If "Horse Latitudes" had shaken us stem to stern, still we didn't know how lost we were till Jim spoke, without accompaniment, the Sophocles section of "The End." And then fell, worshiping some young lady who knelt before the stage. And suddenly flew into the air, a leap to make Nureyev proud.

And finally swung his microphone on its cord, around his head, toward the audience, more and more violent, prepared to release- everything; and we knew he'd do it. One of us would die. "This is the end," he sang into the now frustrated, unviolent microphone, "my only friend," and Jim was wonderful, shrugging his shoulders and letting the boys carry on in "Light My Fire."

The Doors are now the best performers in the country, and if their albums are poetry as well as music, then the stage show is most of all drama, brilliant theater in any sense of the word. Artistic expression transcending all form, because you know as Jim died there for you on stage that that wasn't mere acting, but it was all for art. Christ, they say, became the perfect criminal, negating all crimes in his own most heinous one. Absolving the world by absorbing all sins. And Jim dies a little more each day, pulling toward him all the violence around him, frightening and beautiful as he strains to perfect his art. And every day more of a pop star, pied piper of mice and the flower kids, and when the music's over.....

Crawdaddy Magazine Issue #7