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NOD TO THE GODS: The Doors, ‘L.A. Woman’
April 20, 2014
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Each and every Sunday night when the clock hits eight, The Strombo Show takes over CBC Radio 2. It's music for music lovers by music lovers. To kick off the program, we always tip our hats to the legends, the noisemakers and the ground-breakers in a segment that we like to call: Nod to the Gods.

Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! once said, "most people are either a Beatles person or a Stones person. I am forever a Doors person." She'll be our guest in the broom closet tonight, for an intimate interview and acoustic performance. And with "L.A. Woman," we honour her and celebrate Mr. Mojo Risin' himself, Jim Morrison.

L.A. Woman, the sixth and final Doors album featuring Morrison, was released yesterday in 1971. Those heavy blues vocals were recorded in a bathroom to get a fuller sound. It was one of the handful of times that additional musicians were pulled into the recording, as the group was joined by guitarists Marc Benno and Jerry Scheff, known for his work with Elvis Presley.

"L.A. Woman" was only performed live once, as Morrison passed away only a few months later. That rare performance took place the previous year in Dallas at the State Fair Music Hall on December 11, and it was captured on this bootleg recording.

The bootleg, sadly, doesn't include any visuals — which means it doesn't capture Morrison's dynamic on-stage stagger. The band's performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968 is perhaps the finest production to capture the spirit between Morrison, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and John Densmore on the drums.

Earlier this season, Densmore joined us to chat about his latest book, The Doors: Unhinged, and the legacy of Morrison — including the legal struggles with his former bandmates to stop them from selling the rights to "Break On Through" to Cadillac. 

In the documentary Mr. Mojo Risin — The Story of L.A. Woman, Densmore said: "The metaphor for the city as a woman is brilliant: cops in cars, never saw a woman so alone — great stuff. It's metaphoric, the physicality of the town and thinking of her and how we need to take care of her, it's my hometown." You can watch the full documentary, about the recording of the album, below.

For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or relisten, all of the episodes are archived here.


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