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Old 04-03-2022, 01:03 AM   #1
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The Doors History and Times

Hello Everyone,
I am a Doors fan and Rock Music fan in general. I have an idea for the Lounge. I will be reviewing the first six Doors albums (the ones with Jim Morrison). My idea is to put the albums in context to what is happening in the news at the time in America and the world. This will help us “go back in time” to those days. I was born in 1963 but over the years have fallen in love with what the Doors brought musically to the Rock Music scene. I will be going in chronological order with the album reviews. I have been listening to The Doors catalog of these first six albums this past week to prepare and also researching news of the times. My starting point will be some history of how The Doors were formed that lead up to January 4, 1967 when the first Doors album titled The Doors was released. I am going to do my research but I am by no means an expert on The Doors—-yet. Feel free to comment about your thoughts and memories as we discuss this music. Please let’s do it in a kind and respectful manner. I will be spending a week on each album for discussion. So this will take six weeks. If it goes well I will move on to another band for discussion. This should be a fun journey. Join me.
I will begin this journey later today.
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Old 04-03-2022, 01:14 AM   #2
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Re: The Doors History and Times

One other thing folks , I am a retired History teacher so please indulge my teacher side. Your first assignment is to listen to The Doors first album and be ready to post some thoughts. I will post some questions for discussion on this album after posting some history background of these times. Stay tuned, get the headphones out or fire up that stereo and give The Doors album a fresh listen.
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Old 04-03-2022, 07:28 AM   #3
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Re: The Doors History and Times

1965 Historic Events as The Doors were forming (more on that later).

--Race Riots Break Out in Watts, California leaving large parts of the city burnt and looted and 34 dead.
--Northeast blackout including Parts of Canada and Northeast U.S.
--The 630 foot tall St. Louis Arch is completed in St. Louis, Missouri.
--The Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote becomes law.
--The Gemini Space Program continues into 1965 and lays the foundation for an eventual manned mission to the moon.
--Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak on April 13th. An estimated 51 tornadoes create havoc in six midwestern states.
--The popular daytime soap opera "Days of Our Lives" debuted on NBC.
--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leads civil rights march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery.
--Malcolm X shot in New York.
--Lyndon Johnson announces his program to create Medicare and to expand his war on poverty.
--3,500 United States Marines land in South Vietnam. This represented the first American combat troops on the ground in a conflict that had been building for decades.

Typical Economic Product Prices in USA:
--Price of a new car $2,650.
--Price of gallon of gasoline $0.31
--Price of a loaf of bread $0.21
--Price of a postage stamp $0.05
--Avg. cost of a new home $21,500.
--Median income for families $6,900.

Top Pop Songs of 1965:
--Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham and the Pharoes
--I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops
--(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
--Help! by The Beatles
--Downtown by Petula Clark

Top Albums of 1965
--Rubber Soul by The Beatles
--Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan
--Help! by The Beatles
--Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan
--Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul by Otis Redding

I have researched the above to give a bit of background into the year of 1965 in order to reveal what was taking place at the time The Doors were forming as a musical group. Hopefully, this helps to give perspective into the year of 1965. The Doors were born when Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek met while at UCLA Film School and they met again on a beach in Venice, California. Morrison was invited to join Manzarek's group Rick and the Ravens. Manzarek knew that Morrison was talented at writing poetry and figured the group could use his help. Robby Krieger and John Densmore who had played in a band called Psychedelic Rangers were asked to join later. Bassists were auditioned but it was felt that Manzarek could perform those duties on the keyboard. The group decided on the name based on Aldous Huxley's monograph The Doors of Perception. The Doors soon had a gig at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip and were signed by Elektra Records. This will take us to 1967 and The Doors first album called The Doors.

I will post more today on that album and its contents and will welcome your comments.

I do have some questions to get us thinking and please feel free to answer them or not, but please comment and leave your own questions and answers because I want to learn also from you.

For those who can remember 1965 what stands out in your memory about 1965? What do you remember about the music of that year?

