Friday, October 25, 2019

#7 The Doors (+ The Germs and X bonus)

The Doors - 1991 MusiCards #7
We're up to lucky card #7. It's the second of 4 cards the Doors get in the Legends subset.

Looks like the picture might be from the same shadowy photoshoot as their first album cover, but hard to say.

Photographer Joel Brodsky
And possibly from the same shoot as the Best of the Doors album cover...

Same necklace.

Back focuses on Jim Morrison. Typo alert here: Robby Krieger called "Bobby".

"Break On Through (To the Other Side)" was the group's first single

Growing up for me, the Doors were respected as top tier "all-time greats" right there with the Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Zeppelin, and The Who.

Today? I don't know.

I hear Jim Morrison being called an overrated hack poet and not much of a singer by the younger generation. Personally, I think that's bullshit. Jim Morrison is a rock god, period. The Doors cranked out a bunch of songs over a short period of just 5-6 years, and while not all of them were winners, there were more than enough awesome songs to be considered among the elite acts to come out of the 60s. Brilliant band with the balls to shake things up. Sadly, Jim passed away at 27 and didn't get the chance to further build his legacy.

As a kid, my mom bought the Best of The Doors double disc album from Columbia House, and I enjoyed the hell out of that. Not a bad song on either disc. Later, my bud Doug got a big cd box set of the Doors and I got to check that out and hear some deeper cuts, though ultimately I found myself sticking with the hits.

My favorite song of theirs would probably be "L.A. Woman", followed closely by "The End".

The Doors - "L.A. Woman"

I also really like the "L.A. Woman" cover Billy Idol did. I heard that version around the same time I first heard the original, maybe even before. Doors fans might take it as blasphemy, but honestly I've always considered the two versions to be different sides of the same coin.

Doors - desert island disc
1. Break On Through
2. Light My Fire
3. The Crystal Ship
4. People Are Strange
5. Strange Days
6. Love Me Two Times
7. Alabama Song
8. Five To One
9. Waiting For The Sun
10. Spanish Caravan
11. When The Music's Over
12. Hello, I Love You
13. L.A. Woman
14. Riders On The Storm
15. Touch Me
16. Love Her Madly
17. Roadhouse Blues
18. Soul Kitchen
19. The Unknown Soldier
20. The End

Nearly all of these are from the Best Of double album I grew up on. I should probably try spending more time with their catalog to see if I can find some lesser-known gems that strike a chord with me. But for now, those are the 20 songs I'm taking with me for my desert island isolation. Speak up in the comments with your Doors favs, please.

Got a couple customs for ya today. The Doors were the first band to really break out of the LA underground. Thought I'd feature a pair of other LA luminaries.

Germs - 1991 MusiCards-That-Never-Were
The Germs were a seminal punk band from the late 70s, though they don't get mentioned as often in conversation of classic punk forefathers like the Sex Pistols and Ramones. But they're giants of West Coast punk.

Germs - "Lexicon Devil"

Most of the Germs' studio output was collected on a CD called (MIA): The Complete Anthology (1993). I bought that as a teenager and loved it. It was raw and ugly and awesome.

I was never much of a punk. No piercings or tattoos for me. I sorta dyed my hair green in high school once, but I have dark hair so it was barely noticeable. And I had a Germs t-shirt that I wore once in a while. Becoming a punk was a romantic notion for me (saying "fuck it" and just giving the finger to the world), but at the end of the day, that just wasn't me. But I could still rock out to some punk music from time to time. And the Germs were (and still are) a favorite in that genre for me. Their frontman, Darby Crash, died at 22 in 1980, though they later did some reunion shows with the actor who played him in a biopic. I just recently got around to watching What We Do Is Secret (currently streaming on Amazon Prime, btw), and thought it was pretty good.

Other than that film, the Germs are probably best known these days as being an early band of guitarist Pat Smear, who went on to be a touring member of Nirvana (1993–1994) and then Foo Fighters (1994–1997, 2005–present). It's also worth noting that Belinda Carlisle, who we'll see on her own MusiCards further on in this blog, was kinda-sorta in the Germs for a moment in 1977.

