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The Doors First Tour Without Jim Morrison 1971.

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#1 Guest_TheWallsScreamedPoetry_*

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 02:39 AM

November 12th 1971, Pershing Municipal Auditorium. Lincoln Nebraska was the first time that the band took the stage without Jim Morrison. I am not talking about Jim sleeping off a bender or missing a set because he was off his face on some drug or other but a concert where there was no possibility that Jim would appear for the late show or the next day with a sheepish grin on his face asking what did I miss guys.
12th November 1971 the band took the stage knowing Jim was gone forever.
Must have been a pretty emotional evening for the lads?
They opened with 'Tightrope Ride' which was their tribute to Jim and played a solid set which predominantly was made up of tracks from their new album Other Voices.
Throughout their short career as Mark II The Doors only played new songs with the exception of RKs 'Light My Fire' and 'Love Me Two Times' and the odd standard.
I find it exceptionaly sad and poignant that The Doors never ever played a Jim song live on stage after his death.
They showed guts to carry on and tried hard to carve out a niche for themselves. They were well received by audiences and had their share of concert triumphs but ultimately Jim's ghost came back to overshadow their efforts and the band folded forever.

....a monumental evening in Doors history!

Anyone make any of those concerts and what do you guys think about this brave attempt to go back on stage without their most visible member?

The Doors book smaller venues for thier first tour without Jim Morrison since it is impossible to predict the publics reaction to such a tour.In addition they are outright opposed to playing big halls that had become such a scene under Jim. The superior acoustics and more intimate settings of the smaller hall appeal to them.
The performances during this tour always start with an anticpatory edginess from the audience who don't know what to expect from the band without Jim. Thier concerns are quickly alleviated as the band progress through thier first few songs. It is ibvious that the musicians are proficient players who have adjusted to thier loss and generated a cornucopia of new material that unmistakenly defines them.

Manzarek later comments on that first tour.
"As you can imagine it was a little strange but the audience was warm and receptive. Thankfully most of them came with an open mind to see us and not for any seance during which we would try to raise a ghost. I've got to say that we are most happy and grateful with the way in which the audiences have accepted us."
Roy Carr: 'People Must realise It. Jim Is Dead'.
NME February 17th 1972.

November 12th 1971, Pershing Municipal Auditorium. Lincoln Nebraska.
Opening night of this first Doors tour without Jim Morrison shows great promise for the trio which is accompanied by Bobby Ray on rythm guitar and Jack Conrad on bass. Ray Manzarek plays exceptionally well.
The Lincoln Journal comments:
"Keyboard man Ray Manzarek deserves the star for his dressing room for his performance on Friday evening at Pershing Auditorium. He is super talented on both organ and piano. When he tears into the blues he really is a superstar.
Holly Spence. Lincoln Journal November 13th 1971.
They open with a solid version of 'Tightrope Ride' and other highlights include 'Variety Is The Spice Of Life', 'Ships w/Sails' and 'Hang On To Your Life'
The show is promoted by old friend Rich Linnell.

13th November 1971 Augsburg Minneapolis

November 14th 1971, St Lawrence Market. Toronto Canada.
The Doors performance in Canada goes exceptionally well despite the somewhat sparse attendance. The band is in fine shape and delivers the distinct impression that even without Jim they are still a band to be reckoned with.

November 17th 1971 Ottawa Civic Centre
November 18th 1971 Buffalo Peace Bridge Centre
November 19th 1971 Schenectady NY Cancelled
November 20th 1971 East Town Theatre Detroit
November 22nd 1971 Boston Music Hall