Stay tuned later today for our discussion about The Doors first album ---The Doors.
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Old 04-03-2022, 08:08 AM   #4
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Re: The Doors History and Times

Where were you in 1965? I was a 2 yr old toddler growing up in east central Indiana. My dad worked in Muncie at the Chevrolet plant. They made manual transmissions including the famed Rock Crusher 4 speed.
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Old 04-03-2022, 11:09 AM   #5
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Re: The Doors History and Times

In 1965 I was 12 years old living in southwest Illinois.
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Old 04-03-2022, 11:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mlbman View Post
Feel free to comment about your thoughts and memories as we discuss this music. Please let’s do it in a kind and respectful manner.
Kind?! Me?



That might be setting the bar too high.



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Where were you in 1965? I was a 2 yr old toddler growing up in east central Indiana.
I turned thirteen in the spring of 1965. I was in grade eight in London, Ontario and collecting all bubble gum cards, buying/collecting DC comics, Creepy and Pete Millar's Drag Cartoons magazines:



















I was also building various model kits from military to monster:









I think I still had this snazzy Standard Plastics Creature-Wolfman monster wallet until about the summer of 1965:



And I managed to score my first slot car kit in the summer of 1965 at a hobby shop on the north side of Seven Mile Road just west of the Southfield Expressway in Detroit. It was a 1/24 scale Monogram 275P:





I wasn't buying records yet in 1965. I do however distinctly remember grooving to these tunes when I heard them on the kitchen radio:

I Feel Fine - Beatles
She's a Woman - Beatles
Laugh, Laugh - Beau Brummels
Just a Little - Beau Brummels
Trains and Boats and Planes - Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas
Over and Over - Dave Clark Five
Don't Just Stand There - Patty Duke
The Name Game - Shirley Ellis
The Clapping Song - Shirley Ellis
You've Got Your Troubles - Fortunes
It's the Same Old Song - Four Tops
This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis & the Playboys
Ferry Cross the Mersey - Gerry & the Pacemakers
Silhouettes - Herman's Hermits
I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am - Herman's Hermits
Cara Mia - Jay & the Americans
What's New Pussycat? - Tom Jones
All Day and All of the Night - Kinks
Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire
King of the Road - Roger Miller
I Go to Pieces - Peter and Gordon
Heart of Stone - Rolling Stones
Play With Fire - Rolling Stones
The Last Time - Rolling Stones
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones
Down in the Boondocks - Billy Joe Royal
Wooly Bully - Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
Love Potion No. 9 - Searchers
Stop! In the Name of Love - Supremes
Game of Love - Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders
You Were on My Mind - We Five
Heart Full of Soul - Yardbirds
Tell Her No - Zombies

So the stage was already being set for my becoming a hardcore rock music enthusiast! In the meantime I was also taking accordion classes in downtown London at the Ontario Conservatory of Music:





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My dad worked in Muncie at the Chevrolet plant.
My father worked at the large Labatt's Breweries plant in the shipping department loading pallets of 50 Ale, IPA, Crystal Lager and Pilsener Lager for shipments across Ontario and into the United States.

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Last edited by Foxhound : 04-24-2022 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 04-03-2022, 01:36 PM   #7
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Re: The Doors History and Times

The Doors first album---The Doors

Thanks for the posts! Well the time machine is getting underway, come on aboard as we head to the mid 60s. The Doors got started recording their first album under Elektra Records in August 1966. This album is rich in showing the musical influences of The Doors such as jazz, classical, blues, pop and rock music. It played a part in the psychedelic rock evolution. Paul McCartney liked the musical style of The Doors. The producer for this first release was Paul A. Rothchild. He was assisted by audio engineer Bruce Botnick at Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood California. The album was recorded between August 14 and August 29, 1966. Hard to believe but the band used a 4 track tape machine for this recording. Bass and Drums were on one track, guitar and organ on another, and Jim Morrison's vocals were on the third track. The fourth track was used for overdubbing harmony vocals mainly. I found it surprising but Rothchild did not let Krieger use the wah-wah pedal for fear of dating the record. He thought it would not permit the record to stay in style very long with the wah-wah pedal. I think he was right in that decision. I found that an actual bass player was brought in. They brought in Larry Knechtel of the Los Angeles Cats to play bass to play on some of the songs. Which songs I am not sure but I do know that on the song Light My Fire he followed Manzareks' bass on the keyboards. They then put the bass on track 4 on the four track player. But remember, from my research it appears that bass was not used on all of the songs. This I knew. What surprised me was that they used a bass at all because for years I was under the impression that they did not use bass at all on the early albums. Research has corrected my thinking on that. The tracks that did use bass added some punch to Manzareks' keyboard. Botnick said that the band recorded the first album live in the studio. For "The End" and "Light My Fire", two takes were edited together to achieve the final recording. That was surprising and in listening to the songs again on that album I find it impossible to tell where those edits take place in those two songs.

