Love, Mysticism and the Hippies

by Kurt Van Meier, Vogue Magazine

Jim Morrison, the lead singer and songwriter of the Doors, is at twenty-two one of the most shaken-loose, mind shaking and subtle agents of the new music of the new, mysticism-oriented young. His voice, weak on high notes, lacks stamina and belt, but it couldn't matter less. He gets people. His songs are eerie, loaded with somewhat Freudian symbolism, poetic but not pretty, filled with suggestions of sex, death, transcendence. Part of his swamping magnetism is an elusiveness as if he were singing for himself.

Four young men who met as university students in Los Angeles, the Doors have the California sound. The electronics, the spooking organ tones, the traces of raga and sitar.

Disciplined, inventive, strong in their sense of beat and form, they excel at those long, deceptively impromptu "pop songs" that last seven or more minutes. Their Light My Fire took off as a hit. But the Doors play at their best in The End, a song that runs for more than eleven and a half minutes with words by Jim Morrison writing as if Edgar Allan Poe had blown back as a hippie.

Copyright 2003 by Kurt Van Meier/

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