It’s a rare treat that you get to see Jim Morrison and The Doors perform in color. Even though they came out and became a hit in the late 1960s most of their concert footage and music videos were done in black and white. Almost like watching music performances from 1955 or something even though color video and footage for both TV and movies was pretty common if not expected by 1968 when this video in Frankfurt Germany came out. But since this video was shot in color, you get to see Jim Morrison and The Doors the best blues rock band I believe of the 1960s playing in color. With Jim Morrison performing in his go to black leather suit and suede cowboy boots. And you get to see parts of downtown Frankfurt, Germany as well. The song Hello I don’t think is that great of song. But it has a great guitar and drums beat to it and with the Lizard King and his great voice and with the timing down can make ordinary lyrics like “hello, I love you”, sound better than they actually are. And then you throw in Morrison’s skin-tight black leather jeans and concho belt that almost made him look like his crotch was sticking out (and that is as graphic as I’ll get) and you had women who simply were in love with him especially when they got to see him perform up close and wanting to touch him. A big reason why you would see women jump up on the stage trying touch and grab him while her performed in the 1960s. So you put all of these things together and you have a pretty good video here.
Jim Morrison aka The Lizard King, is the bad boy and frontman of classic rock and blues rock. I’m not interested in heavy metal and punk rock, where I’m sure you’ll find guys who got into more trouble and perhaps had even bigger addiction problems. Curt Cobain and Axel Rose come to mind damn fast for me. But, the heavy reliance and influence of black leather that you saw at least in the 1980s and 1990s especially with the leather jeans, boots, jackets, came from Jim Morrison. Which just to my point about how big a deal The Lizard King is when it comes to rock and roll and not just classic rock and blues rock where he made his biggest impact. But again heavy metal when you’re talking about wardrobe with the leather jeans, boots and jackets. That Jim Morrison made a staple of his wardrobe in the late 1960s, when almost no one else outside of biker culture was wearing at all.
I don’t know of a frontman that meant more to his band than Jim Morrison. Not to take anything away from Ray Manzarek especially, who was great on the keyboards and also had a great singing voice. And Robby Krieger was an excellent guitarist and John Densmore could play the drums. But The Doors are famous because of Jim Morrison, but Morrison wouldn’t of needed The Doors at least the group that was put together to be famous and successful. How many other rock frontman at least from that generation, had the intelligence, the wit, the writing ability and then throw in the style that The Lizard King had. In an era where frontman looked somewhat preppy except for the long hair and looked like hippies, I mean we are talking about the late 1960s after all, Jim Morrison is wearing a black leather suit. Skin-tight black leather jeans, that would be called skinny leathers today. With a black leather suit jacket, an Indian concho belt and black suede and leather boots.
Jim Morrison not just put leather jeans on the map in rock and roll, but leather period. To the point that Elvis Presley starts wearing a black leather suit in the late 60s and early 70s. John Kay, from Steppenwolf has his own Lizard King outfit. With a leather vest, black leather jeans and an Indian belt. The hard rockers of the 1980s Kiss, Motley Crew, Guns N Roses, as well as heavy metal bands like Skid Row, are all wearing leather jackets and leather jeans. But much more casually than Jim Morrison and wore biker jackets and t-shirts with their leathers. Morrison, again was a rebel and did his own thing and did it so well that he made it so cool and had others following him. To the point that there are countless Doors cover bands and Jim Morrison covers. With the Jim Morrison figure always in his black leather and concho belt and at times with the black leather jacket.
But with The Lizard King, its not just his leather rock and roll fashion. And the fact that perhaps no other man has ever wore a black leather suit better. Or the fact that thousands of women went to Doors concerts to check the man out every night and to see what he would do on the stage next. But it was also his music and the fact that he and The Doors did their own thing and made their own music and to a certain extent sung about the times the 1960s, but did it their own way. Morrison, especially didn’t want to fit in some place, but instead create his own place that was even different from his own band members from again how he carried and presented himself on stage. And then see if others would follow him. The Baby Boom Generation, the 1960s rockers who made it big in that decade, lost three great stars. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. But I’m not sure as great as Jimi and Janis would’ve been even combined would’ve they’ve meant more to rock and roll than Jim Morrison. The Lizard King was one in a kind and great at simply being himself as an entertainer. And we haven’t seen anyone as good, or similar since.
This video was part of a 2010 PBS film about The Doors, really about Jim Morrison and The Doors, which what really drew my interest to the film that I have on dvd. And this is how the film starts off, with The Lizard King taking to the highway I believe in Southern California desert. And he starts off hitchhiking and someone in a Shelby Mustang, great car by the way, picks him up and somehow which is not shown in film, The Lizard King ends up with the car and driving the car. Only The Lizard King would wear skin-tight black leather jeans in the California desert, but that is one thing that made him The Lizard King. And the original film I believe from 1969 I believe was part of Morrison needing a break from the music business and perhaps The Doors as a whole. And that is what they show with Lizard King hitting the road and seeing what life if like outside of his world. And its a good little film, the 1969 version and the 2010 PBS version Strange Days is even better and it shows this part in that film.
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.
