It is apparent that in the June 6, 1970 concert in Vancouver, British Columbia The Doors had the blues on their minds! Blues legend Albert King opened for The Doors and joined them onstage for four songs. There was some experimenting going on in Vancouver. The Doors were seemed to be pushing the limits of rock or at least stretching those limits between rock and the blues.
At first the Vancouver show sounds more sedate (not sedated) than the Felt Forum shows a few months prior. Upon a closer listening you can see The Doors were going for more of a bluesy feeling than a hard rock sound, and that explains why Morrison, in introducing Albert King gives a quick tutorial to the audience about the two main indigenous forms of American music blues and country coming together in rock `n' roll, he`s tipping the audience off as to what they're doing.
King joins the band right in the middle of a typical Doors concert to jam on some blues standards with the band including “Little Red Rooster”, “Money”, “Rock Me”, and Bo Dudley’s “Who Do You Love”. King draws The Doors deep into the blues adding a true and twangy edge to The Doors.
The instrumentals in most of the songs highlights the bluesy feeling such as in "5-1" and "Light My Fire." While they didn't change the song substantially, during the instrumental of "Light My Fire" Morrison comes in singing lines from "St. James Infirmary" as a starting point before he slips in some bucolic, blues tinged imagery from "Porgy and Bess" to highlight the blusier aspects of The Doors usual repertoire. Lyrics like "the fish were jumping, and the cotton is high", what band today of the same caliber as The Doors would or could risk such onstage experimentation?
The Vancouver show was only five months before The Doors would start recording “L.A. Woman“. Were they experimenting that night to build the nerve and inclination to do a blues album? Or were they working out how a rock band could be a blues band?
Subscribe to The Doors Examiner and get article’s as they’re published, just click the subscribe button. Thank you for reading The Doors Examiner!