“People are Strange” / “Strange Days” – The Doors

To say that these are my two favorite Doors songs seems obvious given the name of this here blog/website.  But these short, sweet, and infinitely weird / complex Doors songs sum up what’s best about Jim Morrison’s legendary band without the girth that makes many mortals fall asleep.

Both are from the Doors’ 2nd album “Strange Days” released in 1967.  “Strange Days” was also the title of my favorite Kathryn Bigelow film, which I discussed earlier on Dave’s Strange World.

People Are Strange:

Strange Days:

“Soul Kitchen” – X

Video

Are we sensing a theme here tonight? Here’s X’s adrenalized cover of the Doors’ “Soul Kitchen” produced by the Doors’ Ray Manzarek. As much as I love the original by Jim Morrison and the gang, the accelerated punk remake by X is a true joy, especially with guitarist Billy Zoom’s slammin’ Chuck Berry licks amped up to Indy 500 speeds. From the 1980 album “Los Angeles.”

“White Girl” – X

Video

Live in the studio, here’s the band X with arguably their best and most famous song “White Girl” from their stellar 1981 album “Wild Gift” and album that placed #2 for the year (behind the Clash’s “Sandinista”) in the Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll for album of that year. In this clip, you’ll see producer Ray Manzarek of the Doors working the knobs and nodding his head. From the terrific documentary about X “The Unheard Music.” The song was later sampled in the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song “Good Time Boys.”

Trivia note: Singer Exene Cervenka used to be married to Oscar-nominated actor Viggo Mortensen. In addition, singer / bassist John Doe has acted in a number of films over the years, most notably as Julianne Moore’s character’s ex-husband in “Boogie Nights.”

The Warhol Party Scene from “The Doors” (1991) dir. Oliver Stone

Drug freakout scenes are one of my favorite cliches in movies.  My all-time favorite drug freakout scene (with the exception of Helen Hunt trying to fly in the 1982 CBS TV-movie “Desperate Lives”) is this scene from Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.”  With the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” and “Heroin” playing in the background, Val Kilmer’s Jim Morrison takes a walk on the wild side with all kinds of Andy Warhol characters from Tom Baker (played by Michael Madsen), Warhol (played by Crispin Glover), Nico (played by Christina Fulton), and some unnamed Warhol assistant (played by Oscar winning 70s singer/songwriter Paul Williams).  Seeing this on home video doesn’t compare to seeing this film on a huge screen with booming stereo sound back in the day.  The wobbly, boat-in-a-tsunami camera movements are much more intense and caused me to have a major headache when I saw this in a theater.