The album was mixed and completed in October 1966. "Indian Summer" was recorded also and was going to be put on the album but was replaced with "The End". The album was released on January 4, 1967. Paul Williams, a music critic, stated that The Doors had much in common with Brian Wilson and The Rolling Stones as creators of "modern music." I would have to agree with that statement. In my listens to this album even today in 2022 it still sounds fresh to my ears and different in a good and creative way. The album made it to number 2 on the charts for 1967. This album has been hailed as one of the best first albums by any band in history depending on the critic. The future indeed looked bright in 1967 for The Doors after this release. If it were a baseball game, The Doors hit this one out of the park.

Running Order Of the tracks on the album:
1. Break on Through
2. Soul Kitchen
3. The Crystal Ship
4. Twentieth Century Fox
5. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)
6. Light My Fire
Side Two
1. Back Door Man
2. I looked At You
3. End of the Night
4. Take It As It Comes
5. The End

My questions for those who wish to reply are: 1. Where were you when this was released and what was your and your friends reactions to this album. Feel free to share any memories on this question. Did you hear it first on a radio station? Did you buy the album right away? Were you hooked on The Doors because of this album alone? Share some thoughts.
2. What are your favorite tracks on the album and why?

If you dont want to answer those questions it is ok. Feel free to ask your own questions. This thread belongs to all of us so ask any questions you want to ask also. Let's get the discussion started about this great band and their first release. Post any thoughts or memories you might have of those days or of the years later when you discovered the Doors. Have Fun!
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Old 04-03-2022, 08:35 PM   #8
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Re: The Doors History and Times

I first got serious about The Doors in Junior High when I was 12 years old in 1975. I bought a used copy of The Doors first album. My first love was The Beatles but I also loved The Doors sound.
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Old 04-03-2022, 09:05 PM   #9
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Re: The Doors History and Times

I know this will be a much debated question but are The Doors the greatest AMERICAN Band of all time? I like The Beach Boys but in my opinion The Doors narrowly edge them out. I respect all opinions on this question.
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Old 04-04-2022, 12:32 AM   #10
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It played a part in the psychedelic rock evolution.
I'd say it played an integral part since it was among the recordings that actually defined the genre.

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Hard to believe but the band used a 4 track tape machine for this recording. Bass and Drums were on one track, guitar and organ on another, and Jim Morrison's vocals were on the third track. The fourth track was used for overdubbing harmony vocals mainly.
I still dote on the hard left-hard right stereo separation those simple recording techniques created on the LPs of the day!

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I found it surprising but Rothchild did not let Krieger use the wah-wah pedal for fear of dating the record. He thought it would not permit the record to stay in style very long with the wah-wah pedal. I think he was right in that decision.
Now I'm wondering whether Robby Krieger employed a wah-wah pedal on any later tracks by the Doors.

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If it were a baseball game, The Doors hit this one out of the park.
I agree!

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Where were you when this was released and what was your and your friends reactions to this album. Feel free to share any memories on this question. Did you hear it first on a radio station? Did you buy the album right away? Were you hooked on The Doors because of this album alone?
I was in grade ten in London when I first heard the dark melodic strains of Light My Fire on the kitchen radio. I was spellbound! It was like nothing I'd heard on the radio to that time. I knew that the boundaries encompassing rock had just been dramatically expanded and that rock had left its period of youthful innocence behind. Light My Fire made the list I'd put together last year of the tracks that were game changers for rock music:

https://www.crf2.com/showthread.php?t=70057

It was the Doors' performance of Light My Fire on the Ed Sullivan Show on 17 September 1967 though that forever cemented their position near the very top of the pantheon of my favourite bands. Jim Morrison appeared wearing tight black leather pants which must have caused appalled parents' jaws to drop across every single living room in North America. I certainly expected expressions of horrified disgust in as many as two languages from my very old school father. He must have been too shocked though, or maybe he too was hypnotized by the seductive organ riff behind Jim's throaty vocals. Much to my surprise he just sat there in silence. All I know is that I watched the performance intently in almost rapt disbelief. These fellows made the Beatles look like innocent schoolboys! They were a step above and beyond whatever else was happening in rock at the time. Here's the video:



