Saturday, July 21, 2012
Moonlight Drive - The Formation of The Doors
It is well known that the most iconic and well-known artistic venture Jim Morrison contributed to was The Doors. Many people don't realize, though, that the formation of the band and it's subsequent success were truly miraculous given the fact that none of the founding members had much experience with musical instruments, let alone with bands.
The formation of the band dates back to a chance meeting between Jim and eventual Door's percussionist Ray Manzarek on Venice Beach in California in the summer of 1965. During this history-making encounter, a shy, hesitant Jim sang a few of the songs (including the iconic Moonlight Drive) he had written to the dumbfounded Manzarek, whose response was one of total awe and disbelief. It is widely reported that after hearing Jim sing, Ray exclaimed that Jim's songs were some of the best he'd ever heard - quickly followed by "We've got to get a band together."
Not long after this history-making exchange, the two teamed up with a couple of Ray's good friends. They were (as you already know) John Desmore - a drummer - and Robby Krieger -budding guitarist. The rest, as they say, was history.
The band spent it's early life playing at a variety of hotspots on the Sunset Strip and soon became the house band for London Fog and ultimately the famous Whisky a Go Go. It was during this period of time (that spanned from '66 to '67) that The Doors build their early, famed musical line-up. And it was while playing their Whiskey gig that they were heard by the president of Elektra Records and offered the deal that would make them world-famous.
Jim and the rest of The Doors got their start during a time when music was considered one of the purest art forms, and it united tens of thousands of young people together in a culture all their own. The mid-late 1960's were America's artistic renaissance, and The Doors are still considered by many one of the era's most loved revered artists. Fortunately, Jim's legacy can still go on today. The Jim Morrison Project is an organization based in Jim's hometown of Melbourne that is striving to help aspiring and up-and-coming artists in the local community get the recognition they deserve while also promoting tourism in the area.
The Jim Morrison Project was founded by Clint Hill, a local whose ultimate goal and vision is to utilize Jim's extensive fan base to create a much more visible art community in Melbourne while also recognizing and remembering all of Jim's contributions to the art community and the world.
There are many ways that you can contribute to the success of The Jim Morrison Project, whether you are an artist or an art lover. They are currently looking for artists to contribute to local murals, as well as artists in virtually any other medium to contribute their talents in the spirit of Jim to the project. They are also always looking for local business donations of cash (to pay for a planned, private Jim Morrison memorial) or space to display the artwork of budding local artists.
If you are interested in contributing, you can check out TheJimMorrisonProject.com for some basic information - the site is under construction right now, and will be fully functional and launched on December 8, 2012 - Jim's 69th birthday.