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Baker's Dozen

Love Approval Thirteen: Ian Astbury Of The Cult's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , May 30th, 2012 19:04

Julian Marszalek speaks to the Wolf Child about esoteric drone doom, witch house, krautrock and, of course, The Doors

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The Doors - The Soft Parade

The Doors gig wasn’t given to me on a plate – it was a 12-year courtship. [Doors confidante] Danny Sugerman contacted me in about 1989 when they were making the film. Oliver Stone was casting the lead role and I got a phone call from Danny and he said, ‘We’re making this film right now. Do you want to meet Oliver?’ So I went out one evening with Oliver and Danny and had quite a lot to drink and ended up crashing Danny’s BMW.

I don’t think Oliver Stone was interested in casting me, I think he was interested in getting into the minds of rock & rollers and how the animal moves in that environment. But they did propose to me. They said, ‘Would you ever consider acting and I said, ‘No’. I know they were also considering Michael Hutchence for the role.

Through Danny I was introduced to Ray Mazarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore and they considered me for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994 and a whole litany of events happened over the next few years. Danny got very ill towards the end of the 90s and Ray and Robbie were intimating that they wanted to do something, and as they got into their 60s they wanted to play these songs and were saying, ‘Well, if not now then when?’ They’d waited 30 years.

So we did the VH1 special and I walked into the rehearsal with them and there was Ray with his Vox Continental and Robbie with his SG and Fender amp and there’s the mic! I’m like, ‘You kidding me?’ I was shitting myself! So we went straight into ‘Back Door Man’ and then into ‘Wild Child’ and they were playing like their lives depended on it. And this was a rehearsal! There was no audience! I knew as soon as I walked into the room those guys were authentic. They weren’t texting; there wasn’t an entourage there; it was just them and their gear.

They asked me to play one show and then that became two shows and then we were being offered tours. It happened in segments. We did ten shows and then it was like, ‘Do you want to do another ten shows’ and the next thing I knew I’d done 150!

Why choose The Soft Parade? Well, when you look at it, you’ve got ‘Touch Me’, ‘Wild Child’, and ‘Touch Me’ was one of my favourite songs to do with these guys. It’s an incredible song to play. You’ve got the run up [hums the intro] and then [singing], ‘Come on! Come on! And touch me babe and you will see that I am not afraid…’ It’s an incredible song to sing and a fantastic arrangement. And it gets dark.

‘The Soft Parade’ is probably my favourite song because of the arrangement on it. It starts off with that baroque harpsichord thing and then it gets heavy and then Morrison comes in with ‘You will not petition the Lord with prayer!’ and that goes right up my back and activates me. It’s in my top three favourite Doors songs.

We did LA Woman in its entirety but we never did The Soft Parade.


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