October 7, 2016

Mr. Mojo Rising

Here's yet another peek inside Amir's uniquely astute mind, in the form of an email from 2014. I'd sent him a link to a Flavorwire story about Jim Morrison, in which it was noted that the three “sidemen” in The Doors got too little credit for their contributions, a fact I have always found unfortunate. As always, Amir took the discussion several steps further, adding his own illuminating take:
Funny, I heard 'Love Me Two Times' the other day and forgot how great it is, from an instrumental standpoint (lyrics disposable). I absolutely agree, Manzarek and Krieger deserve equal credit for being top-notch musicians. Not to mention their creativity - they wrote all of these now iconic melodies. Excellent songwriters/arrangers. Densmore was pedestrian at best, but he did have great sideburns.

Morrison had two things going for him, in this order: (1) good looks and (2) a unique baritone voice with decent range. One could argue his prowess as a hyper-literate, visionary lyricist/poet/mystic/pedophile and in a handful of songs this is true. Trouble is, more often than not he sounds pretentious and his affectation ridiculously theatrical. That's just me, though. Many worship him as a modern day Yeats or Sartre or whatever. His ego would have benefitted from a dose of self-deprecating humor now and then (see Lennon, John or Davies, Ray).

Interestingly, I read somewhere recently that the notoriously anti-war Morrison was the son of a Navy Admiral. His father's ship was involved in the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which started the Vietnam War.
My dad gets credit for introducing us to The Doors--he brought home their LP after going apeshit for the album version of "Light My Fire" (back in the days when FM radio would disappointingly play only the three-minute "single" and only the album rock station played the full version). I was particularly interested in Morrison's poetry and I shared my well-worn copy of a book of his poems with Amir, who proceeded to mark up specific lines with a highlighter and make notes in the margins. How I wish I still had that book! Perhaps I'd derive from it some deeper understanding of Amir's adolescent mind or infer some unintended significance, a la Heather Chandler's posthumously-highlighted copy of Moby Dick (for those who get the reference). ESKIMO.