A tradition to many, American Bandstand was a TV show which offered the kids across America a chance to see the latest and newest bands on the scene. In July 1967 it was the turn of the revolutionary band The Doors, fronted by the lizard king Jim Morrison.
The Doors’ influence on culture, and music, in particular, is hard to argue with. The band’s development of musical artistry must’ve been an inspiration to so many artists in the 70’s who developed their own characters, films and content, as well as their own musical direction.
In 1967 though the band were about to embark on their now infamous European tour which would gather yet more followers to their sensual and sultry sound. The band pushed themselves apart from any faction, any establishment and any political rhetoric they did not agree with and because of it took a legion of fans along with them. The opportunity therefore to have a national audience proved another feather in the cap fr a band unwilling to wear it.
Morrison, in particular, combined the intensity of Elvis and his fervour with the intellectualism of Dylan matched with the kind of unwillingness to be chained that would later go on to form the punk movement – all underpinned by his snaking, leather-clad hips, which to an audience in 1967 could sometimes lead to hysteria.
He was a visionary, always looking to “break on through to the other side” as it were. They were trend-setter in the least and revolutionaries at their best.
The performance on American Bandstand not only gives us a chance to look at a young Dick Clark, but also the huge gap between The Doors output (the intellectualism and freedom of the lyrics especially) and the audience willingly accepting them and their changes.
The footage sees the band perform not only ‘Light My Fire’ which would go on to define the band in more ways than one, but also the gloriously beautiful ‘Crystal Ship’. Compiled by the performance and delivery is the small interview given where we sneak a glimpse at the men and the artists behind the music – it’s an intrguing interview worth watching.
Dick Clark: A lot of people seem to think you come from San Francisco. Is that true?
Jim Morrison: No. We actually got together in LA. We do play in San Francisco a lot.
DC: That’s the explanation of why you have that association. Why is so much happening in San Francisco? You figured it out yet?”
JM: The West is the best.
DC: All right. Fair enough.
DC: “Have you selected a name for the new album yet Jim?”
JM: “I think it’s Strange Days”
DC: “All right. Fair enough. Well do the thing that set the whole music business on fire. Ladies and gentlemen, again, The Doors!”
Take a look below.
(Via: Gaslight Records)