Another LA band from around that time with a ton of street cred is X.

X - 1991 MusiCards-That-Never-Were
X formed in 1977 with singer Exene Cervenka, singer-bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer D. J. Bonebrake. They put out seven studio albums from 1980 to 1993, and after a hiatus for a few years, reunited in the early 2000s, and have continued to tour since.

X -  "Los Angeles" (live)

My favorite song of theirs is "Los Angeles", though I like a bunch of their stuff. "Nausea", "The World's A Mess, It's In My Kiss" and "4th Of July" are others near the top of the list. John Doe has some great solo stuff too, with Forever Hasn't Happened Yet and A Year In The Wilderness being albums I'd recommend.


Jane's Addiction - "L.A. Medley" (live 1991)

Fitting all 3 of this post's featured bands into one cover! Jane's Addiction (a favorite band of mine who I'll have to feature here in depth another time) worked up a cover medley of The Doors' "L.A. Woman", The Germs' "Lexicon Devil", and X's "Nausea" into one song called "L.A. Medley" which they performed live occasionally around 1987-1991. It was essentially their ode to the Los Angeles bands they loved that came before them.

Want some more incestuous connections for these bands I've mentioned in this post?
- The Doors' keyboard player Ray Manzarek produced (and played on) the first X album.
- X covered the Doors song "Soul Kitchen" on that album.
- X drummer D.J. Bonebrake was briefly drummer for the Germs.
- Germs drummer Don Bolles would sometimes play with the band Flower Quartet in the mid 80s, whose bassist Eric Avery later went on to form Jane's Addiction with Perry Farrell.
- Jane's Addiction opened for X a few times circa 1987.
- Perry Farrell sang on the song "Children of Night" along with Exene Cervenka of X for the Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors (2000).
- Perry Farrell performed live with the surviving Doors members at least once or twice in the late 90s/early 00s.
- Perry Farrell sang the Doors' "People Are Strange" in 2006 (with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on acoustic guitar) during a radio appearance.
- The unreleased Jim Morrison spoken word piece "Woman in the Window" was put to music and released by Perry Farrell's project Satelite Party on their 2007 album. 
- Perry Farrell has guested with Pat Smear and Foo Fighters doing Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song".
- Flea guested with Nirvana on stage (on trumpet), played bass for Jane's Addiction (1997 tour), and covered the Germs for a tribute album.
- Dave Navarro also appeared on that Germs tribute album (with his side project Ruined Eye), plus was the guitarist for Jane's Addiction, and was in the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Flea for a few years in the mid 90s.
- Flea's band the Red Hot Chili Peppers used a clip of the X song "White Girl" in their song "Good Time Boys" on their 1989 album Mother's Milk, with additional lyrics mentioning X's John Doe "whose voice is made of gold".

So yeah, lots of love being spread around among these L.A. bands.

That's all for today. The Doors cards keep coming with MusiCard #8 up next, and we'll likely work some Halloween spookiness into the post.


  1. At the end of "Touch Me", Morrison sings the line "stronger than dirt", which was a slogan for the cleaning company Ajax. He apparently added it as a somewhat passive aggressive slight to his band mates, who wanted to sell the rights to their music for commercial use.

    1. Ha, cool. I hadn't heard that. I know licensing their music for commercial use was a big source of contention within the band even long after Jim died.

  2. I'm not a big Doors guy these days, but "Tell All The People" is a favorite.

  3. Yup, the Doors were one of those bands that you just didn't say anything bad about out of respect for your elders (i.e.: older brothers or sisters). I put up with "Light My Fire" being played on the radio just about every day when I was teen and that was like a dozen years after Morrison died.

    Favorite song is probably L.A. Woman.

    Also, thanks for bringing up X. Like you, I could never get into the punk scene much but I did buy the cassette for "See How We Are" in the late '80s.

  4. Perry performing Mountain Song with Foo Fighters was pretty awesome! Lovin' these posts. I'm not even a fan of most of these groups (at least so far), but I love learning about the bands and discovering new songs. Keep up the great job!