November 23rd 1971: Carnegie Hall, New York City.
The Doors highly touted appearance at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall is not one of the highlights of the halls season but is probably one of the best shows The Doors ever perform without Jim Morrison.
After opening with an explosive version of ‘Tightrope Ride’ they proceed directly into a bustling version of ‘Variety Is The Spice Of Life’ later ‘In The Eye Of The Sun’ features some mesmerising keyboard work from Ray Manzarek particularly during the instrumental passage, which delivers numerous eerie overtones reminiscent of ‘Riders On The Strom’.
They conclude ‘Sun’ with frequent high spirited references to New York City which are embraced with appropriate cheers from this stronghold of Doors fans.
Tonight even the peculiarly ‘I’m Horny I’m Stoned’ is highlighted with some feverish guitar sequences from Robby Krieger.
Although ‘Hang On To Your Life’ commences as a fairly routine version of the song towards its conclusion the entire band suddenly vaults into an exceptional jam that so vividly invokes the spirit of Jim Morrison that one can readily imagine Jim’s high pitched howls fuelled by the intensity of the instrumental rising into the air.
The Doors then step back into their previous repertoire with a lively ‘Love Me Two Times’ and a very rock and roll flavoured ‘Close To You’.
Following that Ray introduces Tony Glover who had sat in with The Doors on some memorable nights in Minneapolis and the band breaks into a very blues influenced version of ‘Good Rockin’. Glovers steady locomotive harmonica style adds some exquisite flavour to this rock classic. The band closes with the highly anticipated ‘Light My Fire’ which builds into a remarkably energetic instrumental passage followed by a vigorous final chorus that concludes to tumultuous cheers and applause from the enthusiastic audience. The Doors then return with Tony Glover to bring the superb evening to a close with a salty version of ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’.
The Doors On The Road.  

“One of the most eagerly awaited concerts of the NY Fall was a knockout at Carnegie hall. The Doors appearing in Gotham for the first time without the late Jim Morriosn were exciting all the way. “<br>Variety Magazine December 1st 1971.

"No audience would let them get away with a complete about face. Jim Morrison's image is still very much with them musically and spiritually. Ray Manzarek who looks to calm for it all is the new leader and he wears the role with enough reluctance so that it is readily acceptable. His keyboards are mightier than ever and the sum total of the groups other voices convey much of the richness that made Jim so unique. The new music bears Jim's mark but this is both expected and welcomed. Morrison was and forever will be a Door. Thats the way the crowd want it. Thats the way fate planned it.
Manzarek-Krieger-Densmore they are one and they are three. They are the audience and the audience is them. Full Circle, round circle beautiful circle. Death is not the end when life is strong"
CashBox December 4th 1971.

“The group emphasised its instrumental performance over the vocals and lyrics by playing lengthy numbers from ‘Other Voices’ at extremely high volume. Were it not for the refined talents of John Densmore, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger The Doors decision to retain their name and continue as a trio could have proven fatal. As it stands the group fronts an impressive attack that could be strengthened by turning down the volume a bit and incorporating more familiar material into the repertoire.” John Kogel ‘Doors Other Voices Weaken Carnegie Show’.
Hofstra University Chronicle December 2nd 1971.

"I had re signed Ray, Robby & John to a multi record deal, my way of showing them it wasn't all Jim and saying thank you with Warners money' {Elektra had just been sold to Warners which had become WEA (Warner/Elektra/Asylum)} Thier first album was Other Voices and to launch the record and the new reality we put on a Carnegie Hall concert. Carnegie Hall was big enough to hold a crowd and small enough to go three quarters of the way back to intimacy. With Ray doing most of the vocals The Doors wowed the sell out audience of soaked in brine Doors fans."
Jac Holzman from Follow The Music.

November 24th 1971: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
The Doors performances go well this evening demonstrating thier musical abilities aptly. The evening is light and open.

November 26th 1971: Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles .
The first gig in LA without Jim was also long time former roadie equipment genius now Road manager Vince Treanor’s last with The Doors….and the band pays tribute to him for all his efforts over the years after playing 'Hang On To Your Life' from the new album.

“The Music of The Doors still deals with apocalypse but now the group tends to be doing a rueful little dance along the edge of the abyss. The death of Jim Morrison seemed to make survivors Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore a lot freer in their musicianship and more consistently able to express their meta-physical outlook with touches of cosmic humour. Onstage minus Morrison they have obviously lost something in fiery charisma at this early phase of their new career. But their return to LA set showed craftsmanship of a high order and a touching eagerness to communicate all out. The Doors trio is sure to remain a major force in rock for many more years!” BillBoard December 1971.

