"This whole thing started with Rock and Roll..."
Back Door Man
Break On Through
When The Music's Over
Little Red Rooster
Unknown Track (Poem)
The Celebration Of The Lizard
Light My Fire
-St. James Infirmary
-Eleanor Rigby (Instrumental)
Recordings / Film:
Larry Hulst (See Below)
Reviews / Info:
-8:00pm scheduled start time.
-The Doors perform for two hours.
-Setlist includes a rare performance of Louie, Louie, Heartbreak Hotel and Carol.
-Jim Morrison is inanimate onstage due to his trial in Miami.
-An incomplete and unlistenable recording of this performance is made by an audience member.
-Jim Morrison is scheduled to be interviewed by a local newspaper following the show, but reschedules for the next morning.
"It took place in the summer of 1970. I was 21, a senior at UCLA, though at that time I was back home in San Diego. I had been a Doors fan since I first heard Light My Fire in early 1967. Bought all their albums, played them until the grooves wore smooth, then bought them again. The venue was the San Diego Sports Arena, used mainly for basketball and hockey games. 'Festival Seating' was in effect: no reserved seats, and no seats at all on the floor. Acoustics were poor.
Crabby Appleton was the opening act. They were more or less one-hit wonders, their bubble-gummy hit Go Back peaking at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. They put on a good, bouncy pop-rock show, climaxed by some sort of fireball shooting up from the stage in the last song. Prior to the Doors coming out, a local DJ appeared on stage, and told the crowd how glad the Doors were to be back with 'their people'. This was a reference to the fact that Morrison's obscenity trial (stemming from a charge of indecent exposure at a Miami concert) had required them to spend a lot of time in Florida.
The DJ also read something that was getting quoted a lot around that time, due to demands from George Wallace and other conservatives for 'law and order' to suppress student protest and social unrest:
"The streets of our cities are in turmoil. The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting. Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might and the Republic is in danger. Yes, danger from within and without. We need law and order! Yes, without law and order our nation cannot survive."
This was attributed to Adolf Hitler, though in fact he probably never said it. Whatever its source, it served well as a statement of the sort of counter-cultural, anti-establishment militancy that seemed obligatory at every rock concert around that time.
Soon after that, The Doors came out. As Robbie Krieger launched into the opening riff of Roadhouse Blues, the spotlight fell on Morrison, who stood on the right side of the stage (the audience's left) a bit apart from the rest of the band. He was dressed only in a white t-shirt and blue jeans. He had a full beard. As the song intro continued, Morrison remained stock still, eyes closed, his only movement being to wind the microphone cord, looping it over his left shoulder. This seemed to go on for quite some time; he must have wound at least 30 feet of cord. As he did so a girl from the crowd leapt onstage and wrapped her arms around him, only to be quickly taken off by a roadie. (This would happen several times more). In the middle of Back Door Man or Soul Kitchen, Morrison ad-libbed something like "San Diego baby, gonna catch ya, gonna clean ya, gonna cook ya, gonna eat cha!". He drank frequently on stage, and I doubt it was water. At one point Morrison wandered to the side of the stage where amps were stacked, and placed his mike into the speaker cones, producing squeals of feedback. Also he came downstage and pointed the mike at several members of the audience, each of whom merely gave out inarticulate yells. When Morrison asked the crowd "What do you guys want to hear?", the response came back: 'Light My Fire!'
The San Diego gig was the Door's fourth from last before Morrison died. It was followed by one in the U.K., Dallas, then the last in New Orleans. There, it was said, the last of Morrison's energy just went out of him like steam out of a bottle, and he collapsed on the stage and never performed with them again. In retrospect, the San Diego concert was a clear harbinger of that.
There was one more Doors album with Morrison, L.A. Woman, which I found very disappointing, probably their worst. Then in July 1971, I heard on the radio of Morrison's death. I felt grieved, even depressed, more so than from the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin a few months earlier. In memoriam I stacked all my Doors albums on my record changer, and played them one after the other for three days straight. I had thought of Morrison as some kind of god-like figure. Reading more about him later, I came to realize he was actually often quite a drunken asshole, and I no longer put him on such a pedestal. Still, he was for a while one of rock's most charismatic figures and finest singers, he and the band recorded some great songs, and whatever Morrison's faults and however lacking his later performances, his work deserves to be long remembered."
Copyright © 2010 Taylor Kingston
A Special Thanks to Taylor Kingston for providing his review of the concert to MildEquator.com!
REVIEW:Newspaper: San Diego Union
Author: Lee Grant
Publish Date: August 24th - 1970
Copyright © San Diego Union
Contributed By: jim4371
Contributed by: Larry Hulst
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