As I mentioned yesterday, The Doors is a very entertaining movie and in at least one sense is accurate as portraying Jim Morrison as a very wild and perhaps immature young man. Who fit in very perfectly in the 1960s generation and the time he grew up in and came of age. But the Miami concert scene is one of the few accurate scenes in the movie. The Lizard King did show up to the 1969 Miami concert, not high, but drunk and was a few hours late.
Morrison was noticeably off and did an awful job and even had a hard time standing up because he was so drunk from the plane ride and from the bar before the flight. Morrison did stop singing all together, got frustrated and started cussing at the audience. And they did boo him and security had a hell of a hard time trying to secure the arena because it was so hot, wild and overcrowded. Sort of like an American prison actually.
But the Miami scene and the New Haven scene might be the only two accurate scenes in the movie. If you are simply just looking for a good fictional movie about a rock and roll band, The Doors is probably a good movie for you. But if you are really interested in the life of Jim Morrison and perhaps the run that The Doors had, I suggest you go the documentary route that is just as entertaining about The Lizard King and The Doors band. But you’ll actually learn some things about them as well.
The Oliver Stone 1991 The Doors movie was a very entertaining movie and worth watching and Val Kilmer did a very good job of playing an entertaining Jim Morrison aka the Lizard King. But other than the Miami concert and perhaps the New Haven concert and maybe the New Haven jail scene and the Lizard King’s outfits, this wasn’t a very accurate movie. And this is according to Doors band member guitarist Robby Krieger. First of all Val Kilmer is around 6’1 and 200 pounds, he’s a big tall man. Where according to The Doors themselves, the real Lizard King was around 5’10 and slender. The Miami concert was crazy as it should’ve been with Morrison trying to perform drunk and getting frustrated and taking it out on the audience.
Jim Morrison trying to make it look like he pulled down his leather jeans (black or brown?) and exposed himself which according to the real Doors band, he never did, but wanted to make people believe he did. And the New Haven scene was fairly accurate, with the Lizard King getting maced in a hall closet before the concert when he was fooling around with a girl, by a cop. And then going out on stage and doing a good job, but then slowing down and getting frustrated and telling the audience about what happened to him in the closet.
And the jail scene was accurate too, with Morrison getting stripped down. And the movie nailed the Lizard King’s outfit down, with over an hour of coverage with Val Kilmer wearing the Lizard King’s go to skin-tight lambskin black leather jeans, which Val Kilmer pulled off very well. But the rest of the movie was an entertaining fiction novel with moving pictures. The Doors movie is very entertaining and if you’re looking for an entertaining fictional rock and roll movie, then I suggest you watch Oliver Stone’s The Doors. But if you want an accurate picture of Jim Morrison and The Doors, I suggest you look elsewhere.
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.
At least the early part of this concert sounds like the Oliver Stone version of The Doors from 1991 with Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison. With The Lizard King drunk and wasted and barely being able to stand up and move around without losing his balance. And giving an awful performance in Miami, Florida and finally getting frustrated and starts cursing at the audience. Which is a true story and one of the few things that the Oliver Stone movie portrayed accurately. The New Haven concert would be another one. The actual Live in London concert was very good and you get to Jim Morrison and The Doors (as I call them) at their best. With The Lizard King at his best in his classic rock and roll uniform the black leather suit, concho belt and cowboy boots that he put on the rock and roll map himself. Which is about an hour long that I have on DVD. They play everything and Morrison is brilliant on the vocals and very entertaining as well.
Good reason not to wear skin-tight leather jeans on national TV when you aren’t sober. As Jim Morrison did on a regular basis for visual effect and he wanted especially women checking him out. But the risk is you end up showing more of yourself than you perhaps intended. Especially when you get excited and you are right there for the whole world to see. Unless no one actually saw The Lizard King go out on stage right before he went out and especially saw him up front and perhaps noticed something about his pants that his, well his thing lets saw was sticking out and he had a boner sticking out of his leather jeans. Or Morrison got excited as he was already on stage and perhaps saw a sexy women or something. For the life of me I can’t figure why someone didn’t walk up to Morrison and say, “uh Jim, you should go to the bathroom or back to the dressing room before you go out on national TV. Because you have a boner sticking out of your pants that everyone is going to see on national TV.”
I believe the most memorable performance from The Doors, at least for Jim Morrison. Live at The Hollywood Bowl from 1968, in Los Angeles, 90 minute performance and in color. Perhaps not even half of the footage of Jim Morrison and The Doors was shot in color. Which is a damn shame considering how great and creative of a performer that Jim Morrison was and how popular he was. And probably was not The Lizard King’s best performance as far as delivering the vocals, but it was still an excellent job as far as acting out the scenes in the songs which was mostly off from improv from Morrison. Like with song The Unknown Solider where he crashes to the ground. He gets distracted with seeing a caterpillar on the stage floor and gets down and picks the insect up and makes a comedic scene out of it. Also a very sexy performance on his part with the brown skin-tight leather jeans and all the closeups of The Lizard King, especially in his crotch section and with Morison playing that to the hilt with the dancing and even inviting the closeups of his midsection.