“As far as most of the audience are concerned the group could do no wrong and to be honest they were good….damn good. The five men together with engineer/producer Bruce Botnick who mixed the show delivered one of the tightest sounds you’d want to hear. They don’t have to rely on old material…the set was well placed and the excitement level was consistently high. Other Voices is like a rough sketch of the kind of finished masterpiece they can create on stage. It’s a new group and it’s an exciting group. And it is a group that I would even go out of my way to see again. And coming from a reviewer who more often than not has to force himself to go to a concert that is quite a compliment.” Chris Van Ness. LA Free Press December 3rd 1971.

December 2nd 1971: Berkeley Community Theatre. Berkeley CA.
This concert is unfortunately marred by sound difficulties that affect all three bands. The Doors seem to be slightly uncomfortable with the sole performance in the Bay area sounding much more like they did with Jim than in recent performances. They even pull back on thier instrumentals during songs like 'Light My Fire' as if half expecting to see Morrison suddenly appear offstage engaging in some of the craziness he loved to enact during the instrumantal passages.

Doors On The Road.

As sort of an encore to that first tour and warm up to thier second the band appear at Elektra's first sales convention in January.

January 7th 1972: Riviera Hotel Palm Springs CA.

As a warm up to the East Coast Tour The Doors perform at Elektra's first ever national sales convention in The Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs California.
This also includes the debut of Harry Chapin who would become an Elektra legend and Carly Simon one of the labels faves.....
Cash Box reported: "The Doors were another treat. They're a powerful rock group with great sounds. Including some amazing work by guitarist Robby Krieger. And you seem to appreciate thier musical ability more now that your attention is not rivited to one individual the like of giant handsome idol Jim Morrison. Fascinating entertainment at the Elektra meeting"......
Cash Box January 22nd 1972.

This turns out to be an encore appearance for Vince Treanor thier genius sound man who helps out at the concert part of the convention..

Elektra would use the convention as a springboard to introduce 'Wierd Scenes Inside The Goldmine' which would be thier own homage to the man who made Elektra great and the new 3 piece Doors would release 'Tightrope Ride'...thier own tribute to Jim that month as well as begin work on what would become 'Full Circle' thier final album.

#2 Guest_TheWallsScreamedPoetry_*

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 02:42 AM

"We sort of had reservations at first. It had been a long time since any of us sang and we were a little shaky. Then we figured. Oh Boy here we go.. The first time in front of the mike there were a lot of frogs in the throat. But then it astarted to get easier."
Ray Manzarek on the first tour without Jim.
'Three Doors & The Ghost Of Jim Morrison'
Philedelphia Inquirer November 21st 1971

It is Doors music mainly due to its trappings....they still are The Doors but without a cause or passion. It is obvious that Jim Morrison was more than just a singer....

With that opinion from Rolling Stone at the back of thier minds The Doors decided to take to the road once again both to promote the new album but also to demonstrate that The Doors minus Jim Morrison did not spell diasaster.
To help with this they recruited two supplementary musicians.
Jack Conrad on bass who according to John:
'worked with Helen Reddy and writes a lot of stuff with her....had some hits on the charts'...
and Bobby Ray on rythm and additional percussion:
'He was an old friend of ours from LA. He's played bass with Donovan on 'Sunshine Superman' and had been on the road with The Mamas & The Papas. I'd known him for quite a while and he'd toured with us before. The summer after he came with us he put out a solo album produced by Johnny Rivers'.
Robby Krieger.

The tour had a less than auspicious start with dates in Toronto and Ottawa pulling very small crowds but by the time they got to New York and Carnegie Hall via Lincoln Nebraska and Detoit it was standing room only and all along the line the reviews had been universal in thier praise of the concerts. It was evident that not only did the Other Voices material work better live (only 'Wandering Musician' was omitted) but as with the 'old' Doors the band itself was a different entity on stage.
The crowds tended to agree with the critics though again there were a fair number of the curious salted among the faithful. This audience reaction was most surprising as the new album aside the only other songs performed were 'Love Me two Times', 'Light My fire' and 'Good Rockin' Tonight' the old Elvis standard. Whilst the audience naturally acclaimed the golden oldies they also reacted well to the newer material.
Dispelling Ray's slight early reservations.....
I think its going to take people a little while to adjust to what we are doing....At first. I think it might be rather confusing for them....but little by little, if they just listen and dig the music!...'

From 'The Doors' by John Tobler & Andrew Doe.