Friday, May 17, 2013

"Take It As It Comes" (The Doors) and "Riot On the Sunset Strip" (The Stendells)

Originally released in January 1967, 'Take It As It Comes" showcased one of the great American rock bands,  The Doors, a stand-out from other fine folk, rock, blues and psychedelic groups  like The Association, The Mamas and the Papas, The Palace Guard, The Byrds, The Knack (American version),  and others, including The Standells who appear in the opening of the 1967 American-International exploitation film about the Sunset Strip scene, featured here:

The mid to late sixties produced a major Los Angeles "Sunset Strip" music and counter-culture scene where teenagers came to taste the first fruits of adulthood. Thanks to problems with local politics, hard drugs and a hard-nosed police presence,  the "scene" was not without its negatives aspects, as this film tries to highlight in a faux-gritty fashion.

 Whatever your take on the past, the great music lives on and the spirit of a new freedom was not to be quelled.    These bands got their main exposure from L.A. clubs like "Whiskey A Go Go", "Where the Action Is", "Fred C. Dobbs", "Pandora's Box"  and other venues.    The Doors (and especially Jim Morrison) were not beyond pushing the envelope. The music was a combination of earthiness, raw carnality and metaphysical imagery from all branches of world  mythology, the African-American  Blues giants of the past, Berthot Brecht and the ground-breaking 19th Century poets William Blake and Baudelaire .
From Wikipedia: "Although composition credit went to the band as a whole, the album's primary writers were Jim Morrison and Robert Krieger. "The End"'s Oedipal climax was first performed live at the Whisky a Go Go; the band was thrown out as a result of Morrison screaming "Mother...I want to f*** you!" towards the end of the song. "Alabama Song" was written and composed by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in 1927, for their opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny); "Back Door Man" was written by Willie Dixon and originally recorded by Howlin' Wolf. The line "Some are born to sweet delight, some are born to endless night" from "End of the Night" is a quotefrom William Blake's poem "Auguries of Innocence"

The Doors were the cream of the great Southern California music scene of this time and they accomplished a lot in the five-six years they had to move popular music into new "doors of perception."   


  1. I like The Standells song Doug, I've never heard it before, cool tune a bit proto-punk I think. The Doors I have always held in high regard, I only saw them live after Jim Morrison died, but in 1967 I was the proud owner of their Strange Days album. This acid rock psychedelic classic did something to distort my world a little and fire my imagination with all manor of phantasmagoria...Strange Days indeed, but ones filled with magic and mystery and a good time to be young.

    1. Kudos to you for seeing The Doors live, AA. I'm sure it had to be a great show even sans Jim Morrison. They were indeed an amazing band, such a standout group even among a flowering artistic scene that included so many major mid to late 1960's American groups, those who channeled some of that creative energy bursting out of Liverpool and London in the early Sixties. And the great African American blues artists of the previous decades of course.
      Yes, the "youth problem" spotlighted by nervous establishment types and the media of the 60's was, to my mind, a great societal "game changer" we who came up in the 70's and 80s can only be most thankful for! Thanks for your comments AA.