This Friday, February 23rd, footage from The Doors‘ performance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival in the U.K.—their final filmed performance—will be officially released as Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Today, ahead of the release, you can watch the band’s rendition of their classic tune “Light My Fire” at the festival.
As Rolling Stone notes, The Doors’ set at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival saw the band at one of their lowest points. The band had been forced to cancel recent tour dates amid legal issues when Jim Morrison was arrested in Miami and charged with “lewd and lascivious behavior” after supposedly exposing his genitals to the audience at a show.
The recent chaos affected Morrison and company when they walked onstage at 2 a.m. for their set. As drummer John Densmore recalls to Rolling Stone, “He was like a pot of boiling water with a lid on top. He didn’t move a lot, but he sang really strong.” They also had to play their show essentially in the dark, as they hadn’t realized they were supposed to bring their own lighting rig. However, the performance still came off powerfully, and the footage serves as a fascinating relic from the days of The Doors’ decline and a testament to the lasting ethos of the band: Even when things were falling apart from the inside, this band could play.
The Doors – “Light My Fire” – Isle of Wight Festival 1970
[Video: The Doors VEVO]
The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival saw between 600,000 and 700,000 fans attend (more than Woodstock) and featured performances from Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Miles Davis, Sly & The Family Stone, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Who, The Moody Blues, Chicago, and many more. However, while the lineup was strong, it suffered from various logistical setbacks and wound up marking the last concert of its kind to be hosted on the Isle of Wight for more than three decades. This was also the beginning of the end for The Doors. The band only played a handful more shows together before putting a pause on touring. Morrison died of complications from his drug and alcohol addiction in 1971 at the age of 27.
The Doors Live at the Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 will be available as a DVD and CD set, a Blu-ray and CD set and on digital video. this Friday, February 23rd. It is available to pre-order now via Eagle Rock Entertainment.
[H/T Rolling Stone]