Interesting too is that Ed Sullivan had demanded that the Doors change the words of the song from "Girl we couldn't get much higher" to "Girl we couldn't get much better" as a condition of performing. You see it was actually illegal to use the word "higher" as a drug reference on American TV at the time. The Doors had agreed but when it came time to sing the line, Jim clearly enunciated the word "higher". Ed Sullivan was understandably furious and banned the Doors from any further appearances on his show. When told that the rest of the band's five scheduled appearances on the show had been cancelled, Jim reportedly said "Hey man, so what? We just did the Ed Sullivan Show!"

I just love that type of insolence. Stick it to the straights I still say! I may be a now retired(?) stockbroker and a "respectable" member of society these days, but I still take delight in offending those more straight-laced than myself. And woe to any bureaucrat or corporate suit who annoys me and finds himself in my company!

I bought their debut album a couple of months later in 1967 - and let me tell you I was well and truly hooked on the Doors within a couple of plays. The music just drew me in.

When I played it on my little suitcase record player for one of my buddies, Anthony L., he stayed uncharacteristically silent - but bought his own copy a few weeks later. He later confessed to me that the Doors sounded so moody and Satanic to him the first time I played the record that he never thought he'd be able to like them! He's remained every bit as much of a Doors fan as I am to this very day.

I went on and bought Strange Days at Bluebird Records on Dundas Street in downtown London a few weeks later and then the rest of the Doors' albums as they were released.

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What are your favorite tracks on the album and why?
1. Light My Fire
2. Take It as It Comes
3. Soul Kitchen

But the whole album is fabulous!

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...are The Doors the greatest AMERICAN Band of all time?
Yes, absolutely!

https://www.crf2.com/showthread.php?t=66413

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Old 04-04-2022, 08:10 PM   #11
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Re: The Doors History and Times

Hello Folks,
I am in process this week of gathering information about the second Doors album called Strange Days. Will also be looking at some news from 1967. Please feel free to comment and let’s relive the music of The Doors. That write up will occur this coming Sunday.
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Old 04-20-2022, 01:50 PM   #12
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Re: The Doors History and Times

Hey @mlbman, fascinating thread. As an absolute Doors fan, having read many books on Jim and the band, this is the first time that I have read something that places the album in the context of the times. Great idea man.
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Old 04-20-2022, 03:40 PM   #13
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Re: The Doors History and Times

Ditto Renegade, very interesting to read about The Doors from that perspective, i await another installment.
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Old 04-21-2022, 12:04 PM   #14
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Where were you when this was released.... Feel free to share any memories on this question.

Post any thoughts or memories you might have of those days....
I completed tenth grade in the spring of 1967. It was a year of further refocusing away from the things of my childhood to the things that would occupy my interests in my early adult years. (And here I'm not talking about the girls aspect because that's the obvious one.)

During the school year I maintained the study habits I'd developed at boarding school in Kennebunkport, Maine the previous year. I was equally good at both number crunching and the humanities and I was put in the grade eleven "brain" class. That meant we were the class out of eight classes at the school "privileged" enough to take an extra credit, either Geography which I took or Spanish, in addition to English, French, Latin, History, Mathematics, Physics and Phys-Ed. My single minded focus was to get the best marks in the class (which I succeeded in doing in grade twelve). I was quite simply a bookish nerd and hung around at school with the other nerds. The prodigious feats of info absorption of which I was capable such as memorizing word-for-word several pages of definitions from the back of my science textbook now make me cringe when I think back on it. While I suppose my academic aptitude probably served me well into my adult life, I can't say it was a happy time in my life. It was simply nothing but a grind.

One happy side effect of my devotion to my studies though was that I had all exemptions from my final exams meaning that I finished the school year in May a couple of weeks earlier than most students. Most of the summer I spent hanging out on the street or at Thames Park with the other neighbourhood kids including the girls. I had the best radio, a really large strap-held transistor radio with which we listened to CHLO in St. Thomas which was the local Top 40 radio station! By then of course I was much too old and sophisticated to play baseball like some little kid.

