Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

5. The DoorsMorrison Hotel

I love The Doors. I will defend The Doors to any fucker. They’re massively derided, but I won’t have a word of it. I find it very difficult to believe that people really think Morrison couldn’t write lyrics. So what if he was some kind of arsehole oaf character? That’s the point of being a rock star! It’s very difficult to imagine a rock band that had the authorities down on them, but they did, properly, to the point of long prison sentences for not really doing anything. So I think that a lot of the arsehole behaviour can be excused for the pressure cooker of those times. If you read enough about them you’ll see they were quite derided in their time as well, for the so-called poetic pretensions. I never thought there was anything wrong with having poetic pretensions. Why the hell not? What’s he meant to do? ‘What I really want to do is be a bus driver, I’m not going to go for the whole leather trousers and shamen thing.’ Morrison was obviously fairly touched in some way. There’s been nobody like him since. He’s really suffered from the three-pronged attack of Ray Manzarek, Danny Sugerman and Oliver Stone. I don’t think they ever helped his cause. The great thing that he says about Morrison Hotel is that it’s when they became the band he really wanted them to be. He describes them as "an existential bar band", which is fucking brilliant. I think if you hold that in your head, it totally makes sense, and every lyric makes sense. At the end of the album he sings about being ‘an old blues man’, which is what he wanted to be, he got fat deliberately, and grew the beard and got out of condition. He had a sense of humour about himself, he thought he was a bit of an idiot and The Doors were fairly idiotic. Sorry to say the fucking obvious and be totally idiotic, the worst thing he did was die. He timed his death very badly, and it’s never worked out very well from him. I say whether you like or dislike The Doors separates the wheat from the chaff.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Echo & The Bunnymen
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