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2012: The Year of the Doors

Guest Blogger:
Rich Weidman, author of The Doors FAQ

In April 1971, the Doors released L.A. Woman, a back-to-basics, blues-oriented album that contained a slew of classic hits such as the title track, “Riders on the Storm” and “Love Her Madly,” as well as eclectic favorites such as “Hyacinth House,” “The Changeling” and “The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)”. It was the band’s sixth studio album and the final album featuring enigmatic lead singer Jim Morrison, who died in Paris under mysterious circumstances less than three months later on July 3, 1971. To mark the 40th-anniversary of this landmark release, the Doors have pronounced 2012 as “The Year of the Doors”. This yearlong campaign will feature a variety of exciting new Doors releases, including the remastered, 40th-anniversary L.A. Woman CD, Mr. Mojo Risin’ DVD/Blu-ray documentary and much more!

As a preview of “The Year of the Doors,” a limited box set was released in November of last year that featured the singles “Riders on the Storm,” “The Changeling” and “Love Her Madly,” as well as a special disc of outtakes and studio chatter from recording sessions. However, “The Year of the Doors” campaign officially kicked off on January 9, 2012, with the release on the band’s Facebook page of the bluesy “She Smells So Nice,” a recently discovered Doors song that was unearthed while reviewing the session tapes for the 40th-anniversary reissue of L.A. Woman. “She Smells So Nice” was the first new, completely unreleased Doors song in 40 years.

On January 24, 2012, the Doors will release a special two-CD release from Rhino celebrating the 40th-anniversary of L.A. Woman, which will consist of the original album, remastered, with an additional disc of bonus material. The second disc will include eight never-before-heard versions of songs from the album, including alternate takes of “L.A. Woman,” “Love Her Madly” and “Riders on the Storm,” as well as the inclusion of “She Smells So Nice.”

Also on January 24, the Doors will release Mr. Mojo Risin’, a fascinating, behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-ray documentary from Eagle Rock Entertainment that boasts live and studio performances, rare archival photos and interviews with surviving Doors members Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore, as well as Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman, original manager Bill Siddons, engineer/co-producer Bruce Botnick and others. A special screening of the Mr. Mojo Risin’ documentary will be held January 20 at 7:30 PT at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. Hosted by Holzman and legendary L.A. radio DJ Jim Ladd, the event will feature appearances by special guests and include a Q&A session.

In March 2012, the Doors will release L.A. Woman: The Workshop Sessions, a two LP vinyl set that will feature previously unreleased alternate versions of songs and studio chatter found on the 40th-anniversary edition. Several other surprises are in store for Doors fans during “The Year of the Doors,” reportedly including releases of the band’s early London Fog and Matrix performances, as well as a “cutting-edge App that will survey the Doors’ entire history in rich and fascinating detail.” So stay tuned – 2012 will definitely prove to be a banner year for Doors fans!

The Doors FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Kings of Acid Rock by Rich Weidman (Backbeat Books)

It has been 40 years since the untimely death of L.A.’s mystic and rock’s Dionysus, Jim Morrison, yet the Doors have consistently inspired new generations of fans worldwide ever since. Highlighting one of the most influential, original, and outrageous American bands of the 1960s, The Doors FAQ is a dynamic, unorthodox exploration of this remarkable band and its enigmatic lead singer.

Drawing upon unique sources, Rich Weidman digs deep and serves up fresh perspective on the music, from the garage to the hits to the outtakes; and on the band’s members, from their roots, influences, and key industry partners to their rare talents, personal foibles, love affairs, and arrests. This volume also details every studio album and live recording, all the highs and lows of the Doors in concert (including the notorious 1969 Miami concert), Morrison’s 40-day trial, and the death of the “Lizard King” in Paris in 1971, as well as post-Morrison milestones. Unlike the straightforward narratives of other Doors biographies, this inventive, ceremonious biographical collage leaves no stone unturned, covering the band both with Morrison and post-Morrison, including the 2010 When You’re Strange documentary and the recent pardon of Morrison by the State of Florida for the Miami concert. Countless rare images from album art to ticket stubs to posters accompany the text, in this dazzling edition of solid rock scholarship.

Available from Amazon, B&N, independent bookstores, and Backbeat Books