As previously reported, January 4th was declared the “Day of the Doors” in Los Angeles on Wednesday. This designation falls on the 50th anniversary of The Doors’ debut self-titled album, whose influence has solidly permeated rock culture with its classic hits such as “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” “The Crystal Ship,” “Light My Fire,” and “The End.” To honor one of the most celebrated bands of the 60s, City Councilman, Mike Bonin, joined original drummer John Densmore and original guitarist Robby Krieger in Venice, CA, to pay tribute to the band’s humble beginnings in California and the influence they grew to have.
To a packed crowd of around 500 who braved rainy, winter (albeit California winter) weather for the historic event, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin took the stage first to comment on the impact the Doors had on Venice by starting off with noting that “The Doors put Venice on the map.” He then moved into comments about the band’s transcendent qualities, but not before joking about the presence of young people in the crowd, jabbing that 99% of the crowd was not alive at the release of the album The Doors. He closed with these comments trying to verbalize their generation-defying appeal: “When you listen to the Doors, you don’t just hear music. You get taken to a land of imagination, fantasy, and delight.”
Up next were comments by the remaining original band members of the Doors, Robby Krieger and John Densmore. Krieger made reference to the cyclic nature of life, noting that “We started up right here in Venice, and we’re ending up right here in Venice too.” Densmore’s comments were more nostalgic, recalling anecdotes about deceased bandmates, smiling as he described Jim Morrison being inspired to write “Moonlight Drive” by the California ocean as when rent for former keyboard player, Ray Manzarek, in the neighborhood was a mere $75 a month. Overall, the tone was still light and jubilant, as Krieger joked, “On January 4th, forevermore, everybody gets off of school, in Venice, anyway, and off work,” upon receiving the resolution from a grinning Councilman Bonin.
Krieger and Densmore played for a little under 20 minutes to end the evening’s festivities. To kick off their short, celebratory performance, Krieger teased the opening lick of “Moonlight Drive” before the duo kicked off “L.A. Woman,” a video of which can be found below courtesy of youtube user FeelNumb.
[H/T Rolling Stone]