Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Doors - August 30, 1968

One of the earliest legendary concerts at Merriweather with the great Jim Morrison lighting up the stage in Columbia.  After they finished off their extended East coast tour on August 4 in Philadelphia, and six months of constant touring, they took a three week rest for the coming European tour.  Still, in order not to lose focus, they got back on the road on this date with a short but rather effective warm-up tour on the Northeast coast before hitting Europe in September.

These were not sold-out shows but none of them was short in attendance and sold quite well despite the fact they were late additions and there was no time for advertising. This was the first of the four shows they were scheduled to play in three days.

This show that night was luckily videotaped for inclusion in a movie which the band agreed to make - a documentary of the '68 tour with film school friend Paul Ferrara as director of photography.  The film ("Feast of Friends") ended up essentially being a mess (live sound in parts were unusable) and it was bascially shelved.  Merriweather was one of the shows taped for inclusion in the film.

This video below was supposedly from that 1968 Merriweather show based on researching shots from the film with known stills as well as audience recollections.  It really captures the intensity that Morrison and the band delivered.  It begins with Jim telling the Merriweather lighting crew to turn the lights down as he was back on stage for an encore of "The End" and the lights were still left on as though the concert was over.  Crazy this rock legend was on that stage over 43 years ago:

"The End"

Get original recording at iTunes - The End

The Set List
1. Back Door Man
2. Five To One
3.  Break On Through
4. When The Music's Over
5. The Crystal Ship
6. Soul Kitchen
7. Celebration Of The Lizard
8. Rock Me
9. Light My Fire
10. The End

More from 1968...

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  2. I was there and was pumped about seeing the Doors but they weren't really on. Morrison started "Crystal Ship" in the wrong key and there were other flubs, but I didn't care all that much until I thought about it later. I remember that he came back for the encore and said they had one more song and it could be either "The Unknown Soldier" or "The End." We all cheered for the latter thinking that it would keep them onstage longer. Looking back, again, "The Unknown Soldier" might have been improvised beyond the single version and could have been a better choice.

  3. What I recall most vividly about this encore was Morrison asking for the lights to be turned down for a minute or so, to Noah Vail. Finally, he grabbed the microphone and shrieked, as only Morrison in his prime could, "Turn off the f_____g lights!" and the entire pavilion was plunged into darkness. "The End" followed, almost as an afterthought.

    --TK in Fallston

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