I think the Crawling King Snake video from The Doors with Jim Morrison perfectly sums up the style and career of Jim Morrison. The man made leather jeans and rock and roll culture and why it looks the way it does today, at least with hard rockers and headbangers. The Lizard King obviously wasn’t a hard rocker or a headbanger, but he put his signature black snake skin leather jeans on the map and made them cool. To the point by the 1980s they were standard for rockers male and female. And probably a big reason why Melissa Etheridge and Joan Jett got into them and why you saw rock and roll bands like Guns N Roses and Kiss get into them and of course the metal bands like Skid Row and Motley Crew.
And that is what you see in this video. The Lizard King moving so smoothly in his snake skin’s and cowboy boots and the concho belt. He combined rock and roll culture and lifestyle, with Western and American-Indian culture with the leather jeans, cowboy boots and concho belt and the leather jacket as well. He put these looks on the map in rock and roll, because of how often he wore this outfit in public and all the images that have come from those appearances. That were famous then and if anything now more popular forty-five years later. And without the Lizard King, rock and roll probably looks a lot different in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and today.
Leather in general wasn’t very popular in America when it came to wardrobes pre-late 1960s or so, except for perhaps biker and to a certain extent Western culture. So Jim Morrison in his full leather suit and then throw in the cowboys boots and the concho belt, that if anything even highlighted his leather jeans even more, especially in front, he was taking a risk. But he had the style, the look, the moves to make it work to the point that he became a rock and roll and perhaps even style icon in America and not just in rock and roll. And all of this is part of legacy that is still alive and well today.
Before I make Jim Morrison look real bad here I’ll say that this was one of The Doors best performances ever even as short as it was. The Lizard King (and I say that for a reason) was at the top of his game with the vocals and everyone played very well. But if you watch the video (and you are not blind) you see something real obvious and may get to thinking “what the hell”. (or something stronger than that) Because you see Morrison in his classic black leather suit. Nothing strange there from him, but with a big fact erection sticking out of his leather jeans. I don’t know how you go out on stage with that sticking out and that is assuming you are sober. And perhaps The Lizard King wasn’t and this was one of the reasons why he was The Lizard King. Because he was so out there and not just wore the black leather jeans at most of his performances. But his leathers were so skin-tight and revealing that anything that got him excited sexually was going to be seen by a lot of people and this case being on Sullivan by millions of people. And it happened to him in one of the most public places possible on Ed Sullivan on national TV on Sunday night in 1967.
If only The Doors were big even in the early 1970s, but certainly the mid and late 1970s, we would really see how great of a band that they were and how great of a performer Jim Morrison was. But they were big in the late 1960s, but color TV and film was even important and and had a big presence then. But that is a different story of why so much footage of The Doors was in black and white. Even though color TV and film, was prevalent in the late 1960s and how a lot of Americans were able to see their TV and films, if they just had a color TV. Because the music in this concert and show, was very good, but the footage is somewhat blurry. And sort of looks like a card game in a card room with all the players smoking cigars making the footage somewhat smokey. If a colorized version of this concert ever became available like movies from the 1950s and 40s were colorized, I would be one of the first people to buy The Doors Live in London in concert, or record it on demand. Because this is a really good show from them.