When you’re a huge Hollywood star, with a career that not only spans decades, not only incorporates some of the most beloved films ever but has some of the greatest credits La La Land can offer, then the public will know almost everything about you. Yet somehow the fact that the great Harrison Ford — who starred not only as Han Solo but also Indiana Jones in two of the greatest adventure characters of all time — once worked as a roadie for The Doors has completely passed us by.
No longer! As we’ve dug up this brilliant clip from the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you Han Solo himself explaining how he ended up working with The Doors, their huge counter-culture following and the religious path it almost sent him on. It’s the kind of video that you can only dream of and one which offers up an intricate look at the life of a Hollywood icon.
Everybody has to start somewhere in filmmaking and, for a young Harrison Ford, it was on Feast of Friends a 1968 concert film all about life on the road with the hottest band around at the time, The Doors. It would almost put Ford off showbusiness for life after witnessing the drink, drugs and depravity that ensued on tour.
The soon-to-be-Hollywood-star was working as a carpenter at the time but gladly took the opportunity with both hands after his friend from UCLA, Paul Ferrara, invited the heartthrob to work on the project as a second unit cameraman. The two had originally met after Ford did some work on Ferrara’s house but now the chippy would be working with a bonafide icon in Jim Morrison.
As such, Ford needed to learn how to operate a camera fast and so, according to The Doors Guide, the actor took on a brief lesson in shooting at Sixth Annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Agoura, CA on May 4, 1968, with band members John Densmore and Robby Krieger also in attendance.
The crash course would be enough to satisfy Ferrara and send Ford out into the wild of the Northern California Folk-Rock Festival to film the band in one of their more natural surroundings. While Ford would often say his camerawork was that of an amateur, much of what he shot that day made it to the final film, so we think he was a quick learner.
Harrison Ford remembers working with Jim Morrison and The Doors
Below Ford explains the experience via some vintage ’80s footage. The legendary actor says: “I worked on a road tour film of The Doors, we went around for about a week and a half. A concert tour.” He continues, “When it was over, I was one step away from joining a Jesuit monastery. I thought it was cool, I thought it was hip, but I couldn’t keep up with those guys. It was too much.”
“I was part of the camera crew, second camera. I don’t think any of it was in focus [laughs]. Not a bit of it. Those were the old days.”
In the clip below you can see Ford remembering the unforgettable week and a half he spent with The Doors. It also features snippets of Ford working with the band as he dons the clapperboard and passes by Jim Morrison. It’s a moment in Hollywood history that will always make us smile and dreaming of Harrison Ford running as the roadie for other classic artists.