The only comic I bought in 1967 was Doctor Solar 21 and that was the last comic I would buy until mid-1972.



Nor did I renew my subscription to Warren's Eerie magazine when it expired.

What I read in their place was the local London Free Press newspaper. And we had a subscription to Time magazine which I absolutely devoured from cover-to-cover. To this very day I know who the leaders of the countries in the news such as Vietnam, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Algeria were in 1967 and even many of Canada's cabinet ministers but by a few years later I'd completely lost track with all the changes.

I continued to read for recreation. I can't recall what I was borrowing from the local library, but I took up buying and saving all the Pan James Bond paperbacks:



I wanted to be like James Bond of course with all these gorgeous women draped all over me! I didn't realize at the time how troublesome that would likely prove.

I'd lost interest in most of my other childhood pursuits although I still built the occasional model plane. I believe that the last three I built were in 1967:







Both my Monogram Ferrari 330P/LM slot car and Cox Spitfire with the .049 Thimble Drome engine just sat gathering dust, however.







TV still wasn't a big part of my life. I'd watch the televised games during the CFL season but there were no more than two or three per week and I'd watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I'd usually watch the reruns of Wild Wild West after school and often The Beverly Hillbillies and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and sometimes Bonanza or the Ed Sullivan Show on Saturday and Sunday evenings but that was it.

I did get to take the train to Montreal to visit Expo 67 in the company of twenty or so other Lithuanian kids from the London area. Everything about the trip was a thrill. I stayed at a grownup second cousin's house in the Montreal neighbourhood of Westmount and thoroughly enjoyed both the world's fair and the entire experience.



The summer of 1967 also heralded the start of my working life when my father placed me on a tobacco farm just north of Delhi in late July for a five week stretch. My horizons were further expanded when I got my trembling hands on the September issue of Playboy in the bunkhouse:



As the gatefold attraction the issue featured the luscious Angela Dorian, a.k.a. Victoria Vetri, who went on to become the Playmate of the Year:





When I got back home just before Labour Day, I had $495 in my bank account and I was fully intent on buying some of the records to which I'd been grooving on the radio. I went ahead and made the new exotic Beatles' album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, my first purchase at Bluebird Records in downtown London:



I quickly followed up this purchase by acquiring the Beatles' first three Canadian albums, Beatlemania, Twist and Shout and Long Tall Sally.



I then stepped outside the box in October and bought Big Hits - High Tide and Green Grass by the Rolling Stones. I was floored! I found the Stones' record far edgier than the comparatively tame Beatles' albums. Then of course there was the innovative for the time booklet of their pictures included within the double sleeve:



I wasn't entirely sure which Stone was which at the time but the brooding, mysterious Stones appealed to me in a way the Beatles did not. I went out and added Flowers and then a few more Stones' LPs to my swiftly growing record collection within a few weeks.





By December I believe I'd bought these LP's by other groups as well:











Note the absence of bands such as the Monkees whom I knew had been created to target pubescent girls. My intent was to buy the LPs of only those groups/artists that fit my category of "serious" rock musicians. I pursued my record buying, collecting and cataloguing with the same intensity and focus that I'd previously applied to my bubble gum card and comic collecting efforts. As a result within a year I had a shelf of records far exceeding that of any classmate or kid in the neighbourhood.

I also immediately aspired to replace our family's little mono record player that had been bought used in 1962(?) with a Seabreeze stereo record player with detachable speakers. But my father was adamantly opposed to such a profligate waste of money since we already had a "perfectly good" record player so I put that project on hold for the time being. It would be resurrected though!

And now here I am today, still very much a fan of rock music and hi-fi stereo components. Moreover I'm still a huge fan of the model kits, comic magazines and other sundry kid stuff from my formative years! I continue to be a fan of James Bond movies and vintage Playboy magazines up to about 1970 but Playboy has for decades now struck me as being too sanitized with its "wholesome" airbrushed models.

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Old 04-23-2022, 10:15 PM   #15
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Re: The Doors History and Times

Sorry guys, events came up in my life and took time away from my research but will be back to my research tomorrow and posting historical perspective of the Doors second album probably Monday. Am enjoying their body of work all over again with this project.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:41 AM   #16
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I am in process this week of gathering information about the second Doors album called Strange Days.
Good! Strange Days may very well be my favourite Doors' LP.

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