WHAT GOES ON?
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
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
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